Clemens’ List of Life Lessons

Random Observation/Comment #286: Mother nature is a bitch.


After the recent rain/wind events and reading this article called 50 Life secrets and tips I have decided to write my own list of life lessons. This is very helpful for my “30 before 30” list I will be posting with my year-end 2012 reflection.

In no particular order:

  1. Class never goes out of style. The world has social norms, but having a bit of class and being a gentleman/lady will always be around. Whether you take this as the way you dress or the way you act politely/respectfully, this will affect your reputation and set of friends.
  2. Be clean and healthy. Hygiene is usually taught at a young age. Over-cleanliness can lower your immune system, but I still believe after the immune system is built up, a person should shower, brush their teeth, and groom on a regular basis. As for healthy – this could mean working out but also just includes maintaining a healthy diet and keeping a solid routine of cardio/stretching. Yoga would be a good choice to start younger.
  3. Wash your hands BEFORE you got to the bathroom. This has always been in the back of my mind. Hands are so much more dirty than anything in your genital area kept clean in your cotton refuge. I would also wash my hands afterwards to not get weird looks, but really my hands are clean unless I pee on them.
  4. Females will always be annoying (at any age). From puberty until now; I’ve thought about girls. And for every phase of my life since then, I’ve had an optimistic opinion about girls, but the same conclusion: Necessary Evil. Even when I had good relationships, the opposite sex’s brain is just wired differently. I don’t understand them and I think the best I can do is just accept that fact that I never will.  Remember to learn how to communicate with them, but don’t waste years and years just maintaining a companion for attention. It’s better to be independent and dependable as most women find this to be the most attractive
  5. Be dependable. If you make a promise, make sure you keep it to your best ability. I’m sure most people need to work on this, but it’s all about taking responsibility and accountability.
  6. High School is not that big of a deal. If I knew what I know now, I would have spent my high school years enjoying the free time and learning how to 1) learn, 2) make friends, 3) lucid dream, 4) memory palace, and 5) tell awesome jokes.  I had to start all of these during college when I was way too stressed out thinking about grades and living up to my parents expectations.  Speaking of parental expectations, my parents’ just wanted me to be happy (and probably extremely wealthy, but mainly happy).
  7. Learn how to make friends and keep them. You can only juggle around 30 real and meaningful friendships. There are the main people you see in your routine, and then the first tier of close friends, and then different levels of acquaintances. To stay in touch with all of them would be a full-time job.  Regardless, make the effort and think of people by associating them with things they care about.  It’s a bit of bucketing, but it’s definitely less taxing on the memory. Remember current events about your friends and make sure the relationships are reciprocal.
  8. Keep a diary. This will help you slow down time and improve your memory. Each day may seem like it passes slowly at first, but when you get older, time seems to just breeze through unless you seize the day and add some type of review and reflection into your routine. I personally do this during my commute or right before I sleep. I write down main things that happened and something new I learned that day.
  9. Keep an open mind. Some people make a lot of solid conclusions about things at a young age and never actually revisit these theories. These could become fears or just involuntary gag reflexes (like when I used to think about bitter squash), but after I revisited some of my items, I found out it wasn’t actually so bad. Bitter squash still tastes terrible, but I think I understand it more. Just make sure you don’t bash on ideas that you aren’t familiar with or if you’re too stubborn to change about.
  10. Find what you want to do by exploring. When you’re younger, do everything possible. Everyone has different skills and these can be honed with practice. How do you expect to find your passions if you live in a bubble?  I think exploration also includes drugs and alcohol. Although, I do not condone usage of these substances, it is important to form your own opinions about them and make your adult decisions when the times come.
  11. Play a musical instrument / sing. Music will always be liberating. I haven’t heard anyone say “Music? I hate all music. F**k you and F**k music.”  That’s just rude. Everyone has their own taste and an instrument will give you an outlet for creativity and stress relief.
  12. Learn to draw. This helps with coordination and fine motor skills. It will also help with visualization. Although you may be drawing with your finger onto a tablet instead of pencil and paper, I believe it’s extremely helpful to be able to place your thoughts onto paper accurately and artistically.
  13. Learn a second language at a young age. Speaking Cantonese with my parents on a consistent basis has given me alternative ways of memorization. It’s really expanded my set of tools and added more personal methods of communicating with friends/family.  English will be the unifying language due to programming and such, but I’ve found there are some things I can’t express as well in English than in Chinese.
  14. Never forget about passions. Once you find what you’re passionate about, don’t let go of it. Make it your profession or just keep it on the side to unwind. If you love taking pictures or writing poems, set aside some time to stay in touch with these passions.  This passion can easily be identified because it will be something you will do regardless of reward (monetary or praise).
  15. Try everything and make your own unique opinion. Along the lines of keeping your open mind and exploring, make sure you don’t just follow the crowd with your opinions. Make comments and ask questions that help yourself understand the full situation so you can feel your own way about it.
  16. Build your own set of rules to live by. Religion may provide some set of morals and your social circle may give you another set of codes to live by, yet I think it’s not as powerful as having your own mantra.  Mine is: “Health and Happiness. All the best.”  It guides me on a lot of decisions and includes my best wishes/actions to those in my community.
  17. Give back to the world what you have learned. This is actually the most important step. After you’ve formed your community and found your true calling, make sure you are also a producer in this world. Don’t just consume as a mindless zombie, but form opinions and share them. It is tremendously rewarding to teach and leave a type of legacy. The legacy can be your shared memories with friends/family, an invention, a photo, or even just a quote.

Separate section with regards to alcohol:

  1. Drink socially. If the main purpose of the night is to get drunk and this is agreed upon amongst your group, you and your friends may be impairing yourself from reality.  Yes, it’s a nice feeling and the easiest way to let loose, but it gets distracting and can lead to a downward spiral. Just be careful and keep it in moderation.
  2. Know your limit and never reach it. Passing out from drinking is not good. Trust me. Your body feels terrible and it ruins your next day. It’s actually much more fun to be tipsy and watch drunk people do stupid things. I seeing drinking as partial spectator entertainment.
  3. Learn what a good drink entails. I love scotch, wine, and beer for its flavor and sophistication. You’ll probably see me with a PBR or some crappy light beer once in a while, but I’d choose a dark stout, fine cab sauv, or 15-year single malt any day.

As always, health and happiness. All the best.

~See Lemons Make Lists