As I mentioned in the last post, I have learned many life lessons the past 25 years I’ve been on this earth. Some of them the easy way and a lot of em the hard way. I wanted to share some of ones I felt were most important and close to my heart.
1. Fall in love with yourself – this one is the most important and if you can’t do this, you cannot move forward in life, nor can you allow someone else to love you. Take pride in your uniqueness. Celebrate your nuances and quirky parts of yourself that make you you. I think it’s important to learn about yourself as individual rather than who you might be in a group of friends or in a relationship. Find out what hobbies you like to engage in when no one is around. Take yourself to the movies or to a happy hour. There is no one in this whole entire world who is exactly like you and if you can’t love yourself and be confident in yourself, you can’t and won’t expect others to either.
2. Say no without apologizing – I don’t mean this to be rude, but rather a declaration of assertion. I used to be someone who was a “people pleaser.” I like to make sure that I always deliver what is asked of me, regardless of who is asking! It’s not a crime to put yourself first sometimes. I love to help people but realize when someone genuinely needs help or they are trying to take advantage of you.
3. Love your body – Love your body in two ways: 1. Love whatever it is God has given you, whether its tig ole bitties or a tiny booty, own it, love it and flaunt it and 2. Pay attention to what you put inside your body and how you treat it. I know it’s hard to get out there after a day’s work (or before the day starts) and get some exercise or to start cooking dinner a few more nights a week rather than eating out but these are the little things that can help your mood and will keep you healthy in the long run. Gone are the days where can I survive on McDonalds and candy, unfortunately. Its all about kale salad, sweet potato fries and baked chicken for me these days!
4. Work smarter – Sooner or later you will start to learn little “life hacks” that will help you get through life a lot easier. It can be as simple as knowing to check the Yelp reviews before trying out a new restaurant, using Hipmunk to plan your next vacation (best to book your flight in the AM!), or knowing what direction not to head in at 5pm to avoid that crazy rush traffic. Start keeping track of these little tips and tricks you’ve accumulated to save yourself some trouble and achieve the most positive outcome.
5. Find your inner peace – I think taking the time out to “find your zen” is so important to your overall well being and mental health. Whether you go to church weekly, attend a prayer group, do yoga, meditate, write in a journal/diary or engage in any activity that just calms you down, those moments that you take to reflect and regroup are invaluable. Be sure to take that time out of your day or week and do it as often as you can.
6. Learn to lean on others – I am someone who likes to work independently and get things done on my own. But…that’s not always possible and there is power in collaboration. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you really need it. You don’t have to take over the world alone, it’s a lot more fun when you have someone (or a few people) to enjoy it with.
7. Take chances – When you really examine the art of taking chances in life, there is no downside. If it works out then, great! You have stepped outside of your box and it has yielded a great reward. But even if you take a chance and it doesn’t work out, 9 times out of 10 you will have learned something about yourself that you never would have known otherwise. This doesn’t necessarily mean go absolutely crazy, but try that new activity you have been meaning to try, conquer a fear you have had for awhile, or be like me and make that big move you’ve been wanting to make. If not now, then when?!
8. Put your phone away – OMG, lately this is pet peeve of mines. I get mad at my friends for being on their phones all the time. My mom used to get mad at me for the same thing and now I see why. In 2014 you have the world at your fingertips on your mobile phone, I get it. You might even be getting a lot of work done, connecting with old friends, etc etc. But what about the world in front of you. Lately, I’ve been enjoying being in the moment, even if the moment is as regular as a subway train ride, I think it’s important to be aware of your surrounds. “Stop and smell the roses” is so cliche but so true. Appreciate the days with perfect weather and amazing colorful sunsets. Life is happening right before your eyes.
9. Cherish your loved ones – Every single day we grow a little bit older; its inevitable (and a bit depressing if I am being honest.) But what makes this fact bearable and even kind of fun are the people we surround ourselves with, the people we choose to grow with. Our inner circle. And as we get older, we also gain more responsibilities which can often take away time that you used to have to spend with these people. So don’t forget to call your parents every now and again, hang out with your siblings, have a girls night with your friends, or date nights with your significant other. Another inevitable truth is as we get older, our social circles get smaller. Don’t forget to show appreciation and love to those who have held you down.
These nine lessons are helping me build the type of life I want to live and I hope they can help some of you. What are some monumental life lessons you have learned that help you in your every day life?