The best motivation is self-motivation. The guy says, I wish someone would come by and turn me on. What if they don’t show up? You’ve got to have a better plan for your life than that. — Jim Rohn
Life lessons aren’t static. They evolve as time goes on, and things you thought were important last year may no longer matter today. I’m still in my 20s and am by no means an expert, but here’s what I’ve learned so far about life. Wherever you are in this world, think hard about the way you’re living and make the changes you need to make to keep moving forward. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Read my life lessons!
Here are a few of my top life lessons learned so far:
Do what makes you happy – the way you want to do it
All too often, you see people unhappy in their daily lives. Or folks full of regret. Don’t be one of them. Stop putting off what you’ve been meaning to do – maybe it’s getting a new job, taking that trip or ending that relationship that’s bringing you down. Life keeps pressing forward and time really does pass in an instant. Take action today to start living the way you want. Otherwise, you’re really just standing still.
Figure out what success means to you
So often we follow the path that we’re expected to take and never feel fulfilled. Maybe that’s the right path but a lot of times it’s not. What does success mean to you? What does it look like, and more importantly, what does it feel like? Find out and then go for it!
Do what you say and say what you mean
We all occasionally forget to call that friend back or follow up on something we know we should have, but in general, do your best to follow through. This goes for little things like returning a friend’s email as well as big things like what you stand for as a human being. The popular stance isn’t always the best stance, so if you have strong convictions, stand up for what you believe in. Always. Said another way, if you were on What would you do?, would you make yourself proud?
How friendship changes when you move abroad >>
Find someone to love… and cherish that love
I never thought I’d get married. Tom was my friend at first and then love just blossomed. It seemed so organic. And easy. I knew I’d found a keeper. But if you asked me even a week before I met him what my thoughts were on my future love life, I’d have told you that I didn’t see myself as ever finding the clichéd “the one.” And then it happened.
Maybe “the one” isn’t right for everyone, but find someone you love, who you can be with and care for and vice versa. Spoil that person. Surprise him or her. Show your love that you care. Share yourself, your journeys, your hopes and fears with someone you trust – and savor every moment. Is life without love really living at all? I don’t know. But I will say that I don’t think my life truly began until I met Tom.
Complain/be hurt/angry/etc., get it out and then let it go
Holding on to resentment, anger, hurt and other negative emotions all have a shelf life. Once you’ve played out that emotion, make sure you do everything possible to let it go. Completely. Help yourself to move forward. Get help if you need it. Stagnation is the worst.
People do things differently than you do and that is OK
I put myself out there for people and when others don’t do the same for me, it’s easy to take it personally. At this point I’ve realized that we all operate differently and that what’s second nature to me may be totally unnatural for someone else. Different isn’t always bad. Learn to see things from a different angle once in a while. Perspective is a funny thing.
Realize the world doesn’t revolve around you
Many people don’t realize this ever, but no matter your age, it’s important to learn that the world doesn’t revolve around you. Your friends, family and that guy you saw at the grocery all have lives that move in different directions and even if it seems like someone is snubbing you, it probably has nothing to do with you. Regardless, try to look at the big picture and how you fit into it. Not the other way around.
Be humble and show gratitude
No one likes a know-it-all. Even if you do know everything, there’s no need to be showy about it. Besides, there’s always someone smarter/better looking/more accomplished/etc. This life lesson is important: Show gratitude for all that you have and all that you are and take a minute to truly be appreciative every day.
Make yourself uncomfortable as often as possible
No, I’m not talking about stupid things like pinching your arm or taking an ice bath. My point here is to challenge yourself and keep pushing forward. Do what you didn’t think was possible. Maybe it’s time to get over your fear of heights or repair a relationship that has long dissolved. Rise to the challenges that you’re presented with and prove to yourself that you can do it. Suddenly those challenges are in your rearview mirror and you’re on to bigger and better things, but if you never tried, you’d still be where you were.
Personal case in point? I used to hate speaking on the phone in French. I’d get nervous about stumbling over my words or have anxiety over whether or not I’d understand what the person on the other end of the line was saying. So Tom encouraged me and at first would take the calls with me on speaker to help out if I bombed. Guess what? I never needed his help. Yes, in the beginning I’d have to ask the person to repeat themselves, but after a few calls, it was second nature. This week alone I’ve called the pharmacist, the vet, an employment agency and the dermatologist.
Life lessons I learned from my dog Dagny >>
One of my favorite life lessons: Get a dog!
If you have time for one, that is. They just make everything better!
A wonderful list of life lessons Diane, they’re excellent reminders! You’re very wise for your age…
A life lesson that I try to live by is to realize that every single person lives a mysterious and complicated life that nobody should judge… to quote Plato: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” …
Thx for commenting. I like your life lesson, very true.
Mathieu Sauvetre says
Wonderful blog that I, unfortunately, am just finding out about. Really. Reading this article brings back so many memories of when I first met you, then Tom. Wish you all the best Diane and hope to see you soon.
Same here Matty, let me know what you’re up to if u get a minute!
What a lovely post. I love reading things like this, reminds you that you can be a good person by learning from some simple life lessons, but also that it is okay to sometimes be a normal person… If you know what I mean?!
Some of my simple principles – be open to new possibilities, don’t be afraid of change and be a good friend…
I know what you mean 😉 And agree w/your simple principles as well!
Really nice post – enjoyed reading it – very honest… my life lesson has been to find out that I love animals! I’ve always been afraid of dogs and I’ve never had (made) time for animals in my life as a corporate bod in London. Coming to France has opened up a whole new world to me of community – not just with my French neighbours and friends and expats that I meet but with animals and I now have 31 including three stray dogs (my fear is cured) and growing!
Wow, 31??? Amazing that you cured your fear. Don’t animals just make your life better?