Some lessons can't be taught, they have to be learned
I would like to think that in my 21 years on this planet that I have experienced many different things, and have some insights to give because of these experiences. I am in no way an expert on advice giving and I don't have it all figured out but I am working on it, and that's all any of us can do. My last advice-y post went well and was one of my most viewed posts, so I thought I'd try another one.
These are just things I've learned through my own experience, and wish someone told me sooner, or I had learned sooner, and hopefully my experiences can help a few of you out. I suppose I'm writing this because my life would have been a lot easier had I learned some of these things earlier in life.
1. Education isn't everything: First and foremost; people will tell you that a school education and being "well-educated" is the most important thing. Personally I think there is a large difference between educated and intelligence. In fact I know a lot of "well-educated" people who have the common sense of a slice of bread. Yes education is important to me and probably to a lot of other people, especially when the world is against you getting a "good" job without a college degree. But there are also many ways to educate yourself; read, travel, experience life and make mistakes, because the best way to learn something is through experience. To me knowledge, wisdom and intelligence are far more important than being traditionally well-educated, some things have to be learned through living life. Let your experiences teach you things that you wouldn't learn in a million years with an education alone. Stop stressing so much over school and college, yes it is important, but there are so many more important things in the world.
2. Stop being so hard on yourself: I mean it! This one is probably the hardest for me personally to actually succeed in doing, but I know it's something I have to try to do. I am possibly my own worst enemy, and have been for as long as I can remember. I strive for greatness and perfection in everything, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it is the way I do so. I beat myself up about the slightest of mistakes. I am overwhelmed with anxiety of not being this enough or that enough, and it is detrimental to my mental health and to others around me. So learn to be more accepting of your own downfalls and take solace in knowing that no one is perfect, and that sometimes humans fail, but that's okay, as long as you never give up trying.
3. Listen to your Mammy: Your mother was and is right, about pretty much, if not everything. My mother will love to hear this, but it's true, she's lived longer and been through more than you have, and if she tells you it's going to be alright you best believe her because she knows what she's talking about. Okay so sometimes mammy's get it wrong, but we are all only human and we make mistakes, so give her a break once in a while, I mean she has put up with you for the last 21 years, the woman is clearly a saint! Also if your mother doesn't like one of your friends or boy/girlfriend, there is a reason, and she's usually right not to like them. There are a few old friends of mine that my parents didn't really like that much are no longer in my life, so that says something.
4. Real friends will be there no matter what: I've had friends come in and out of my life at different stages, but I have a few who have always been there. Those few good friends who were there for me for everything, and even if I don't see them as often or talk to them as much as I used to, I know I can count on them when I need them. These are the kind of friends you want to keep in your life, the ones who make you happy, who make you laugh when you're sad, and who like you for who you are, weirdness and all.
5. Be happy with who you are: Finding happiness in another person is a false sense of happiness, because once they're gone so is your happiness. The only way to find true happiness is in yourself first, and then with others. Be happy with who you are, you are a beautiful, intelligent person, and you have so much to be happy about. And when you are happy with who you are and love yourself, others wont be able to help but love you because you exude confidence, happiness and love. Self love is the best kind of love. Don't be afraid to love yourself, you should love yourself, it's not "cocky" or being "full of yourself" it's being comfortable in your own skin and loving who you are. Do what makes you happy above all else, yes, it's good to make others happy, but it's more important to take care of your own happiness first.
6. People will let you down: It's a sad fact of life, people will let you down, disappoint you and make you see them in a light you may never have imagined before. But don't let that dishearten you. They won't always mean to let you down, and sometimes you will let other people down, that's okay too. Forgive and forget and move on, and try not to put so much pressure on yourself and others to be perfect, we all slip up sometimes.
7. People will talk about you behind your back: I don't know what else to say. They will. But it won't always be bad, and it's not always something to bother worrying about. Yes sometimes it will be bad things they'll say, but don't worry yourself with those people, they're not worth it. People gossip when they've nothing else to talk about, I don't know why, it's just a fault in the human race. I mean has no one learned anything from Gossip Girl? Everyone spreads gossip and rumours at some stage, well maybe not if you're Nate Archibald! Oh well, xoxo
8. Its not hard to be nice: I mean it, in fact it's actually easier to be nice to people than to be mean. Smile more in public, say thank you to those who provide you a service, do a good deed once in a while, be kind to others. It could brighten someones day and it will make you feel better about yourself too, knowing that you are a nice person to others. And if there ever comes a time when people talk s**t about you, you know you are nice and you know there is no truth in their words so they can't hurt you.
