TL;DR: There's nothing that has made me more excited about life and the future than making a list of 50+ of my personal life codes, values & understandings as a note to self.
I've had people tell me lately either that I have an old soul, or that I'm wise beyond my years. Mostly extend family I haven't seen in a long time and I'm not around very often. I didn't really think much of that until I had a friend, who's my age, tell me almost the exact same thing after catching up. It keeps catching me off guard because I don't think I'm that at all. I just find myself having a lot on my mind and thinking about the world I live in. I'd like to think that everyone has their values and life understandings figured out at this point. Or at the very least, a code to live by, but that's not my responsibility to worry about.
The friends I hold close to me, are people I almost always have been able to look up to. I feel beyond grateful I'm able to have the close friends that I do. In all honesty, I don't often think about the values others hold themselves to outside of my circle of friends and I don't open up to many people about many things that I'm thinking. I'm simply a person who will find either joy or discomfort in someone else solely based on the content of their character. That's the only thing that matters to me when it comes to interacting with people.
The last couple of weeks, I've fallen into a depression. It’s no secret to anyone close to me that this time of year gets me down. One of my flaws are that I look at life as a timeline in deeper detail than I should. Blah, blah, blah...
I'm pretty good a keeping myself grounded and knowing how to pick myself back up and dive into reality again. I've been doing it since high school. It always has a benefit and that happens to be creativity. I'll shift my focus into smoothly organizing my thoughts and exporting them into something creative. Music is often my go to and while there has been a new song written from this depression, I also decided I wanted to visually see my current life understandings in front of me and not just have them in my head, causing conflicts and antagonising each other, which is likely where part of my overthinking comes from.
When I was younger and often getting myself into trouble, my Father told me I had to come up with a code that I had to live my life by. Something that is well implemented and fool proof, (I've found my code to be the last item on the list). All these understands lead up to my code, and I wrote a list of 50+ of my personal values and understandings.
I didn't really have any plans on making any of this public, because it is all very private. However, I figured it would be selfish if I kept a lot of this to myself. I'm always willing to help someone else out who's having a hard time finding a good outlook on life, or at the very least, maybe a different perspective to understand. I don't always like talking to people, instead I'll find myself grasping onto life concepts through reading and finding truths in the music I listen to. But there has been a lot of what's on this list that has stemmed from what my parents have taught me, what strangers have taught me, past relationships, and what I've learned about myself.
Most of these I've known for years and years while a few of these, I've figured out just this last week. If you do happen to find something from the list you feel helps you, as it does greatly with me, please let me know. I would love to talk about anything on this list with anyone.
I do want to make a couple things clear. Some of these are clichés, some of these are common sense, and some of these are what I've gathered from my 22 years of being alive. I wrote this for myself as a note to self for whenever I'm in need of a clear understanding of where I stand and my head is clouded. I did write it in 1st person, but do not mistake that as I'm telling you, the reader, how I think you should live your life.
List of Values & Understandings
- It’s not what you’ve done, it’s what you’ve done lately.
- It doesn’t matter how hard you fuck up, it’s how you recover. Failure is inevitable.
- Truth and time do not care about your feelings.
- Take what you know to get what you need.
- There’s never next time for better luck. Always do your best the first time. Nothing good comes from second chances.
- 1/3 of the people you know will like you, 1/3 will hate you, 1/3 doesn’t give a shit about you.
- Always have continuity in everything you say, and everything you do.
- Be the person you needed when you were younger. (This is something that makes me want to be a parent someday.)
- Honestly is always the best way to go, regardless of the consequence.
- Think twice, act once.
- It’s not about how much money you make, it’s about the quality of work you do. Do what you love, good leaders will value that and compensate for that.
- Good intentions and bad timings have catastrophic consequences.
- The only people you should open up to are those who value humility and empathy on the same level as you do. Surround yourself by people who've invested comfort in your soul.
- It is easy to know the difference from right and wrong. When that’s challenged, #4 comes to mind.
- Make time to listen to speeches and stories. Speeches fucking mean everything.
- Negative experiences in life do not subtract from the quality of how much you can improve yourself.
- If you don’t feel well about someone at all, don’t just burn the bridge, blow it the fuck up but stay humble about it. #5 always.
- Never place a person on a pedestal. How they view you is always different from how you view them.
- Your 20s mainly (and the rest of your life as well) should be spent building people up, and vice versa. Not bringing others down. This is when we need each other the most.
- You’re either the person you are, or the person you want to be. At the end of the day, you are exactly who you deserve to be.
- Regrets are a perspective of the past. People often dwell on regrets when they're not where they want to be, but say they don't have any when they are where they want to be. It’s ok to have regrets, as long as positive ambition and dedication outweighs and overpowers it with what you took from that situation, the person you are now is nothing short from a better one.
- You should be doing what you love now and enjoying yourself as you grow and as you work. It’s about the journey right now, right in front of you, not the end goal. Ambition is about the chase, not about cashing in or out for a certain life style once you feel the time is right. Find what you love, do what you love, and you’ll enjoy yourself in real time and as you get older. The promise isn’t that if you work hard - then it pays off. The promise is it's always paying off when you truly enjoy the hustle.
