Lessons from my 20s

Notes from myself to myself

You don’t need more of anything external. Everything you need to create your happiness is already inside you.

Know the power of gratitude. How incredible it is to be alive at this exact time and with these people. Appreciate what you’ve got while you have it. You have no idea what could happen at any time. Remember that anything you complain about, someone else is wishing for (and you have no idea when you might too).

Treasure every moment with your loved ones. They matter more than anything else.

Make your life about joy. Find it in the little things. Because in the end those are the big things.

Whatever happens, you’ll handle it.

Worrying won’t change the outcome. When we worry or stress about a future occasion, we’re essentially putting ourselves through it twice.

Let go of judgement. You have no idea what someone is experiencing internally. What looks like an ideal situation from the outside someone could be really struggling with. Equally, someone could be incredibly happy with what looks rubbish from the outside. No-one’s external situation is an indicator of their internal situation.

Your mind is everything. Your thoughts determine your emotions. Your emotions influence your behaviour. Your behaviour creates your reality. You have so much power over what you think and how you act and react.

When you look for beauty, you’ll always find it.

Be more you in everything you do. You are here to let the world see your uniqueness, not to deprive it of it. Honour yourself and don’t waste time hiding away. Imagine if you got to the end of your life and you hadn’t done any of the things you wanted because you were ashamed, scared or worried about being judged.

If you want something different, you have to do something differently.

Make things easy for yourself. When you recognise that you’re overthinking or taking too long over something, ask yourself “what would this look like if it were easy?”

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Everyone’s path is different. You’re not ‘meant to’ have or be anything at any stage in life. Some people will be married and have children at 28; some won’t. Some will be a CEO; some won’t. It doesn’t matter. That’s their path. Appreciate your own journey. There is no right or wrong way to do life. If you’re not happy now you won’t magically be happy when you get the things you think you want. A qualification, a promotion or your perfect house are not going to be the things that complete you or make you happy for the rest of your life. Only you can do that.

Be kind, always. The world needs more kindness, more compassion, more listening, more empathy, more acceptance.

The right time to do it is NOW. You have no idea what could happen in a few weeks or months that could prevent you from doing what you want. Act now. More research, more thinking about it isn’t going to change anything. If you want something different, you have to do something differently and the only difference between you and the people who are doing what you want is that they started doing it. That’s it.

Appreciate the present moment. It’s all you ever have. Your life is this moment. If you always live for some point in the future, your life will pass you by.

Everyone is different.

If someone used your life and actions as an example, what would they learn?

Let go of expectation. Your happiness has nothing to do with your situation, your happiness is dependent on how you view your situation.

If someone says something negative to you, it is usually a reflection of their own beliefs and insecurities and it is nothing to do with you. Other people’s opinions say a lot more about them than they do about you. Equally, this is the case if you ever think something negative about someone else.

Your job is not your purpose. Resist the pressure to ‘find out what you want to do’, some dream career that combines all of your passions and instantly fulfils your purpose. This will make you fall into the trap of waiting until you ‘find out what you want to do’. It’s a myth that there is a perfect job for each person. People have so many unique talents and passions. Merging them into one job is do-able for sure, but every job has its positives and negatives. Finding something that fits you perfectly doesn’t mean you will never feel unfulfilled ever again. Your purpose and happiness are so much more than your job. You contribute your uniqueness to the world every day: through the small actions you take, how you make people feel. What if your purpose is simply to be as you as possible? You’re living it every day.

Everything is temporary. Life is made up of so many chapters, some long, some short, but nothing lasts forever. So, appreciate your life when it’s good and know that the bad will pass. The journey isn’t supposed to be straight and smooth. It’s a unique path and you can take what you choose from each part.

Trust in something: your journey, God, the universe, your gut … It doesn’t matter what it is, just have faith that things will work out in the end.

Everything is teaching you something. You evolve the most through the worst times. Sometimes people will come into your life to teach you what you don’t want. To teach you about yourself. They might break your heart or make you feel low, but in the end, you’ll learn more about yourself than you thought possible and come out the other side stronger and a better version of yourself than ever before. If you got to 60 and had never experienced challenges, imagine what you’d be like: superficial, nothing learnt. Learning and evolving is the whole purpose.

We are designed to evolve. We are never a finished product. Your life will never be a finished product. That’s the beauty of it all, it’s a journey.

This is your LIFE. You are the creator. You’re only here for a short time. Imagine waking up one morning and there’s no more time to live your dreams. Start now.

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