25 Valuable Things I’ve Learned About Life Before My 25th Birthday
1. Life isn’t a race.
There is nowhere to go and nowhere to be. Death is waiting for us all and it’s more important to slow down and live in the moment. It’s infinitely more important to appreciate the now than to be in a hurry for the future. Patience and focus is incredibly important and vital to long term success.
2. People come and go.
Those worth staying do and the rest don’t. That’s okay. The bond that keeps you close to people in your high school and college years sometimes fades as you start to discover who you are and what you value in life. Realize that you have something to learn from everyone and each relationship is your teacher.
3. Learning how to truly listen is an incredibly valuable tool to have.
That means being all ears. Not thinking about what you’re going to say in response to someone when they’re speaking. Genuinely listening and not only that, but listening with an empty cup. Sometimes when your cup is full, you miss the point entirely.
4. Telling people how much you appreciate who they are in your relationship with them is important.
We’ll often assume that just because we spend time with someone they know how we feel about them and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. People are emotional creatures and the average person needs reassurance every once in a while. Some people’s senses are predominantly auditory so just being with them doesn’t make nearly the impact as actually saying something.
5. Drinking and drugs when done in excess lead to nowhere and destroys you on every level.
There is nothing wrong with drinking alcohol in moderation, but when it’s done every weekend repeatedly and you can’t go out and enjoy a weekend without it, or if things are boring without it, there Is a problem. Alcohol is INCREDIBLY toxic for your body not only destroys you physically, but it robs your bank account and dumbs you down. A wakeup call to those who think otherwise: alcohol doesn’t make you sharper or smarter. It numbs you.
6. Who you are inside is much different from the mask you wear in society.
We’re bread to fit in. And it doesn’t really feel right. That’s why most people aren’t willing to stand up for what they believe in and take control of their lives. Learning how to and being WILLING to peel the onion away is just as important as taking care of your health or living a healthy lifestyle. Diving into your inner world is just as important as taking care of things in the physical world around you.
7. The more risk you take, the better off you’ll be.
Staying comfortable is your worst enemy. That is, if you want to grow and improve your life. We’re hard-wired to stay comfortable. But consistently pushing yourself and getting out of your normal routine and doing things that you fear and is uncomfortable is the key to becoming a better version of yourself.
8. Sacrifice is a big part of life.
Nothing good comes without sacrifice. If we could all be millionaires, living out our dreams in every waking moment, life wouldn’t be the way it is. Nobody said life was going to be easy, and there is often an incredible amount of sacrifice that is needed to get to the places you want to be. Sacrifice of time, fun, relationships and having to endure resistance.
9. Our soul craves being able to give back and help others in some way.
As a kid, teenager and young adult, you’re convinced that you are the center of the universe and that everything revolves around you. The ego is strong and it’s all about “me, me, me” but you’ll come to a point and eventually realize the bigger picture. That we’re all in this game together, and no matter what the news, culture or negative perspective is out there to make you think otherwise, you realize that we are brother and sisters and that we need each other. And that is perfectly okay.
10. Everybody worships. Even atheists worship something. You have to find what is important to you.
Whether you worship money, fame, power, control, security, a god, your physical body, appearances, dreams or anything else, you have to start looking within to find out what you spend a lot of time attracted to and thinking about. You’ve got to look deeper to find out why and what it means for you. Learn to accept and be okay with what it is you If it doesn’t serve you or hurts others, than work on understanding it and recreating yourself.
11. Worrying about what others think about you and trying to live up to other people’s standards is the fastest way to mediocrity and unhappiness.
I see this as one of the biggest problems with the world today. It’s not just 1 person, it’s actually something we need to grow through as humans. We’re so concerned about fitting in with society and living up to the expectations of the people around us, that it keeps us locked in. We stay living in our minds, continually confronting an alien world. True freedom comes from being yourself in every moment, non-attached and not afraid of the people around you. Learn to play out your internal music often and loud and people will start to come by and listen.
12. A gratitude list goes a long way.
We forget how incredibly blessed we are. Just take away a simple convenience you have in your life and you’ll see how difficult things might become. Without appreciating what you have now, you’ll never appreciate what you’ll have in the future. Learning how to be truly grateful in the present moment is a POWERFUL thing. Without gratitude, there are a lot of things you won’t be able to do.
13. Facing your own mortality, understanding and contemplating your own death is the GREATEST catalyst on earth.
There is no thing greater than death. Death is the end all, be all, of anything. Anything you compare to death has no significance. So then, instead of continuing to live as if you’ll live forever, keeping your thoughts about death locked away in a box in your mind, Start meditating on it, start contemplating your eventual vanishment from this earth and watch your life transform. As everything becomes clear, truths become known and suddenly all the stupid questions disappear and you start to focus on what is truly important.