- You should be responsible for knowing how to keep yourself grounded. It’s easy to lose yourself, but by knowing when and how long it’s healthy enough to keep yourself grounded, reality won’t be as foggy when it hits you again.
- Choose your words as best as you can and back them up with actual meaning and action.
- There are three sides to every story. Story from side A, story from side B, and the truth.
- Don’t have expectations for anything. Shitty things happen and things don’t always work the way you’d like. Nothing is promised.
- Silence can be deafening, but somethings it’s the best way to handle a situation you’re unsure of in regards to how someone is acting.
- Respect yourself, respect your elders, and respect others around you. When you're in the presence of disrespect, #4, #10, and #24.
- You are human. Understand your flaws and know why you have them. Others may not see them as flaws the way you do. Don't shoot yourself down before you've left the ground.
- Don't let others gilt you into something you don't want for yourself. Saying no is always easier when you're confident in standing by it. #24.
- Own up to your fuck ups. Learn to feel good about admitting when and where you fucked up and you’ll feel better informed about that failure.
- Never sacrifice your aspirations and your convictions for anyone or anything.
- People will always see you for who you are. Always be the same person to everyone, and don’t sway from yourself in the presence of someone you admire or dislike.
- Your emotional intelligence is the most important thing you carry from the day you were born, to the day you die. Make sure it's always healthy. Anxiety and depression can cast a dark shadow to how you build yourself. Both are tough to thaw and it takes time. Nothing happens over night but when you start to feel like you’re overcoming it, future you will think of the setbacks and missed opportunities it cost you but learn to trust #21.
- Tell people the things you want to tell them. It’s that simple. You don’t know how long life gives you the opportunities to say what needs to be said.
- Set a threshold for what angers you. Understand anger is never the way to handle anything. It should be focused and directed into making carefully thought out decisions and proceeding with caution.
- Jealousy is tied to situations we selfishly wish upon ourself often without realizing where others have come from and what they were able to build for themselves. Want something you don’t have? Figure out what you need to understand and apply #4. Having jealousy towards anything or anyone is reckless thinking.
- Trust your heart. It’s amazing at feeling overwhelmingly happy when all is right but it can also be remarkable when it feels the complete opposite, that terrible piercing feeling that feels like it’s completely hopeless to cure. Use these feelings to help guide your thoughts. Don’t let your thoughts control your heart.
- Doubt isn’t disbelief.
- You have complete control over your life, how you spend your days, and who you spend your time with. Make sure they all line up and they all count towards something bold. You hold responsibility to everything you do.
- Know what you know, and know what you don’t know. Listen to those who do know what you don’t know. Help those who don't know what you do know, or at the very least, help them try to understand it.
- Have patience for the small things, you’ll appreciate the patience kept for the larger things.
- If you have doubts about anything that compromises you being the best you can be, don’t fucking entertain it.
- Don’t be afraid to cut people you’ve once held close to you out of your life. If they’ve done something to make you feel uncomfortable in absolutely any way at all, #5, #18 and #26.
- You can never go back to being young. Plan. Focus. Have tunnel vision for what you want. Never justify your dreams to anyone for any reason and execute dream, after dream, after dream.
- Ask others what their thoughts and opinions are on something you’re uneasy about before making a final decision. The knowledge of many outweighs the knowledge of one and if you believe in the people around you, and they believe in you, what gets built can be incredible.
- Happiness is a choice. You have to choose to wake up every morning with the understanding that the sun will always be there to rise with you again tomorrow. Some days are easier than others. You make your own happiness.
- The biggest thing that holds you back is valuing other peoples opinions of you. Your self-esteem is departmental to your happiness. Don’t let anyone make you feel inferior. Fuck what others think of you, positive and/or negative. Find the balance, set a threshold and filter out the voices of those you didn’t request the thoughts or opinions of.
- Always respect the jobs you once had and the people that currently do them. It should always serve as a reminder of where you once were and where you are now. You never know a person's story until you ask, just as no one knows your story unless they ask you.
- The unknown can be a wonderful place. Its darkness is a way to step back and take in what’s not working and adjust your path. The only time the unknown is bad is when you start getting comfortable with it.
- Understand you don’t carry the weight of the world, but when enough of it has you pinned, if #13 is in tact, let them help you dissolve it.
- The thought of your mortality and death, not in a depressing way, should shadow absolutely everything you do.
- You’re going to die, that should be enough to make you cut out all the bullshit in your life. That alone should dictate how you treat others and how you let yourself be treated.
- If we live right, we can’t die wrong. Hard work. Humility. Empathy. Kindness.
These are the top 50+ things I find myself thinking about as new information runs through my head while I try to figure out the world around me. These are by far not all of the understandings I hold, these are just the main ones I could think up in three hours. These are what I feel good about every day that I'm alive. I see these as reasons why every day is a new day to live. I will update the list as I get older. Everyday I find myself learning new things.
This is the best thing I've ever taken time to do for myself. It's helped me in ways I didn't know it would when I started to write the first one out. I just kept going. I would like to challenge everyone who has just read this list, to sit down and write out their own. If you're in a spot in your life and you're not happy, this will help you see things clearly. It doesn't have to be 50+, it can just be a few. But it's the best thing you'll ever give to yourself.
Subscribe to Dalton Sutton
Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox