It’s my birthday today. And if you happen to know me, you know that this day is ultimately my favourite day of entire year. I’m never translating my birthday as “another year when i’m getting older and dying sooner”. For me it’s a day of celebration. Celebration of my life, being happy of being alive. Another beautiful circle around the sun. I love it. It makes me happy and excited. Just like being 5 again.
I think I've changed a lot within last five years. At least this is where I can start tracking my own personal growth. I don't remember having too much clear goals and plans as I have now. They definitely existed, but I can't point on them. Turning this years, being surrounded by people who have similar mindsets and becoming more goal-orientated, I have few points to pick up, what have helped me turning these years. So I decided to collect 23 life lessons i’ve learned turning 23 years of being alive.
I think being in your 20's, you should be energised, full of life and try out many things what will grow you into something bigger and stronger. Being tired, sick, something hurts every now and then is something what we should (or not) keep to our 90s. Realising that we have our best body, sharp mind and everything what helps us to become whatever now, we should use it. Whining is for babies and nobody wants to be a big baby. There could be reasons but not excuses.
1. Say more "YES".
- As simple as it it. In the end of the day, we always regret things what we didn't do way more than these what we did. So that's why you should get brave and say yes, even if you automatically don't feel like it at first. "Yes" can lead you to new lessons and experiences, when most of the times "No" takes them away from us.
2. Be brave and get confident.
- So many times we say "no" or just don't try new things because we are being afraid. Afraid of not being enough or thinking that everyone else around us are better. When starting to say more "yes" you are building more confidence and you are getting braver of asking and going for things you actually want. Getting out of your own comfort zone is important and life changing.
3. Appreciate what you already have.
- This might be by far one of the most important points. You will never get too far or know how to appreciate it fully, if you are not taking time or not being happy where & what you have now. Take a moment every day and think about something you are grateful today. Make it as a habit. Last thought before you fall asleep every night or before start eating your dinner. Taking a bus or a ride home. Understand how much good is going on around you and how you are surrounded by great people.
4. Live in the present, nor the future, or the past.
- Be here now. Have a goal, but don't forget to enjoy the progress, as this is the time you learn the most. Have your focus on goal, but keep yourself in present.
5. Do something what scares you every day.
- Great cliche, but it works. We all know the sentence, but very few of us actually practice it. But it has a great point behind this idea. I mean- it is not as easy to do every day all new stuff, but even getting a new habit and practicing it every day til it starts coming out naturally, will work. Try waking up early, having early runs, swimming or yoga. Ask a boy/girl out, tell a compliment, send your CV to a place you wish you could work. Challenge yourself and don't let fear talk you out of it.
6. Don't be afraid of failing.
- Most likely... Very likely, you will not succeed at first time. You will have complications, unexpected things happening you weren't prepared of and many things will not fall into places as you were planned. You will fail, but keep standing up and fail again, if needed. Because this is the only way you can eventually succeed. Failing is only not an option, when it's not considered as a final result. In between- learn your lessons and grow stronger and bigger.
7. Stay in focus.
- Choose one or maximum two things at the time to work on. Most likely you have more ideas in your mind, but choosing and prioritising few at the time, makes them easier, faster and more efficient to achieve. Pick few, accomplish them and then start working on new ones.
8. Enjoy the process.
- Turning the time when you are working on things you wanna achieve, don’t forget staying in the present and enjoining what you are doing. Process is (obviously) a huge part of getting what you want so you better learn, analyse and improve it, as you can. You learn really valuable lessons turning that time and most likely, it will help you a lot, once you learn from it.
9. Stop chasing ultimate perfection.
- You are not perfect, neither are they. Your work will never be just perfection and as long you are happy with it, it all that matters, because people who will not find it as same as you, will always come and go. And if you are stuck somewhere and the idea of perfection is on your way- just go over it. Learn the lesson and do it better next time. But making and doing something is always better than doing nothing. Finish the painting, finish the idea, do a short work out… Do it. But do better next time.
10. Communicate and trust others.
- “If you wanna go fast, go alone. If you wanna go far, go together.” Share your ideas, thoughts, working progress with people you trust or love. Mirroring your thoughts with other people are super useful and helpful. And also if you need help and others are willing to help you, take it. Sharing your journey with others are extremely valuable. And you learn a lot. And most likely save also some time.
