Hi guys! Gosh I'm old. Haha. Kidding. So I've spent previous birthdays throwing parties or something similar, and this year, I thought I'd give back to my readers, my friends, and people who stumble upon any of my socials by relating what I've experienced and things I learned from them. Like they say, the best way to avoid mistakes is learning from another person's experiences.
If you're more of a reader, I've listed the points I mentioned in the audio above. Here are the 25 things I’ve learned in the 25 years of my life. (I talked about more things on the audio post so... haha.)
1. Appreciate every experience.
Even the negative things that have happened in your past helped shape who you are now. Learn to acknowledge these experiences, even the most hurtful ones. Realize that no matter how big or small, positive or negative, they changed you.
2. Spend your money wisely.
When you do this, you get to save. When you save, you make your future self happy. I think the key here is rethinking each purchase, assessing if you need the item or if it's a want. Just think: each dime you spend now, you owe to the bank account of your future self. While I have yet to master such a feat, I'm trying really hard to save. Pastel, cute, random items still get the best of me though.
3. Do not compare your life to the life of others. You will never be happy.
The person you're comparing yourself with went through something totally different from you. If you're chasing the life of a person you deem successful, you'll never be happy! Just because another person is able to go on frequent trips abroad, doesn't mean your life sucks. Be happy with what you have now. If you're sulking because a friend of yours has found his calling, chill! You might find yours in a little while. Don't rush success.
4. Who you were at 20 doesn’t define who you are at 25.
Your mentality changes as you explore more of life. If you were a stuck-up little Miss Priss at 20 (ugh, me) who thought partying was for punks and wild kids, that thinking will change. You'll meet more people who'll share their views, and the more you hang out with them and explore the world, the more you'll change as well. What you once thought was incredibly disagreeable might turn out to be something you enjoy in a few years.
5. Fame isn’t everything.
I used to believe that if I only had fame, I'd be happy and get everything I want. I used to think that if I became a famous designer, it would be okay to bask in the fame and not really care about anything else. Well, fame shouldn't be your goal. Fame is a way to spread your message or advocacies, and it should go way beyond just being popular. Use it to influence other people and help them reach their potential.
6. The world isn’t always looking at you, so loosen up.
I don't mean 'go wild' when I said loosen up. I used to be so conscious about everything - my looks, my actions, how people see me - just everything. Whenever I would step in a room, I'd feel every judging stare so I'd put on a persona to hide behind. Well, here's what I'll tell you now: not everyone who looks actually sees you. Don't stress yourself out and be overly anxious on how the world perceives you. Relax, have a bit of fun every now and then. Just make sure it's legal.
7. When you want something, go get it. Don’t let fear control you.
If someone had forced this onto me as a teenager, I knew I would've done more and achieved more. I had been such a shy person for years that I mistook fear for shyness. The truth is, I had been so afraid of rejection & making a fool of myself that I rarely reached out to any opportunity. There were so many, and I was so afraid of messing up. Here's my tip to you: if someone is trying to open a door for you to do something good, don't reinforce it with steel and weights. Open it, do it. I learned the hard way.
8. Dream as Big as you can.
Don't let others tell you otherwise. Dreaming is free, so why not dream the largest, craziest dream you can? Don't stay within your country or your comfort zone. Go out there and show the world what you've got! Don't wait for the time when you're ready and people have moved on from you, to someone else who did it right the first time and took the chance.
9. Meet lots of people. Don’t let your shyness take the best years of your life.
Again, I wish someone had talked me into believing this in my teens. So many opportunities lost, so many people unmet, so many regrets. It never hurts to greet a stranger when you are in an elevator together, or maybe smile at someone you lock eyes with at the mall for a few seconds. What are you so afraid of?
10. Do not stress over situations in your life that cannot be controlled.
You can't control the weather, so why stress yourself out when a good dress is ruined by the rain? You can't control traffic, so why will you rage when you're stuck in the middle of one with no way out? Your energy will be better used doing something worthwhile, like being thankful that the weather is cool and only your dress got the beating. Maybe sing a song or two in your car in traffic and tell yourself you really can't do anything to speed it up. How you respond is key.
11. Don’t feel like you’re entitled to everything.
You're not the center of the world. Don't think that just because you have the money or the connections, you have the right to say anything and everything you want. Just because you feel like you worked your ass off at college, doesn't mean the world owes you a stable job and high salary. You have to work for it.
12. Learn how to weed out toxic people in your life.
I wish I could've done this sooner. I could've saved myself from trying to make them like me when all they were concerned about was themselves and how I could help them. I have nothing against helping out others, but when all we talk about is you, you, you... I think I have to draw the line. Toxic people are Negative Nancies. Look for people who will inspire you and push you towards fulfilling your goals.
