Well this little birthday blog here is self explanatory. I wanted to take some time to reflect without going into too much detail. People say all the time to me, “Live a little.” I’ll admit maybe I grew up fast, but I’m the first to tell you I still feel like I have a million things to learn. Life is about growing along the way and these last few years especially have been a period of growth for me. I won’t go into great detail on each one (because 25 paragraphs would take a century). But these are just 25 life lessons that came to the top of my head without going into great thought. Yep….an entire 25 things that helped me grow, or hindered me along the way. Nonetheless they are realizations that I hope some can relate to. I know I will take these in my next 25 years. I want to continue growing and learning….but most of all stopping to enjoy things every once in a while. And thanking you all for caring or pretending to care about my life journey. It actually does mean more than words can write. Cheers to being 25…..
1) Take care of yourself. You have one body to take care of. You don’t have to be extraordinarily fit or healthy….just make an effort to be mindful of your health. Make healthy decisions 50-60% of the time. Progress towards a healthier you.
2) Don’t take yourself too seriously. Says the “serious sally” over here. Laugh often at yourself. When others make fun, they do it out of love. The ones who don’t aren’t worth your “serious” time.
3) Stop caring about what others think. It will consume your thoughts and steal joy away from your life. If only I had revealed my full self sooner….I always say. Not hide or be afraid and shield some of my actual self. Turns out it was lost time but I like to refer to that as “growing time.” You have to stumble and learn along the way.
4) Take time to appreciate the simple things. By simple things I mean, your surroundings, the ground you stand on, your “things.” Even if it is just for 10 minutes, and you take a walk outside, and just breathe. Feel what you are feeling. Appreciate those 10 minutes. Go down the list of things you HAVE and are BLESSED with. Even 10 minutes can change your perspective.
5) Be yourself…..unapologetically. Don’t say sorry for who you are. If that is who you are, own it. It takes much more time and effort to pretend you are someone else.
6) Forget your past. Your past does not define you. Break the mold and let go. We all have a past be it dark or bright. All you can do is move forward and practice number 5. And for the record…..in case you were wondering….I DID NOT always used to be positive. I did not always eat healthy. I was not always a pleasant person to be around. I may have consumed more alcohol than I should have, smoked a cigarette or two or five, been a HUGE bitch, bullied someone, held a grudge, blown up, quit a job, lied, stolen…..this list goes on.
7) Bad things happen to good people. It doesn’t matter how perfect you think you are. Someone will eventually come around and ROCK your world. Stay grounded in your beliefs and develop a set of morals that you personally stick by…no matter what.
8) Don’t compare yourself to others. Easier said than done, but allow someone else to be a healthy motivation and less of an annoyance. You have your own path. Find the unique quality about you….and capitalize ON IT.
9) Help others in return for nothing. Not a whole lot to this one besides that it feels good. Like GENUINELY feels good on the inside. I spend hours responding to e-mails/phone calls about advice on different topics or how they should go about doing A, B, and C. I don’t ask for anything. Why? Because I know if it weren’t for many wise mentors along the path of my life, I wouldn’t be where I am today. And I know….there will be many more.
10) Give your life meaning. Its never to late to recreate the life you always wanted. Is what you are doing feeding your inner self? You don’t have to be the next Mother Theresa but even just finding something that makes you genuinely happy…and doing it at least once a week is fulfillment. Want more? Then create more space for it in your life. You never know where it could lead but I promise you happiness is one of the outcomes.
11) You can’t plan for everything. Unfortunately there will be losses. It’s not something you can plan for or avoid. Feel those emotions as they happen. I was a “shover” for a very long time. Actually until fairly recently. I shoved stuff down. I grieve quickly and move forward. Losing a loved one is something that can’t be put into words. The days and months following is literally what I would equate to a nightmare. You never think it will get better and you constantly ask yourself….when will I wake up and feel better or come to terms with what has happened. The truth is….the thoughts and pain never actually go away. But with each passing day it becomes a little easier to process and talk about. I learned that talking about it helps. I also learned that living your life…..wait ill save that for the next one
12) Live your life to the fullest. Probably the most cliché one on this list. Given the nature of number 11….not that I would wish that upon anyone….but once you have gone through that, it does give you a different perspective. Life is literally so precious and tomorrow isn’t promised bottom line. Do you have a bucket list? Are you hammering away at it? If not….then
13) Create a bucket list. These don’t even have to be huge things like many people believe a “bucket list” consists of. However….I do recommend skydiving. A bucket list can include anything you remotely want to do and haven’t. My bucket list ranges from climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to taking a “Hollywood” tour on those silly double decker buses (I have yet to do that and I’ve been in L.A. for 4 years).
