Growthlog by Tomas Laurinavicius
· 4 Min read

Life Lessons I Learned in 2013

Say thank you more often. It doesn’t cost much to say thank you for the person who opened you the door, who let their place in a queue, who smiled at you for no reason, for a friend that you just remembered listening to that song, to your parents who brought you to life, to that writer whose thoughts inspire you and to yourself, because you’re amazing (in a way).

Give credit when due. Everything in this world is a remix or a combination of something. Giving a credit when due will make you look more trustworthy and honest instead of pretending that everything you say or do is 100% your work.

Just do it! I learned that doing first and thinking after brings you into some cool adventures and make up stories worth telling.

Traveling sets your mind free. 2013 was the year I’ve traveled the most, I’ve visited many countries in Europe, lived in Denmark and United Kingdom for a while, grew up as a personality and started to see what really matters for me.

There are not so many people that care. Most of the people and businesses don’t really care about anything than their ass. I’ve learnt that caring for 5-10 people genuinely will make wonders instead of pretending to care about 50-100 people.

World is wonderful. No matter how good or bad your current situation is, it will change. You are living in a golden age and now is the best time to start fighting for your dream. You are free to do anything you’ve dreamed of, quit your job, travel, learn Spanish, start cooking, everything is in you.

Read more. The best way to learn something fast is to read what other people already done and conducted in a book. Do not forget to act and apply the knowledge you have gained and always share the book with your friends. Inspire them too.

Happiness is more important than money. I’ve never thought that I’ll be turning down job offers for more than $65k/year right after graduating from college. However, working for myself and building a business that resonates with my values but makes me less money still make me happy.

Write to people you care about. You do not have to wait for someone to write to you. If you care write them. Be an initiator, don’t wait for wonders to happen. Sending a real postcard into a physical mailbox makes wonders, try it (hardest part is to get a mailing address).

Planning rocks. At least it works (in a way) for me. If I plan a lot of stuff I clear up my mind and feel less stressed. Even though I am usually too optimistic about my plans I tend to achieve more if I have a plan for the upcoming week rather than working without a plan.

Big goals might work against you. I thought I am a f**king superman, turns out I’m not. You might not be surprised but I am. I had so many goals and these goals were really huge, building a million dollar business in a year or so. Big goals will kill you slowly mentally and physically. I am having smaller goals now. It makes me happy.

It’s not about a destination it’s about a journey. Everything reaches an end and nothing special happens. Unless you value the journey instead of the destination. Traveling around the Europe with my buddy I’ve experienced many odd situations and funny adventures that are stuck in my memories, I don’t remember how cool it was to finish the trip.

Building a habit is hard but beneficial. Habits > goals. I believe that building a habit is changing your lifestyle, for example I started to eat cleaner and healthier in 2013, on the way I realised that I don’t want it to work as a goal, because a goal has a deadline, I wanted to change my lifestyle and eat healthy for the rest of my life. That’s is why I am building a habit to eat cleaner which doesn’t have an expiration date.

Discipline is a crucial part of success. I’ve been into sports for 13 years and it became a huge part of my life. However entering adulthood, college and working full-time dictate other rules you need to play by. Having a routine and cutting off all of the unnecessary shit will let you slowly move towards your goals.

Action is what changes everything. You can read all of the existing books on cooking but no one will remember you as a person who read all of the books on cooking. Write one yourself, no matter how crappy it will be, someone will find value there and you’ll be remembered for it.

Produce more than you consume. Unsubscribe from most of the newsletters, unlike stupid pages on Facebook, unfollow spammers consuming your time on Twitter, stop watching YouTube cats, read and write rather than reading all the time. Create more than you consume.

Big numbers won’t make you happy, focus on relationships and people rather than fans/followers. Having 5 people on Twitter that I can ask advice at any time makes more happy than having 15k followers who don’t really care what I am doing.

Running is fun, not always. It’s free, recharges your batteries, lets you get familiar with local area and burns fat. However it might not be that fun when it’s freezing outside, windy or you had a huge party last night but you’ll never regret that you went for a run.

