25 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in 25 years
Happy birthday to me! A few weeks ago, I turned 25 and besides celebrating life with some amazing people, I got the chance to reflect and focus on what’s next for me.
And with that, I am sharing my top 25 life lessons that I’ve learned over the years.
1. No one is coming to save you
This has been a reality check for me. As a kid, you believe in fairytales, and that there's some guy on a white horse that will come and save the day. But the truth is that doesn't exist. Sometimes life is unfair, and certain situations do not have a happy ending. But, I believe that, what you get out of life as a whole, all comes down to how hard you work and what type of person you are.
2. Be unapologetically YOU
Your partner, parents, teachers, friends and society as a whole - will try to shape you into being someone they “think” you should be. But even with the best intentions, you have your own story. Life is too short to live unhappy. So make your own choices and stand up for yourself.
3. Choose to count the blessings not the burdens
This one is a work in progress for me. Sometimes when unfair situations happen, I find myself saying things like “Why me?!” But that attitude never seems to help my situations. I feel better and find my joy once I focus on my blessings and live in gratitude. There are so many people who wish that our “problems” were theirs.
4. Become a lifelong learner
School taught me a lot, but experiences and knowledge gained outside the classroom taught me a lot more. I think, if you train yourself to continue to learn you will go far. Knowledge is power because it can never be taken away. And you’re never too old to learn something new.
5. Good manners will take you places money won’t
I tend to think, meeting someone is never a coincidence. You never know who will be your future employer, business partner, customer, or even good friend. So treat people how you would want to be treated, because the odds are you will in fact see them again. People will never forget how you made them feel!
6. Make time for meaningful relationships
We are all busy. But we find time for things that matter most. I choose to spend time with people who love, support, and invest in me. Relationships are essential to helping us grow.
7. Feed your creativity, passion, & purpose
I fear becoming stagnant in anything I do. Like most, I don’t want to live a “settled” life. So I aim to find ways to continuously feed whatever it is that makes me fulfilled. Stay curious and ambitious too. In recent years, I’ve been able to travel and that has really helped opened my eyes to new perspectives and ideas.
8. The most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself
You do not need a man , a child, or anyone else to make you happy. Happiness starts from within. How can you expect someone to love you, if you don’t even love yourself? I’m definitely a person who enjoys being in a relationship, but there is solace in being alone. You discover who you are. A person doesn’t complete your life. They add to something that you already made special.
9. If you’re scared to do something, most likely that is exactly what you should be doing
Mentors and those wiser than me - have said this to me over and over again. When you’re scared shitless of what to do next, then that is an indicator that you should take the leap and give it all you got.
10. You can not be the best at everything, but you can be your best at something
Focus on your craft. You were made extraordinary and unlike anyone else. That is our power.
11. The “perfect time” does not exist
There have been times, I feel like I've missed opportunities because I've been too busy trying to plan everything and wait for the right moment to execute. But if you keep waiting until the “right time” to do something, you’ll be waiting your whole life. Sometimes, you just have to learn as you go.
12. Change is inevitable but growth is optional
Life is always changing. Don’t be stubborn, go with the flow. Adapt to the situation. Sometimes plans have to change but the vision stays the same.
13. Let it out and then let it go
Scream, cry, and seek counseling if necessary. Do whatever you must to be emotionally well. Life is too short to hold on to grudges. Emotional baggage is like dead weight. Sometimes I can be very hard on myself, but I’m learning to forgive quickly, and in some cases find my own closure.
14. It doesn’t take a whole lot of money to have a good time
As I get older, I have more responsibilities and bills! So I’ve learned, there are times to splurge and times to save. When hanging out with friends or family every meetup doesn’t have to involve dishing out money. Be frugal and happy.
15. A college degree doesn’t guarantee success
College isn’t for everyone, and it’s so important to decide if you can realistically afford it before you agree to any student loans. Consider community college or a trade school first, and find as many scholarships and grants as you can. And just because you have a college degree doesn’t mean you’ll automatically become successful. That paper will just get you in the door, your hard work and tenacity is what really counts.
16. Religiously practice money management
This is definitely something I’m still working through. I just started a 401k this year, and I wish I would have started sooner. To help manage your money, you must keep an eye on your money, meaning income, savings, and bills. Make short-term and long-term financial plans.
17. Find ways to create multiple sources of income
In the world today, you have to have multiple incomes to get ahead. So use your skills and talents to freelance or start a side hustle. I love the quote, “Don’t get up to work for someone else without first working for yourself.”
18. Exercise & healthy eating has to become a way of life
The freshman 15 is a real thing. And as you get older your metabolism does slow down, combine that with genetics, and it might be very hard for you to lose weight. So you’ve got to check yourself and stop eating whatever you want and not exercising. And when you work out and eat healthy you feel so much better, which affects all areas of your life.
19. It’s ok to say “no”
I used to say yes to every invite. I guess because I didn’t want to let anyone down. But that’s just not realistic. I try to make it to the most important things and everything else I “play it by ear”. I no longer stress myself.
20. Operate in excellence
You never know who is watching you...therefore make sure everything you do reflects who you are.
21. Choose your battles wisely
Give your energy and attention to the things that matter. If it won’t matter in the next 5 years, don’t waste the next 5 minutes getting worked up over it.
22. Presence is better than Presents
This is more from a parent perspective. I used to want my son to have the biggest and best Birthdays and Christmas. But half the time the toys would never be used for that long, expect a few favorites. Now I’d rather spend quality time with him and make memories that will last forever.
23. Teach your child all the things you wish someone would have taught you
This follows up the point above. There are so many things I wish someone would have taught me growing up. It's a great feeling, raising self-sufficient children.
24. Don’t forget to live your life, while creating your dream life
I don’t live to work, I’m working to live fruitfully. It’s easy to become a workaholic when you’re chasing your dreams, and I’m not saying don’t go the extra mile. But you do have to carve out some time to enjoy yourself. If you’re not happy, what’s the point of it all?
25. Find your sisterhood, community, or supportive team
Your network, determines your net worth. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. And use all the resources available to you. Sometimes you have to put your pride to the side and accept help. Learn from those that are wiser than you.
So that’s my top 25 lessons in the the past 25 years! I’d love to hear from you so share your life experiences below!
With Love Always,