I love articles titled “XX Life Lessons in XX Years.” It’s always so interesting to see the things that people have learned over the years. To see what they think is truly important.
Part of growing is learning from our mistakes. Becoming wiser every year, hopefully. Experiencing all the ups and downs. And looking back at our most memorable moments.
So, what have I learned about business, organizing, relationships, money, anxiety, and self-love? Well, you didn’t ask me, but I’ll tell you anyway. My hope is that you’ll find at least one nugget of wisdom here that you can carry with you.
Life Lessons about Business
Take action. Stop waiting for the perfect time to do something, and just make it happen. If you fail, you learn and try again. If you succeed, it could literally change your life.
Be flexible. You’ve got to be ready for whatever the world throws at you. Be flexible and adaptable if you want to stay in business.
Never stop learning. If you stop learning, your business will fail. Continuously seek knowledge, stay updated on industry trends, and improve your skills.
Network. Get to know people in and around your industry as quickly as possible. They will become your greatest allies in business.
Be true to your word. If you say you’ll get something done, do it. If you commit to a deadline, meet it. Be someone that people can rely on and trust to do what you say you’re going to do.
Overdeliver. At every opportunity, give more than you promised.
Your values are more important than your revenue. Show people that you have integrity and ethical standards. Your customers will keep coming back for more.
Life Lessons about Organizing
Declutter, often. No amount of organization will help if you have too much stuff. Be ruthless. Let go of the things you no longer need or those things will have control over you.
If you’re struggling to declutter, you need to deal with the attachment. Why are you really holding on to these things? What are you worried about? You might need to seek professional help if you are placing more value on possessions than on your own peace.
A place for everything, and everything in its place. If you don’t have a place for something, then you must not need it. Or, you need to find a proper place for it.
You don’t need more space, you just need less stuff. A bigger house, a storage unit, more drawers… these aren’t solutions to the problem. These are ways to avoid dealing with the problem.
Practice self-discipline. Develop habits that support organization, such as tidying up daily, controlling impulse spending, and recognizing needs versus wants.
Life Lessons about Relationships
Love is a choice. That ooey-gooey feeling in the early days… that’s infatuation. Or lust. Something. But it’s not love. Loving someone is a choice you make every day when you wake up.
Protect your peace. As you grow, your relationships will change. You may find that some relationships are harder than others. And that some even become toxic. It’s okay to let go. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known each other. Move on.
Work on communication together. If you’re struggling to communicate, have a conversation about it. Figure out how the miscommunication happened. Find ways to do better next time. If you can’t communicate, your relationship can’t last.
Make your expectations known. Don’t expect someone else to read your mind. Tell them what you are expecting or they will more than likely let you down. If you want flowers for Valentine’s Day every year, tell them. Whatever expectations you have, tell them. And if they still disappoint you, then either your expectations are unreasonable or this isn’t a relationship you should invest in.
Listen. I shouldn’t have to say this but shut up. Just stop talking. If someone else is talking, listen to them. Really hear what they are saying. And make them feel heard!
Ask them what you can do to make them feel loved/appreciated/confident/etc. And then just do those things every single day.
Put down the screens. Get outside together. Go for a drive. Share a meal without looking at your phones or TV. Try some conversation cards.
At the end of it all, your relationships are the most important thing in your life. It’s not work or money or possessions or fame… what you’ll think about on your deathbed are the people you loved and how you treated them.
Life Lessons about Money
Always spend less than you earn. When I was 24 and started working as an engineer, I quickly maxed out my first credit card. I never did it again because that mistake held me back from my goals.
Have a flexible budget. I know, I know. It’s boring and tedious and you just want to ignore it… but budgeting gives you the freedom to spend your money without worry or guilt. YNAB has given me so much peace of mind, and it only takes me about 10-15 minutes per week.
Invest as much as you can, as early as you can. Make as many sacrifices as you can in the first 10 years you’re earning money. It will absolutely be worth it in the long run. I learned about investing from this course. It’s surprisingly simple and anyone can do it. This is how you become a millionaire.
Have an emergency fund in a high-yield savings account. Save 3-6 months’ worth of expenses. You’ll have sooo much less stress in life if you have this umbrella for rainy days.
Track your money metrics. Each month, record your money metrics and assets on a spreadsheet. Watch as your net worth grows!
Be generous. It’s just good for your soul.
Life Lessons about Anxiety
Learn about anxiety. This is a real thing. It’s not something millennials made up. It’s not all in your head. And it’s definitely not something you have to live with. Learn more about anxiety by following people who are bringing awareness to it on social media or reading articles from trusted sources.
Get help. There’s no shame in getting help for your mental health. See a therapist. Ask your doctor if you can try meds to help. Find free resources online if you need them. You don’t have to feel this way, and you don’t have to go through it alone.
Learn to reduce stress. There are so many methods for reducing stress in your life. Here are my top 10 favorites (but you can find way more online):
- Spend time outside
- Deep breathing
- Exercise (even for just 5 minutes)
- Journaling (I like to list my stressors and then come up with solutions)
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation
- EFT Tapping
- Hydrate and eat something healthy
- Face mask + lay on the bed for 15 minutes
- Make a gratitude list
- Talk to a friend
Life Lessons about Self-Love
Love your body. No, it’s not perfect. It has limits. But it’s still capable of doing great things. Treat it well because it won’t last forever.
Discover your own beliefs. Don’t just blindly accept what you’ve been told. Decide for yourself. Research and learn and figure out what you really believe. Identify your core values and make choices that align with them.
Act confident. Even if you aren’t, just pretend that you are. Hold your head high and walk like you own the place. Eventually, you’ll start to actually be confident.
Set boundaries. You deserve it. And when you have boundaries, tell people what they are, and don’t put up with anyone crossing them.
Carefully choose the people you spend the most time with. They should be encouraging, positive, and supportive. The best people will make you a better person.
Life Lessons about Everything
Be kind. It’s so much easier to be kind than to be an ass. We’re all going through hard things. We all have struggles and pain and fears. Life is hard enough. Just choose kindness at every turn. You’ll be happier and so will everyone around you.
Say no. Say it over and over again until it feels easy. Protect your schedule and stop thinking “busy” is a badge of honor. It’s a curse. Be happy, not busy.
Set goals. You don’t actually have to achieve them. They’re your goals so it’s up to you whether you make it or not. But goals are a tool you can use to focus your journey on your priorities. If you don’t have goals, you’re just wandering around aimlessly.
Embrace change. Be open to new experiences, opportunities, and perspectives. Change is a natural part of life, and embracing it can lead to personal growth.
Keep it simple. Complicated takes more time. It’s more frustrating. And more expensive. Just live simply.
Live intentionally. You really do get to choose your own life. Maybe not every single aspect, but most of it is a choice you make. Be intentional about the choices you make and the path you take in life. It’s all up to you.
Love reading lists of life lessons like these? Me too! Here are 3 that I really enjoy: