Tag Archives: the things i believe

I Am 29 Years Old. This Is What I Believe.

us

I am 29 years old, and I’m learning how to be grateful for the life I have. The truth is, I don’t know what happens next. I don’t know what I’ll be doing next year, or where I’ll be working. I don’t know if the big decisions that are just ahead for me and my wife are ones we’ll be making sooner or later. All I know is that this year, the changes kept coming, and there’s still more to come. A year ago, I wrote: “By the time I write the 2016 version of this post, things could be very, very different.” If only I’d known how right I’d be!

But with all the uncertainty, I keep coming back to one thought: I’m a truly lucky guy. I get to come home every day to my wife and share a home with her. I am so grateful to have married someone so kind and big-hearted and silly and wonderful — and have married into a family equally warm and generous.

I know I’m grateful to have siblings I can count on, and parents who have always supported me — even when others lost faith. My wife and I are especially lucky to have such incredible friends, a group that keeps us anchored even when everything around us seems to change. We have good-paying, stable jobs. We have our health.

We really do have a lot to be thankful for.

And the older I get, the more I understand how important it is to find a few moments every day for gratitude. There is a lot we can’t control about our world. Best not to worry about all that, and instead be grateful for the lives we have and the company we keep.

Over the past year, there are certain things I’ve come to believe hold true. I know that my beliefs will continue to change. I know that I will change.

But here, at 29, is what I believe:

What you say matters. What you do matters more. How you treat people matters most.

Ask more questions. There’s always more to learn.

Words to live by: It takes a lot to know a little.

If you wait until you’re 100% ready to try something, you’re already too late.

Read more. The smartest people I know are always reading, and especially reading things that challenge them.

Travel more. Travel to places that inspire you, and travel to places that make you uncomfortable. Travel isn’t just for vacation — it’s also an opportunity to learn.

A great wedding has three things: Enough food, enough drink, and enough dancing. That’s it. Everything else is just for show.

Be someone who gives wedding gifts months before the wedding. As soon as you find a couple’s registry, buy them something, and make it something they’ll use. They won’t remember most of the things they got, but they’ll remember your gift, and they’ll love you for it..

Thanksgiving leftovers > Thanksgiving dinner (and it’s not even close).

Some things are worth spending a little extra money on: A direct flight. A comfortable bed. Nice shoes. Pay a little extra now, or pay for it in time or pain later.

Ever been in a room where you look around and realize, “I have something to learn from everyone in here”? That’s a great feeling.

You don’t need permission to do the best things in life — to get dinner with a friend, to call someone you care about, to try something new.

And most of all: Nobody knows what happens next. So don’t wait. Get moving. The good stuff is worth working for.

I Am 28 Years Old. This Is What I Believe.

the entire family

I am 28 years old, and everything is about to change — again. That’s what happens when things start to seem settled in your life. You meet a girl, and she’s amazing. You move in together. You’re in a job you like, and you’ve been doing it well for a long time. (Well, “long” as far as internet standards go.) Things are good!

And then you look at the calendar year ahead and realize: You have 11 weddings to go to next year. Eleven! And one of them is yours! Your friends are having kids and buying homes. You drive through the suburbs and think, Having more space might not be so bad!

It hasn’t all happened yet. But it’s happening. By the time I write the 2016 version of this post, things could be very, very different.

For now, though, there’s 28, and it’s been an incredible year. Over the past year, there are certain things I’ve come to believe hold true. I know that my beliefs will continue to change. I know that I will change.

But here, at 28, is what I believe:

The hardest part of the work isn’t getting it going — it’s keeping it going, week after week, year after year.

End results matter, but the routines and processes you use to get there are so much more important. Master those, and the results you want will come more often than not.

When you stop feeling like a little like an impostor at work, that means it’s probably time to take on a brand new challenge. You should always have something to prove.

There are so many big, weird ideas I want to try. I’m just waiting for the right teams and the right time to try them with.

Inbox Zero is too hard. Shoot for, like, Inbox Twelve. It’s more do-able.

The no. 1 secret to wedding-related sanity: Stay the hell off Pinterest.

Travel reveals who you really are when things get stressful. So if you’re dating someone, and you’re thinking about popping the question, and you haven’t taken a big trip, well: Maybe it’s time to see how much a round trip for two to Thailand costs.

