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The Most Useful and Difficult Lessons Everyone in Their 20s Must Learn

Jan. 3, 2017

'Do something enriching everyday in order to feel alive'

Answer by William Beteet on Quora.

1. She/He Doesn’t Love You and That’s OK – There was a girl named Tianna, and I thought I was destined to be with her. I quit smoking for her, wrote screenplays for her, put on a ton of muscle for her — I professed my love to her a couple times and was rejected — and that’s OK. I didn’t fail because love isn’t something to achieve.

2. Fulfillment Is a Lie – You will never achieve a success so great that you will no longer feel the need to do something to feel whole. You must treat fulfillment like nutrition, and do something enriching everyday in order to feel alive.

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3. You Need to Experience Shame to Achieve Your Dreams – Bomb at an open mic, send your novel to someone who’s going to paint it red, make a thousand cold calls. Don’t live in the minds of other, focus on your main goals, and remember no one looks sexy on their climb to the top.

4. Fall In love With Pain – While I was in Copenhagen I told an Italian man the secret to being happy in life was to fall in love with pain. Then you will not only be able to withstand the arduous journey to becoming the strongest version of yourself, but you’ll enjoy yourself along the way.

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5. You Must Settle – In order to have what you want, you have to settle for a lot of things you might not want at that moment. I eat to settle on foods because having a great body is more important, I settle with not going out on as many as I used to, because standup is more important. Plan out what you’re willing to settle on in advance, that way you don’t feel conflicted about having to make sacrifices.

6. Excitement Is Shallow – I’ve traveled all over the world and met people from all walks of life along the way. The people who were just traveling for excitement for several months, all sounded the same. Chasing excitement as an end is redundant. Soon there are no more novel truths to discover.

7. Loneliness Is About You – I’m not lonely when I’m at the gym even though I’m training by myself, but I am lonely when I go to parties and I’m being a wall flower. Why? Because loneliness is about your engagement in the that moment. So if you’re feeling lonely, close your computer and go for a run, it will get you back into the moment.

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8. Sacrifice Makes Things Mean Sometimes – I have performed stand up for 325 consecutive days, I’ve missed family gatherings, nights out with friends, dates, a trip to Brazil Argentina and Peru, but missing out on all of these things made my successes in standup mean so much more to me. So don’t look at standup as a sunk cost, but an opportunity to make the thing you are working on worth more to you.

If you want to hear more of my thoughts check out my podcast The Lazy Philosopher

This question originally appeared on Quora: What are the most difficult and useful things people have to learn in their 20s?