11. Don’t be afraid.
- Start hating the feeling of being afraid and then start fixing it. Stop being afraid and get comfortable with it instead. Understand why are you afraid of them and then start doing them repeatedly. Being afraid is a so much more uncomfortable feeling than being comfortable of being afraid. It’s a big difference.
12. Try again.
- Easy as it is. You fail? Suck at first time? You feel embarrassed and wanna leave it? Nop. Stand up and try again. Try and fail as many times you need til you succeed. Not trying again is quitting and this is not acceptable.
13. Schedule and plan ahead.
- Don’t go extreme crazy with it, but time management and knowing ahead what needs to be done helps enormously to do more. Have a planner, build yourself a system. Understanding your hours a day makes you actually see how much time you might still have in your hands.
14. Take time off.
- Don’t forget to give yourself some time off. You are not a robot, doesn’t matter how nice this might sound sometimes. Enjoy that dinner with friends, sleep one hour longer once in a while, meet somebody for a drinks. And bigger picture- book that tickets, have a vacation. Life is too short.
15. Get off of your comfort zone.
- This is the scariest, most dangerous place to be. Things that are in your comfort zone weren’t most likely there once. But they became one just because you did it and got comfortable with it. Stop wasting your time of being afraid and sitting in your circle. Nothing new and good doesn’t happen there. Life gets exciting where comfort zone ends.
16. Eliminate people who doesn’t support you.
- There is no space for haters. You don’t need other people doubts more than once to start doing what you need to do. Take their doubts once as a impulse to start doing it and then don’t involve them in anymore. It just pushes you down over and over again. And sometimes they are the closest people to you and yes, it sucks. Don’t involve them in anymore what you are doing if you know their negative thoughts about it. Talk about weather, the food they ate or listen their stories.
17. There is no such thing as “type”.
- Nobody is born, for example, to be a “night or a morning” person. You are a person and you choose what you are. Nobody labels you and there is no certain type how you born and will be the rest of your life. You don’t like something- change it.
18. Don’t judge people how they look.
- You can be right. And you can be terrible wrong. Let people talk and explain, judge later. But there is things people can’t change- their skin, their face, their body.
- There is nothing wrong of asking help from others if it’s needed. And sometimes it’s maybe necessarily needed as a final result, but the journey there will be more valuable. Ask. The worst what can happen is that they say “no” and if you don’t ask, it’s no anyway. At least you give it a try and you have 50/50 change of getting what you want.
20. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Be serious what you are doing, but don’t take yourself too seriously because of it. You miss so much fun otherwise. Life is, once again, way too short for being too serious about "things”.
21. Learn to sorry.
- People make mistakes. You make mistakes. Learn to say sorry if you understand your mistake. There is no worth of staying “right” when you understand your mistake. Being sorry when it’s the right time and place, makes you more authentic and humane. Not doing it, makes you a dick and nobody wants to be a friend with one.
22. Be friendly with e v e r y o n e.
- This is a valuable lesson from my Icelandic family. Being friendly with everyone doesn’t mean of being friends with everyone, but being a nice person to others makes you a better person 100 times more. People most of the time don’t remember what you did or gave to them, but they always remember how you made them feel. And people remember if you make them feel good. And apparently being friendly with others brings that result. And being good with others is so much harder than being mean. It’s easy to be mean and dislike others. Being friendly and nice takes so much more time and effort.
- And as important everything else is, love is the only thing what actually matters. You can’t start and/or finish anything well, without loving it. Love is the first impulse of everything you want to do.
And loving others and receiving love is the best feeling in the entire world. Don’t take it away from yourself, thinking that “you are too busy”. Love your people, spend your time with them. Prioritise. Stay close. Love.
I am so grateful for today. I am most grateful for my mom of taking and making the effort today 23 years ago. I am thankful for every each one of you who wish me the best, who have followed my journey and inspire me doing what i’m doing. I am forever thankful and grateful for my life and people who surround me. Today is not just “another day of getting older”. It’s a celebration. Thank you everybody for the support what you have gave me and the lessons I’ve learnt because of you.
Have a glass of wine today. Celebrate today with me!