23 Life Lessons Learned by Age 23 #opesays

Published:16 Nov, 2012

So this was supposed to have been written on my 23rd birthday some months back, but I was holed up planning the way ahead and reflecting on the past. So here I am. What better time than at the end of the year shey? So here goes, 23 life lessons I’ve gleaned by age 23.

  1. Only you must look out for you. No matter how many people you think love you, they have their own lives to live at the end of the day. So take care of you.
  2. Your mind is your most powerful weapon. Not money. Not influence or power. Your mind. Shield it, feed it and guard it with your life. Your mind can ruin you and it can create wonders for you.
  3. Bad news is what it is. Bad news. Be it people, a newspaper story or an event. Stay away from bad news as must as possible. A piece of your mind dies every time you’re exposed to bad news.
  4. Intelligence is overrated. What matters most is common sense. Sadly, it is not common.
  5. Nothing would be handed to you on a platter of gold. You will have to fight for it. Heck, you will have to bite, scratch, and fight dirty for it.
  6. Marriage is not your first purpose in life. It is good to fall in love and get married, but it is not your primary purpose. Your purpose is fulfilling destiny.
  7. Trust is overrated. Trust no one, not even yourself.
  8. Money comes and goes, men come and go, friends come and go, but family remains with you. Not always because they love you, but because they have no choice.
  9. Love is dangerous territory, even if it seems sweet. Tread carefully
  10. You will change. The ‘me’ from years ago won’t even recognize the ‘me’ now. Just make sure that the change is good.
  11. You may not be where you want to be yet, but trust that it will unfold in time.
  12. Your enemy is never your enemy. Your enemy is your friend. Have fun while he teaches you and helps you grow
  13. Sadly, you’ll always underestimate yourself; but let your estimation always be closer to the truth.
  14. Books are powerful agents of change. They pour into a man’s soul thousands of years of wisdom. Read frequently and easily.
  15. Listen to music and often too. Do it especially when you’re sad, it’s the best cure to lift your spirits.
  16. Love life. Live life with vigour and zest. No matter how small, make every moment count.
  17. Do not celebrate when you achieve small successes. Instead plan a way to maintain them and move to a higher level. It is always harder to stand at the apex of a pyramid, you can easily fall.
  18. Have very few friends and a million acquaintances. Many won’t care or even want your success.
  19. If anything makes you happy, do it. You may come back bruised and wounded, but you would have learnt your lesson. Life is ephemeral, so why choose sadness?
  20. Have your head in the cloud and your feet firmly planted on the ground. Dream and fantasize but work your a** off.
  21. People care only about themselves. To get ANYTHING from ANYONE; make them feel good about themselves.
  22. Move with the right people. If you want to fly with the eagles, do not swim with ducks. Force yourself into the circle of the right people ,if you have to.
  23. You need God. Scratch that, your passion should be an all-consuming, fiery flame that never abates. I don’t mean religion. I mean a personal relationship, so passionate, so beautiful, that it changes you and makes you become a better person. When you have this, life will be complete.

Oomph and peace,

Opemipo Adebanjo

@opesays on Twitter


#opesays is a column published every Friday.I talk about anything under the sun.

11 thoughts on “23 Life Lessons Learned by Age 23 #opesays”

  1. Oreoluwa says:

    Definitely a manual for everyone. Short, concise and absolutely true, every point made, at least in my opinion too. Good work ma’am. May the other absolutely necessary lessons you need to learn never elude you.

  2. Opesays says:

    Amin !!!! Olori Adura (The most important prayer) .Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts Ore.

  3. deji says:

    Thoughtful but I must add that life’s lessons are not thought in any classroom by any teacher. Every student must be hands on in this lab called world.

  4. Bunmi says:

    Thanks.I needed that.

  5. Bibioluwa says:

    Now, this is what I call the summary of existence,necessary for daily meditation/guide, we most times do not take cognisance of some of this details,but this tiny ingredient mixed by this tiny chef is something you and I should not snob…. I really hope we do not

  6. oluwale says:

    God bless u sir. Its a good write up that I need in my daily activitys.

  7. Hassan says:

    Nice and concise piece.

  8. duke says:

    Good one Ope. This is a material to reminisce on by many of us above 23. Short,concise,apt and simple

  9. zebbook says:

    Well, some I agree with, some I dont, but the most important thing is that we are living and we are learning. A little here and a little there, the son of man becomes a better him; a bit here and a chunk there, the daughter of eve becomes a better her. Toast to Life, Love and Learning.

    Happy Birthday in arrears, cheers.

  10. zebbook says:

    Well, some I agree with, some I dont, but the most important thing is that we are living and we are learning. A little here and a little there, the son of man becomes a better him; a bit here and a chunk there, the daughter of eve becomes a better her. Toast to Life, Love and Learning.

    Happy Birthday in arrears, cheers.

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