In your 12 years of living on this earth, you have already learned so much. I know you are a bit nervous that you will be going to middle school soon. You are almost a teenager. And before we know it, you’ll be going to high school then college.
As you grow older, there will be plenty of lessons life has to offer; plenty more things for your curious mind to learn.
As a mom, I can only hope to teach you to follow the right path and how to make the right decisions. As I look to your future, I have many concerns. I wonder how you’ll adapt to social pressures, maneuver through difficult circumstances, and mold your life with the diverse experiences awaiting you.
In my 28 years on this earth, I’ve had my share of lessons, some learned through hard work and dedication, others learned through failure and mistakes.
These lessons I have learned throughout my life and I hope they can help you too.
1. Don’t be afraid to take risks.
Risks are a part of life. The risk of failure, vulnerability, and making mistakes for the chance to achieve greatness are risks worth taking. Success and incredible opportunities are usually only realized through risk.
2. Love yourself.
Look yourself in the mirror every day and recognize how amazing you are. Cherish your strengths. Tell yourself you are beautiful. I will remind you, too. Believe it always.
3. Never give up on your dreams.
This is the recipe for success. Know where you want to go, move in that direction and find your purpose to keep you going. Be patient as life will often throw detours and obstacles along the way. No matter how hard things get. No matter how many people tell you that you can’t — you can. You can be anything you want to be.
4. Don’t let others bring you down.
Insecure people like to vocalize their insecurity by insulting or attacking others personally. When your critics call you names, just smile and remember that you’re doing something right.
5. Read, read, read!
Books are the best teachers. Keep reading, keep learning and expanding your brain. Seek knowledge and growth. I have never been bored a day in my life because I have always carried a book with me everywhere.
6. Be yourself.
Don’t try to be like others. Don’t try to fit the mold. Own all your weirdness, with all your quirks, in all the ways that make you, you. You shouldn’t compromise who you are in an effort to “fit in.”
7. Be kind.
You never know what someone is going through. A person with a smile on their face (or even a frown) could be going through one of their life’s most difficult trials. Be gentle and be kind.
8. Be thankful
Always have a grateful heart. Someone will always have it worse than you, and someone will always have more than you. Don’t compare. Be thankful for all of your blessings.
9. Keep your standards high.
A good man will never be intimidated by a woman with high standards. Never settle. The right guy will come along.
10. Surround yourself with positive people.
Surround yourself with people who encourage you, who lift you up, and who reflect all that is good. When you surround yourself with positivity, you, in turn, will emit positivity.
11. Enjoy your own company.
Don’t be afraid to experience things alone if no one is around to do the things you want to do, do them anyway, alone. Appreciate the liberating feeling of going places on your own, not needing another’s company to boost your happiness. When you do things alone, you will find out who you are, what you enjoy and discover your own hobbies and interests.
12. You will make mistakes, learn from them.
You will never stop making mistakes. Learn to recognize when you’ve gone wrong, reassess and try another direction. Don’t be afraid of failure and find a way of turning every negative into a positive. You will learn more from your mistakes than you will from anything else in life.
13. Don’t follow bad influences.
Don’t do something you know is wrong just because “everyone else does it.” You are only in control of yourself, whatever another chooses to do, is their decision. You can remove yourself from anyone at any time. Don’t let others drag you down.
14. Do what makes you happy.
If you want to play sports, play sports. If you want to play music, play music. If you want to be a lawyer, study hard and be a lawyer. If you want to be a dancer, give it your all and be a great dancer. Do what makes YOU happy – not what all your friends are doing. Do what makes YOU happy; what brings you joy.
15. Be strong, be brave.
As much as I would like to, I cannot shelter you from bad things in life. You will experience failure. You will experience loss and sorrow. You will experience disappointment and heartbreak. However, you cannot let the bad times define you. Be strong and be brave. Face the obstacles head-on and move forward. When you come out on the other side, you will be proud of yourself and you will appreciate the beauty of the good times even more.
16. Be humble.
You are not better than anyone. Every person has their unique traits and talents.
17. Don’t judge or gossip.
Judging and gossiping are hateful means and should never be used. Every individual is different and has their own story, so be sensitive to their situation. Remember that gossip only brings people down– don’t be the reason why someone doubts themselves.
18. Be respectful.
Do your best to respect others and give them the treatment and respect that you would like to be treated with.
19. Challenge yourself.
Never settle for average, always strive to be better and achieve greatness. Your talents will only reach their peak if you’re willing to push yourself and the limitations.
20. Be independent.
As a woman, I can’t stress enough the importance of being independent. I want you to be financially independent, but keep in mind that emotional and mental independence is just as important. I want you to be able to think for yourself, to have a say, to make your own decisions and to have your own opinions.
21. You are in charge of your own happiness.
Every person is responsible for their happiness or unhappiness. If you do not like something about your life, then it is in your hands to change it for the better.
22. It’s okay to ask for help.
You do not need to do everything yourself or get through difficulties by yourself. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it’s human. We all are here to help and support each other, so do not be stubborn enough to think that you can handle everything by yourself.
Your thoughts are important. Write them down and read them.
24. Love hard.
Love hard, with every fiber of your being. Go through life with an open heart and let love in with gusto.
25. Take care of your body.
Your skin, your body is the house that your soul lives in. Take good care of it. Eat healthy, exercise and stay active.
There are so many beautiful places to see and so many things to do. Make memories, take trips and explore the world.
27. Work Hard
The best things in life are achieved with lots of hard work. Whatever you choose to do, work hard for it.
28. You will always have me.
I love you more than life itself. I will always be there for you. I will spend the rest of my days loving you and trying to make sure you are happy. Unfortunately, I will not be able to spare you from life’s pain and hardships. However, I will be there to help you through it all.I’ll be right here beside you cheering you on, holding your hand, and helping you get back up when you’ve fallen.
I’ll be right there to help you to get through everything.