1. Love is not enough.
You can love someone to absolute death but it might not work out because you also have to have the same values about things like what city to live in or having children. Even though it sucks more than anything to break up with these people, it will save you more pain in the long run.
2. Chasing a goal is often more fun than actually achieving it.
You realize that credit and accolades are just that. The real fun is working up to them, either by yourself or with a team.
3. If you look for validation by comparing yourself to others, you're only setting yourself up for misery.
Happiness doesn't come from being "better" or "prettier" or "thinner" or whatever-er than others. It comes from feeling like you're a bad-ass bitch, regardless of what other people are doing around you.
4. Let your accomplishments speak for themselves.
Don't freak out over getting credit for them. Chances are if you aren't publicly credited for your hard work, the people close to you who know what you've achieved will know where credit is due anyway. That's all that matters. Don't waste your energy fighting for acknowledgment when it will just exhaust you more than anything.
5. The best way to be happy with another person is to be happy when you're alone.
Be single. Don't date anyone. Don't sleep with anyone. Achieve happiness by yourself and you'll know that if someone burns you, it might hurt a hell of a lot but it won't matter because you always have yourself to rely on.
6. Just because you're a good person doesn't mean people will be good people back to you.
Coworkers will stab you in the back even after you've done them nothing but favors. It's not fair but that's life, and all you can do is behave in a way you're proud of. Your morals will pay off in the long run.
7. Faking it until you make it actually works.
When you reach a certain point in your career, you will be responsible for more things than you truly understand. If you fake it, you'll find eventually that you do understand those things and can make decisions about them from a place of authority.
8. People don't think about you as much as you think they do.
Well, unless it's your future husband we're talking about. But that girl at work who's bitchy to you? That boss you think doesn't like you? Probably doesn't think about you much at all.
9. It's a rare, lucky occurrence to just get what you want without asking for it.
No one can read your mind. Not your coworkers, not your significant other, not your family. If you're not happy about something, tell people. Don't assume they'll guess what's wrong just because you're acting grumpy.
10. Sometimes people thinking you're good at your job gets you ahead faster than actually being good at your job.
In every industry, shameless self-promoters who are good at ingratiating themselves with the right people will be propelled forward even if they're not the most talented. Learn from them and don't be afraid to promote yourself too.
11. Overdress when you're an intern, underdress when you're an executive.
When you're just starting out, dressing nicely every day will give people a great impression of you, and signify your ambition and desire to impress. When you're at the top of the food chain, dressing casually when you can will remind your team you're approachable.
12. If you're afraid at work, that means you're doing your job.
No one ever got to the top by not taking a risk. And if your risks don't scare you (and sometimes other people), they're not risky enough.
13. Your parents are human and flawed like the rest of us.
When you're growing up, you see your parents as the people who know all and have everything figured out. When you're an adult, you realize they make mistakes just like you do. Not that this makes you love them any less.
14. Life is better with fewer friends if your friends drive you insane.
If you feel annoyed every time you have dinner with someone, stop having dinner with them. It can be just that easy.
15. No one ever feels like an adult.
You'll wait your whole life to feel grown up, but it probably won't ever happen. Your mom will tell you she feels the same way.
16. So much of what you do isn't permanent.
Including getting a drastic haircut, moving to a new city, or taking a job you're unsure of. Hair grows back, cities don't go anywhere, and you can always get a different job.
17. If no one you care about is dying, nothing is worth stressing over.
There will come a time in your life when a parent or friend or significant other passes away, and everything will stop. The Internet won't exist. Your job won't exist. Your phone won't exist. Even most of your friends won't exist. Everything you've ever stressed out over won't exist. All that will exist in your world are the people you love, including the one you just lost. Nothing petty or small or less than this will ever stress you out nearly as much as it did before. If there is a silver lining in tragedy, this is the greatest one of all.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.