13. Books are better than boys.
Do I really need to explain this? Every book is a different adventure, a new learning, a new experience. Boys are, well, boys, but a book does a lot more than make you smile and feel elated and wanted (not saying that's all boys do but I think you get my point). Invest in books and discover the world.
14. Hating on things/people doesn’t make you cool.
Why do people hate on other people? Is it because they really don't like them (with valid reason) or because they're just going along with the crowd? What you like and don't like talk about you as a person. Hate is such a strong word too, and besides, your energy could be put into saying positive things about people you do like. If you don't like a celebrity, why would you go to their channel just to leave a hate comment? Waste of energy.
15. Losing your footing from time to time is OKAY.
We can't always have our sh*t together 24/7, every day of the year. There are times when we want to chill and admit to ourselves that, "hey, I don't know what to do, but I'll think of something". It's OKAY to be lost. It's okay to screw up from time to time. Just don't stay there. Make sure you get back up and have people around you to help out.
16. Invest in yourself. It's TOTALLY worth it.
For the past year, I've been investing in online classes, seminars, and workshops, and I know more now than I did a year ago. I've realized things about myself, what my strengths really are and how I can help others find theirs. Learn as much as you can now, and your future self will thank you so much for it. The more skills you know, the more doors are available for you to open.
17. Don't get too comfortable with where you are now.
"The more comfortable you are with a job you don't want to be doing, the harder it will become to leave it and chase your dreams." (Business Insider)
It's not that I don't like or enjoy what my job is right now - It's just that I know I could be doing more with my time. I love the people I work with, and the environment I'm in every day at work. I learn so much, and have used those learnings a few times in my work and other engagements. The thing is though, if it's the reason you still haven't pursued your dreams 100%, I think it's time to reconsider.
18. Always say "Thank You".
You could [literally] save someone's life or make their day better. Never brush off what these two words can do to someone. You've really got nothing to lose. It's not like you embarrass yourself every time or subject yourself to judgement. Little things matter. Being grateful matters.
19. If you get a chance to change the world, TAKE IT.
I regret not grabbing opportunities when they were presented to me, simply because I didn't feel adequate or worthy for the task. Not many people get tapped to help their community or country, so when someone asks you to do a workshop or talk about something you love, don't shy away. Grab it. Change the world.
20. You REALLY can’t please everyone, no matter how hard you try.
Sadly, not everyone will appreciate your efforts. What you can focus on is caring for the people who you do please, and put your effort into becoming better at what you are doing. If you have a boss who likes one thing and coworkers who like another, find a middle and work from there. Don't feel like you have to impress everyone to be successful. You'll end up in a battleground you have zilch control over.
21. Spend time with your family. They won’t always physically be there.
So much truth in such a sad thought. I'm sure everyone wants their family to be complete forever, but reality is harsh. While you still can, spend time with the people who matter, make memories that will get you through the days when they're no longer there, make them happy, and fulfill their dreams if you can. You wouldn't be where you are without your family, biological or not. Cherish them. Love them, and tell them.
22. An attitude of procrastination will get you nowhere.
If you keep putting things off for later, you'll be oweing your future self a lot. What you can do now, do today. It's stressful to be doing so many things, and piling them up for the "you" tomorrow is such a douche move. If you want to fulfill your goals and live your dreams, don't procrastinate! Me a man/woman of action! I haven't perfected this, but little by little, I'm making up for all those days I've procrastinated. It's hard, but it's worth it.
23. Nothing is permanent. Cherish, love, & appreciate what matters.
Like I said previously, not everything will remain. What you have now, be grateful and use it to motivate you and others. Learn from what you experience, take care of the people and things you have been entrusted with, and acknowledge every little thing. You might not think something is important, but a few years forward, that event or person might have been a crucial element into what you will become.
24. Don’t settle for a man/woman just because everyone else is in a relationship.
Don't give in to pressure, whether from friends, family, or society. You know yourself better than anyone, and just because your peers are getting married left and right, or getting hook-ups left and right, doesn't mean you're a bore or you're missing out on "all the fun". Take things in stride. Relax, enjoy being single. When the right one comes along, you won't have to struggle with your "status" or happiness. Everything else just follows.
25. Your age shouldn’t keep you from doing what you love.
I know people who are in their 40s or 50s but are still pursuing their dreams. As a good friend of mine said, age is just a number, and shouldn't define your capabilities. There are plenty of 20-somethings who perform as if they're in their later years, while some seniors party like teens on acid (uhuh, seen people like that). Don't let your age define you! You're more than a number. Remember that.
Wherever you are, know that there are people out there who are experiencing the same thing or who have been on a similar road in the past. Don't be afraid to reach out and ask for advice. Learn from other people and don't make the same mistakes they've done. :)