To me it was definitely travelling.
And, not to sound like that guy, but by traveling I don't mean two days in a hotel by the beach in some third world country, I'm talking several years in total immersion. Worked there, slept there, ate, met people, got drunk, got mad, fell in love, got heartbroken, split up, fell in love again, made money, lost at least as much, learned how to greet locals the proper way, and why how I'd do it in my country isn't okay here, the whole thing.
13. Be kind to your mother
For me it was a small comic,it had a picture of a girl at various ages of her life.
Age 6:"I love mommy"
Age 16:"I hate my mom!"
Age 30:"Mom was always right..."
Age 45:"I wish mom was here"
It really hit home and made me change for the better. I started helping my mom around the house and built an amazing relationship with her till now.
14. Looking at cultures differently
An anthropology course I took in University. The professor told us that when we look at different cultures we have to "make the strange familiar, and the familiar strange".
So basically you need to look at cultures outside of your own and try to see them with empathy. Really try to look at it as if it was your own culture, that it was normal, or something you grew up with. And to do the opposite with your own culture.
Talk me a lot about looking at my own culture with a critical eye, and looking at other cultures with empathy.
15. Don’t take things too serious
Drug/alcohol addiction, followed by recovery.
I just shouldn't even be alive. I told a psychologist I expected to be dead by 25. But I'm 25, not dead, sober for several years, and somehow getting a Ph.D. I literally had no idea how to stop drinking; I wanted to, but couldn't. Somehow it happened, though. And now when I get super stressed at school, or when people bug me, I just remember the fact that I shouldn't even be alive. All of my problems immediately become laughable and absurd when I do that.
So I'd say I learned not to take things so serious, because at the end of the day, I'm still just right here.
16. The old wise lady
A random stranger in passing. When I was about 16, I accidentally stepped into an elderly woman's way while walking down a narrow walkway. We did the awkward dance trying to pass one another, as we passed each other I turned and said "I'm sorry!" to her.
She turned back to me and with a stern, but oddly charming, tone says "Don't you ever apologize for your existence. Just say excuse me and be on your way."
At first I took what she said as her being rude. Then I walked away and let it sink in for a bit and since then it's stuck. I always say excuse me now if I'm in someone's way.