I have dealt with very real issues in terms of family, finances, health, and figuring out myself. I’ve had a quarter life crisis, and watched my life blossom in ways I could’ve never imagined. Throughout all of this I have learned many lessons, some of which are cheesy and cliché, others are funny and light-hearted. However, what they all have in common is that they are incredibly true.
Here they are:
1. Being kind will get you farther in life than being an asshole.
Sure this may not get you places you want to go as fast, but once you do reach those goals, it’ll be for the right reasons, and last far longer.
A slow burn lasts much longer than a quick fix.
2. Approach everything you do in life with love.
I know I sound like a hippie, but hey I kind of am, an urban one at that.
When you keep love in your heart, you’re able to approach any situation with kindness, understanding and openness.
People will be much more receptive to you, and life is far happier, easier and more joyful.
Love connects us all, and transcends boundaries farther than anything else in life.
3. Not everyone is going to like you, and that is OK!
If someone doesn’t like you, it’s not necessarily your problem, it’s his or hers, so move on, and remember how many people do like you.
Focusing on one bad egg, doesn’t ruin the other eleven, it just ruins your day.
4. Always have back up toilet paper in your home!
You don’t want to be stuck in an awkward position for yourself or your guests, so keep spare TP in your bathroom. Just saying.
Planning a head makes life a whole lot less stressful.
5. Fall madly in love.
Fall in love with yourself, fall in with your life, fall in love with someone else.
Love will change you in ways you didn’t know you could or wanted to be changed. It teaches you so much about yourself, and makes you understand the world a lot better.
They say, “fall,” because that’s the thing, you have no control when it happens. You give up control of being a singularity, so that you can become a unit.
6. Learn to say yes.
Sometimes you’re going to just feel like a lazy bum, and want to do nothing. This is when you have to pull yourself up, and go do something new, fun or whatever with other people.
The hardest part about most activities whether it is working out, going on date, or anything else is just getting to the location itself.
7. Learn to say no.
While you should learn to say yes more, you should also learn to say no more. Saying no to things that you fundamentally don’t want to do is an important skill to learn.
Saying no helps build confidence within yourself.
And ultimately, it shows that you respect yourself, your time and your energy, and thus, others should as well.
8. Eat the bagel!
Yes, give in sometimes.
Life is too short not to enjoy tiny pleasures, but eating one bagel is different than eating 6 bagels, which I will admit, I’ve done many a time.
Moderation is key, so just be mindful in the decisions you make.
9. Learn how to take care of yourself.
This is a scary one, but probably the most important one in the whole list.
If you don’t know how to cook yourself a meal, do your laundry, drive a car, earn money, take care of yourself when you are sick then you will be screwed one day.
Sure, you may have someone to help you do all of those things right now, but the inevitable day will come when you are alone for whatever the reason, and be helpless, and being helpless is possibly the worst feeling in the world.
10. Say thank you!
Being grateful for big and small things will change your life.
Being grateful every morning reminds you that even in the darkest of times how beautiful your life truly is.
We often focus on what is wrong in our lives, not what is right. It’s a crazy habit that needs to change.
Additionally, we rarely say thank you to ourselves because we focus on what isn’t going right in our lives.
When you stop, and say thank you to yourself for brushing your teeth, eating healthy and making good decisions, you give yourself a moment to breathe.
Breathing in life is living. Think about it.
11. Have roommates.
Living with other people that aren’t your family members is a crash course in real life.
They will teach you about yourself, and what it’s like to live with someone else, for good and for bad.
Knowing that you have some weird tendencies or have specific ways of doing things is important to know, so that when you end up living with your significant other, you aren’t smacked across the face with all these new neuroses.
12. Change your hair.
It grows back, and it’s fun to look back at some not so great decisions, and think hey at least I tried it.
Nothing in life is permanent, so if something doesn’t workout, remember you can always change it up again.
13. Ride the rollercoaster.
Even if you’re scared it will be worth it, and the ride of ups and downs is a journey of self-discovery.
There will always be an idea of what you think your life is supposed to be like, and chances are when you get there, another idea of what life is supposed to be like will be waiting for you.
Don’t worry about the future, all you have is now, and now is usually pretty fucking amazing if you look up.
14. Travel, travel, and then travel some more!
There is nothing as magical as seeing something for the first time. It’s like having your mind blown over and over again. That is what travel does.
It opens your eyes and mind to things that you thought you understood and knew.
A book can only teach us so much, while travel on the other hand, gives us a first-hand experience of what different people, places, cultures, food, and many other things are like.
To travel is to understand, and to understand is to be educated, and to be educated is the most powerful thing in the world.
The world is beautiful, and to fully understand that you must see it with your own eyes.
15. Move away from where you grew up.
Keeping in line with the idea of travel, living somewhere else will make you appreciate your home, your life, and so many little things that you take for granted on a daily basis.
Moving may even open up your eyes to an even greater life than you had previously known.
There’s comfort in knowing something because it means we understand it, but understanding something new is powerful.
While traveling to a place may show you another way of life, there’s nothing like experiencing what it’s like to be a local in far away land.
16. Stressing only makes stress.
Yes, things aren’t going to always feel perfect, in control, and easy, but stressing out about anything doesn’t help you, it just stresses you out, so chill the fuck out!
Taking 5 deep breaths at any point in your day or life will help you find your center, and calm down. It will also remind you that if all hasn’t worked out, it just means this isn’t the end.
17. Where there’s darkness, there’s always light. It’s simply a matter of perspective.
If you want to be happy then be happy.
No one is forcing you to stay in a bad relationship, at a shitty job, to have bad friends, or whatever else the case may be. If you don’t like something change it. When you do, you will find that life becomes a whole lot better when you kick the negativity out, and let the positivity in.
