Tuesday, November 27, 2018

23 Lessons I've Learned in 23 Years

Today I turn 23 years old and while I still feel like I have no idea what I'm doing, I thought it would be interesting to share 23 of the lessons I have learned in my 23 years on this planet. 

I did this type of article last year when I turned 22 and I have set a challenge to myself to not repeat any of the things from that list so head over there and give it a read first.

Now let's get into the 23 things I've learned. 

1. Joy comes from giving. 
Want to know how to achieve real happiness? Go make someone else happy!

2. Happiness begets happiness.
You are a self-fulfilling prophesy. However you think you are, you are right. It all starts from inside with positive self talk and the right attitude towards yourself. 

3. You are more capable than you think.
Believe you can do it and you will. Think beyond the constraints in your mind.

4. Dream bigger. 
Set your goals higher because YOU CAN reach them. So many times I have limited myself by not dreaming bigger! You have a lot of time on this earth to achieve whatever your heart desires - just make sure to not waste that time by setting the bar too low. 

5. Health is wealth.

Life's true value is in your health rather than your wealth. Without health you really have nothing. After seeing my sister experience some health issues this year, it has become more clear to me than ever the importance of caring for your health. 2019 will be a big year for health and fitness for me.

6. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. 
This one is just so true and a life lesson I am constantly reminded of. Never feel like you have to become cold to the world and harden your heart. Always remain soft in an otherwise hard world. 

7. Be the change you want to see in the world.
Don't contribute to problems you complain about. If you hate people using leather from cows - go vegan. If you don't like people using plastic straws - buy yourself a reusable one. You have to preach what you teach and walk the walk if you believe in something. 

8. Be more accepting.
You never know what someone is going through - as cliché as it sounds, we must constantly remind ourselves of this. We put people into boxes after only meeting them once - during a fleeting moment and at a stage during their life where we have no idea what is going on for them. Try not to allow your judgements to paint a picture of someone you hardly know.

9. Nothing is as big of a deal as you think it is.
TRUST ME. We live on a spinning rock in the middle of space - anything that happens in your life is not as big of a deal as you think it is, especially when you put your problems into context. The amount of people I hear complaining about the first world problems we have these days is unbelievable! Just know that gratitude is the cure for unhappiness. 

10. Trust your gut instinct. 
You know that feeling deep down inside of you where you know a particular friend is toxic and needs to be cut out of your life or you know your partner just isn't right for you? Seriously, listen to it.

11. Life is much less about what happens to you and much more about what you do in response.
It's all about how you react, baby. You have the ability and power to change any circumstance or reality you are currently facing. Shitty things happen to everyone but the strongest people are those who fall down seven times and stand up eight, brushing themselves off and trying again. Resilience is one of the best muscles you will learn how to flex. 

12. Everyone is different.
We so often unintentionally surround ourselves with people who we know are similar to us, forgetting that the differences in people are what helps us grow and learn. Try not to stay in your comfort zone with friends and family too long because your self development will be hindered by the lack of diversity. 

13. Time is the biggest healer.
This is something I touched on last year in my lessons learned but again it's something I have experienced this year. Time heals all wounds and it is the only remedy for a broken heart. Give yourself time to heal. 

14. Let go of the things that no longer serve you.
Whether it be a relationship, a bad habit or a diet that just is not giving you results - let that shit go! These are little tests from the universe to see if you have successfully determined wrong from right in that area of your life or if you're stupid enough to repeat your mistake. Which brings me to my next point...

15. You are on this earth to learn.
Ever notice how the same annoying scenario in life will keep popping up in slightly different ways? Do you keep maxing out your credit cards? Putting on weight? Failing class? Figure out what it is you need to learn from this lesson being presented to you and make those changes that will turn you into a better adapted person. Maintain a strong mindset and sense of self, knowing that you can do this because no lesson is too hard. 

16. Letting go is part of life.
We shouldn't so rigidly hold on to everyone / everything out of fear that we will be alone. Letting go, moving on, finding a new moon or fresh path to follow is what life is all about. Think of yourself as a butterfly, constantly evolving and becoming something new. 

17. Worrying is a waste of time.
There is literally no point in spending time worrying about anything (this is coming from a serial overthinker). Nothing is worth putting your life on hold to sit there and feel upset for an extended period of time. Worrying truly serves no purpose other than to make things appear worse than they are so don't fall into this trap. But also, don't hold back experiencing your feelings as supressing will only hinder the lessons you are supposed to learn and delay the pain. 

18. You decide your mood.
So in the same way I believe life is less about the challenges you experience and more about how you react to them, I believe this to be the case with your mood as well. In any given moment, you are capable of making the decision about what your mood is. Always choose happiness. Never bring someone else down just because you're having a "bad day". 

19. It's okay to just "be".
My favourite 'Eat Pray Love' quote is “But is it such a bad thing to live like this for just a little while? Just for a few months of one's life, is it so awful to travel through time with no greater ambition than to find the next lovely meal? Or to learn how to speak a language for no higher purpose than that it pleases your ear to hear it? Or to nap in a garden, in a patch of sunlight, in the middle of the day, right next to your favourite fountain? And then to do it again the next day?”

20. Always laugh.
Just always laugh. Nothing that happens in life is serious enough to prevent your happiness. Put things into perspective, focus on strengthening your resilience as a person and growing through self development. 

21. Pain is the greatest catalyst for growth. 
I'm sorry but it's part of the human experience to get your heart broken, experience the death of a loved one and all the horrible things that happen in life that make you feel like surely you couldn't go on. Not only do you need this pain to show you how great the happy moments are - but you need this pain to trigger a growth within you, shaping you into the person you were supposed to be on this earth. This is what I call the one side of the scales, which brings me to my next point...

22. You need balance. 
I honestly believe life is all about the ups and downs, trials and tribulations, good and bad, positive and negative. We're just here to soak it all up and learn from our emotions, mistakes and successes. 

23. You are your biggest project you will ever work on.
This is one of my favourite things to say and it certainly has been a theme of the last year. What you achieve, who you help and how you teach others are all important things you are capable of. Working on yourself with continued learning is important for you to reach your potential as a human. 

So that concludes my 23 lessons learned in 23 years. This came straight from the heart and based on my own personal experiences in self-development and growth. I hope that you have been able to find this somewhat helpful!

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