Whoa! It has been WEEKS since I’ve written. You know how it goes. The holidays tend to derail us from many of our regular routines especially with travel, family and all that good stuff. The good news is I just couldn’t let the year slip by without offering a little last-minute inspiration.
Here are 13 awesome lessons from 2013. It’s sort of a culmination of everything I’ve written about this year. You might have learned some of these lessons already, and others might offer a little something new to think about, I hope! Enjoy, and have a fun, wonderful and safe NYE! Thanks for reading in 2013!
Life Lessons #1: Settling is only a temporary fix. Hold out for the thing you really want, even if it seems incredibly far away.
Sometimes we chose to settle because it hurts too much to keep waiting for the thing we truly want, or because we feel like we will never find it. Whether it’s in love, in career, or in general life, settling might give you a temporary sense of relief and security, but in the long run, you will end up more unhappy than if you had just held out a little longer, and waited for it to be truly right and satisfying. Like they say, often people give up right before they were about to achieve success. Hang in there. Don’t settle!!
Life Lessons #2: Stop going to the hardware store for milk!
I learned this one from a mentor, and it is truly a glorious lesson in all its simplicity.
Stop going to people or places that you already know, from beating that dead horse one too many times, will not yield the desired results. For me, this year, that really translated into forcing myself to stop going to a proven toxic person and expecting love, understanding and compassion. It’s not there. That hardware store will never have milk in stock! Stop it. Just stop it.
Life Lessons #3: Love is real.
Love isn’t easy to find or maintain. Love is messy and riddled with imperfection. But this year, attending the wedding of my friends Sophia and Ross (a story of international love), taught me that love is real and can exist purely between two people despite distance, barriers and complications.
When love exists, there are no excuses, no pretences, no distances too large or obstacles too high. You should never have to beg for it, work endlessly to make it work, or constantly be on edge about it. Real, healthy love will just flow. It will have its bumps in the road, but it will always find its way. When it’s right, it will not be so hard. Wait for it to be right. Anything else is just a waste of heart and energy.
Life Lessons #4: A narcissist only wants an object’s adoration, not the actual object.
This one also came from a mentor, and it has served as a great reminder for me. I do think it’s rare and sometimes hard to spot, but the world has a fair share of folks who truly care about nothing but themselves. These are folks who will manipulate you, play games with you, and do just about anything to feel your adoration and feed their ego. But, they don’t truly want you, only the attention you offer them. Stay alert, and when you feel this happening, run. Run fast.
Life Lessons #5: Standing up for yourself is not mean. Its right, and it’s necessary.
It’s taken me quite a long time to understand that standing up for myself does not make me mean. You have to do it, because no one else is going to do it for you. Standing up for yourself takes strength, conviction, and self-love. Stop worrying that you’re being mean, and just do it when it becomes necessary. Others will respect you more for it, and you will respect yourself immensely for it as well.
Life Lessons #6: Not everyone in your life belongs in it, and that’s OK.
It can be a sad realization that some of your current friends are not a positive influence in your life, but hey, it’s called growth. People outgrow each other. It’s natural and a necessary part of building the life you want surrounded by the energy that will help you maintain your well-being.
Life Lessons #7: You CAN learn to stretch your money a little farther if you just pay attention to your spending.
I struggle with money mostly because of sizeable debt. But hey, who doesn’t? The good news is this year, I’ve really learned that if I just pay more attention, that if I do not charge things I know I cannot pay off in the upcoming month and if I charge things that I know I can, if I just say “no” to unnecessary spending, that bank account doesn’t look quite as sad three days before payday as it once did.
Just pay attention, don’t give in to every spending whim you have, and watch that check stretch a little bit farther every time. Stop thinking so negatively about money and somehow it will just work itself out.
Life Lessons #8: Time does heal wounds, but you have to give it time.
You will never get over something or someone, if you don’t muster up the strength to walk away and give it the time it needs. Stop picking that wound while pouring salt on it. Walk away, cry it out, let yourself feel the pain. Give time a little time. It will be OK. But if you don’t walk away, the pain will never end.
Life Lessons #9: Being happy takes an everyday fight. It doesn’t just happen.
Life is complicated, and there are many things on a daily basis that are just out of our control. But there is also a lot you can control. You have to put the effort into your happiness. You have to wake up and choose to be positive about the events of your day, push yourself to get to that gym and eat that healthy dinner, make an effort to connect with friends. Fight for it, don’t just sit around and wait for it.
If you feel sad, push yourself even harder to get up, get out, be productive, and not give in to feeling low.
Life Lessons #10: There will be great years, there will be just good years and there will be hard years. But all of them can still yield important lessons, delicious laughter and much-needed growth.
Not every year is going to rock. This year was not my favorite by far. But there were still a lot of good times, laughs, lessons, and a whole lot of growth. Learn to appreciate those things. Be grateful for the good that comes out of the bad. And keep remembering that tomorrow is a new day, and today, tomorrow is a brand new year!
Life Lessons #11: Don’t get overwhelmed by the size of a goal, and give up. Take it one step at a time, and celebrate small accomplishments.
Sometimes we get overwhelmed by the size of a goal we want to accomplish, and decide it is just easier to give up. Try and set up your goals in more digestible, small steps, attacking one piece at a time. Celebrate every time you get past one small step. If all you can see is 0 to 100, you will always feel defeated.
Life Lessons #12: You have to take care of yourself first in order to have anything to give to others.
It’s not selfish. You have to take care of yourself; of your well-being, your health, your mind, your heart, you life. When you are at your best, you are able to offer your best to others. Constantly focusing outside of ourselves can sometimes leave us with nothing to give. Take care of yourself, and do it well. Never, ever feel guilty about that. It benefits you and everyone around you.
Life Lessons #13: Be kind, and the kindness will always find it’s way back to you.
There are a million good reasons to practice kindness in our every day lives and interactions. But if you want to focus on just one, realize that what you put out into the universe is likely to come back at you. Be a friend, and when you need one, there will be on there for you. Help someone in need, and when you are in need, someone will appear to offer you that same hand. Be understanding, and when you need someone to understand you, that understanding is likely to come out of some corner, somehow, some way.
Sonia, Word Share Junkie