Today is my 29th birthday. According to society standards, I should own my first home and be married with two kids by now. I've yet to do either.. and contrary to the worlds common ideology, I am happy and live an abundant life with no limitations.
Whatever I want, I expect it, and get it. I am thriving in all areas of my life, mentally, physically, and spiritually. I’m inspired by my work and passion in creating digital content, learning more about personal development, and then sharing what I've learned to inspire people around the world to live up to their highest potential. These are the things in life that exhilarate me and give me purpose. I am evolving gracefully. I am becoming a better version of myself everyday. Growing up is truly a blessing.
28 Life Lessons I Learned in 28 Years
1-22. Be yourself. Stay true to yourself.
When I had the courage to live a life true to myself (not the life others expected of me) my entire life changed. I begin to learn more about the world, learn more about myself, my depth and what truly makes (me) happy.
You can only pretend for so long before your mind, body, and spirit throw their hands in the air and say, “Fuck it, I’m out.” When you keep forcing yourself to do something, it feels like something you have to do. But when you exhaust yourself doing all the things that matter to you, it feels like something you're blessed to do.
The greatest gift you can give to yourself is freedom from what others think. Align with your true self. Live a life that’s true to you.
23. Keep moving forward.
The past is the past. All we have is today. Everything you want out of life starts with you. You are the only person who has the power to move your life forward. Sometimes our best is at a 5 and sometimes it's at a 10, and that's okay. As long as you're trying and doing your best, regardless of your situation or circumstances, that's good enough. You have to keep going.
24. Stop comparing yourself to people
who are on a different journey than you.
I now grasp the true essence of what's for me is for me. Over the course of my journey, I've had to bet on myself far more than I ever thought I could. We have such high expectations of ourselves, and wanting to be this picture perfect image in our minds, but the chase for perfection sometimes holds us back far more than we realize. I've learned that if I use my heart fully in whatever I'm investing my energy and focus into, regardless of the circumstances, i'll be lead exactly where I need to be (regardless of how I get there).
25. Take responsibility for your life.
This lesson changed the entire trajectory of my life. I don't know if it's our generation or just me but I use to have this sense of entitlement, as if I deserved X, Y and Z because "i'm me". I would have these bizarre expectations from people, family or friends, and then be upset or disappointed, or feel like they didn't care about me or what I think, when they didn't meet those expectations, or go about things the way that I would. It took me awhile to realize no one owes me anything.
Once I had a willingness to see myself, people, and circumstances for what they were (not what I thought they should be), accept it, and take responsibility to move forward, I took back my power. I was beyond stunned at how much power I actually possessed, once I stopped waiting.
Waiting for validation, waiting for the right time, for the right person.. When I decided to take responsibility for my happiness, my joy, my success, and to stop wasting time thinking about what if and how it would be if it were different.. I began to evolve rapidly.
New opportunities literally began to gravitate towards me and I transformed from this insecure naive girl into a powerful woman who knows what she wants and makes shit happen.
26. Be mindful. Be present.
Your auto-pilot may be getting your kids ready for school in the morning, then rushing out of the door, grabbing McDonalds for "breakfast", then speeding to work for your 8 a.m meeting, having no recollection of even driving to work, because you were too busy wondering if Sara responded to your email, and going over all the things you need to get done today.
My autopilot was committing to getting-shit-done, period. Getting it done in the least amount of time possible and then using any second I had to spare to get more shit done. Adderall and coffee was my fuel as I'd convinced myself that sleep was overrated.
In the midst of getting shit done, weeks, months, and years flew by. I was so caught up with doing, doing, doing, that I lost sight of myself. I'd completely faded away. I never allowed myself to just be, or feel anything really (I didn't have time for that).
That is until all of those emotions, thoughts and feelings I'd suppressed over those years hit me like a ton of bricks with no warning. LITERALLY. I was in the middle of a business meeting, when out of nowhere I burst out into uncontrollable tears. (Remember the type of tears you had as a kid after you got a ass whoopin for some shit you didn't think you deserved to get a ass whoopin for tears? lmao. Yes, those tears.) I can laugh about it now, but at that present moment I felt broken. That's how it feels when you burn out.. BROKEN.
So, pause on your endless to-do list, if only for a brief moment. Slow down, and feel your heart beating. Mindfulness is noticing the feeling of your feet on the floor while standing in the shower. Listening, instead of waiting to respond in conversation. It is calmness in a moment of pressure; it is patience when you're running out of time. It is compassion when you don't understand.
Meditation has helped me tremendously (mindfulness is the core of meditation). You'd be surprised what a few deep breaths and sitting in silence can do.
27. Self-Discipline is power.
As a high school student, if I had an assignment due Friday morning I'd start on it Thursday night (at 12am, 9 hours before my class). In college, I was the student you only saw on the day of exams. It's safe to say, discipline wasn't one of my strong suits. Fortunately, I had the tenacity to get myself through school. However, my superpowers to do ‘just enough’ robbed me of other key essential skills I would need as an adult.
I did what I wanted when I wanted. I did things when they suited me, regardless of the impact on myself or others. The turning point for me was in my mid twenties, when I started my own business. In order for me to perform at my best ability, I knew I needed discipline or it would never work. Now don't get me wrong, I never lacked work-ethic. Throughout my career, I would work longer and harder than others. I would push myself to learn new skills. I would show initiative. I was proactive. BUT outside of work, if the option presented itself, I would choose the path of least resistance. This often meant The Real Housewives of Atlanta over actually creating a thought-out strategic business plan. I was a classy contradiction.
Over time, and with greater self-awareness, I learned to hold myself accountable. I set higher standards for what I expected of myself and had a clearer vision of how I wanted to live my life. I now know that I am in control of the decisions I make and the steps I take. Self-discipline played a vital role in aligning me with my goals and values.
27. School's Not Out: The Importance of Continuing Education
Be open to learning new things, meeting new people with different opinions, exploring new ideas and possibilities. Most of history breakthroughs and remarkable inventions were a result of curiosity. (walking on the moon; self-driving cars) If there is something you're interested in learning more about then feed your curiosity. Everything is online.
28. Live your life on purpose.
A strong sense of purpose has fueled my motivation amongst difficult times. I have a definite sense of direction, and a clear understanding of what success means to (me). Everything I'm doing is consistent with my goals.
One of my favorite authors, Napoleon Hill once said “There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it."
People who have made genuine changes in their lives and managed to attain difficult goals are not stronger, more intelligent or fearless than you. The only difference is the decision to act in the direction of their dreams. Your day to day actions should be moving you closer to your vision.