Your cup can be half full, or half empty. I choose to look at my glass as spilling the fuck over with goodness. It’s a pretty awesome way to live.
18. Let go.
Sometimes we outgrow things. Sometimes it’s clothes, sometimes it’s friends, sometimes it’s your old self, and all of this is ok.
Not everyone and everything is going to match your evolution, and that’s a beautiful thing because it means life is changing, and journeys are being had.
The past can especially be a hard thing to let go of, but if you’re holding onto something that no longer exists, how do you expect to find the future?
Baggage only weighs you down from flying even higher, so carefully set it down, and soar higher and higher.
19. Learn to say, “I’m Sorry.”
When you can look someone in the eye, and sincerely apologize, you can call yourself an adult.
Apologizing to someone else means that you have checked your ego at the door, and are capable of putting your pride to the side.
We often hold onto petty arguments or disagreements because of stubbornness.
In the end all your relationships will boil down to one of two options: either two losers, or two winners.
So carefully consider if your pride is worth your relationships with others.
20. Let your freak flag fly high.
As we mature, and real life closes in on us, we often forget how to let loose, play pretend, or be wildly creative.
Chances are if you ask anyone what they really want to be in life, it usually involves some form of creativity.
We get this notion that we must behave, act, and work a certain way, when in reality this is just an idea that means nothing. A confined restriction on your unique personality that was learned over time, not a necessary way of life.
Letting your freak flag fly high feels incredibly good, and will remind you that life is short, and shouldn’t be taken too seriously all the time.
21. A hug can solve more than you know.
Sometimes all we need is a hug.
By wrapping your arms around someone else, and having them embrace you back, a chemical explosion of endorphins is released into your brain and body, which truly makes you feel like everything is going to be ok.
Physical touch is an important human need, and should be done on some level everyday.
22. Crying feels really good.
In life’s biggest moments tears are shed. Whether it’s crying for joy, or sobbing for sorrow, tears are markers for momentous occasions in our lives.
A lot like a hug, a good cry can change your mood and release a lot of pent up energy and emotions.
Never be afraid to cry in front of anyone. It shows you care, and that is a beautiful thing. If it makes someone else uncomfortable that’s their own issue to deal with, not yours.
Tears are universal, human and remind us that we are all made of water.
23. Tell fear to fuck off!
Fear is simply the unknown.
The amazing thing you learn about the unknown, as you age, is that the unknown is far less scary once you look it dead in the face, and say hello.
Fear holds us back from fully living, fully loving and fully being our unique selves.
Don’t let something so stupid hold you back from living out your wildest dreams.
Love can be scary. Change can be scary. Happiness can be scary. But all those things are what life is made for, so being afraid simply means you care.
24. Say what you mean, mean what you say.
If you’re going to call yourself fat, eventually others will think you’re fat. If you’re going to call yourself dumb, eventually others will think you’re dumb. Be mindful in what it is you say, especially about yourself.
Whether you’re talking about yourself or others, your speech holds tremendous weight.
We often say things about ourselves that we wouldn’t say to our worst enemy. Stop! It serves you no good.
Additionally, when talking to others you have to remember that you can’t take back things you say, and people may forgive, but they often don’t forget.
Whether it’s in the heat of the moment, or you're perfectly clear minded, be very specific with how and what you say.
Furthermore, you truly will get everything you ever asked for, so ask for what it is you truly want and need.
25. Be naked as often as possible.
Your body is your greatest gift; learn to love the fuck out of it.
This is the only one you have. It may not be perfect, it may not be tight and tone, hell, it might be a hot mess, but it’s your body.
Learning to love the skin you’re in is learning to love yourself.
We often focus on the exterior as a way to avoid what’s truly going on inside of us. There will always be something to nitpick about the way you look, nothing is perfect, and remember that is life.
Perfection is boring, and anyone you think is perfect is staring at someone else with the same thoughts you have about yourself.
Moreover, remember your body is a tiny miracle. If you have two legs that work, two arms that move, eyes that see, and ears that hear then you are beyond lucky, and should honor how lucky you are by using that body all the time.
Have sex, go for a run, dance like no one is watching because one day, that body, you pick on so harshly, is going to start to fight you in ways you couldn’t have imagined, and you will be wishing for those younger years.
26. Try almost everything once.
Of course there are some things you should never try, but in general, you don’t know what you are missing out on till you try something new.
Whether it’s food, music, dating, or whatever else, there is an entire world full of opportunities waiting to be explored.
If you don’t like something, then great, now you know. However, if you end up loving something new, then “hell fucking yea,” now you know!
27. Money won’t make you happier, but it will make life easier.
In today’s image obsessed world, so many ideas of happiness are based around things: clothes, cars, hair, makeup, money.
The thing is, none of this means anything if you don’t have people you love in your life to share all the wealth with.
Full, loving, and happy relationships are what define a successful life at the end of the day because people aren’t going to remember anything, but how you made them feel.
Strive to be comfortable financially, if excess finds your way then amazing, congrats, that’s huge! But don’t let the idea of money be what drives you.
Working to just make more money is an inevitable life of loneliness, burnouts, and unhappiness.
Yes, money will make your life easier, but it won’t make your life better.
At the end of the day life is all about being challenged, finding people who build you up, and that you want to build up. It’s about being yourself, honoring your truth, and hopefully learning from some other people’s mistakes, so that history doesn’t have to repeat itself.
Some things you’ll have to learn on your own, and some things you will never have to learn, but just feel. Some things will make a lot of sense, and some will take years to finally click for you.
Ultimately, life is an unwritten series of vignettes that somehow imperfectly perfectly weave into the novel that is your life. Trust yourself, love whole-heartedly, and be grateful along every step of the way.
These are the 27 plus things I have learned in 27 years.