8 Essential Life Lessons I Learned Before The Age of 23

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1. Deep down we’re all searching for the same thing: happiness. The ability to recognize this allows you to understand humanity on a deeper level. Happiness is fragile, as it is not easily held on to. Each person is on his or her own journey to find happiness and all persons play an integral part in this search.

2. Kindness matters – Open your heart. Sometimes, it’s hard to find authentic relationships with others. Rather than blame someone else, try being vulnerable and you may be surprised at its reciprocal effect. My vulnerability with others often humbles me in ways I never thought possible.

3. Communication is vital. Don’t be afraid to tell someone how you are truly feeling. Set boundaries and be honest. Healthy boundaries in relationships create freedom. My biggest failed relationships were with the ones I communicated the least.

4. It is possible to leave pieces of your heart with many people. I am always amazed at the resiliency of the human heart. It has been through my hardest breakups and my biggest goodbyes where my heart has grown the most. In these moments, I have found an ability to love and continue loving on an even deeper level than before. Closing yourself off from love only creates hurt and bitterness, whereas authentic love sets you free.

5. The need for closure is not something to ignore. Denying someone the opportunity to have closure and peace from the past is as bad as the hurt they may have caused you. Step outside yourself, give them closure and oftentimes, you will receive it as well. The people in my life who have influenced me the most are those who took the time to provide me with insight and closure in certain situations. I have an incredible fondness in my heart for them and will always be thankful for their consideration.

6. Everything we do is from our own perspective. We do not always see ourselves as we truly are. It is vital to step outside ourselves, give people the benefit of the doubt, and listen to those around us. I am eternally thankful for my friends and family in providing me with insight, which I cannot see alone.

7. Your friends can make or break you. The phrase “who you hang out with is who you become” reigns true here. Surround yourself with relationships, which encourage you to grow and become the best version of yourself. I have found surrounding myself with the right people has been an integral part of my journey towards happiness.

8. The most beautiful people are those who have overcome the most. My favorite quote by Elisabeth Kubler Ross explains that people who have insight and understanding, empathy and strength are often those who have experienced the most suffering and have overcome darkness. Throughout my personal experiences and travels, I have found this to be true. The most joyful people I have encountered have been in the most unlikely of places. These persons continue to inspire my pursuit for happiness. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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