They say that life is the best teacher. We will find ourselves faced with the same obstacle over and over again until we have learnt the correct lesson. I won’t say that I’m old at 25, although I have an old spirit, but I have learnt enough to share with those that care to listen. Below are the top 10 things I have come to realise in my short stint on earth.
1. You are enough
You don’t have to always fit it. If anything, you are meant to shine and stand out like the star that you are. The world is wrong when it tells us that we are meant to be uniform. From your fingerprint to your DNA, you are a one of a kind creation. And no one can ever replace your beauty and relevance.
2. People can be cruel, be kind still
Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has been hurt in ways some might find hard to imagine. Hurt is not an excuse to perpetuate hate, however when someone is cruel remember that they have been hurt in the past. Refuse to resort to harmful speech or actions, but rather repay them with kindness. It will probably be the first time that individual receives such compassion.
3. You don’t have to prove your intelligence
“Oh my gosh Ros, you are actually smart” is something many people have said to me, often thinking I should take this remark as a compliment. People will always want to assess and measure your intelligence whether it’s from your accent, your vocabulary or your Alma mater. You don’t have to prove your worth in their company, the mere fact that they wish to look down on you calls their intelligence into question.
4. Some people are not destined to be in your life forever
You will meet great friends and fall in love in ways that you never thought possible. However, these relationships may fade and disappear from memory. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t try and rekindle every lost relationship. Some relationships are only there to teach us lessons on how to love, heal and grow. See these past relationships as a blue print to how to be a better friend, love, co-worker, etc. in future.
5. You are not weak because you love
The world we live in is riddled with negativity and anger. Many people will make you feel weak for seeing the best in humanity. Some may even attempt to rob you of your ability to love… Don’t allow it. There is so much strength in love that it scares many people. Love requires understanding, compassion, vulnerability and empathy; these are qualities that you were born with, qualities that many people wish to posses. Share these qualities, giving love at every possible opportunity.
6. Respect your body
It’s tempting to think you will be young forever and thus can always stretch your body to it’s limits. The spirit can endure many things, but the body is fragile. Make sure you recharge and reset your body at every opportunity. Eat well, drink lots of water, exercise, sleep more (or less), laugh more, relax. Remember that the body you have in your teens or 20s has to carry you to your 80s. Love it more than you love your iPhone!
7. Don’t wait for an external platform to validate your talent
It’s great to hear others tell us just how amazing we are. It is healthy to want others to love your work. However, don’t let the opinion of others dictate the level of your talent. Use any negative feedback as means to make your work better, use positive feedback as an indication that you are on the right track.
8. Share your pain, but don’t burden others with it
We often want to hide what we have been through, ashamed that we are less human because we failed to be stronger or wiser. The reality is that many people are facing what you have faced. Many people are fighting the same demon you managed to defeat. Talk about your struggles, but don’t look for pity. Share your pitfalls, as it may save others from going down the same road; or it may save those already on the same road.
9. Cry if you must
You can be strong tomorrow, so cry today. Don’t keep the emotions bottled up, don’t try and mask your pain. So cry if you must because crying always leaves one feeling better.
10. Do what makes you happy
Life is too short to be stuck doing what others want you to do. Do that thing that keeps you up at night. Spend hours on your passion, as it will never seem like hard work. Any resistance is often fear by those unable to do the same.
P.S. Happy birthday to me:)