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Computer Science 2018, University of Waterloo

Five Important Life Qualities

1. Don’t be a dick.

In my opinion, this is the most important rule in life. Some people may know this phrase as the Golden Rule: “Treat others how you’d like to be treated.” There’s a good reason why this expression appears everywhere, whether it’s your parents teaching you about manners, or as seen in religious texts. Respect others and be considerate.

This is actually the easiest lesson to follow, but it astonishes me how many people in this world don’t know the meaning of respect. I plead for you to praise this rule because nobody wants to work with a disrespectful individual in academic or professional environments.

Hint: In job interviews, employers assess both your technical skills and fit with the company culture. For example, you could be the best software developer in the world, but if the employer doesn’t want to work with you, then you’re not getting the job.

2. Good isn’t good enough.

What I mean by this expression is that there is always space for improvement. Even when you think you did a great job, the truth is you can do even better. You should always be aiming to improve yourself. Try to learn something new every day or go into depth of something you previous knew. If you settle with where you’re at right now, then you’re going to plateau and never grow as an individual.

When you’re making important career decisions, you should ask yourself the following questions “What will I learn from this experience? Will it make me (or my business) better?” It’s also important to note that competing with others is an awesome motivator to improve; however, your most important goal should be to be better than the person you were yesterday. This is the reason why I love the start-up culture so much. If a start-up doesn’t move fast enough, then it won’t reach its targets or perhaps even get destroyed by its competitors.

3. Shit happens, it gets better.

Excuse my language in this blog post, but the world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. Life isn’t fair, shit happens. You could be the nicest person in the world, but there are certain things in life which you can’t control. Bad things are going to happen to you some point in life, and you’ll be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

You must accept failure and unfortunate events as an inevitable part of life. Rather than complaining about how terrible your life is, accept it and move on. Complaining will only drag you behind and waste your time. Don’t drink your sorrows away or wait for that lucky moment. It’s probably not going to happen. You’re going to have to work hard and put in the time to make things better. It won’t be easy. Just remember that life will get better.

4. Surround yourself with good company.

Believe it or not, the environment you’re in shapes your past, present and future. Every individual who you interact with affects your life in some way. You have the power to choose the people you want in your life (obviously parents and guardians are exceptions). There are going to be people who push you towards success and then there are going to be people who do the exact opposite.

If you’re in an environment where you are not happy or learning from the people around you, then you should reconsider your options. Surround yourself with good company and make sure you’re with people who can help you prosper and reach your full potential.

5. Have fun, enjoy life.

Last but definitely not least, have fun! I’m not going to write about this subject because you can figure it out by yourself. Live your life and enjoy the ride!