Life is a journey filled with many learning curves. I think it’s natural that the older we get the wiser we become purely based on life experiences. I’m sure I have many difficult lessons to learn in the future but right now, these are the 6 life lessons I’ve learnt in my 20s.
Seasons change…so do people
I was invited to an award ceremony last year where the keynote speaker gave the most incredible speech and I’ll never forget her discussion on exactly this point. Relationships are tricky business. Some are life-long and some are seasonal. The friends you have during your teens often aren’t the friends we have in our twenties and I’m sure that changes further on in life too. As your personality and life develop, you can’t expect that your friends’ lives are developing at the same rate. It is perfectly normal to develop a very strong bond with someone over a few years and a few years later you find yourselves growing in a different direction. This is okay. Don’t beat yourself up about this at all. You’ve enjoyed each other’s company. You’ve laughed and cried together. You’ve built memories together, sure, but that doesn’t mean you have to hold on to something that has grown apart for history’s sake. Love and let go. Wish each other the best and move on.
Grief is a part of life
Losing a loved one is the single-most devastating thing you could experience in this life. I lost my mother at the age of 11. My maternal grandmother stepped into her shoes and we lost her two years ago too. I’ve lost the two most important women in my life so I am well accustomed to the experience of grief. It is at this awful point in life that you decide which road you are going to take. Are you going to let this loss destroy you or motivate you to make your lost loved one proud? Only you can decide this. I know that my mom worked tirelessly to provide me with absolutely every resource to make a success of myself and my gran invested hours to ensure I grew up knowing this. It would be a dishonour to both of these remarkable women not to propel myself forward, both in my career but also in the woman that I am to become. Channel your grief into something productive. Don’t let that gut-wrenching sorrow destroy you. Let it motivate you.
Let me tell you, having a stroke is a life experience that will really put things into perspective. If you’re suffering from headaches week after week, stop ignoring it and go see a doctor. If you’re constantly feeling anxious, start examining the causes of your anxiety. Your career can wait. It may be an inconvenience but, trust me, it’s worth it. Drink water. Wear sunscreen. Have your moles checked every once in a while. Eat more fruit and vegetables. Go for a run. If you won’t run, why don’t you and a friend make a plan to take a walk? Catching up over a walk will make the exercise fun and is so much more beneficial than sitting and drinking coffee.
Dress up and show up
It’s truly incredible how putting on your favourite dress and a swatch of bold lipstick can elevate your mood and give you confidence. The world is your oyster when you play your part. Always remember that your appearance is equivalent of a first interview. If you look put together, people will be more inclined to think that your work will be of high quality and you will act with the utmost professionalism. In essence, you should view your appearance as the marketing of your own brand – yourself. Embrace it. Keep an eye on the time and on the traffic. If people are trusting you with their time, don’t disappoint/disrespect them by being late. It could cost you more than a few minutes. It could cost you a client.
You will never know everything
I’ve learnt that I will never know everything and I will never be expected to either. The best things I’ve been able to do is to identify what I do know and separate that from what I don’t know. When I need something done outside of my scope of expertise I now know that I need to ask someone with that knowledge for help. Not only will that save time, but it will also create a much more favourable outcome than had I attempted to cover all aspects. There’s a reason why the jack of all trades is a master of none. Use your resources.
A little kindness goes a long way
It’s amazing how a smile can light up someone’s whole day. You never know what the next person is going through. Say hello. Ask them how they are. A little kindness won’t cost you a cent but it will enrich the lives of everyone around you. Leave joy behind you like a trail of breadcrumbs. Everyone from your boss to the teller at the supermarket will appreciate it. Be the person that makes others feel better about themselves.
Have you learnt any life lessons that have shifted your perspective or that you meditate on frequently? If so, I’d love to learn from them too so please add them in the comment section below. Life is about learning and growing and it truly is such a wonderful journey. I hope you’ve enjoyed learning the 6 life lessons I’ve learnt in my 20s.