As you go through the different stages of schooling, you start to realise that not everything in life can be taught by your teachers.
Instead you have to face situations on our own, even when you have absolutely no clue what to do. So here are 10 lessons I have learnt so far, some were much harder than others but with my guidance, I hope you can overcome them better than I did:
1. Life is far from easy but it’s not impossible.
Life is not going to give you everything on the palm of your hand, so don’t get anxious when you don’t know what to do.
In this journey we call life, you will face challenges, disappointments and for some even grief. But you can’t let these problems break you.
Even if what’s in front of you doesn’t make sense now or is unclear, you must lift your head up high and continue to walk anyway, because if life isn’t going to stop for you and make sure you’re okay so it can proceed, why should you stop for life?
2. You’ll never be happy if you prioritize pleasing others before yourself.
Don’t do things just to make your parents proud or because your friends want you to. Do it for you. For yourself. The things they may expect from you are probably completely different from what you want to do. So don’t waste your time chasing their dreams. They may not support you or believe in you at first, but don’t worry about what they’ll think of you, just focus on what makes you happy and the rest will follow.
3. Know your worth and never settle for less.
Do not ever settle for anything in this life. You are too valuable to settle into an okay job, relationship or friendship. Do not chase people who don’t love you, do not stay were you are unwanted and do not settle for physical attraction if there is no deeper connection – see ‘The Spirit of the Bae’ article for more on this.
Not settling means that you know your worth. You know when you deserve better and when you should walk away from people who don’t see the complete value in you.
You should never compromise your standards for the fear of being alone or broke. Remember, if you don’t know your worth, no one will.
4. Your mental health is as important as your physical.
So why not invest time into making sure you’re okay? Even if you’re not going through any specific mental health issues, it’s still important to focus on your wellbeing.
Taking a day off when you’re not feeling like yourself or writing down affirmations that you can look back to when you’re going through a hard time such as ‘Challenge my fears, don’t allow them to rule me’ or ‘ I will prosper despite any difficulty that may come my way’, can really help your negative thoughts from taking over.
Most importantly those who do face mental health issues, never forget that you are more than your anxiety, depression, eating disorder and any other mental health issue that you are going through.
5. Don’t forget to love yourself.
I feel like many people underestimate the power of self-love. To love yourself is to accept all of who you are. “Are you living for yourself or others?” It’s not just about loving yourself without makeup or a fresh trim. It’s about understanding that you’re not perfect and that it’s okay.
It’s about confronting those imperfections instead of covering them. Knowing that not everyone is going to love you and that not everyone has to. Self love requires patience. It doesn’t happen overnight. You have to be willing to unravel your flaws and take time to love each and every one of them. Self love is not about thinking you are better than everyone else. It’s about knowing you are good enough and worthy of your own love.
6. It’s never too late to start over again.
If you’re not happy with where you’re at today, take a step back and start again tomorrow. There’s no point going around in circles over things that can’t be fixed. You’re allowed to make mistakes and get caught up with stress and worry. But don’t let these feelings interfere with trying to move forward. You can’t do anything about the past but you can do something about the now. You are a work in progress. Believe in yourself and don’t let fear stop you from achieving what you want.
7. Self educate yourselves. Don’t solely rely on what you’re taught in school.
Everyone can benefit from learning something new. It doesn’t take a genius to be able to gain some knowledge outside the classroom. There are many fun and simple ways that allow you to expose yourself to ideas you’ve never come across and at the same time bring out your creativity.
Making a habit of dedicating some time in your day to watching TED Talks, reading a book, learning a new skill e.g. A language, musical instrument, baking etc. Or watching documentaries can really broaden your insight on different topics making it easier to converse with a variety of people and hold more meaningful conversations.
8. Never be ashamed of where you come from.
To be ashamed of your background, culture or language is to be ashamed of who you are. No matter how much you may try you can’t change where you come from. Appreciate your heritage and the story that comes with it. This is a part of your identity, don’t neglect it.
9. You aren’t always right.
No one has ever liked a know it all. Don’t be that person that doesn’t listen to others, disregards everyone’s opinion and always wants to have the last word. Always being right can be wrong.
There is always going to be more than one perspective in every scenario so being able to listen and learn how to take into consideration someone else’s thinking can allow you to be more open-minded to what they’re saying. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, but hearing them out will let you understand why they think that way.
10. Always be grateful for what you have.
Don’t focus on what you don’t have but on what you do. Everyday you are blessed with a roof over your head, food on the table and clean water to drink. When you wake up you have eyes that see, ears that hear and a mouth that speaks. You are alive.
Yes, you may experience setbacks and feel like your life is falling apart but that’s never an excuse to not appreciate what you have and who you have around you.
You feel cold, someone else is sleeping outside. You’re complaining because you’re hungry, someone else is starving. You want more money, so many people are living in poverty. You want to die, someone else is fighting to live. There is always someone who has it worse than you.
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