27 Life Lessons From 27 Years

I turn 27 years old today.

That's 9,855 days - that I've spent experiencing and learning and growing - evolving into today.

Most of those days were spent in utter confusion.

Walking around life with my eyes wide open but my soul closed shut.

Not understanding my place in this world.

But - through experience - we learn.

There's an old saying that goes, "there's nothing new under the sun."

All the mistakes that can be made, have already been made by someone else.

There is value in learning from one another.

Because even if we've gone through similar experiences, the lessons we took away can look completely different. The reason being: our perceptions are unique to us.

No one sees what you see, even if they see it too.

You're wiser today than you were yesterday.

I'm wiser tomorrow than I am today.

Together, by sharing our growth, we can try and consume all that this life has to teach us.

So here are 27 life lessons I've learned in my 27 years of life.

4+4=8, but so does 5+3

There's more than one way to do life.

There is no universal timeline, speed, or method to get from point A to point B.

Worrying about other people's life trajectories and comparing them to yours is just a waste of time.

Focus on yourself. Focus on creating a unique life that works for you.

Only people who are unhappy with themselves are mean to others

How other people treat you has nothing to do with you.

The way someone treats you is a reflection of what's going on inside of them.

Angry people aren't mad at you, they're just dealing with (or ignoring) their own internal unrest.

Question everything

Does it make sense, or is just what everyone else is doing?

Have passionate opinions, but form them on your own accord. Don't just take things face-value. Be curious enough to raise questions, and then arrive at your own conclusions.

No one actually knows what they're doing.

When I was a kid, I used to think adulthood came with some sort of detailed map that tells you how to navigate through life.

But as it turns out, barely anyone has any idea what they're doing. We're all just trying our best.

Life = one big compilation of trials and errors.

Never underestimate the value of your health

The quality of your life depends on your physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing.

Your health depends on everything you consume.

Being healthy facilitates freedom. Freedom to move freely. To breath freely. To experience your day without any hospital visits - without any physical limitations - or mental ones.

Take care of your body and your mind - that's your home.

Listen more than you speak

Don't listen to respond.

Listen to listen - it helps build meaningful relationships, and it makes others feel heard and validated.

And it teaches you a thing or two.

Don’t just act curious, be curious. You'll find yourself in more intense, insightful conversations with more interesting people when you express genuine interest in learning more from others. Knowledge is power, and everyone knows something you don't.

Listen and learn.

Travel is an incredible teacher

Be selfish while you can.

Before you get a mortgage - before you grow roots in one place - invest in traveling (preferably alone). Meet new people. Experience new cultures. Expose yourself to all things different, new and exciting. Seeing the world and immersing yourself in the unknown expands your empathy and reshapes you into a more open-minded person. Tease the edges of your comfort zone, and experience your greatest growth.

A mind that is stretched by new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. -Oliver Wendell Holmes

Accept yourself.

I've spent the majority of my days consumed by the opinions of others.

And what a waste of time that's been.

In order to feel confident and at home in your own body, you have to show yourself love and acceptance.

Surrender to your circumstances and accept yourself, because when your comparison point shifts from without to within, you'll finally become engulfed with the wave of inner peace you deserve.

“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.” - Dr. Wayne Dyer

What you're not changing, you're choosing.

Your reality is a reflection of your mind.

Life is an expression of the choices we make.

Unhappy? Ask yourself what steps you are taking to change that.

Your reality is created in your mind

It is impossible to feel bad and at the same time have good thoughts. -Rhonda Byrne

We are what we believe we are.

You are in control of your thoughts - not the other way around.

And all those limitations you think you have...those were also created in your mind.

Your mind is your most powerful tool.

Connect with it.

Don't spend time with people who don't treat you well

You can't change the people around you, but you can change the people around you.

The people you surround yourself with either enhance your reality or bring you down to their level.

Choose your company wisely.

Comparing yourself to others is an utter waste of your time

Your comparison point should be internal.

