24 Lessons from Turning 24

Stella Cai
3 min readNov 20, 2020

Thanks to friend and mentor Victor Saad, who recently wrote a blog piece called 34 Lessons from Being 34, I thought I would do the same, since I recently turned 24. In Chinese superstition, every 12 years is a cycle. When your “year” comes around (when you are 24, 36, 48, 60, 72 etc.), it is believed to be an eventful/tumultuous year for you, and you should be extra careful. Well, this year turned out to be a tumultuous year for everyone. And here are 24 lessons I have learned this year.

On the day of turning 24.
  1. Tell the ones you love you love them.
  2. It is not your job to cure other people’s loneliness.
  3. If you hear/read a good quote/sentence, write it down and note who said it/wrote it. You think you will remember but you won’t.
  4. Shut down your laptop at the end of the day and start fresh in the am.
  5. People don’t care about what you did/said as much as you think they do.
  6. If someone is visiting you, ask them to send you their flight information, even if you’re not meeting them at the airport. It’ll make both of you feel good.
  7. If you want to work on a project/be included on a team, ask.
  8. Confidence and charisma are not indicators of intelligence and knowledge. Likewise, intelligence and knowledge may not always come across in the form of confidence and charisma.
  9. If you loved a book you read, look up the author and email them with a thank you. It allows you to reflect on what you read and you never know, they might respond!
  10. When someone does something hurtful to you, see it as an event that has caused an imbalance to the peaceful state of the world. Now that act of wrongdoing has caused there to be one more bad thing than good things in the world. It is therefore your job to restore that balance. Instead of adding to the list of bad things that already exist by doing/saying something hurtful back, do/say something kind/pleasant to the next person that you interact with. That way, you have restored the balance of good and bad energies in the world, instead of adding to the bad ones.
  11. Befriend older people. They have lived more than you have.
  12. Nobody likes to be accused of being sexist/racist/ignorant/xenophobic, even if they know that they have said/done something to that nature. If you decide to call someone out for it, understand that they will likely not react well. Therefore, before you do that, think about if you are prepared to deal with their negative reaction. If not, let it go.
  13. If an invitation/opportunity comes your way, say yes. Unless it’s very much inappropriate/dangerous. But in most cases, they are not.
  14. Keep your word.
  15. If you have the chance to go somewhere you have never been, go. It might just add to your worldview.
  16. The human need for attention and care does not fade as we mature from babies to adults, it just manifests in different forms.
  17. To show someone you care about them, listen to what they have to say. If they tell you something that’s going on in their lives, ask them about it the next time you see/talk to them. It will make them feel valued. Everyone wants to feel valued.
  18. If you hate your job so much, quit and find another job. Better yet, quit and start your own company.
  19. Each of us has such a unique worldview as a result of differences in our identities and upbringings. Your worldview has no more or less value than that of another person walking down the street. Try to listen to and understand their worldview.
  20. Go for a walk everyday.
  21. To criticize others/put others down is an easy, lazy thing to do. Shouting abuse at someone else will not make them change their thinking or their perception of you.
  22. Pay attention. If someone shows that they like a certain snack/drink, bring one for them the next time you see them.
  23. Seasons change. People don’t change, people grow.
  24. The world is so much bigger and richer than we will ever know. Be open to the world.

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