February 26, 2021

31 Lessons I Learned By 31

1.  Don't waste time.  Of course, you deserve fun and relaxation.  Just be mindful of how much of your time isn't spent on well-earned rest, doing what you love, or being productive.  You're never getting that time back.

2.   Believing in yourself is actually really important.  You are who you think you are.  If you believe you can't accomplish something, you won't try.

3.   Be mindful of your mindset.  It determines your reality.

4.   Dream bigger.  You don't need luck or some amazing talent to be successful.  It's about having the right mindset, working hard, and staying dedicated.  We set our own limits.

5.   Confidence (not cockiness) is actually a good thing.  I was insecure most of my life.  I never would have admitted it at the time, but I felt threatened by confident people.  I basically saw confidence as a negative trait.  I finally started to feel confident around twenty-nine.

     Now, I love being around confident people.  I realized that people who are truly confident aren't the ones trying to bring other people down.

6.   How a person sees you is a reflection of them.  When somebody is mean or judges you harshly, it's because of something that is going on inside them.  Don't take it personally.

     Similarly, if you feel bothered by something that cannot hurt you (like that girl's makeup) it's probably a reflection of something going on inside you.

     People who are truly happy with themselves don't bother to think negatively about others.  They're busy being happy.  They're not looking for ways to ruin their mood.

7.   Don't worry about what people think.  Everyone is on their own journey, and your journey is not for anyone else to understand. 

     You can't possibly please everyone, so don't try (just be kind).  There will be somebody who doesn't see eye to eye with you no matter what.  Don't stray away from your true self by trying to impress others.

8.   Don't compare yourself to other people.  Another person's beauty or success doesn't take away from yours.

     Don't base your expectations on what you see on social media.  People post the highlights of their lives, but off camera, they go through many of the same struggles you do.  Also remember that people don't always look the way they do in their photos.  They're taken in the most flattering poses and at the best angles, and they're often edited.  They have "bad days" too.

9.   During tough times, instead of asking yourself "Why is this happening to me?", ask yourself what you can learn from the situation.

10.  Be grateful for everything (the blessings and the lessons).

11.  Take responsibility for everything in your life.  Don't look to blame other people.  This gives you the power to change the things you aren't happy about instead of seeing yourself as a victim.

     Don't make excuses.  You can always find an excuse if you want to.  Just know that there are people out there who could have used that same excuse but chose not to.

12.  What we prioritize, we do.

13.  It's not selfish to focus on improving yourself.  The better you are, the better you can help others.

14.  Don't be afraid to try new things.

15.  Your plans might change.  You don't have to have your whole life figured out.  If you're not happy with your current path, you still have plenty of time to change.

16.  It's okay to change.  If you're not living as your truest and best self, you should change.

17.  You learn a lot about yourself in your twenties.  You realize you weren't done maturing at 18 (and you're still not).  Your preferences and priorities might change over time.

18.  Thirty year olds are still learning and growing too.

19.  Don't beat yourself up for your mistakes.  Take what you can learn from it and decide how you can best move forward. 

20.  The five by five rule:  If it won't matter in five years, don't spend more than five minutes worrying about it.  (It's unclear who first said this, but credit goes to them.)

21.  Things that seem devastating at the time usually don't turn out to be as bad as they seem.  Avoid catastrophic thinking.

22.  Not everything needs a reaction.  Being mad doesn't help.  You're not "getting back at someone" by thinking about what they did wrong over and over.  You're only hurting yourself by wasting your own time and energy (that you're never getting back).

23.  Be mindful of your energy.  Avoid things that unnecessarily drain you.  Take time to clear your mind.

     Make your mental health a priority (even if your mental health is great - make sure you keep it that way.)   Set whatever boundaries you need to.

24.  Spending time alone is great.

25.  You don't need to be in a relationship.  Being single can be really amazing.  You don't have to get married or have kids.  (I'm not saying I'll never do those things, but it didn't even occur to me until my mid-twenties that it's an option to live a happy solo life.)

26.  The answer to many of your questions (such as those concerning work vs. rest vs. play, or caring for yourself vs. caring for other people, or living in the moment vs. planning for the future, and more) is often a vague "it's all about that balance".

27.  Money isn't evil, and there's nothing wrong with wanting to earn more of it in a fair and honest way.  The more money you have, the more opportunities you'll have.  You can also help more people and have a greater impact.

28.  Write down your ideas and plans.  Don't assume you'll remember them.

29.  Stop buying so much stuff you don't love.  Don't go overboard with the "might as well, it's only twelve dollars" mentality.  You don't want to end up with a house full of stuff that just makes you feel "okay" when you could have instead bought things you really love.

     Before buying something, ask yourself if the purchase will ultimately help you or hurt you.

30.  Spending the end of your twenties freaking out about turning thirty is worse than actually turning thirty.  Just enjoy every age.

31.  I never thought I'd say this, but there are actually some good things about getting older!  I believe my thirties will be better than my twenties. See my post about that here.

Suggested:  Finding Your Passion,