I recently came across a fun post, 32 Lessons from 32 Years of Life. The timing was perfect as I was pondering what to post about on my birthday (Yep, Pisces here.), and I had actually been toying with the idea of this type of post.
I hope you find these short lessons useful, and please feel free to chime in with your own at the end. So, here goes… lessons I’ve learned from 33 years of living:
1. You’re only as good as your word. Don’t break it. (Read: If You Say You’re Going To Do Something, Do It!)
2. Take care of your body. It’s the only one you have.
3. Own your decisions. You are responsible for you — not anyone else.
4. Pay it forward. Karma has a way of reciprocating. You’ll benefit more than those you help anyway. Trust me.
5. Make time for you. It’s not selfish; it’s necessary to recharge and be at your best.
6. Some “vices” are OK. If you really enjoy something, do it (unless it harms others).
7. Pay attention. You’ll learn so much by being observant, in business and in life.
8. Learn from the past, look forward to the future, but live in the present. It’s the best show there is. If you’re constantly reliving things or worrying about future events, you’ll miss a lot of wonderful moments.
9. Learn to give — and receive — constructive criticism. (“This is terrible” or “you’re stupid” is not constructive.)
10. Listen, listen, listen. It will take you far in life.
11. Follow your gut. It’s your instinct for a reason.
12. Try new things — foods, adventures, travels. You never know what you’ll fall in love with. (Like ice skating, for me.)
13. Respect your values and beliefs. If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, it’s OK to walk away. (Read: Gray Area: Do Ethics Still Have a Place in Business?)
14. An interview is a two-way conversation about an opportunity. Relax.
15. The devil IS in the details. Handle those and the rest will follow.
16. Do something special for yourself monthly, or more often if you can. Because you’re worth it. (Thanks, L’Oreal.)
17. Don’t project your bad day outward. Just because you’re in a bad mood, everyone else doesn’t have to be.
18. Social media’s great, but get social in real life too. (Read: Social Media’s Nice, But It’s Not IRL)
19. Embrace the mundane. It’s 80% of life. (Listen: This is Water, David Foster Wallace)
20. If you feel like getting dressed up to go to the store, go for it. Likewise, if you head out in workout gear, it’s no big deal. Life doesn’t hinge on what you’re wearing. (Granted, there are occasions where your dress is dictated by the occasion. Embrace it.)
21. Sometimes, you can buy happiness. Just don’t try it all the time.
22. Value those close to you. Don’t take them for granted, because some day they won’t be there.
23. Make the extra effort. It usually pays off — even if no one’s watching.
24. Have a strong handshake, a genuine smile and a killer pair of earrings. (Gentlemen, I hear cuff links produce the same effect.)
25. Laugh a lot. It’s the best medicine, and you don’t need a prescription.
26. Don’t waste too much time worrying. It really doesn’t change things.
27. Think through major decisions but don’t be afraid to act. Indecision can be paralyzing and leave you watching from the sidelines.
28. Be impulsive every once in awhile. Do something crazy at least once in your life.
29. Celebrate birthdays. Age brings wisdom and life experience. Appreciate them.
30. Think — every single day. It never goes out of style.
31. Listen to your body. It’s amazing what it can tell you.
32. “Never being satisfied” makes a great motivational poster but leaves you feeling empty inside. Always wanting more can leave you broke and alone. Enjoy your achievements and appreciate what you have. Remember, perfection is unattainable. (Read: What’s your riddle?)
33. Be genuine in everything you do. It’s easier in the long run, and people will appreciate you for it. Eventually, you’ll even find people who like you for who you are.
“And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life…” –Lester Burnham, American Beauty
I’ve never really grown up (vertically challenged here), but I have learned a lot. Like a good hat can make up for just about anything, even a really crappy day.
Share Your Lessons
What lesson(s) have you learned?
Do any of these lessons resonate with you? Do you disagree with any?
Maybe we can all learn to navigate this crazy thing we call life a little better.