This is the third year I’ve written one of these retrospective learning entries. They’re a bit of a departure from my day-to-day creative musings, but I think they’re worthwhile. What’s another year if you haven’t learned from it?

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Also, if you are offended by mild cursing (PG-13 style), this entry may not be for you. Consider yourself warned.

The photos for this entry are from my travels this year—namely Costa Rica and New York City.

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Beware of being that person that insists they have a say in absolutely everything, especially if you don’t actually know everything about everything. People can tell when you’re handing them some ridiculous, superfluous revision or bit of busywork just to prove that your opinion exists.

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My foot must taste awesome since I insist on sticking it in my mouth so often.

Do not take the long-term health of yourself or your loved ones for granted.

Be aware of what you’re offering people, be aware of what they want from you, and be aware if those things don’t match up.

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Life can hand you a bucket full of shit that is just yours to deal with, and while the people you know and love will care and be as supportive as they can, they will never totally understand and you will still have to deal with that bucket of shit by yourself.

Be wary of becoming jaded and bitter. Just because your life hasn’t been perfect doesn’t mean you can lash out at others and be a jackass. It’s not becoming, and your life story is not the fault of the world.

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Go to yoga.

Be nice to people.

Nobody likes an asshole, even if they’re a smart, clever asshole.

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Share your passions.

Get your hands dirty.

Never underestimate the importance of timing, whether it’s meeting new people, going on a date, or starting a new project.

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Travel the world, meet people, go places. We live on an amazing planet—experience it, and be open to those experiences.

Sometimes you have to do less in order to do more.

For people who whinge about the “friendzone”—it is better to pack away romantic feelings and gain a friend than pout like a toddler who hasn’t gotten exactly what they want. Also, the story of duly rewarded unrequited love is a rare one in reality, so avoid casting yourself in that tale.

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Go out and learn from other people.

I can lose quite a lot of weight by simply not drinking beer regularly.

Remember that the stories you tell yourself to connect the dots of life may not be correct in any way, shape, or form, no matter how neatly that particular story connects those dots.

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Not every problem has an entirely acceptable solution.

You should always have a bucket list.

For everything—”This, too, shall pass.”

So—what did you learn this year? Share in the comments!

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