I don’t know what happens at my alma mater next, but I do know this: We stood up for Michael Sam. We stood up for Jonathan Butler. We can stand up for a whole lot more, Mizzou.

Once a week, reach out to a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Write an email. Send a text. Or (and this sounds crazy): Make an actual phone call! The 15 minutes you spend laughing and catching up might be the best 15 minutes of your week.

I still think this is the year my Washington Capitals are going to win it all.

Screw “Fake it ‘till you make it.” Don’t pretend to be someone you aren’t. Recognize your weaknesses. Be willing to say: “I don’t know — but I can find out.” There’s power in that.

I used to say, “Define your greatness, and go out and do it.” Now I see it a little differently. First, you’ve got to define what success means. Because if you don’t know how to define it, how will you know when you’ve achieved it?

Friday is my 10-year high school reunion. On the day I graduated, I had never held a smartphone before. Never even owned an iPod. Never blogged. Never tweeted. Never posted a photo or a video online. Never downloaded an app. Never started a video chat. I don’t know what the next 10 years will bring, but I know it’s going to be amazing.

And most of all: I know change is scary for some. But when I think about Sally and the things we want to do together, I’m not scared at all. I’m excited.

Bring it on.

———

In that photo at top, from left to right: Sam, Mom, Dad, Sally, and El. Love you, guys.

I Am 27 Years Old. This Is What I Believe.

A photo posted by Dan Oshinsky (@danoshinsky) on

I am 27 years old, and I think I’m on the cusp of something very big. This year, I see amazing things on on the horizon. This can be the year my team at BuzzFeed turns our little newsletter project into something huge. The groundwork has been laid. Now it’s about putting in the work and finding new people to help take us to the next level.

And then there’s everything that’s happening at home — all of it big and wonderful and scary and amazing. 27 has already brought such great things, and I know there is more still to come.

This isn’t quite like the versions of this post I’ve written before. Those posts were different: at 24, feeling young and still learning to do the work; at 25, just days before I got a job offer in New York that would change everything; and at 26, as I started to truly find my place. Those years were about the slow, often awkward transition that happens as your college years fade away and your 20s really hit — with all of the responsibility that comes with it.

And so at 27, I’m embracing a brand new sort of shift. I’m not trying to prove that I belong here anymore. I do belong here. I feel grounded in who I am, I feel confident, and I believe that I have the right people behind me. So I want to use 27 to set big, ambitious goals and then blow right past them.

27 feels like the year I make the choice to say, Fuck it, why not me?

Over the past year, there are certain things I’ve come to believe hold true. I know that my beliefs will continue to change. I know that I will change.

But here, at 27, is what I believe:

You should ask for more.

Nothing good comes from setting the bar low. Aim big.

The best shit is hard to do, but we should try to do it anyway.

Anyone can have a good idea. Anyone can find the money to back it. But the only thing that really matters is the leadership behind it.

We need more people who want to learn how to lead.

People can always learn new skills, but not if they don’t already know how to do the work. Find people to stand beside who value the work the way you do.

It’s OK to cut things out that you don’t believe in anymore.

It’s OK to say “no.”

Great work starts with setting great habits. A lot of the work is about doing the same stuff over and over again. Even on the days where you don’t feel like it.

People get tired of success. Don’t believe it? Go ask any college football fan who just saw their coach fired for “only” winning 75% of his games.

Don’t mess with happy.

Enthusiasm is a wonderful, contagious thing.

Good things come from messy situations — if you know where to look..

You learn the most about people when you go on big adventures with them.

We’d all be happier if we found five or 10 days a year to celebrate with people we love. There are plenty of good opportunities — college football tailgates, Friendsgivings, long weekends — but we could all find more reasons to get together with friends and family.

You don’t have to be serious to be successful. Some of the best people I know are the silliest. That’s not an accident. They’ve figured something out.

A lot of life is just making choices and learning to live with them.

And most of all: The things that make you feel the best are the easiest to do: Saying thank you, offering someone a compliment, writing a friend a kind note. This is the easiest stuff to do. We can always do more of it.

