The 35 Most Life-Defining Lessons from 35 Years of Life

They might be hard to hear, but they transformed everything.

Anthony J. Yeung


Photo by Allen Taylor on Unsplash

Recently, I turned 35.

I only panicked a tiny bit.

All joking aside, it was a big occasion and, like every year, I reflect on the defining moments—good and bad—that brought me to this point.

I’ve been doing this every year since I was 28 and it’s been illuminating.

In this article, I’ll list 35 ridiculously powerful lessons that have—and continue to—tremendously shape my life. They’re in no particular order (and there are many more than these), but I consider these the top du top.

You might not agree with them and that’s fine… nobody’s perfect. (I kid.)

But these have impacted my life massively and I hope they help you too.

Whatever you demand from life, demand from yourself first

If I want a fit partner, get fit.

If you want successful friends, become successful.

If you want an extraordinary life, do extraordinary things.

The best way to live is to seek from within first; then you’ll be the kind of person who gets those things automatically.

(If you skip this step, then you have no right to complain. You’re basically saying, “I want great things, but I don’t want to do anything to get them.”)

Train the world how to treat you

My only life regret is not standing up for myself when I had the chance. When someone was being rude, I didn’t say anything, not because I was the “bigger man,” but because I had low self-esteem and was afraid.

Train the world how to treat you: The universe is always listening.

Don’t ask for permission; beg for forgiveness

If I waited for permission to do the things I wanted to do in life, I would’ve done nothing.

“If it isn’t going to devastate those around you… If the potential damage is moderate or in any way reversible, don’t give people the chance to say no. Most…



Anthony J. Yeung

Featured in Esquire & GQ. Founder. Full-time traveler. Ready to upgrade your life? Get my 5 life hacks to boost your results here →