20 Things I’ve Learned That Changed My Life
Throughout my life, I’ve learned a lot of really valuable lessons. I’ve learned how to grow in aspects of my physical, mental, and spiritual life.
How do you improve in self-development? One of the first steps you can take is reflecting back on the lessons life has taught you. What types of situations were you put in that caused you to step outside of your comfort zone? Were there areas where you were stretched into places you’ve never gone before?
I’m going to share a few of life’s tough lessons that I’ve learned along the way.
If I had the ability to go back in time, I would choose to listen to advice that others gave me more closely. A lot of the things that have caused uncomfortable growth was because I felt the need to figure things out of my own. It had value, because I am whom I am today with the lessons I have faced, but a lot of pain could have been avoided had I listened with open ears.
Here are the top 20 life lessons I learned along the way.
Always Say Thank You
It may not seem like a big deal to you and you may not think it matters. But, when someone goes out of their way to do something for you and you do not recognize or appreciate it, that person seldom will do it again. Even if they aren’t specifically going out of their way and their effort may appear small to you, say thank you anyway. If you don’t appreciate the people around you and just expect things to be done for you, a lot of people are eventually going to get annoyed, frustrated, and perhaps, eventually walk away.
Don’t Have Expectations
Expectations are limits that you set on other people that ultimately state that if they don’t do something, or do something you don’t like, that you are going to be upset. Most of the time people don’t meet the expectations you place on them, realistic or unrealistic. Mostly because they didn’t know that it was something you wanted them to do (or not do).
This is one of the biggest things that I have learned. By being honest, I’m not referring to refraining from telling white lies. I’m talking about the kind of honesty where you tell people how you’re feeling. The best thing you can do for yourself in any given relationship is communicating how you really feel. No one knows what you’re thinking, so unless you tell them – you will watch them play a guessing game, and you’ll probably end up getting hurt or upset. Just tell the truth, even if it might be a little scary.
You Are Responsible For How You Feel
No one else can tell you how to feel. No one’s actions can dictate your mood unless you let them. You are the only one who gets to choose if you’re going to be happy or not.
Be Careful With Your Words
This is a big one for me. I suffer from open-your-mouth-and-speak-immediately syndrome. It causes me to be quite brash and not think before I speak. When I wasn’t truly happy with another person, I wouldn’t tell them how what they did made me feel, I would take harsh stabs at their character, tearing them apart by saying mean things that in the end, I couldn’t take back. Think before you speak, because you are never going to be able to take back the things that you have said after they leave your mouth.
Be Quick to Forgive
I used to be the queen of grudge holding. It felt good and self-satisfying to know when I was wronged, I had the power to forgive or not forgive. Then I realized that power was putting me in a cage. Freedom wasn’t truly mine unless I was willing to forgive.
You Don’t Need Makeup
Beauty comes from the inside. I know that idea is overused and cliche, but maybe it is because it’s actually true. You could be the most beautiful appearing person on the planet with a rotten, stinking soul. I would rather be makeup-less and work on my heart, eh?
Your Body is Beautiful
I don’t care if you’re 80 pounds or 300 pounds. The “be true to yourself” movement is right on. You don’t have to be a stick with a thigh gap to be considered beautiful. There is no skinny or no fat. There is you. You with your curves, or no curves, and stretch marks and scars and moles and freckles. All of it is beautiful.
I never thought budgeting would ever apply to me. I thought it was for the financial gurus and people good at math. Then I tried it. And it changed my life. I paid off 4 credit cards and thousands of dollars of debt in less than a year by simply taking an extra 30 minutes out of my month to make this effort.
Your Family is Your Greatest Fan
You could draw the ugliest picture or wear the worst outfit and they love you just the same. Most of my time with my family has been spent rolling out of bed groggily, laying on the couch, eating too much junk food and watching too much trash TV. And guess what, THEY DON’T CARE. They love you exactly for who you are, with all your flaws and everything. If you’re looking for a best friend, they are already there. If your biological family wasn’t like this, find friends and make them your family. They don’t have to be blood to be “family.”
Put Your Phone Away
I grew up in the generation of technology. Still, I don’t get how you can have your phone out during dinner, during a movie, while you’re walking around and on the toilet, cooking, and so on and so forth. For one second, please put it away and focus on the person in front of you. Imagine your phone as another person. It’s rude to keep being interrupted every time you get a facebook like or a retweet or whatever 50490 notifications you have set up to send to your phone. It’s come to a sad place when you’re sitting there without a phone and everyone you’re with is on one and you’re trying to have a conversation but no one is listening. Please, just put it away. Please.
Your body will love you for it and it will clear your head. Don’t do it just for the “losing weight”, do it because you respect yourself. This is the only shell you have to live in while you’re on earth and it deserves to be respected. The mental benefits that you receive from exercise alone should be enough. A 12-minute walk was proven by a scientific journal to actually reduce stress, relieve boredom, clear your head and help you become better at problem-solving. Forget about shedding pounds or gaining muscle. Start because your body and your mind need it.
Stop to Help
Earlier this year, my tire blew out while I was driving. I don’t know how to change one. (I know now – but I didn’t know then!) Nothing gave me more faith in humanity than the man that took 15 minutes to stop and change it for me. He owed me nothing and I didn’t know him. If you can pay it forward and help someone that you don’t know, they might do the same for someone else.
Try New Things
One of the new things that you try may become one of your favorite things on the planet. But you’ll never even know that you’re missing out if you don’t try it.
Food and Sleep
These two things often cure everything. If you’re cranky, you’re probably hungry or tired. This isn’t the cardinal rule always, but most the time, it’s a pretty quick fix.
Get A Role Model
These people are older and wiser than you and give you something to live up to. Pick two people that you admire and want to be most like, and eventually you’ll see that you start developing qualities.
Have and Set Goals
“Those without vision shall perish.” Give yourself goals to work towards. If you have no goals, then you’re aimlessly wandering throughout life. Most people that set goals are successful in meeting them. No matter how far out, weird, or unattainable they may seem.
Believe in Something
Believe in something and have your reasoning worked out as to why you believe in what you believe. Because people will ask questions. And if you’ve just jumped on the bandwagon or are doing something because someone else told you, it’s not valid. Work things out for yourself. It’ll make what you believe in the end more respectable and people might actually listen to you if you’ve done your research.
You Get to Pick Your Friends
You can actually choose who you surround yourself with. *gasp* This isn’t high school anymore! You aren’t stuck with people in a room 8 hours a day that you didn’t choose to be stuck with. You get to pick your friends. With that being said, don’t stay with people who don’t understand you or aren’t good for you. If they aren’t good for you, move on. You have no obligation to stay.
Bad Things Happen to Good People
Not everything that happens in life is awesome. Some bad things happen because of random happenstance. And just because it does, doesn’t mean it’s your fault. Don’t spend your whole life blaming yourself for something that was/is completely out of your control.
Do you have valuable life lessons that you have learned along your journey?
Little Miss Sassy Squats