You are capable of more than you think. I proved it to myself running, even though I was in athletics for 10 years I have never run more than 2 km so running 13 km for 5 days in a row made me think that I can do more than I was thinking I can.

Digital detox works. Being a designer and entrepreneur I spend too much time online, designing, answering emails, reading, writing, checking notifications on my iPhone and other digital shit consumes my time and energy. I am trying to plug off for Sundays and enjoy outdoors, watching movies, reading a book, going for a walk. Mondays became more productive.

Traveling is not expensive. I went from London to Paris for £10 return. I’ve traveled around the Europe for £1000. Try cheap flights on Ryanair, cheap buses on Megabus and cheap or free accommodation on Couchsurfing.

There are no rules. All of the rules were made up to make certain people achieve their goals. Realising this will take some time, but when you get it, you’re free to do anything.

You will not die. Most of the times you resist of doing something because you are afraid of failing, you don’t want people to judge you. If there is no threat for your life you shouldn’t be resisting doing something stupid.

You will die (one day). Death is probably the best motivator for me. One day I won’t be able to wake up and say hi to my friends and family, I won’t be able to go for a run, I wont be able to travel the word because I’ll be dead. You’ll die too, think about it.

Love yourself, no matter what. You didn’t finish your 5 km run, you just missed a deadline, you cheated on your diet and drank too much alcohol last night. Does’t matter, it’s you and you should love yourself.

There is no personal or professional life, you’re the same, take advantage of it. You are the same person in every situation in life, stop pretending or playing by the rules that are not yours. Be yourself, people will like you, if they don’t you probably shouldn’t be dealing with them.

Failure doesn’t exist. Start seeing failures as a part of process and you will realise that it simply doesn’t exist. 5 years ago I had to design 5 websites for free to get one paid client. It is not a failure, my process simply was 5 free designs for one paid.

Building a startup is hard, very hard. I am building a startup with my friend and it is freaking hard. There are so many different thing to take care of, lack of money, skills, time and experience make it very hard, hopefully rewarding.

You can’t judge people. I used to judge, assume and underestimate people. There are no rules in life and you don’t know what other people are living for. Stop judging and hopefully you won’t be judged.

It’s never too late. Unless you’re dying tomorrow, only then it might be too late to start something, otherwise you have plenty of time. Focus on the things that matter and make time.

Time flies, you want it or not. I’m already 22, time just passed by since I’ve been 18. For you it may seem funny but I feel it was too quick.

You have the responsibility to empower other people, share experience. Yes you just built your business, you have run your first marathon, you just wrote a song. Now share your knowledge and experience. You have learnt from someone, be that someone to the next genius.

Apply 2 minute rule and get shit done. I discovered this 2-minute rule not so long time ago and I love it. I don’t get dishes piling up, my email inbox is empty at most of the evenings and I feel more productive.

Talk only nice about others, there are too many bad things around. It is very hard because humans are very emotional creatures but talking only nice about others will go a long way.

Stop collecting physical things. All my life can be put in my backpack, I don’t have anything and I don’t regret the things I got rid of. Becoming more minimal made more time for myself.

It is hard to change everything at once. Take small steps everyday, build a habit. I started running 2 km at the very beginning, then I increased it to 3 km and now I am running 5 km every morning.

Invest in yourself. Eating better food, getting enough sleep, learning a certain skill, going to a gym and paying for the services or products that will make you a greater person are totally worth it.

Get enough sleep. I used to sacrifice sleep to get more work done but I can honestly admit that getting enough sleep will make you more productive and happy. I sleep 7 hours every day.

I don’t miss school, life learning is different. Learning from real situations, dealing with real problems and making ideas happen will teach you much more than fake projects and outdated books in school.

Inspire others. Pushing yourself and refusing to give up are doing much more than you can think of. Inspiring people to take action towards their dreams is absolutely amazing. Most of the cases people won’t tell you that you were their inspiration but when they’ll do you’ll go crazy how happy you’ll be.

If you are interested in my previous annual reviews, check my life lessons of 20142015, 2016, 20172018, and 2019.