In celebration of my 21st birthday, I have come up with a list of 21 things/lessons I have learnt in life.
1. Challenging myself to do things that scare me, has helped me grow a LOT. While stepping out of my comfort zone makes me uncomfortable, I have grown as a person because of it. It can also be fun.
2. Everybody and everything changes. I’m very different to the person I was 5 years ago and so it is not fair for me to judge myself based on who I was in the past. My opinions have also changed as I’ve been exposed to new people and experiences. I am constantly changing and the people around me are too.
3. The people I hang around with have a direct influence on my success. If I spend time with driven, encouraging and positive people who have ambition and want to make a difference, I tend to set higher standards for myself and will work harder. When I’m around lazy people with low standards and a low work ethic, I can feel myself starting to make excuses and I will lower my standards. I have high motivation when I am around positive, inspiring people.
4. Something I believe – feel free to disagree – is that we are all on Earth to learn various lessons. I have had very different experiences to those around me, and I think that is because we each have different lessons we are supposed to learn.
5. Gratitude is so so important! Acknowledging and being thankful for the good things in our lives can bring about massive positive change. I feel that no matter who you are or what your circumstances are, you can be grateful for something.
6. It is important to invest and focus on the internal world before focusing on the external one. When I feel positive and grateful, the world around me changes into a positive, happy one. Thoughts are powerful, and so I try to keep mine positive.
7. Even though reaching out to people makes me feel vulnerable, I never regret doing it. If I see a trait I admire in somebody, I will share it with them. Everybody can benefit from kind words.
8. There are people I have naturally clicked with the moment I have met them. I refer to these as soul connections. This discovery has made me believe that there is a greater meaning behind life. (Sidenote: Of everything I have read, ‘Journey of Souls’ by Michael Newton has felt like the most right/true explanation of the universe … But that’s just my opinion based on my own feelings and experiences – You can 100% disagree)
9. There’s this speech by Lisa Kudrow that I listen to often, and it has really resonated with me. She talks about how when one door closes, another one always opens, and that rejection and failure are simply guideposts that can keep you on your path. When I haven’t got a particular opportunity, I tell myself that it wasn’t meant to be, and there is something better around the corner.
10. Letting go of social norms and expectations has been extremely freeing.
11. Meditating every day has helped me to live in the present and feel in tune with the universe. I stress less and am not swamped with a million thoughts all the time.
12. I can see beauty and truth in all religions.
13. I have been able to connect with people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, religions, nationalities, economic and political statuses, ages, appearances… etc. All humans have incredible worth and you can learn something significant from anybody. I don’t understand why we are dividing ourselves based on these attributes.
14. There have been ups and downs in my life and I have never experienced one continuous stretch of motivation or demotivation. This means that if I am feeling demotivated, I know it won’t last forever. In the last 2 months I have felt sluggish and demotivated, but a week ago, I suddenly felt motivated and happy again – hence why I am posting this article. Instead of beating myself up in the demotivated periods of my life, I am trying to be more accepting towards them as they will not last forever.
15. Similar to the previous point, I have discovered that experiencing different emotions is natural and should be embraced. Anger and sadness are not negative emotions and if you allow yourself to feel them, along with happiness, joy, confusion, boredom … there are lots of health benefits.
16. Self-acceptance is so important. If I love and accept myself, it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks of me. :) Self-confidence is also really contagious. If you love yourself, you inspire others to love themselves too.
17. I love spending time with myself. I have moments when I feel ashamed to be alone – because what will people think – but after assessing these thoughts, I have discovered that I actually really enjoy my own company.
18. I have traits that set me apart from others. At times this can make me feel lonely and disconnected, however I am beginning to learn that those traits are exactly what the world needs. I need to embrace them.
19. Don’t sit around waiting for others to do it. If everyone sits around waiting, nothing gets done.
20. I’ve learnt that other species also deserve love and kindness. I don’t want to kill, harm or exploit spiders, cockroaches, cows, pigs, dogs … for my own benefit.
21. Manners go a long way.