I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the lessons that life has taught me so far. I am in the last year of my 40’s and reflecting on all of my successes, failures, and regrets has helped me to see that I have a lot to offer those who come behind me. There are things I know, and there are things I am still learning at this stage of my life.
I struggled as a teen and through my 20’s to figure out who I was as an individual. I had a strong independent streak, but my need for approval kept me on a path that wasn’t geared in figuring out who I was deep down.
It’s taken a long time and lots of personal work, but I finally feel as though I’ve racked up enough years and experience to share a bit of wisdom. So take this list and see what applies to you and how you can use it to become stronger and more secure in yourself sooner rather than later.
1. Surround yourself with people who want to be with you or value you.
2. Don’t always wait for someone to do something nice for you. Spoil yourself once in a while.
3. Buy the good coffee. Don’t wait for a special occasion to open that bottle of wine you’ve been saving.
4. Be genuine and don’t compare yourself to others. If you think someone else’s life is a cakewalk, remember that you are only seeing what they allow you to see. Don’t worry about what other people do.
5. It’s not all about you.
6. Dimming your own light to make others feel more comfortable doesn’t serve you. This applies to school and your job. Speak up.
7. You’re only as bad-ass as you allow yourself to be. Don’t wait for permission to show your strength.
8. Feelings are temporary and always changing. Wait 24 hours before you make the call or hit “send.” Remember there is a ‘season’ to face all problems.
9. Fast friendships are usually fleeting. Lifelong friendships take years to build.
10. Another person will never complete you. As Whoopi Goldberg says, “If someone says ‘you complete me’, run.”
11. You get what you give. So give as much as you can in either time or money. Time is better.
12. People do things for their reasons, not yours. Don’t take it personally.
People do things for their reason, not yours. Don’t take it personally. http://ctt.ec/b4nYz+ @reinventjulie
13. Use the good china. It’s okay if it breaks. It wasn’t meant to just be pretty.
14. Never trust anyone who is unkind to animals, or rude to the waiter.
15. Nobody who really loves you does because of the size of your waistline.
16. Worry is valuable only to the point it spurs action. Beyond that, it is wasted energy.
17. Most of the time, fear is a sign post for growth.
18. You will only regret what you don’t try to do, not what you do.
19. Don’t just take their word for it. Question authority, do your research and know your rights.
20. Don’t believe everything you think. Again, do your research.
21. Get your news from a variety of sources, conservative and liberal.
22. Small minds focus on problems. Big thinkers focus on solutions.
23. Extraordinary takes balls. Be extraordinary.
24. Forging your own path is revolutionary. Most people are on the path of least resistance. Do the work. It may take time, but it will be worth it.
25. Start investing as soon as you turn 18. It will make it easier to retire later.
26. When you know better, do better.
27. Take the shopping cart back or place in cart corral. Don’t be a dick.
28. Love trumps hate. Always.
Finding out who you are takes practice and time of self-reflection. You will not grow as a human being by merely skating along the surface of life. We have but one life, make it a good one. People will remember you for your heart and soul, not by the designer shoes you wore or the car you used to drive.
Living authentically is up to you. Don’t waste the opportunity to start now.
What are some of the lessons you’ve learned so far that are most meaningful to you? Tell me which of these speak to you the most or that you think you need to work on. Please share them in the comments below.