About a month ago I turned the big 25 (jaw-drop)! It is unbelievable that I am only 5 years away from 30! Looking back on this past year and the years that have come before, I have discovered how profoundly my thought process has changed.
I've learned a lot in the past two decades, some eye-opening, some disheartening, and all of it, I hope, has some value to you!
Here they are:
- Surround yourself with inspiration: Inspiration to create comes from a break in continuity. Find a break by taking solo trips, spending time alone, and actively breaking out of your comfort zone. This may also mean shedding the toxic people in your life, as they counter inspiration by draining your energy!
- Start saving early: Life happens and its better to be prepared. An unexpected visit to the ER for a migraine can end up costing more than you think!
- I like being honest. If you ask me for my opinion, I'll be honest. If you don't really want to know, don't ask.
- It's okay to take a nap during the day if you're tired.
- Worrying is futile. I've spent a lot of time worrying about hypothetical situations that never end up happening anyway.
- Practice building habits: Forming new habits like waking up early, exercising regularly, eating healthy, finishing work before work is due, takes more than just a willing mindset, and the sooner you can learn how to build good habits (and keep them) the closer you'll be to accomplishing your goals.
- I should practice trusting my instincts more often.
- Be flexible: Life is not black and white. Figuring out how you deal with grey areas is a testament to character. Flexibility in knowledge and relationships is a conductor for emotional, social, and intellectual growth which is key to living a balanced life!
- It's always a good idea to talk to strangers! Yes you've grown up being told not to, but I've meet some amazing people on the airplane seats next to me and in the elevators around the country; I've never regretted initiating those conversations! (Leads to inspiration see #1)
- Read, read, read: Read everything you can get your hands on. Swap out TV shows for words. Books, articles, and newspapers contain a wealth of knowledge so easy to absorb that it enhances your library of personal knowledge without having to live through every life experience yourself. Watch your wisdom grow exponentially!
- Stay positive: It's hard. There aren't many "complain-free" days, but when I think about everything I have to be thankful for I can't help but SMILE!
- I've learned that I am most happiest when immersed in nature, disconnected from the technology.
- It's not worth hanging on to clothes in the hopes that they will one day fit. I've spent a lot of time shuffling around boxes of clothing and never feeling like I have enough space. Just toss it (or sell it)!
- You are not alone! When I'm in a situation where I feel miserable, I just imagine overhearing someone tell their friend about my exact situation, and feel immediately comforted knowing that someone else out there has also been in this exact position. It's okay!
- Learn how to learn and never stop.
- Keep asking questions: Many of the opportunities I've been afforded to interview celebrities, to be interviewed, to make speeches, to intern, etc were because I actively asked the right people questions. Questions will always lead you somewhere, which is better than wondering why you didn't get something you wanted.
- Of the infinite ways I can spend my time, I have never regretted spending time with my parents or my family. Family is a constant in life, choose them.
- Planning is important: Ever hear the phrase "A goal without a plan is just a wish" or "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail?" Yea, well it's true. You can't get to a destination without a (GOOGLE) map; and you can't do it without a plan either.
- Balance takes planning. As mentioned above balancing family obligations, with workplace responsibilities, and spending quality time with friends can be stressful and difficult. In order to live up to the promises you've made and enjoy life, you need to set aside time to do each of those things.
- Not everyone is going to like you. Instead of wondering why they don't, focus on who does and spend more time with them.
- Please and thank you go a long way.
- Say "YES," Say "NO." Figure out your weakness. Some people say yes to doing everything and every opportunity without evaluating how those actions align with their goals and want they want. Say yes to things that bring you closer to achieving what you want. And say no to things that deter you.
- You can't force friendships. There are friendships where you can be separated for a long time and when you come back together it is as if nothing has changed. Then there are others where it feels like everything has changed. It's hard to predict which ones will stick with you and which ones won't.
- It's not all about you. We're so focused on our lives that it's hard to imagine what the world seems like from outside ourselves. Heightened awareness of our day to day activities is normal, but it's just as important to pay attention to what's happening around you.
- You can't keep waiting for tomorrow. I tend to get into a cycle of procrastination when faced with challenges, expecting that tomorrow will be a more convenient day to get my book started, to follow up with a friend, or do my laundry. Every day is the best day to begin. You can wait until tomorrow, but there will always be a tomorrow to follow.