I'm officially an adult. I probably was about a decade ago. But hitting 36, it really feels like I've cemented my stake on adulthood. Weird. I've learned a lot in my life, but one of the best is to remember to write things down.
I keep a notes section in my phone titled “things to remember” and most of these things are quotes and ideologies from people MUCH wiser than I.
So here's a compilation of life lessons I've learned in my 30s, plus the wisdom from many others that have shaped me along the way.
1. You can create the life you dream of
Everyone hopes to realize their ambitions yet finding the right measures to do so is a difficult task. It won't happen in one day, but with deliberate steps like determining your purpose and creating measurable goals, keeping sharp focus on them and being inspired by those already successful can help you get closer to achieving what you desire. Write down your goals. Put it into the universe!
“Life is clearest when guided by ulterior motives.” – My Dad
2. Lower Your Expectations
I KNOW. That seems wrong, right? Well for me, this is a big one. Sometimes I expect too much out of people and places. But when I lower my expectations, I'm usually pleasantly surprised. It actually helps take the pressure out of situations. If you're familiar with “National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation” Clark Griswold is over the top about family holidays and events. So much so that it ends up ruining them. I identify with this. Which is why lowering your expectations helps so much.
“That's what the present is, it's a little unsatisfying, because life's a little unsatisfying.” – Gil, Midnight in Paris
3. It's okay to cut people out of your life
I didn't know that this was okay. I thought I needed to be loyal until the end of time. But sometimes people are just bad for you. And that's okay. Cut out the people in your life who bring you down, are negative and don't encourage growth. Maybe they will come back, maybe not. But the best version of you might not include that person.
“The only thing that could spoil a day was people. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.” Ernest Hemingway
4. Take ownership of your mistakes
It’s easy to pass off blame for our failures, but it’s much more important to accept responsibility for them. And learn from them. I've tried and failed at many things. I'm okay with that. Making mistakes is part of the learning process and you can never go wrong by admitting to yourself where you could do better.
5. Spend time alone
We all need some alone time to clear our heads, meditate and reflect on ourselves as individuals. We get so wrapped up in our lives, it's important to have time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Take a day or two to genuinely just be with yourself. I'm a huge fan of women taking solo trips.
6. Not everyone is going to like you, that's okay
Having social media as a job I've had to learn this the hard way. I want people to like me! But they don't always. And that is totally fine. The world is full of lots of different interests and not all of them will align with my outlook. I've learned that in order to be offended, it's up to me to take offense. Sometimes that's not easy to do, but learning that you can't change someone's mind about you gives me peace.
7. Invest in yourself
Whether that's health, education, creating a side hustle. Every single thing I've done to help my business grow, such as courses and classes, has paid me back ten fold. You can't possibly know everything. Education is so key. And, read a book while you're at it too!
“A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.” Shakespeare
8. Take the trip
First, you can travel cheaply. You can explore the city you're in, take a road trip, or even board a plane. But it doesn't have to be costly. As you grow older, you need to make time to travel. It's a choice, and a priority. Exploring new destinations and gaining insight into different cultures can profoundly affect and enhance the way you view life. From a road trip along the coast to an extended stay abroad, (or even a move abroad), traveling offers a refreshing opportunity to break free from routine living and open your mind to global perspectives.
“You only pass through this life once, you don't come back for an encore.” – Elvis
9. Save some money
Want to cut down on stress and anxiety? Save up. Don’t spend frivolously, cut out where you can. Have an emergency fund. People who have money saved up for the future or emergency situations tend to feel more secure and relaxed.
“Some people can't see, some people can't see for looking.” My Mom
10. TELL YOUR STORY
I am a big believer in telling your story. Whether that's on social media, in a diary, or helping someone else share theirs, we need your perspective. There is no one else out there like you, that's had your life experiences. So share it! We need to hear it.
Your story matters, and you never know who will be helped or inspired by what you write. You matter, your words matter. So tell it!
“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.” – Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter
I hope these life lessons are helpful. We all have a unique journey and experiences that teach us something valuable along the way.