1. We are all really just figuring things out as we go
Nobody has everything all figured out. Not in the beginning, anyway. We all have to start somewhere, and whether or not we’re born into circumstances that are advantageous, we still build everything from the ground up. We take stabs in the dark as often as we try for educated guesses, and some attempts just look smoother than others.
2. It’s okay if you change your mind
You’re allowed to do this, you know. We’re given the power to objectively reason over things for, well, a reason. Saying you’re wrong or that you’ve changed your mind does not make you a weaker or less trustworthy person; it means you’re able to own up to your change of heart and possibly even do some good with it.
3. ‘No’ isn’t the worst thing someone can tell you
It’s how you react to ‘no’ that defines your trajectory. It’s you who decides to not listen to rejection and prove the naysayers wrong, take stock of their response and see if maybe there’s a different route to get to the same endpoint, or heed the advice and stop. Maybe it’s for your best interest to do so. Maybe it’s not. But your reaction is what you have control over. Focus on that instead.
4. The most resourceful people ask for help
Because often, the best resources we have are each other. Each person has different skills and different experiences, and not taking the time to learn about how we can each collaborate to make something greater than our individual parts. There is a limit to how much we can ask for help before we’re relying too heavily on people as crutches or taking advantage of them, and one of the most solid points of your character lie in how you handle yourself in the face of this responsibility.
5. You can plan as much as possible, but sometimes plans fail
It sucks to admit, but it’s true. Even the most strategized ideas can fall flat. You can either have one – or multiple — backup plans to help you when you falter, or you can simply try again. Sometimes it’s not the plan that’s flawed, but timing. Sometimes you just need to keep trying.
6. … and sometimes, you can’t plan. Sometimes just have to do something
We have impulses and intuition and those weird phantom senses for a reason. If we can’t trust our gut instinct and that little voice that tells us what our heart wants, we’re left without a really powerful ally. You can plan to move to that new city all you want, but you don’t really know how you’re going to fare until you get there. So move. So ask that person out. So tell someone you love them. So apply for that job. You never know if you’ll be able to fly until you’re up in midair.
7. The people who really love you will love you regardless
And it is that kind of love — the love that understands that you’re human and sometimes you screw up and sometimes you’re wrong and sometimes you fall short, but also helps you dust yourself off and get right back on track — that is worth keeping around.
8. Practice is the only way to get better at something
There are no ‘hacks’ that better your skill — sure, there’s ways to cut time, and make things a little easier, but the only way to really understand how something works and to do it well is to work really hard at it. If your tools were taken away from you, where would you be? Even if something is a little harder, it’s still worth doing right.
9. It’s not that hard to be nice
It might be even easier to give into your anger or annoyance than it is to be the bigger person when something bugs you, but it’s still not that hard to be polite and respectful when something gets under your skin. If people choose not to listen to you just because they raised their voice and you didn’t, that’s on them. That was their choice. You get to walk away knowing you composed yourself the best way you knew how.
10. You’ll have so much more time for yourself if you just focus on what matters
Nobody can dictate what matters to you, or even what should matter to you. That’s your personal choice. But whether you devote your time to hate-reading and making yourself angry, or proactively trying to make this world that much nicer, kinder, sillier, funnier — whatever it is that’s in your power — own the fact that you devoted your time to it. Nobody compelled you otherwise.
11. You deserve good things
If you work hard, and want to treat yourself to something nice, that’s your prerogative to do so. We all need to do little acts of kindness towards ourselves every once in a while, just as much as we should want to do little acts of kindness towards the people in our lives. How we treat ourselves serves as a model for how other people will want to treat us, too.
12. It’s far more damaging to deny your feelings than it is to admit to them
Even if they’re problematic or troubling, talking them out can help you work through them, or at least smooth out a few of the rough edges that might be making you volatile and tense. People will want to listen. They will want to help, but in talking things through, you get a say in defining what that help looks like. Vulnerability and weakness are not the same thing.
13. There is always room in this world to pay things forward
It usually costs absolutely nothing to pay homage to your roots, and maybe help a few people who are now struggling where you once were. Just helping somebody if only for the reason that you understand and you get it will often remind you why you do what you do in the first place. Everyone wins in the long run.
14. The best things take time
Instant gratification serves its purpose in this world, and there’s value in being so instantly connected because it makes us that much more efficient. But slow down every once in a while, and really savor the space you take up in this moment, this second, this lifetime. The greatest coincidences collided to put you right here, right now, with the people in your life for a reason. Embrace that, and take every opportunity you can — just remember to appreciate each one as you do.
15. It’s a combination of flaws and skills that make you who you are
Trying to downplay either one is to do yourself a disservice. You earned your flaws from experience — or you even earned experience at the hand of your flaws — and your skills set you apart. Owning them together doesn’t make you haughty or conceited; it means you know your worth and are aware of what you bring to the table in each situation.
16. Chasing the acceptance of people who don’t want to accept you is futile
You’ll never reach it; it’s a road with no end, the horizon always moving that much further away. But you’re standing right here in your own skin. You don’t have to go anywhere. You can find acceptance in yourself right here and now.
17. The only way you’ll know what love is, is if you try
It’s scary and weird and risky to attempt something you’ve never done before, and you don’t know if you’re doing it right until you suddenly just do know, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. Finding love when it’s least expected is one thing, but learning how to give it is entirely within your power.
18. You get to define what you’ll regret
Sometimes it’s the things you did do. Sometimes it’s the things you don’t do. Whatever falls wherever it falls on your own radar of ethics and morals and standards is uniquely up to you. Don’t do everything just because you’re afraid you’ll regret not doing it. Don’t do nothing just because you’re afraid of the outcome. Listen to yourself. Ask yourself what you’d most like to do, and if it’s truly feasible, and if it is, then do it.