Life throws a lot of curveballs at us. It can be hard, but I like to think that no matter what happens, it’s all good and there’s always so much to learn. Here are 28 life lessons I’ve learned in 28 years.
It was my birthday last week and I thought it would be fun to share a few life lessons I’ve learned in my 28 years so far.
I’m no life-guru, but I’ve experienced a bunch of things that have taught me a lot. Some were hard lessons, some were easier, some I’m still working on, but in the end that’s the beauty of life, isn’t it? The constant ebb and flow of events that shape us into who we are.
Life Lessons: 28 Things I Learned In 28 Years
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1. It’s okay to say no
Know where your boundaries are and don’t feel bad for adhering to them. It’s okay to say no sometimes.
2. It’s good to say yes
Saying no is important, but so is saying yes. Take opportunities even if they scare you. Put yourself in situations outside your comfort zone. Face your fears. It’s how we grow.
3. Communication is key
I never used to be the best communicator but it’s something I’ve worked on through the years in various types of relationships. Good communication holds so much value. Be honest, be clear, and say what you mean. Life is so much easier when we communicate properly.
4. Nothing is as bad as your mind makes it up to be
I’ve lived the majority of my life thinking fearful thoughts. But one thing I’ve learned is that fears are only thoughts and most of the time those thoughts never become reality, and if they do, it’s rarely as bad as we imagined.
5. Nobody else knows what’s right for you but you
No matter how many opinions or reassurances we try to obtain from those around us (I know this all too well!) the answers are always within us and it always seems to circle back to what we initially feel is right. Don’t underestimate the power of your intuition and tapping into it a bit more.
6. If it doesn’t fit, don’t force it
There are times when we want something so badly to work out. But if it isn’t right, it isn’t right. Letting certain things go is the best way to make space for what will fit.
7. Gratitude is more powerful than you think
Taking 30 seconds to think of something, anything, I’m grateful never ceases to put things into perspective and make me happier.
8. Practice willpower
We can’t always wait for inspiration or motivation to strike. But we can create it by getting up and getting started. And the best part is that the more we practice willpower, the easier it gets. This, I’ve also learned, is how we reach our goals.
9. Patience is a virtue
I’ve always been an impatient person (still am!) but there’s really something to say about having patience, not rushing, and letting things unfold as they may.
10. Dreams can and do come true
I’ve seen it with my own eyes, I’ve experienced it in my own life, and I continue to experience it all the time. Have dreams and never stop going after them. No matter how cheesy or elusive this sounds… dreams do come true.
11. Good things come to those who… make it happen
You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘good things come to those who wait’, but I’ve learned that good things come to those who get up, put in the work, and make it happen.
P.S. this, my friends, is precicely how your dreams come true. Whether it’s something that you want or something you want to change in your life, take action and make it happen.
12. Heartache doesn’t last forever
It certainly doesn’t feel like you’ll get over it when you’re in the midst of it, but you will. I promise.
Even if – and especially if – there are topics we think we’re not interested in, listen anyways. There’s so much more to life and so much more to learn when we actually take the time to listen.
14. Ask lots of questions
I used to avoid asking questions growing up in fear of sounding stupid. But I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older to absolutely ask questions. Ask lots of them. Stay curious. Be inquisitive. Always be open to learning new perspectives and remember that we can’t know everything, but we can ask questions. It’s one of the best ways to learn, after all.
15. Try new things
I never used to like trying new things and I was the Queen of making excuses. But I cannot tell you how good it feels to put yourself out there and try something new, learn something new, do something different, or meet new people. I’ve learned that this is one of the best ways to boost confidence, find joy, become smarter, and create new neurological pathways in our brain. It’s such a good feeling when we try new things and when we expand our horizon by putting ourselves out there into new territory.
16. Take the initiative
So often we wait for people to set things up for us, for our friends to call us, or for opportunities to come to us. But I’ve learned how important it is to take the initiative ourselves. Introduce yourself, ask people questions, initiate plans with friends, sign up for that course. Our lives are so much richer when we take the initiative instead of waiting around.
17. Everyone has a story
Everyone is human and has a whole life story and we simply can’t know everything about them. No matter how little or how much we see on social media or hear through the grapevine, and we certainly can’t assume everything about people. I’ve learned to zoom out sometimes and remember this.
18. This too shall pass
If we’re ever struggling, experiencing hardship or pain, it’ll pass. It always does. Because…
19. Change is inevitable
Nothing stays the same. Recognize impermanence and that everything, good or bad, will change. Embrace the constant transformation and the inevitable ebb and flow of life.
20. Listen to your body
As most of you know I’m a holistic nutritionist, and the truth is that nutrition is complex. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to food. There’s also no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to the way we live our lives, either. Listening to your body and tossing dietary labels is sometimes the best thing you can do.
21. Put your phone away
Our devices are fused to us like never before and unplugging from them can be weirdly difficult. But it’s so important to make space for real life connection and to not share status updates or constantly give into the desire to take photos of everything we do or see. The real connections we have are perhaps more valuable than anything.
22. Keep it simple
Simply living has been a big component of my life for many years now. I’ve found that life is a little better when it’s less hectic: simplify your schedule, your responsibilities, your belongings. Streamlining the unnecessary is a good way to increase efficiency, reduce overwhelm and make space for joy and the things that matter to us.
23. It’s okay to be vulnerable
I’ve learned that being vulnerable is how we relate to and understand each other on a much deeper level and there’s nothing better than not feeling so alone in the stuff we go through.
24. Prioritize your passions
Make time for the things that light you up. A passion project, a hobby, a favourite past time; art, writing, music, dancing, bird watching. Anything that you love. It’s always, always worth it.
25. Perfection doesn’t exist
We can and should strive to do the best we can with what we know, what we have and what we’re capable of, but I’ve learned that it’s so important not to get caught up in the paralyzing need for things to be perfect. Perfection is unattainable and sometimes we have to just sit back and be ok with doing the best we can.
26. It’s okay to fail
Learn from it, get up, and keep going. But don’t let failure stop you.
27. You can’t please everyone
No matter who you are or what you do, criticism will always exist. I’ve learned that we simply cannot please everybody or appeal to everybody, and that is okay.
28. Be Yourself
Like who you are and what makes you you. Your quirks, your preferences, your style, your opinions. These are the things that make us who we are and there’s no other person out there like you. This can be a tough one to learn when we’re faced with standards coming at us left right and center, but when we just be who we are we walk through life more confidently, we attract the right people into our lives instead of the wrong people, and it’s a hell of a lot less exhausting.
I hope these 28 lessons resonated with you! I’d absolutely love to hear from you…