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Thursday, June 14, 2012

10 things I've learnt in my 20's

A friend of mine sent me a mail with a link to a blog where a woman had written down a list of things she learnt in her 20's and thought that it was such a great idea. Acknowledging what we have learnt in our lives is a wonderful way to remind ourselves of the progress we've made and how much change can happen in our life time.

So, without further ado, here is my list:

1. Any happiness that we find outside of ourself is completely irrelevant (and will be short lived) if we do not have happiness inside of ourselves first. I know that all the BIG decisions I have made in my life came when I decided to put myself first and put my happiness first, and then the change that came brought me even more happiness. You have to put your happiness first!

2. What other people think is none of your business! I'm not saying you shouldn't care (it's very hard to turn that off) but I have realised that what other people think is out of my control and therefore I have stopped letting it affect me. People will think what they want no matter how you behave, speak, think, dress or whatever - it is out of your control so let it go.

3. Be your word. A promise is a promise. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Integrity is something that is very important to me and it is something I have taught my daughter from an early age. Not only do you need to follow through on promises made to others but you need to commit to your word when it comes to yourself too. Being true to your word (when you really commit to it) can be one of the most valuable character traits you have and it will set you apart from those who are not and draw towards you those that are equally committed to being their word.

4. Let go of the fact that life is going to be easy at some point. Challenges will come and go but they will never disappear - and thank goodness for that! I would not be able to write this list if my life wasn't challenging and when I am in my late thirties I want to be able to write another list. Challenges are not the problem, the problem lies with our attitude towards these challenges. Embrace them and know that within each challenge lies many lessons and many opportunities for growth.

5. Don't be afraid to be alone. This might not be for everyone but I know that without a doubt that if I had not spent 2 1/2 years on my own (single) I would not have met my husband when I did. I needed those years to be with my thoughts, to process what it was I wanted, to figure out what was important to me but most of all I needed that time to be happy and at peace with my own company. I believe that true love can only find you once you know how to make yourself happy first. This is, obviously, a very personal point of view, and I am so grateful that I learnt how to enjoy my own company before meeting the love of my life.

6. Life never gives you anything you can't handle. This is one of the most wonderful lessons my mother ever taught me. It is something that I have repeated to myself over and over again many times in my short life and every time I do I immediately feel calm and all anxiety drifts away. Looking at life in this way just simplifies everything because the alternative to not handling it would mean that I would give up on life and cease to exist - this is never an option for me, so, as a result I have absolute faith that everything will be OK and I will overcome whatever obstacle is in my way.

7. Take time to do what you love. Even if your passion can't be turned into a career, make sure that you make time for the things that you love doing, for the things that inspire you. Whether it's reading, writing, painting, knitting, watching reality TV shows, dancing, or sports, make sure that you don't forget to do these things. There is a reason that you enjoy it, so do it!

8. Friendships change. The friends you had in high school are not necessarily going to be the friendships you have in your 20's - people change, this you can count on. You need to just go with the flow. I have friends who I lost touch with for many years (mostly over the years after I had my daughter) and only now are some of these friendships present in my life again. I have also made some amazing new friends in every new avenue my life has gone down. Friendships, like any relationship, take work and effort and sometimes you need to know when to let them go and other times you need to remember to hold on to them and be the friend you want in your life.

9. Everything happens for a reason. It is easy to just say this and fill your mind with positive thoughts and then push the situation under the rug, but I think that the point of this phrase is to make you look for that reason and then face the situation and move on. I believe their is a reason for everything and everything is always as it should be - good or bad - life is here to teach us but lessons aren't going to introduce themselves to us - we need to find the lessons ourselves.

10. Enjoy the moment you are in right now. It is so easy to either look ahead and hope or to look behind and regret. I often find myself wishing I was at a different stage in my life (owning a house, financially independent, etc) but all this does is take my focus off the present and all that I do have. Sure, have goals, but there is no need to dwell on them - put them out there and then get living in the present in order achieve them. As for the past - it's there to be remembered but not to be lived in - be happy in the now - it's all you have really.

1 comment:

  1. So lovely my friend and given me a lot to think about. I love it when a blog post does that. Gives you food for thought and also sometimes shows you a different side of things- changes the way you think or gives you new perspective. This post did all of the above. Thank you for sharing.