Compare yourself today to who you were yesterday.

Everyone is on their own unique journey, and that is largely, none of your business.

Make yourself the best version of yourself.

Energy doesn't lie. Trust the vibes you feel

Everything is energy.

Your intuition knows more than your ego does.

Listen to energy when it speaks to your essence.

And not everyone deserves your energy - remember that.

Exchange your limited energy supply wisely and consciously.

No one can read your mind

You can't expect your needs and desires to be met if you don't communicate them.

No one knows what's going on inside the complexities of your mind.

Communication is key.

Choose to surrender

To the moment.

To your circumstances.

Accept what you can't change, and change what you can't accept.

When you let go and surrender, you give the universe the space it needs to exceed even your wildest dreams.

Rejection is redirection.

Look at every closing door as an entrance to somewhere else.

If it doesn't work out, that means that it was never supposed to.

Ask yourself, "what did this experience teach me?"

What did I learn?

Whatever is meant for you, will be yours, when you're ready to receive it.

Never stop the inner work.

Connect with your essence.

Peel your subconscious open. Deliberately. Delicately, or with force.

Get in there through your own introspection.

Reflect on your days. Reflect on your childhood, and how its actively affecting how you experience this life.

In order for any of your outer reality to reflect what your inner being needs or desires, you have to understand who you are and what brings you joy.

“When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another and ourselves.” - Jack Kornfield

Set your boundaries, yesterday

Your boundaries tell others how you want to be treated.

In order for others to respect you, they have to respect your boundaries.

In order to respect yourself, you have to respect your own boundaries.

And news flash - they do not create or enforce themselves.

Set your boundaries, yesterday.

Embrace your failures.

“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” - C.S. Lewis

You need to fail in order to succeed.

Setbacks and mistakes are just building blocks towards reaching your success.

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” - Thomas A. Edison

Journals are free therapy

What's important is that you're having a relationship with your mind.

Write everything down.

Untangle your thoughts.

Understanding how you feel can only come from reflecting on how you feel.

Everyone knows something you don't

You can learn something from everyone. The janitor. The CEO. The mailman. The widow. The lion tamer. The small business owner. The entrepreneur. The waitress. The teacher.

Everyone knows something you don't - so have the humility and compassion and empathy to learn from them.

Learning makes life interesting.

Be open to the vast classroom that is this space of life.

Fill your life with experiences, not things

Experiences are what you'll remember when you're on your way out of this lifetime.

Not possessions.

Memories that brought you comfort, love, gratification, confidence, peace, and growth.

Not possessions.

Don't let society fool you into thinking you need material possessions in order to feel good and whole.

Read books

Stimulate your mind. Expand your vocabulary. Increase your knowledge.

You are so lucky to have had the opportunity to receive an education.

If you can read, you can literally learn anything.

That is power. Harness it.

Fix your diet now

Your diet is not only what you eat - it's what you consume.

It's what gets absorbed into your mind, body, and soul.

Consume nutrients. Consume positive energy. Consume open-minded growth.

Habits are just repeated behaviors. Get into the habit of feeding yourself things that provide fuel, not poison.

Your past does not determine your future

You're not responsible for the hand you were given to begin this life, but you are definitely responsible for how you respond to it.

Dwelling on the past does nothing for you.

You can't change it. The only things you can change, are in this moment.

The present moment is all you ever have. There is never a time when your life is not 'this moment'. -Eckhart Tolle

There's a huge difference between ambition and initiative

Having ambition is a beautiful thing, but I've learned that without initiative, ambition doesn't receive any fuel to manifest into your reality - so it just becomes stagnant.

Have ambitions, but don't allow yourself to live only in that dream state.

You have the power to manifest the life of your dreams.

Have initiative.

Take action.

Success is not a destination

Success is not served on a silver platter – but rather, is presented as a cumulation of many, many errors. It's an everyday journey, perpetuated through the way you speak to yourself - your actions - your hobbies - and what you exchange your energy for.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs

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