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The 20 Life Lessons New York Has Taught Us

While there is much to be said about New Yorkers, the truth is that most of the people in this city aren't even from here. While NYC is all about the people and their rich history, this city does something to you that nothing else can.

It brings the lion out of you. For better or for worse sometimes this is the most dangerous thing that can happen if you lack self restraint.

Although it sounds like we're demonizing the people of Manhattan, that is not the case. Assholes, jerks, hipsters, socialites and everyone else that falls in between these are the realest people you will ever meet.

There are simply too many people on this planet and so little time in the day that they have no room for your naivety. Here are the 15 Life Lessons New York Has Taught Us.


20. Always be decisive.

You can be right or you can be wrong, but always commit to your choices. Muhammad Ali never knocked anyone out with a half-hearted punch and neither will you. What's a decision without conviction behind it? That would be called living a lie. Now who wants that?

19. Nothing in life is free.

Everyone has a price and in the city you will realize that everything from toys to women comes at a premium. At the same time that means that literally anything you see can be yours. If you have racks that is.

18. Hookers make more economical sense than being in a relationship.

The last thing any man in the city needs is a nagging girlfriend holding him back from hitting his full potential. Not only can they be a drag in a city full of beautiful women, but they can also become quite expensive. The return on investment of purchasing one of New York's fine hookers far outweighs the burden of being in a relationship. You get what you want, and she gets hers.

17. Drinking helps everything.

Need a fresh recharge from a grueling day? The only thing you can really do in the city is get wasted. Not only does this help bring an extra reserve of energy to do more work, but it gets us creative and thinking outside the box. Sometimes it's good to get sauced and change your perspective. This more than often leads to blazing and that's where the greatest ideas lie.

16. Weekends don't exist. If you want a 9-5, Starbucks is always hiring.

If you aren't doing what you love everyday, you might as well be bleeding out of the neck. It's a slow and painful death that could have been avoided in the first place. Can't wait for the clock to strike 4:50? Can't wait for your vacation days to kick in? You know that we already believe in you, but the hardest part of life is believing in yourself.

15. It's okay to be an asshole.

New York is the only place where it's okay for everyone to be an asshole. And it's not because we want to make life miserable for others, but there is just not enough hours in the day to have any of our precious time wasted. If it ain't about money we don't want to hear it.

14. Nice guys always finish last.

Being nice will never get you anywhere in a city full of wolves. Sometimes you gotta play dirty to win big. Because as we all know, it ain't worth winning if you can't win big!

13. You must have thick skin for being constantly judged.

If you can't handle being hated on, then you don't belong here. People will always try to get you down and make you feel like what you're doing doesn't matter when in reality, they ain't shit. Learn how to embrace their judgment and you will be unstoppable.

12. The loudest guy in the room usually doesn't have shit.

The most successful people are usually the most humble, especially in New York. So if you see someone trying to stunt too hard, that is usually a sure indication that they ain't shit. You can be sure to spot this cornballs out everywhere in New York nightlife.

11. Never burn bridges, you never know what someone will become.

Your destiny changes at the drop of a dime out here. What you once were two days ago is hardly the individual you'll become tomorrow. That delivery boy, that weed dealer, that nerd in class, they've all moved on to bigger and better things. Under all circumstances always exit gracefully. You never know what anyone will become and how much you'll need their help

10. Street smarts over book smarts any day.

A college education is important, but not nearly as important as it used to be. Knowing how to negotiate, cooperate, lie and bend the truth is not something that a text book can teach you in a million years.

9. Communication is everything.

The most successful individuals in this world are the most effective communicators that understand they should surround themselves with smart people. Whether you're in Harlem or the Hamptons, on Delancey or in Dubai you must be able to adapt at the drop of a dime without compromising your integrity. Adaptation is more important of a skill than anything else in your world. Be articulate, be insightful, but never be awkward again

8. Sometimes you just need to accept the fact that luck is on your side.

Call it God or call it fate, but sometimes the stars align themselves in such a way that will change your life forever. Being in the right time at the right place is more than just that. Luck brought you there in the first place. Take pride and confidence that you were meant to become your dream.

7. If you can get her to laugh you can get her to do anything.

Don't be fooled by any of the gorgeous women in the city. They are human too. It all just depends how much of your bullshit you can feed them. And remember, if you can make them laugh you can make them do anything.

6. Don't look at them, look past them.

The people will be looking at you. You can never be offended at the looks that get thrown your way. Only petty people worry about petty sh*t. In a crowded room see everyone, but look at no one. Don't let your energies be siphoned by those displacing negativity. Observe, watch your back, and carry on. We've got far more things to worry about in life.

5. You will always become a product of your environment.

Regardless of what you tell yourself every night before you close your eyes, you are becoming like those you surround yourself with. Your life and career will always be a direct reflection of the 5 people you spend the most time with. You will never become a king hanging out with a bunch of pawns.

4. You die the day you decide to become a pushover.

No one should ever be easy to get over. The city will harden your soul, open your eyes, and give you a voice like you never knew you had. Once you give someone your lunch money once, you'll have to give it to them everyday and henceforth become their bitch.

3. Go for the opportunity not the money.

The most amazing things in life never result from being greedy. Making money is a priority and a necessity for everyone, but so is breathing oxygen. Never work to pay the bills. Work to improve your life.

2. Your network is your net worth.

As the old saying goes, “It's not what you know, it's who you know.” This statement doesn't hold any truer than in New York. Sure you can have all the skill in the world, but without connections, or a solid team, you won't get anywhere. You will soon realize that your network in the city is everything.

1. Never settle down.

The last thing you ever want to do is get complacent and stop striving for success. This usually happens when you get tied up in a relationship or find a comfortable job. Keep pushing yourself and try new things. Get out there, meet new people and become a part of the spark that will change the world.

Top Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Robert Anthony

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It’s no secret Rob has been a part of the Elite Daily team since day one. Having teleported from the bustling city of New York to sunny SoCal, he now sets his sights on expanding the voice of generation Y.
It’s no secret Rob has been a part of the Elite Daily team since day one. Having teleported from the bustling city of New York to sunny SoCal, he now sets his sights on expanding the voice of generation Y.

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