26 things for 26

Teju Adeyinka
3 min readDec 27, 2023

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  1. When it crosses your mind to check on your friends and family, do it without procrastinating. Even just a quick ‘how are you?’ makes a difference.
  2. Listen to yourself more often; even your most dramatic, ridiculous self. You know more than you think. Believe your own self, and go to bat for your thoughts and opinions more often.
  3. The short term can be a good time horizon to optimize for too. Find a balance between what you want now, and what you need in the future.
  4. Allow yourself to be held both loosely and closely. A healthy combination of relationships with different levels of depth will help you feel grounded.
  5. Greek yoghurt goes great on pancakes and waffles.
  6. If you’re in someone’s city and you want to see them, reach out to them to plan it.
  7. If you don’t schedule the health check, it won’t happen.
  8. Regardless of your religion, when you have the means, give as a personal, spiritual practice. Give, especially to those who cannot repay you. We’re all we’ve got. Here’s somewhere to start from.
  9. When your best friends move halfway around the world, you will miss them a lot. You will miss them so much you cry in the club on your 26th birthday because they’re not with you.
  10. Stop treating every decision like it is existential. Picking an ice cream flavor should be simple. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
  11. How you make a decision is almost as important as the decision itself.
  12. Give your loved ones (and others) the benefit of the doubt as often as you can.
  13. If you own breasts, get a bra fitting. Your actual size will come as a shock, but a fitted bra will fix all your life’s problems. I won’t be taking questions.
  14. Keep fighting to preserve the most creative parts of yourself. https://x.com/collision/status/1529452415346302976?s=20
  15. Ruffling feathers isn’t always a bad thing, stop avoiding it at all costs. Flattening yourself into oblivion is too high a price to pay to avoid conflict.
  16. Lean into discomfort. Not everything you want is on the other side of fear, but some of it is. And they can be worth the temporary pain.
  17. There are different ways to have a beautiful life. Keep evaluating and deciding what matters to you and optimize for those.
  18. Permit yourself to be a beginner. Over and over again.
  19. Be kind to others. You’re capable of unkindness and meanness — it is not just the reserve of those you consider bad people. Your action can be unkind even if it’s not your intention. Actively check yourself and choose kindness as often as you can.
  20. Be kind to yourself. Stop self-criticism in its tracks once it starts to give way to self-deprecation.
  21. Find a way to anchor your sense of self outside of your output. Your work and accomplishments are important, but they will not be enough to fulfill you.
  22. First distill what you’re really trying to do, and let that clarity drive your decisions.
  23. Pick an earlier bedtime and stick to it. This is a note to self.
  24. Personal finance management is a life skill. Learn the basics, and create a simple system based on your lifestyle and goals.
  25. Get the resident body ache checked out. Fixing it might be way simpler than you’d imagine.
  26. In both work and personal life, err on the side of over-communicating — your needs, your desires, your goals. Make sure you’re getting heard.

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