So it’s approaching, the end of another decade of my life and the inevitable start of a new one. How is it that my high school jams are now Way Back Play Backs on the radio? And some of my co-workers were born in 1993. I REMEMBER 1993! Vividly! But I am thankful for the life lessons I have been lucky enough to learn in my first 30 years of life.
1. If you work hard enough and don’t stop in the pursuit of your goals, you will get there. That might be shocking! The journey may not be as smooth or as fast as you anticipated, but never underestimate the power of hard work and determination.
2. Friends are priceless. Seriously. And to have friends, you have to be a friend first.
3. It’s vitally important to surround yourself with people who make you feel good and motivate you to do better and be better. Life is difficult, don’t make it even more poopy by keeping those in your life who bring you down. And it’s ok to use the word poopy every once and awhile.
4. You’re never too old to enjoy a big slide or a colored ball pit. And Disney World. Go to Disney World.
5. Never use steel wool on a Teflon pan.
6. If you made a mistake or regret something in your life, don’t beat yourself up over it. Talk to yourself like you are your own best friend.
7. It’s so important to know how to be independent and not rely on someone else to make you happy. You will have a much stronger and healthier relationship with your significant other.
8. Create the life you want, don’t jump from one relationship to the next just because you hate being alone. You could end up settling for something just for the sake of it.
9. There is not a bigger confidence booster in life than stepping outside of your own comfort zone and creating and going after something you want. Rule of thumb; if you’re terrified of failing, it’s worth the effort.
10. If you do not like something about your life, it’s your own responsibility to change it. No one else can do that for you.
11. It’s so easy to be happy and grateful for what you have in life. It really is. Even on the worst days.
12. Get your oil changed regularly, pay your bills on time and make sure you floss. You’re a grown-up now, do grown-up like things.
13. If you don’t have enough cash to pay for it, you can’t afford it. Put the credit card away. Say no to consumer debt.
14. Spending money on experiences is so worth it, in comparison to buying the designer bag. But you know, treat yourself to a nice bag at some point.
15. Be quick to forgive.
16. Enter contests. You won’t win unless you do so. Hence why, Lollapalooza 2011 was the BEST WEEKEND EVER.
17. Everyone has a story for why they are the way that they are. Respect differences. You can learn something new from every person you meet.
18. Give your seat up to someone who looks like they need it more than you on the subway or bus.
19. Take your pictures with your friends at the beginning of the night and then put your phones away. We don’t need to re-live what we look like after midnight.
20. On top of that, put your phones away at dinner or at any time when you’re with your loved ones. They deserve your full attention. It’s an amazing feeling to live and enjoy the present moment.
21. Preparedness makes opportunity.
22. Allow others to make mistakes and to be moody. You don’t know what they’re dealing with that day.
23. No matter what happens, things always get better.
24. Don’t give up something that you love for someone else.
25. You have to believe you DESERVE to be successful and happy to achieve your goals. Self-sabotage is a nasty habit to break.
26. Admit when you’re wrong, and take full accountability for your mistakes. If you don’t, you will not be able to learn and move on. And you’ll just annoy the heck out of other people.
27. If you do something stupid, laugh at yourself. Even when you take the wrong suitcase at Heathrow Airport and don’t realize until you get to your dorm room in Oxford, 3 hours away from said airport.
28. Don’t take yourself so seriously. The ability to go through life not getting offended about ridiculous things just makes everything so much easier. And it makes it incredibly easy to be around you.
29. Don’t compare yourself to others, nothing good ever comes from it.
30. Happiness is 100% dependent upon perspective. It’s not about the job, the money, or the fancy things you have. “When I achieve BLANK I will be happy.” No you won’t. Make the CHOICE to be happy right now.