9. Stand up for yourself: Don't be too nice either to the point where people walk all over you. You don't deserve that, you're not a doormat, and no one else has the right to treat you like that and take advantage of you. Stand your ground and stand up for yourself, you are just as good as everyone else.
10. Overthinking or worrying won't help anything: Now this one is hard for me, I'm a worrier I always have been. I worry about pretty much everything and I can work myself up into a knot with worry and then I'm no use to myself or anyone else. But I've learned from some of my more chilled out friends, (you know who you are) that overthinking and worrying won't change anything, so you might as well just chill out. It's tough, but when you have good friends that are good at it, you can help calm each other. And being calm DOES help, you can get a hell of a lot more done when you're calm than when you're stressed from overthinking. Trust me! (I might need more practice at this though!)
11. Don't let anyone else tell you how to live your life: Seriously, it's your life, you make the decisions that are best for you, forget about anyone else's opinion. Unless it's in your best interest and they're trying to help you out of love, then give what they say a second thought. Otherwise it's your life, do it your way.
12. Always make time for the things that make you happy: Whatever it is, who cares, make time to do what makes you smile. Your mental health is sooooo important, and just by making time to do something that makes you smile, even if it's just reading a book, listening to music, or kicking a ball around, then do it, it will make such a difference in your life. Any little thing that you do that releases endorphins triggers a positive chemical reaction in your body in turn making you feel more positive and happy!
13. Exercising can boost your mood and make you feel better too: I know, I hate exercising too, sometimes, but remember those endorphins that I was talking about? Well exercising releases them too, and can brighten your mood. I am lazy as hell most of the time, but I've found that when I'm in a bad mood if I go for a walk/jog/run, or do something that gets my heartbeat going faster, I instantly feel better, so don't knock it til you've tried it.
14. So can chocolate - it's all about balance: My mantra for most of my life is that chocolate and time heals all wounds, I still firmly believe that, but sometimes a little more than that is needed. Chocolate has chemicals in it that stimulate the release of endorphins and seratonin, which is an anti-depressant, and makes you happy. Just remember in moderation junk food is okay, but healthy body = healthy mind, so eat your fruit and veg too, and keep fit to truly stay happy.
15. Leave the past behind you: We all have ghosts from our past that we would much rather not be brought into our future, and when the power is in your hands that's exactly what you should do. Leave things in the past, don't hold grudges it takes up so much energy and really isn't worth it. What's done is done, we can't change the past, but we can change how we feel about it. Make peace with it and move the hell on, you'll feel better because it's one less thing to cloud up your mind and worry you!
16. Take chances: Being scared to do things is a good thing, but don't be afraid to take the chance to go ahead and do what you want, and chase those dreams. Don't be afraid of failure, and don't be disheartened by it either. Pull yourself up by the boot-strings and keep on trying. It's hard, but trust me because it is so so worth it.
17. Surround yourself with good people, and happiness is never far away: Yes, I know I said make yourself happy first, and don't place your happiness in others, but that's not what I mean here! I mean if you have good friends, and good family in your life, when you're finding it tough to make it through the day in a good mood, these people will be there to help you out. They're the people you trust to make you laugh when you need it, but let you cry when you have to. People like this aren't always easy to come across, so when you do, make sure you treat them just as well as they treat you!
18. Doing things alone, and enjoying being alone is okay: It's okay to want to be alone sometimes, and it's okay to enjoy being in your own company without the distractions of others being around. Sometimes all you need is your own company and some music or a good book or something and relax in peace alone, and that is perfectly okay.
19. Sometimes you've got to ask for help from others, but that doesn't make you weak: Sometimes things can get overwhelming when you're alone, and you'll need help from someone. This doesn't undermine your independence, or your ability to do things, and it certainly doesn't make you weak. In fact, accepting that you need help shows strength in character, and shows that you're human and you can't always do everything all of the time.
20. Never give up hope: Sometimes the only thing you have getting you through the day is the hope of something better, never give up on that hope, and never give up trying to reach your goals. You are full of potential and you can do anything when you put your mind to it. There may be a few knock backs along the way but just keep going, if you want it bad enough, and you're willing to do the work, anything is possible.
21. One bad day, or bad event, IS NOT the end of the world: It may seem like it at the time, but it gets better, it gets easier. Promise. Just pick yourself back up, and try again. Start the next day fresh and wipe all memories of the bad time from your memory. Life is all ups and downs, you just have to get right back up there and enjoy the good times when a bad time comes around. Don't freak out, (this is hard for me) just relax, think of happier and better times, and work towards an achievable goal to get back to the happier times. It might not always be easy, but it will be worth it.
And that's it, I hope you guys like this post, if you want to see more of this type of thing leave me a comment below, or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or leave me a message on my Facebook page.
Until the next time,