While journaling, I noticed a phrase repeated often, “I really need to redeem myself.” It feels like it hasn’t been “my year” for a few years now, and I really am ready to take my life back. I’m turning 26 years old tomorrow – my early 20’s are officially over. It is a good feeling to look back at all the progress made and times I faced adversity with a strong fist. It’s even a better feeling to have new and ongoing goals clearly paved along my road of life.
In celebration of a year wiser, here are 26 life lessons I’ve learned over 26 years of life:
1. You can do everything right, and still fail. If there is anything I’ve learned this year, it is that there will always be things you cannot control. It doesn’t matter how many right steps you’ve taken, it doesn’t matter how hard you’ve worked, the door may not open, you may not win.
2. Wellness is important. Your physical, mental, and emotional health make such a huge impact in other areas of your life. So, take care of you.
3. Money comes and goes, and you should enjoy your life now. However, if you are bad with money, you will suffer for it. At the same time, you can be very good with money, and STILL be poor. *So don’t be a judgemental twat!*
5. Take what everyone says with a grain of salt. Respect and trust experts (those who have dedicate their entire lives to their work.) However, the truth is – they can still be wrong. There is no one who will know what’s best for you. Only you know that. The best scientist, the best experiment, is you and your own life.
6. Too much of anything is a bad thing. Balance and moderation is key. Enjoy everything. Indulge. Don’t torture yourself. God, why would you want to do that anyhow? As far as anyone knows, we don’t get a second chance at life – make sure you enjoyed yourself.
6. You are not alone in this world.
7. You are who you spend the most time with. No one is resilient to the influences around you – in fact, you are your influences. Plain and simple. Want to be smart? Surround yourself with smart people. Want to be happy? Surround yourself with happy people.
8. You will know which friends to let go of and which friends to hold on to.
9. Some folks, like myself, are just different, unrelatable, and too weird for the mass majority of everyone else, and that’s O-K.
10. There isn’t anything you can’t write through.
11. Processed, convenience, and fast foods are bad for you. Stop being lazy and cook real food.
12. If it’s meant to be, you’ll be passionate about it. If you’re passionate, you’ll prioritize. Passionate people are busy people. They get shit done.
13. No one is perfect. We can’t always be our best 100% of the time.
14. Hard work and persistence isn’t enough. You need smarts and creativity to go the extra mile.
15. Just put yourself out there. Other people with similar interests will come to you, naturally.
16. Even the worst of the worst – you can get through. Sure, you won’t like it, but you’re human, and humans are resilient as fuck.
17. All we have is each other. You can do absolutely nothing alone. Help others, and remember we have nothing without the compassion of other human beings.
18. Your idea of success will not be the same as everyone else.
19. There is nothing more meaningful than giving yourself to others. There is nothing more useful than serving others. Personal growth and contribution. If you do anything at all with your life, do that.
20. We all worship. It doesn’t really matter what it is, at long as it makes you a better person. You may worship your God, you may worship the stars, you can worship other humans or even yourself – it doesn’t really matter. Just be a good human.
21. Removing yourself from the center of the universe could be the best thing you ever do for yourself.
22. The biggest freedom you have is your awareness. Your greatest privilege is what you know. Your access to education allows you to make informed decisions about anything and everything in your life.
23. The only person you should ever change for is you.
24. Start now – where you are and with what you have.
25. Invest in the inner self, not the outer self.
26. Love and relationships are sometimes easy, but most of the time they’re work. A lot of work.