14. Self-Respect is a big part of happiness.
With true self-respect comes many things. When you respect yourself you come to the realization that this body your gifted with is an incredible temple, and you start putting real effort into taking care of it and nurturing it. That means you start eating better. You avoid toxic and processed foods and you avoid frequent consumption of drugs and alcohol. You start exercising more frequently so that your body stays in good shape and in good health. With self-respect, you appreciate the gift of being alive and in turn you’re more respectful and connected to other people around you. You stop letting negative thoughts, emotions and habits run your life, because you realize a deeper truth.
15. The environment is nothing more than an extension of myself.
What I see and experience to be “out there” is actually inside me. That is why two people can look at the same thing and have an entirely different experience of it. There is no “out there.” It’s all inside you. When my environment is clean, organized and positive, I feel peace, balance and harmony. That uncomfortable hovering cloud disappears.
16. Learning to say No is a powerful.
Learning to say no is like a muscle. At first it might be hard, but as you do it more, you become better and better at it. Learning to say no to people and things don’t serve you will save you time, money, health and an emotional roller coster.
17. Understanding the power of 1 can change your life.
Everything can be broken down into steps of 1. Anything you want to do, experience, places you want to get to in life. Everything can be broken down into its next individual step. Learning how to break things down into steps of 1 and then doing your best to take the next right step, will help you make HUGE changes in the long term. Being 1% better than you were yesterday will change your life dramatically in just 1 year. By writing 1 thing down every day that you’re going to do that is positive and that will improve your life as an individual will change your life in ways you can’t imagine.
18. Comparing yourself to others is a quick road to depression, inaction, feelings of low self-worth and misery.
Although it’s a somewhat natural thing to do, it doesn’t really serve us. It’s more of a survival tool than anything else. And since we aren’t caveman and women and life isn’t purely about surviving anymore, we can stop with the constant comparing. The only person you should ever compare yourself to is yourself. Your own highest and best potential. You don’t know other people’s story, their lives, what they were given, the knowledge and experiences they received growing up. What you see on the outside is only a tiny reflection of what came before and what had to go into it.
19. Stepping up and being a leader is one of the best things you can do.
Most people say they want to be leaders but aren’t willing to step up to the plate. The leader is someone comprised of bravery, courage and action inspite of fear, consequences and challenges they might run into. Being a leader means taking full responsibility for the bad and the good. Taking on more responsibility is sometimes a good thing and should be done in order for you to grow and become a better version of yourself.
20. When you eat, share your food.
There is something instinctually bonding about offering to share your food with the people around you. It’s hard to explain, but if you’ve ever been around someone who offers to share their food with you or wants you to try some, you’ll notice a unique feeling you get deep down. Try it and notice how the dynamic changes.
21. Learning more about the present moment and understanding how to be fully immersed in it will improve your character.
If you haven’t read any personal development books or dived into that side of life yet, start now. The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle is a great book to start with. In the fast paced technology run world we live in, we’re constantly distracted by something and either thinking about the past or the future and we lose the ability to stop, slow down and live in the present moment. Meditation is another great practice to start doing if you find yourself too caught up in your own head all the time.
22. See the best in others and choose love over fear.
They say the emotion behind every thought we have is either rooted in love or fear. Notice your thinking patterns. Notice your inner dialogue. Notice what you think about when it comes to yourself, your own life and that of the world around you. Are your thoughts coming from a place of genuine love, appreciation, positivity and happiness? Or are the roots based in anger, jealousy, fear, aggression, a victim mentality and hopelessness?
23. Things aren’t as personal as you think.
Because of the fact each of us feels that we are at the center of the universe, that our consciousness is somewhere right behind our eyes and in the middle of our head, confronting the world, we think that everything happening around us is because of us. And that couldn’t be further from the truth. People will do things, say things and act in ways that have nothing to do with us, yet many of us will take things personally and be rattled emotionally by it. Learning how to let go of this notion and understanding that nothing has power over you unless you give it that power will free you from constantly being pushed and pulled by the waves of the world.
24. The world owes you nothing.
Waiting around for other people to do things or to make things happen is going to waste your time. Nobody said being a human was easy and that it was going to be a cake walk. Everything you want to experience in life has to come from the effort and time you put in. You have to prove yourself.
25. Don’t apologize for being you.
Don’t hold yourself back because you’re afraid of making others uncomfortable. It doesn’t matter who you are, no matter how good or positive you try to be, you’ll always get resistance and find haters or people who will try to bring you down, but don’t pay attention to them. It’s better to be disliked by many and adored by a few for and be your true self, rather than live a lie and try to win everyone’s attention.
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