I Am 26 Years Old. This Is What I Believe.

me

I am writing this from a bus on the New Jersey Turnpike, headed south for Thanksgiving. I wrote this post for the first time two years ago. I was 24, and in a major period of transition in my life. I wrote it last year from D.C., in transition to my life in New York.

And now I’m 26, and so much has changed. I’m settled in New York. I’ve got a job I love, and I’m lucky to have a lot of amazing people in my life. I met a girl. Things are really different this year — and really great.

Over the past year, there certain things I’ve come to believe hold true. I know that my beliefs will continue to change. I know that I will change.

I am 26, and this is what I believe:

You can tell a lot about a person by the quality of his/her friends. Great people always surround themselves with the best. Always.

The good stuff is worth sharing.

Know the difference between what you want and what you need. Ask for the latter.

If you can show it in a spreadsheet, you can sell it. And if you can pair that data with a great story, you’ve really got something.

Jealousy just isn’t worth the time. Ever.

Deal with things as they come. Shit happens — but it’s far easier to deal with it now than to let a lot of things pile up and overwhelm you.

Be skeptical. Especially when it comes to things you read on the internet.

There isn’t a skyline that makes me as happy as the one over Washington, D.C. But New York City’s is getting pretty close.

Everyone is asking themselves, What the hell am I doing? It’s not just you.

I don’t always know that I’m on the right track. But people keep coming to me for advice and help, and it makes me think that I must be doing something right.

You get there when you get there. Work hard, but don’t rush.

Have something to show for your work. An end product. A lesson. Something.

And one more thing, and I mean this in the sappiest, Lifetime-movie-of-the-week-iest way: Until you know, you don’t really know what you’ve been missing out on all along.

I Am 25 Years Old. This Is What I Believe.

I am 25 years old, and I’m going through a period of transition in my life. I know, I know: I wrote the same thing last year. And when I sit down to write this post next year, there’s a good chance I’ll say the same thing.

Yes, I know: The mid-20s are an unstable time — there isn’t anything yet to anchor me down (a family, a home, a city, a career). Things are changing, and that’s been a good thing. Change has brought me some really amazing opportunities.

At age 25, there are certain things I’ve come to believe hold true. I know that my beliefs will change. I know that I will change.

But here, at 25, is what I believe.

I believe that…

• People who hustle are the best kinds of people.
• There is nothing quite like the feeling of “done.”
• Respect must be earned. Passion must be shared. Rules must be ignored.
• People who refuse to talk things out are people who don’t belong in your life.
• Nothing good has ever come from a “reply all” email.
• The same goes for reading YouTube comments.
• Next year really is our year, Nats fans.
• When you’re “close,” that just shows you have far you still have to go.
• There really shouldn’t be people in the workforce who are younger than me, but there are. And that’s because you’re getting old, Dan. Just deal with it.
• We need more people who are willing to be kind.
• We need more people who are willing to struggle.
• We need more people who are willing to serve.

And most of all: Today is a work day. Today, we must do great work. It’s our time.

I Am 24 Years Old. This Is What I Believe.

I am 24 years old, and I’m going through a period of transition in my life. It’s that time of the year when I start getting all thoughtful about where I am and where I’m going, and at this very moment, I’m stuck in Kansas City Int’l, waiting for a flight home. So I wanted to write this down.

At age 24, there are certain things I’ve come to believe hold true. I know that my beliefs will change. I know that I will change.

But here, at 24, is what I believe:

-Try not to regret bad decisions. Just make the best decisions you can with the best information you have.
-When you find that you’ve done wrong, and you have a chance to make it right, don’t idle.
-Uncertainty breeds opportunity.
-Be spontaneous.
-Listening is an active process.
-So is life. Don’t be passive.
-Only the people who show up get to make change. So show up.
-Don’t be afraid to fail.
-It’s alright to get rejected. Getting rejected means you’re trying.
-At 18, you don’t know that you don’t know what you want.
-At 24, you know that you don’t know what you want.
-Sometimes, you’ve got to do it for the story.
-Do something. Be something.
-Define your greatness, and then go out and do something about it.

And most of all, this:

-In this life, you find things you love and people you love, and you make time for both.

I’m just trying to live up to that every day.

Those lovely people in the photo at top: My little brother and my little sister.