I recently read an amazing post that shared a 30-year-old guy’s advice to his 20-year-old self. As I sit here at 31, reflecting on my 20s, there’s not much I can add to his list. However, I have learned some things I know will be important for me to remember as I navigate through my 30s and beyond. Here’s a list of advice that I’m begging 32-year-old me to never forget:
- Always Be Kinder Than You Need To Be
- You Look Good
- You Don’t Have To Sacrifice Your Dreams
- Tell Everyone You Love How You Feel
- If You Like What You Do, Never Forget It. If You Don’t, Find Something New.
- Every Single Day Of The Week Someone Would Kill For What You Have.
- Know That You Don’t Know Everything.
- Take the time to look around.
- Take the time to get to know yourself.
There’s a shortage of kindness in this life. When you’re driving in rush hour, being judged online, or dealing with conflicts at work, always be nicer than you need to be. Practice kindness and compassion in every interaction because you never know what the other person is dealing with. And one day (mark my words!) you’ll need someone to be extra kind to you too.
You’ll be presented with many opportunities to be rude, dismissive or downright cruel to others (often times to those you love). And, while it may feel good to get a jab in, it may help you get the upper hand or get ahead, this behaviour will only ever take you further away from your authentic self and your best destiny. The ultimate demonstration of your character (and love) is to show kindness and generosity – even to those who don’t deserve it.
You do! Stop worrying, relax and enjoy this life. You’re beautiful and those awkward 20-something-drunken-night-out-in-a-pleated-jean-skirt photos are behind you.
As a woman, a wife, an employee, a daughter, a sister, (and likely, eventually a mother) there will be a lot of demands on your time and energy. There will be a lot of influences telling you that sacrifice and selflessness are the mark of a good woman. It’s not true. And while you may have to sacrifice some things at some times, don’t live in guilt. This is your life. Lead it. Live it. Love it.
If someone’s important to you, tell them. If you love her, tell her. If you appreciate everything he does for you, tell him. If you couldn’t imagine a world without them, tell them. There’s no time for games. Your relationships are not the place for power struggles or hidden agendas. You always have the power to make someone feel worthy and special and loved. And when you’re faced with loss there’s no better feeling than knowing you said everything you needed to say, the people around you knew exactly how amazing they were, and that you have zero regrets.
You’ll spend a lot of time at work. If you love what you do, reflect on that daily. Be grateful for the blessing. Contribute as much as you can. Inspire and mentor others as best you can. If you don’t like what you’re doing, move on. Life’s too short to be unhappy. And there’s no way I can see to separate work and life in a meaningful way. There’s lots of jobs out there (and you’re awesome!). Prioritize happiness over security and the expectations of others.
No matter what struggles come your way, no matter how dark the times may seem, you’re one of the lucky ones. This is easy to say and harder to practice, but even when the sky is falling know in your heart of hearts that you’re blessed and privileged and have the life that others dream of.
Always be learning. Stay humble in the fact that there is so much you don’t know and may never understand. Listen when people speak. Spend time with people who have different worldviews. Rest assured that in even though in comparison to the vastness of the universe you know virtually nothing, everything you need to know is already inside you. Trust in yourself and you’ll never go wrong.
Life is happening out here and it’s beautiful!
Never let yourself become too busy to spend time with you. Get to know who you are – the good, the bad and the ugly. Get to know the person you want to become. You’ve gotta know her, like her and be at peace with her. Until that relationship is solid, you don’t (and won’t) have much of anything.