“Beware of Idiots” and Six Other Things a 20-Year-Old Should Hear At Least Once a Year

One evening, as I was preparing to fall asleep, my brain decided it was the perfect time to go full gear with crazed thoughts of the what was and what will be.

And in the middle of all that—the ‘what is’ was up to the neck with self-inflicted worry. As you may know, dear reader, things like this never turn out pretty. 

But there’s a mental practice I like to do as a way of slamming the breaks when my mind spirals out of control. 

First, you take three deep breaths, not to be cliché but to ground yourself in the present moment. Second, you make a list of all the things that are worrying you and cross out what you can’t control. 

Whatever’s left are the things you have a say in, and therefore, can do something about. The mental practice alone isn’t enough. It’s moments like this that I cling harder to my faith in God. 

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6: 34)

I hang on to those words and the faithfulness of the One who said them, and rough seas hail a calmness like that of drifting off to sleep. 

Every now and then, we just need a bit of reminding of the essential things in life. On that note, here are seven reminders I would like you to keep as you go through your day.

1. Beware of idiots.  

A little harsh, I know, but stand your ground on this one. 

When I say beware of idiots, I mean be careful of people with closed minds, who have no convictions, are overly pessimistic, and have a problem for every solution. 

If you have anyone in your life right now that falls under that category, well, I highly encourage that you make the executive decision to minimize interaction with them to a quarter of a millisecond every day. Kidding…or maybe not. 

2. Stop comparing yourself to other people. 

Seriously, stop it. You’ve heard this advice a thousand times over, and for good reason. Comparison only breeds envy, and envy rots the bloom of growth. 

Think of it like this: every time you compare yourself to other people, you invalidate the uniqueness of your gifts and experiences by operating from a perceived and, therefore, flawed standard. 

“Comparison is the deadliest thing we can do to ourselves, because we will always come up short.”

—Simon Sinek 

3. Acceptance isn’t synonymous with settling. 

When you accept a situation for what it is, you stop making excuses.

You don’t get drowned in alternate realities of ‘What ifs’ and ‘Could have beens’ that keep you chained.

Acceptance means making peace with what’s in front of you, and it’s a crucial step moving forward. 

But there’s a fine line between what you’re getting and what you deserve. You need to figure out which one you’re allowing into your life. 

“To my fellow women: ‘Please don’t settle. Not in a job you hate, not in a town where you don’t feel at home, not with friendships that aren’t real and especially, especially not with love.”

—Marisa Donnelly

4. You’re never too smart or too talented to learn something new. 

Growth is a continuous journey. As long as we are alive, we should be in a state of learning. 

“The pretense of knowledge is our most dangerous vice, because it prevents us from getting any better.”

— Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy

5. Be willing to trade a few moments of busy for the gratitude of being alive. 

We’ve made a habit of getting lost in the buzz of life—in the quotidian tasks that make up our week, month, and year. 

You can blame modernization or the struggle of barely making ends meet that has dulled our awareness of life. 

But I honestly hope you find it within yourself to feel the joy of being a part of all this. 

“The cult of productivity has its place, but worshipping at its altar daily robs us of the very capacity for joy and wonder that makes life worth living.”

—Maria Popova 

6. Get out there. 

Put your good foot forward and take a step. It doesn’t have to be your best foot or your most prepared foot. 

Your good foot, which is whatever you have right now wherever you are in your life, is just enough.

“You’re wishin’ too much, baby. You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be.”

—Elizabeth Gilbert​​, Big Magic 

7. You’re not here by accident or because a single-celled organism from a billion years ago decided to grow a pair. 

God put you on this earth at this moment in time for a reason. Today may have been hard, but tomorrow could be different.

I believe that everything you are going through right now is preparing you for something. Go to Him and let God be your rest. 

“The plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.” 

— Psalm 33:11 

That’s a wrap! Share this article with a friend who you think needs to hear one or all of these reminders. See you next week. If you ever find yourself on the socials, hit me up @shekwritesblog ? Make growth fun and personal.

Always here,

Shek ?