In all my years of existence there are plenty of things that I have learned about life. Some of those things are a constant struggle, others are a work in progress, and there are many lessons I won't include in an attempt spare everyone from an incredibly long post.
Lesson one - accept yourself for who you are – in life, it doesn't matter what anyone thinks, YOU are amazing just the way you are. I think everyone needs to try and remember that because personally, I know there are plenty of people out there who see themselves as failures and they beat themselves up for the things that they are not. It is all of our unique qualities that make us who we are, and create our individual personalities. Let's face it, life would be boring if we were all the same. It's a constant struggle to embrace ourselves for who we are, and not compare ourselves to those around us. But once you learn to accept the qualities that set you apart, you realize just how special you truly are and all that you have to contribute.
Lesson two - always say I love you – you should always tell the people you love how much they mean to you. In my opinion, hearing someone say they love you never gets old, and I am not talking romantic love. We love many people in different ways. I love my sisters. I love my brother. I love my father. I love my family. I love my friends. And there is nothing wrong with expressing my love for them. It doesn't have to mean anything more than you appreciate the impact they have made in your life. You never know how those words can affect a person, and it's best to make sure that the people you love have no doubt about your feelings for them.
Lesson three – always trust your gut- follow your heart and trust your instincts. They're usually right. There have been plenty of incidents where had I just listened to my gut, I could have spared myself unnecessary heartache. Sometimes we let what others say sway us into believing what we know in our hearts to be untrue. Had I listened to my instincts, I could have saved myself a whole lot of bad feelings.
Lesson four - go see and do- travel! In today's economy, it's hardly affordable to just jump on a plane and go anywhere, especially when you have to consider what you are paying for. It's not just a plane ticket: it's food, it's lodging, it's taking in the local areas, exploring, spending your money on trinkets, and attractions. You have to plan for it, and you have to budget and save. If it's important to you, you will find a way to get out and see the world. Travel is important to me. It's my belief that the more cultures you experience and places you travel, the better understanding you'll have of this world and the people who encompass it. Meeting new people and seeing how they live and understanding the history of their culture grants you compassion and understanding for other people and their way of life.
Lesson five - never settle - I've seen far to many people in my life get stuck in a routine they feel safe and comfortable in. They are complacent with where they are in life, while wishing they could break free and do something they love, but they rarely push themselves to reach their full potential. I could have easily been one of those people. Thankfully, I worked up the courage to take a risk. And although it was hard, I am one hundred percent happier today, and so thankful to be where I am now.
Lesson six - it's okay to say no sometimes - I am a people pleaser through and through. I am still working on this one. But I'm learning that it is okay to say "no" sometimes. It's better to put the best version of yourself out there, then spread yourself too thin. I'm still trying to learn not to put too much on my plate. I've learned that when I focus on a few things that matter to me, I see better results and feel more fulfilled than trying to please everyone and do everything.