Lessons Learned in 2016

By Austin B. Hahn

  • Don’t be so critical of human nature. People are flawed, and we’re all learning. What you may already know could be new knowledge to others, so don’t expect them to believe what you believe and criticize them when they don’t. In addition, if someone doesn’t know something, then they don’t know, so instead of thinking, “Wow! God must love stupid people because he sure made a lot of them,” help them to understand it.
  • “Common sense” is vague, so toss it to the wind. What may appear to be obvious to you, whether it’s someone’s spouse cheating on them, an answer to a test question, or how to do a task assigned to you by your boss, may not be so obvious to the other person for various reasons. Maybe that person has been with their spouse, who was loyal, for over twenty years, and the thought of infidelity never crossed their mind. Perhaps English is someone’s second language, so they weren’t sure how to answer that test question, or after consolidating with your coworkers, you realize that each of them have a different take on the assignment. Regardless of circumstance, common sense is relative to personal interpretation.
  • You don’t need to be painfully serious and rigid to accomplish your professional goals. A person can have fun and still do their job. Attitude and work ethic are not the same. Then again, you may just find that getting work done is easier if you cultivate an attitude that allows yourself to have fun in the process.
  • Don’t do something for the sole purpose of obtaining financial security. You might end up taking a job that ruins your health or that you may not be able to get out of without some repercussions that could professionally undermine your life. Before applying for a job, read about other people’s experiences, research what are the long-term benefits, and ask your higher self, “Is this job in alignment with my goals?” If not, look elsewhere. There’s always another way to make money.
  • If you love someone, let them know. U.S. culture condemns saying, “I love you,” to someone who you don’t know well, but saying “I hate you,” to a complete stranger is tolerated in public. If you tell someone the latter, no one says anything, but if you say the former, everyone is quick to tell you that you shouldn’t love so “easily” or that you shouldn’t give all your love away so fast. Why is it anyone’s fuckin’ business to tell you how you should feel about someone regardless of how long you’ve known them? Who cares if you’ve known a person for a week or decades? When you feel it’s right, it’s right, so tell them. People don’t hear, “I love you,” enough, and we all need love to make it in this world. I’m not saying, “Be foolish and love others blindly,” but what I am saying is pay attention to your gut. Do not suppress your feelings and wait after years have gone by or the timing may be awkward; or, even worse, you may discover that person is gone.
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