35 Things I Learned about Life

Some life lessons I learned, more often than not the hard way, in my thirty-five years of being on this planet.  

  1. Words have immense power. They can uplift and inspire, threaten or destroy. Choose your words well. Or, as they say, think before you speak. It could mean the world to someone or crash their world entirely. 
  1. Always be kind and respectful to other people. You never know what someone is going through. Everyone is fighting a battle you don’t know about and an invisible burden on their shoulders. 
  1. You are never too old to reinvent yourself and start anew. Sometimes one door closes so another door can open. 
  1. Yes, you can start over again. Every day you can make this choice. This time, you are not starting over from scratch, but from experience. “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are. Change the ending.” (C.S. Lewis)
  1. Realise that you are the only one who has been holding you back. Stop waiting for everyone else’s approval before you do the things you always wanted to do. 
  1. You are free to act upon and change your situation and circumstances at any time if you do not feel happy, safe or cherished. Change is in your hands. You can do it.
  1. Your life is your own. Live it according to your rules – screw the rest, the naysayers and the conformists. Do what is best for you and only you.
  1. Find your tribe. Not everyone will like and appreciate who you are, what you do, how you think. That is completely fine. 
  1. Have a dream? It’s all about getting started. Start simple, but get it done, piece by piece, step by step. By the time you are waiting for inspiration and perfection, the opportunity may have already passed. 
  1. Quitting, in itself, is not a failure. ‘Never quit/never give up’ is not always in your best interest. Sometimes you have to quit and leave – a phase of your life, a relationship, a habit, a project, a job, etc. – to move on to different or better things. Know when to quit and move on.
  1. Sometimes you have to carry on with life without getting the closure you need. Let it be and move on. Some things are better left unsaid.
  1. Have the courage to say what is on your mind. Listen to no one else’s voice but yours. And never apologise for being the way you are, flaws and all. 
  1. Know your worth. Have values and standards. Get honest with the people about who you are and what you want. Tell them how you want to be treated. You deserve to be treated well.
  1. Having sound realistic expectations does wonder for your peace of mind. Desire too much or too little, and you stand to get disappointed. If something costs you your peace of mind, it is too expensive. 
  1. Life is foremost about love, authenticity, and human connection. Everything else is just fluff.
  1. Your time on Earth is valuable, so spend it on people who matter and things that you care about. Be ruthless with your schedule. You won’t get your time back, so spend it wisely.
  1. Focus on what you can do best and love what you do. If you can, delegate the rest. 
  1. Be prepared to take risks and grow out of your comfort zone. Not every chance pans out. Learn from those mistakes and move on. It’s called experience.
  1. It pays to learn, early on in life, how to communicate effectively in personal and business relationships. Make yourself heard, or at least give it your best. Miscommunication is the worst enemy of relationships. 
  1. Everyone you know or meet has a role to play in your life, even if it’s a short one. Learn what you can from the encounter and discard the rest. There is no point on dwelling on unfortunate past meetings and happenings.
  1. Not everyone is born to become a great spiritual leader, entrepreneur, leader or manager. And that’s ok. Your contribution to this world is still valuable. The world needs your uniqueness. Speak up.
  1. Listen to your intuition and inner voice; it knows way more than you give it credit for. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. 
  1. You can’t choose your family or birth circumstances. But you can choose your friends and business associates wisely. Surround yourself with people who have the same vision, hunger and passion.
  1. There is no such thing as being too busy in personal or business relationships. People who care will make time for you. 
  1. Sometimes you outgrow people, or they outgrow you. They circumstances change, and they quit you, or you quit them. And that’s ok, too, as long as you choose you first and focus on yourself. You do not need to fight for anyone’s attention. 
  1. Following your heart and getting lost or disappointed in the process is still preferable to not following your heart at all. It’s part of life. 
  1. Get support whenever you need it; you are not meant to go alone through your darkest times unless that is what you wish.
  1. You are stronger than you think you are. You are built for so much more. 
  1. Be accountable to yourself and your actions. You and only you are responsible for the way you think and behave. Stop blaming others for your behaviour.
  1. Practice gratitude. Avoid letting your ego, pride or past hurts get in the way of the good things in your life. 
  1. Acknowledge your feelings – fear, hurt, anger, anxiety, sadness, stress – but, in the end, never let your moods or impulses dictate your actions. Disciplined people control their attitude and submit their emotions to wisdom. 
  1. Sometimes the only way you can fix problems is to fix your thinking. Then problems fix themselves (Louise Hay). 
  1. You will never understand why things happen the way they do. The only thing you can do about it is to trust that this is what you needed to grow, accept, have faith, try again or move on. 
  1. Be patient. In the end, everything you’ve been through will slowly unfold and, hopefully, work out for the best. Don’t hurry the process – any process, for that matter. Your time will come.
  1. Keep going. There’s nothing else you can do but keep going and keep the faith. The best way out is always through (Robert Frost). 
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