14) Don’t wait until tomorrow. You have a thought? A genius idea? Don’t wait until tomorrow. Start planning the moment you think of it. You don’t want to be that person sitting at home watching shark tank and listening to an idea that you had 4 years ago but never acted on.
15) Work hard when you are young. I was and still am always told daily to “live a little.” “You grew up so fast Danielle.” “Turn your phone off.” “Stop checking e-mails.” “Take a few days off.” I DO NOW GENUINELY think off days and getaways are important, but I don’t need to lolly gag around in my 20s. Is it because we are told as a society that you should party while you’re young? Are we all just used to hearing that so much so that we believe it? I bought into it in college but afterwards it was GO TIME! Work hard while you’re young and create a little time along the way to play. If you ask me to go out on a Friday night…there’s a solid chance I will say no. And I’m OK with that so I hope you will be too J
16) Don’t hold grudges. I used to do this. I don’t anymore. It’s amazing how great it feels to just let go and carry on. I believe grudges are due to circumstantial situations. Something happened in a specific circumstance that didn’t turn out right. If you take away that one situation, event, or circumstance….did this relationship mean something to you? If so….fix it. If not…move one but settle ill feelings for your own sanity.
17) Take time for family. Everyone has a family dynamic so I understand sometimes maybe you DON’T want to be around them. Even if people don’t get along, even if one family member doesn’t want you to talk to another, even if you are “too busy” with life….they are still family and you never know how long they will be there. You are in complete control of your relationship with family. Don’t let others govern that. If you want to talk to someone and love someone…then go forth.
18) Don’t expect a lot from others. I went through a period in life where I expected the world from others because I’d be willing to do that much for them. It’s just not reality. Everyone functions differently and you never know what past experiences have molded an individual to be who they are. So instead of harping on differences….find the similarities and stay focused on those.
19) You don’t have to be friends with everybody. You just have to be respectful. I do believe basic respect can go a long way in life. Like I said, you don’t have to be best friends with every single person. Respecting another human being though is common courtesy and makes our world function better.
20) Cherish true friends, weed out the rest. It may sound harsh but as you get older you start to realize who your true friends are, who never was, and who never will be. The list becomes quite small and when it does…you realize how freaking grateful you are to have the ones that are still there. The ones that you would literally die for. Don’t forget about them and make time for them always. In your lowest of all lows, true friends will be your refuge.
21) Surround yourself with like minded people. Another thing with my early 20’s I learned. You are no longer “forced” to be around people. You get to choose who you want to have around, be friends with, create a relationship with, etc. Find people who make you a better person and that you genuinely appreciate/respect. This will magnify your greatness and everything you have to offer the world.
22) Power doesn’t mean anything. One of my favorite quotes: “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.” –Margaret Thatcher. Some of the most powerful people in the world were never actually happy people. On a smaller scale and in the realm of my specific industry, having 15K followers on twitter doesn’t make you feel better. You feel from the inside. Those feelings will never escape you until you confront them. Don’t hide behind a screen. If you have the potential to reach mass audience, rise to the occasion and be a great/genuine influence on others.
23) Allow yourself to be vulnerable. This will eventually lead to more genuine connections. I have always been “the rock.” The strong one who held everyone together. I’m learning that in the last year, it’s important to let down your guard for growth. Cry when you feel it. Ask someone for help if you need it. You aren’t molded into being the same person for the rest of your life. Maybe “Danielle the rock” doesn’t want to be “the rock” anymore. I’m OK with that…but easier said than done.
24) Thoughts are powerful. Try not to let any one thought consume you. Half the time they aren’t even real. We have gone so far as to make up something in our head and we then MAKE IT REAL. Self-fulfilling prophecy. Our thoughts are powerful….so choose great ones!
25) Don’t let fear take time away from you. Fear only has power if you give it power. You have to decide what must be done and go do it. When asked if I would rather fail miserably or procrastinate doing….I would now say fail miserably. In my eyes….fear is a cloud. It clouds your thoughts, vision, goals, dreams, and then some. Don’t let it take one more second from your life.
So there you have it….maybe 1 or 2 of these will help you along the way in whatever your journey holds. I’m hoping I’ve officially lived a ¼ of my life HA! Positive thoughts for reaching 100 years. Lastly….thanks to all of you who support my adventures and keep me inspired daily to keep doing what I do.
25….BRING IT ON