So there I am, laying in bed at 10pm in a hotel in Sardinia when a wave of inspiration comes over me and I get up, grab my laptop and start to type. What was so urgent? Well, I recently posted a video over on my youtube channel where I discussed the top 5 life lessons that I have learned so far in my short 22 year existence. It went down really well and I feel the need to expand upon it in a blog post. So here you go, my top 10 life lessons I have learned.
1. You will be treated how you allow people to treat you.
This is one of the biggest lessons that I have ever learned. Demand respect. If someone knows that you will take poor treatment, they will continue to treat you this way. If they know that you won’t accept that, then they won’t do it. Stand up for yourself. No one, seriously no one, deserves to be treated badly or belittled. If someone tries to bring you down, realise that this is a reflection of their own lack of self worth. Either ignore them, or tell them where to stick it.
2. You don’t really grow up.
I remember being a child, looking at people my age and thinking that they were so old and mature. In reality, we are all just blagging our way through adulthood, making mistakes and attempting to keep up appearances. None of us have a clue what we are doing. I am still getting my head around taxes and expenses. I am just an 18 year old girl stuck inside a 22 year olds body.
3. There is so much more to life than academics and work.
This is something that I am SO guilty of. Too often I will put work before everything else – relationships, friendships, my family. I end up feeling stressed and lacking balance. More recently I have consciously taken time out every single day to talk to a loved one or spend time with my friends. The difference in my mindset is huge. I feel so much better for it. Business is all well and good, and I will work hard to achieve my goals. However, i have now realised the importance of everything else in life. Its the memories, the relationships, the experiences and the moments that you will look back on when you’re older. Time needs to be put into these.
4. Do what you love, love what you do.
I spent 4 years studying an area that I did not end up wanting to work in. I felt so much pressure to follow the career path that the degree set down for me and I almost did. However, I came to my senses and soon realised that your career is your life, so you need to do what you love. So I went against my parents wishes and everyone else’s expectations and starting working in fitness. It was the best decision I ever made. I wake up every single morning and look forward to the day ahead. I love my job and I could not be happier.
5. There is value in being alone, and by alone I mean single.
Sure – being in a relationship is amazing and it teaches you so much about yourself, but being single is also hugely important. I think that everyone should spend an extended period of time alone. This allows you to learn about yourself, become comfortable in yourself and accept yourself. As a result, you will not rely on anyone else for happiness or support. You will know that you can support yourself and be totally happy by yourself. Therefore, when you enter into a relationship you will feel stable and secure, plus if your partner ends up treating you poorly or things go badly – you know that you can leave and be happy on your own.
6. There is always someone worse off than you who is happy with all they have; so be grateful.
Realise how lucky you are. How lucky that you have the technology available to read this blog post. How lucky to have food on the table. How lucky to have an education. The more aware you are of these things, the more you will realise you have to be grateful for. Stay humble. Don’t take things for granted.
7. You are a direct reflection of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
Surround yourself with positive people. If someone is being a negative Nigel and makes you feel like shit, then try to avoid them. If you can’t, then ignore them. Find the people that make you happy, that empower you, support you and radiate positivity. The people that bring out the best in you. Find them, and keep them close. Spend time with them. These people are hard to come by. Don’t be afraid to only have a handful of close friends – I would much rather have 3 amazing uplifting friends than 10 crappy ones.
8. Value the little things.
Sure the big things are great – but it is important to learn to appreciate the smaller ones too. The colour of autumn leaves. Breathing in crisp morning air. Breakfast in bed. Clean sheets. Hugs. The more aware you are of these and the more you appreciate them, the happier and more positive your outlook on life will be. There are so many reasons to be happy, we are surrounded by them every single day, we just need to notice them.
9. Collect memories and moments, not objects. Experiences are so much more valuable than items.
When someone asks me what I value the most, they expect me to say my iPhone or my laptop, but I always say my memories. I have been lucky enough to travel the world throughout my childhood and teenage years, as well as backpack through Asia more recently. These trips have taught me so much, and the experiences I have had on them have been life changing. I will never forget some of the incredible moments I have experienced. I would happily sacrifice objects for these memories. The experiences you value don’t have to be from travel, they can be anything. A day at the park, as trip to the seaside. But consciously reflect on these, realise how amazing they are. Write them down, scrapbook about them, do something. Don’t lose them.
10. It is not how other people feel about you, but how you make other people feel.
I want people who meet me to leave my company and feel positive, happy and uplifted. I don’t want to be one of those people that drains you and makes you feel negative. Be someone that you want to meet, be someone that you want to be. Compliment people. Smile at strangers. Be kind. Be patient. Encourage people. Congratulate them. Make people feel good – you never know how much they might need it.