This past week I’ve been sharing some of the lessons I’ve learned in my 33 years of life. You can check them out here and here. Here is the final installment to round up the 33 lessons. Hope you find them as powerful and meaningful as I have.
23. Nurture relationships
Relationships matter. No one lying on his or her deathbed wishes to have spent more time at the office working. Take time to nurture your relationships. Every relationship, whether it is romantic, friendship, or family, is a series of gives and takes. Talk to your family and spend time with your loved ones as often as possible when they’re alive — because they won’t always be.
24. Less is more
I’ve moved residence a couple of times to various places. Each time I’m amazed at how much “stuff” I’ve accumulated over the years that I hardly even use. Everything from clothes, gadgets, books, to just plain old junk. A lot of it I found hard to let go of because I became attached to them. I’ve learnt that you do not need any of it unless it’s directly related to how you live, work, or survive. My aim is to travel light by admitting riches grudgingly into my home but never into my heart.
25. Outside is free
We live in a connected world, where we always feel the need to be immersed into media in some way, shape, or form. Whether it’s the internet, or TV. For me, the world that is worth experiencing is not in front of the TV or computer screen. It’s outside, playing, and doing fun things with people who have a sense of adventure as I do. Go outside, it’s free!
26. Life is a journey, enjoy the ride
Over the years I’ve learnt that the journey is more important that the destination. Enjoy it, make it memorable. Then once you arrive at your destination, it would have been worth it. I remember training for a huge cycle race a while back. The training was brutal, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Race day came and the whether conditions were hazardous to say the least, with winds of over 200km/h. I completed the race, not going to say what my time was, but I completed it. I enjoyed the whole experience despite the end result (destination) not being too favourable.
27. Say sorry
It’s ok to be wrong, but be sure to be the first to apologize and say sorry. Sometimes it’s best to swallow your pride for the sake of reconciling with someone important to you.
28. Happiness is a choice
I believe this is true. No one is in charge of your happiness except you. We always have the choice to be happy, it may not be easy at times but it’s our choice to make. When we choose to be happy things just seem to work out in our favour, and even if they don’t, if we choose to be happy we can accept the situations as they are and move on with our lives, no matter what the outcome.
29. Life goes on
No matter how good or bad a situation is, it will change. When I’m in the midst of turmoil I’ve learned that it’ll pass. I keep on reminding myself: “this too shall pass”. It helps me realize that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel, it reminds me to keep hope alive, to learn the lessons from the stressful situations so that I can deal better in the future. No mater what, life goes on.
30. It’s not all about me
A lot of the time it’s hard to think about the world other than from our own perspective. We are always worried and concerned about what is going on in our lives. What if I don’t get that job? What’s in it for me? Why am I not happy? We are extremely aware of everything that’s going on in our lives. Truth is, it’s not all about me. All we are is dust in the wind.
31. Let go of the past
We can’t change the past, so it’s important that we learn from the past but place our time and energy on the present. When we do this it will shape our future. I remember when I failed my drivers license the first time. I was gutted; lay in bed for two days feeling sorry for myself. Then I decided to let go of that horrible experience, I studied hard and and within 3 months I had my drivers license. If I didn’t let go of the initial bad experience of failing, it probably would have taken much longer to get my license.
32. It’s ok to fail
Some of the toughest lessons we will ever learn is from our failures. These same failures can also provide the most valuable lessons if only we’ll learn from them. After I finished my accounting degree I went into a business venture. It was good at first and I started making some decent profits. Problem was that I squandered it all! Very soon when things got tough with the business I had nothing left to put back into it. I had to end up selling and ultimately made a loss on the whole venture. It was painful. That failure taught me a lot about where my weaknesses were and how to overcome them. I believe I’m better off because of that experience. This same process of using failure to be an effective teaching tool can be applied to almost any area in life. Embrace failure, because sometimes it is just unfinished success.
33. Know God and Be Unstoppable
Knowing God has made all the difference in my life. When my spiritual life is on track everything else just falls into place. It is only through God and by his grace that I am where I am right now: healthy and doing what I love. One of my favourite texts in scripture states: “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13. That’s what motivates me. It all begins with Him. With God by my side I really do feel unstoppable.
What life lessons have you learnt in your life so far? Share in the comments section below.