february 21st 2024 marks my 21st birthday.

since my 18th birthday, i’ve unintentionally made it a personal tradition to sit down and reflect on the year past. appreciating how far i’ve come and the people who have helped me along the way.

i tear up realizing how proud a younger brandon would be if he of knew the opportunities he’d be given and what he’d be able to accomplish. one of the many things he always dreamed of, was an outlet to publish his thoughts, ideas, and learnings, to the world.

after recently stumbling upon the Cult of Done Manifesto, i’ve garnered a new-found inspiration to spend the time to set up my corner of the internet. i can’t wait to write about all the projects i’m working on, my personal finance learnings, and other tidbits and topics i find fascinating.

but for now, here are 21 standout rules i’ve learned, experienced, or gathered from others, in no particular order

1. curiosity above all else

child-like curiosity forever. always question. always ask why. you’ll never progress if you aren’t curious

2. always have a plan b

and maybe a plan c

3. kindness isn’t an exchange

be kind because it’s the right thing to do

4. if you can’t do anything about it, then stop worrying

do what you can within your power, sleep well knowing you did the best you could

5. other’s having it worse doesn’t invalidate your suffering

your feelings are always valid

6. dream big

you really do land among the stars

7. success is 90% luck

doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work hard, but if you are successful, know that there were many on your path before, and many after you, who were not, and will not be

8. people will not like you

it’s impossible to please everyone, good intentions are all you need

9. pretending you know what you’re doing, is almost the same as knowing what you are doing

per the Cult of Done Manifesto

10. people without dirty hands are wrong, doing something makes you right

per the Cult of Done Manifesto

11. be happy for others

everyone has their own definition of happiness

12. true behaviour change, is identity change

per James Clear, author of Atomic Habits

13. smile more

you’ll find more positivity in the world when you put it out first

14. you are your friends

you are a reflection of the people you surround yourself with

15. choose optimism

per kepano, shit happens. people aren’t out to get you. everyone has bad days. nothing personal.

16. a rising tide raises all boats

life isn’t a competition, help each other out

17. focus on your own race

everyone is taking life at their own pace, its apples to oranges

18. friends grow apart

cherish the experiences you once shared

19. leave the world in a better place

because it’s the only one we have

20. we all die anyways

so don’t get caught up with unimportant things

21. empathy

you’ll never fully grasp someone’s situation, but you can start by feeling their emotions