I came across this picture last week and wish I'd seen it earlier in my life. So I definitely knew I wanted to share it with you all. These are 9 important life lessons, but they certainly aren't the only important ones.
So here we go...
1) It's good to fail. Absolutely, 100% okay to fail. Oh, how I would have tried so many things if I knew this, or at least believed it, when I was younger. I was terrified of failure. When people asked me what I was afraid of, I answered, "Failure." I didn't want to fail at anything, or look like an idiot, or try something and know I couldn't do or complete it.
But that, my friends, is silly. Failure means you are TRYING. It means you are living. It means you are giving it a shot! If you never try new things, you will never know what you are capable of. And I don't know about you, but I could no longer live my life like that. I couldn't play small, wondering what if anymore. I couldn't be afraid of failure. And now? Well, now I look at failure as a way of learning what doesn't work. And I know that I can try other things to reach my goals.
So don't be afraid of failure. Don't be afraid to try new things. Don't be afraid to go all in. You'll never know what you're missing if you don't!
2) It doesn't matter what other people think about you or your situation or what you're doing. I spent SO MUCH OF MY LIFE worrying about what other people thought of me and my choices. And here's what I can tell you...other people don't care about your life. I know that sounds harsh, but we, as humans, are more focused on our own lives than other people's. We worry so much what other people think about us, but other people are more worried about themselves and what people think about them! It's a vicious cycle!
So the next time you find yourself worrying about what other people think, stop and ask yourself, "Do those people's opinions pay your bills?" If the answer is no (and it will be, I promise), then who cares what they think? You do you! And be proud to be you!
3) Hard work always pays off. Always. Put your head down, put the work in, and it will pay off. It may not be how you think it should look, but it will pay off. Don't give up. Never quit. And keep moving forward.
4) You NEED to learn how to say NO. Do not, for whatever reason, become a "yes" man. The only thing that will do is make you extremely unhappy. You'll run yourself into the ground and you will be miserable.
How, you ask, do I know? Oh...well, that's simple. I was a "yes" (wo)man. I felt bad saying no. I didn't want to hurt people's feelings. I didn't want to let anyone down. But the end result is that I let myself down. I hurt my own feelings. I ran myself into the ground trying to please everyone else. I was neglecting myself.
The lesson here is that it's okay to say no. It's okay to put yourself first. Don't run yourself into the ground trying to please everyone else. Here's a helpful tip: If it's not a "Hell yes," it's a NO!
5) As much as we all love money, it won't necessarily make you happier. Yes, it can buy you things and pay your bills, but that doesn't necessarily mean you will be happier. Once again, you're asking how I know this. And once again, the answer is easy. I've been there before. I had a very nice, very high paying government job. But I was miserable. I dreaded going to work every day. I found every excuse to miss work, from calling in sick to taking vacation days, even when I wasn't going anywhere. And ever since I quit said job, I haven't made the same amount of money, but my happiness and joy have been much higher. I've been much happier and healthier and I don't dread getting up and going to work every day. I'd call that a win-win.
6) Communication is key for a successful relationship, whether that's a friendship or a romantic partnership or even a family relationship. You have to be able to communicate, openly and freely. If you're unhappy, don't hold onto it. If you aren't able to speak openly about it with your friend, partner, family member, then you just end up holding onto it and resenting that person. It will end up blowing up in your face, and theirs too. Learn how to express yourself, in a healthy way, of course. I can promise that open communication will be much better for you than holding it in, holding a grudge, and hoping that it just goes away on its own. Too many people lose friendships, relationships due to a lack of communication. Don't let it happen to you.
7) You need to be flexible. Don't hold on so tight to your beliefs and ways that you miss out on some amazing opportunities. I was guilty of this. I was so rigid in how I wanted to make things happen in my life. I held on to my beliefs in how my life "should" look for far too long. And while it's never too late to restart or change your beliefs or your life, I spent a lot of years unhappy with where I was before deciding to make some much needed changes. I finally learned to be flexible and to go more with the flow. To see where God led me. Where life took me. And while I certainly couldn't have imagined where I'd go or what I'd experience, I'm happy for everything I've been through. I wouldn't be who I am today without it. Learn to let go a little bit. Enjoy the ride. See where life takes you.
8) Stay. Away. From. Toxic. People. Oh my goodness. This one is huge! If you spend time with someone and leave feeling drained or upset or uptight, chances are they are toxic to you. I had a friend many years ago that left me feeling this way. I felt as if I was always giving of myself and was never good enough for this person. God forbid if I had my own issues or things going on in my life. It was always about them and I felt drained and uptight following every encounter. It was hard to break myself away from the friendship, but it was 100% what I needed. I had to learn to let go of someone I thought was a friend. And I've been better for it.
9) Giving will make you happier. Unfortunately, this world is all about take, take, take. We're all about what we can get from this world instead of what we can give. But giving, of yourself, your time, your resources, will make you happier. I like to volunteer, but I don't do it as often as I should. I'll admit that I don't make the time for it. I wish that wasn't the case, but it is. Recently, Nick and I volunteered at the Food Bank through his work. I'm very happy we did it, because it was truly a humbling experience. We put together boxes of foods for families to come in and pick up every week. For the problems Nick and I think we have, we aren't worried about feeding ourselves. We have a roof over our head, a bed to sleep in, and food on our table. It humbled me and made me happy to be able to help, even if it was something so small. Now my goal is to volunteer more.
Again, there are additional life lessons, but these 9 are definitely ones I wish I'd learned when I was younger. I know we learn these valuable lessons as we grow older, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't know them now. Take them for what they're worth. Put them into practice the best way you can for your life.
I hope you all have a beautiful week. And take a little something away from this :)
With love and wellness,