I’m 32 today! At this time of year I always reflect on life lessons earned and applied and I often write them down. This year I’ve decided to share 32 of them.*
Indulge me, and learn something while you’re at it.
1. I love my now because, at least, I’m in it. All there is is the current state, the now. It may or may not be pleasant, but no matter, because, I AM HERE.
2. Planning is worthwhile. Planning aligns my intention for accomplishing a goal and whatever course of action is needed. Planning tells the Universe, that, yes, I am so serious and clear that my intention will be reality. Even if my plan doesn’t come together the way I wanted, my intention will be my reality as long as I trust the Universe to support my greatest good.
3. Regular engagement of my creative energy raises the vibrational energy of my life. More Creativity is the path to More Joy. (I created the More Creativity, More Joy! Program for a reason!)
4. Peace is many things, including the ability to recognize when conflict is not worth my energy, and acting upon that recognition.
5. “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” My lesson learned, but the phrasing is courtesy of an episode of Black Ink Crew.
6. Sleep is the best investment of time, ever. Regular investment of 8 hours to my sleeping life benefits my waking life tremendously!
7. Regular meditation breeds clarity of thought and receptiveness to the messages the Universe is trying to send to me.
8. It’s not that actions speak “louder” than words. Speaking words is an action too. But you can learn how a person prioritizes their life by their actions, including the act of choosing the words they use.
9. Trust authenticity. “Nice” isn’t a bad thing, but it’s bullshit. It’s a social strategy that we’re all taught, including the meanest and most evil. The meanest motherfucker on the planet could be a nice person when you meet them.
10. Forgiveness frees me from wishing my past was any different but it does not absolve the person who hurt me.
11. In-person introductions are the most effective way to introduce and to be introduced. All other means (via email, online ad, post-it note, etc.) can work too, but no where near as effective or impactful.
12. Pretty sure Dr. Maya Angelou said this, but people will readily forget what you said to them. They will readily remember how they felt in your presence.
13. There’s a book called “Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?” I haven’t read it yet but I have learned there is a correlation between outer physical clutter and inner physical clutter. I just bought the book for my birthday.
13. Gratitude is a worthwhile practice. Being genuinely grateful for you and what you have, and intentionally expressing that gratitude, attracts more of what you’re grateful for. Gratitude also feels good.
14. Things that are physically hard to do — like burpees — or mentally hard — like building a business— get easier the more I do it, even when that hard thing at first seemed impossible to do.
15. Regularly building your body’s strength through challenging physical activity also builds your mental strength and capacity to conquer mental challenges. Thank you, New York State Bar Examiners, for giving me the opportunity to learn this one.
16. Entrepreneurship teaches me about my gifts and talents, how to communicate those gifts and talents with others, about true wealth, about ME at my best and my worst.
17. “You cannot affirm a negative.” Saying “I don’t want X” will attract more of X in your life, and not the absence of X. It’s all about the focus of your affirmation/thought/idea. I’ve heard this before but learned it one day while running, while repeatedly affirming mentally that I couldn’t bear running that day. I bore it for 40 minutes.
18. Worry and love are not the same. Worry (a form of fear) is constrictive and dense. Love is expansive and light.
19. Creating easy and simple goals helps make a desired habit a part of regular practice. I make my habit-building goals so easy that I can’t say no to them. This article introduced me to this idea a month ago.
20. It’s given me great peace to accept that I will not do it all at once and I do not have to do it all at once (though, of course, I believe I can do it. All of it!).
21. The way you adorn your body (clothing, accessories, makeup) absolutely impacts the way you feel and says a ton about the way you want to show up in the world. You can dress for success, though the “dress” is not usually the success.
22. When it comes to accomplishment, consistency trumps intensity. Thanks to WeightWatchers for that lesson!
23. The keys to creating connections are to have something to share, to be willing to share it and (of course), to share.
24. Focusing on what I have to give to a relationship (as opposed to what I can get) benefits me and the person I’m relating to.
25. There is freedom in accepting full ownership of the faults and foibles passed to me from my parents. 32 is well past the age where I can, authentically, blame my parents for any of my shit.
26. My “one” – my greatest love – is me. All other relationships are defined by, and emanate from, the relationship I have with myself. When my self relationship is heightened and improved, all other relationships benefit. I am the one I’ve been waiting for.
27. No one can tell me my truth better than me, but when I’m ignoring my truth, the Universe will remind me, somehow, to get authentic with myself!
28. Whatever goes on in the dark always comes into the light. Always. And when that Universal truth is resisted, the “coming out” event will always be…significant. (Whether it’s good or bad depends on what’s going on in the dark!)
29. If I want to make something happen in my life, I have to show up fully in whatever I’m doing to make it happen. Half-assed efforts = half-assed results.
30. I can’t do well in a task or in accomplishing anything if Im not clear on why. The “how” (the plan) is helpful (see #2) but I MUST be clear on why. Without knowing “why,” my path is aimless.
31. In order for someone to cut you down, they first have to recognize your height. And if they can recognize your height (i.e., your greatness), you should too, since recognizing your greatness is one of your jobs while you’re here. The sound of their hate is a form of applause; your haters are truly your congratulators.
32. Comparing my life to others’ lives, as a means of self-evaluation, is a waste of time and self-destructive. I’ve known this as my truth for a long time, but this doesn’t stop me from comparing my life to others now and then. So I happened upon a mental trick to keep me grounded: I put myself, in my mind, in first place. [Thanks to 2Chainz and Kanye for the inspiration. No bad bitch contest here though.]
This doesn’t mean I’m in first place in comparison to others. It means there’s no need to compare. It means that my life’s standard (the best possible) is really damn high.
I’m in first place.
*There’s actually 33 lessons here. I mis-numbered them at first, and then decided to let the mistake rock.