For some reason I have yet to understand, getting another year older is regularly seen as a negative and scary moment. While wrinkles and slower metabolism might not be the most appealing, there are far too many positive things about another year of life to spend even a moment being pessimistic.
Here are the 25 things I've learned over these past perfectly imperfect 25 years:
1. Being grateful for what you have (especially the little things) not only brings more of what you want into your life but also boosts your overall happiness. Win-win!
2. Not everyone is going to like you and that's completely ok. Some might even say bad things about you. It's out of your control though and there's no point in wasting any precious time trying to change others perception of you.
3. Tell the ones you care about how much they mean to you as much as possible.
4. Smiling can make you instantly happy no matter what.
5. It's ok to mess up. We're human and mistakes are meant to be made. Perfection is overrated.
6. We tend to be our own worst critic. Learning to forgive and be nice to yourself isn't the easiest but is so valuable and necessary.
7. Hand-written letters still always win over anything digital.
8. What you think about is what you attract so work on changing your thoughts and you can have everything you want. It's not easy but it's definitely worth it.
9. Taking care of your health is numero uno. Fruits & veggies are your body's best friend.
10. Do something that gets you out of your comfort zone at least once a week. It's what helps you grow.
11. Forgive those who mistreat you. Whether it's a friend, significant other, family member, or random stranger, they've experienced their own share of hurt and there is no reason to hurt back or carry that over to anyone else.
12. You don't have to have it all figured out. As long as you're doing something (anything) then you're moving forward and things will fall into place.
13. Be selfish. When you're happy then you can give more to the world.
14. You can't change others. All you can do is listen, offer advice, and let them figure it out on their own. Everyone has a guidance system that will steer them in the right direction and it's not your job to try to control anything.
15. Buy flowers on a regular basis. They instantly make everything more beautiful.
16. Give to others whenever possible (even if it's just a few cents to a homeless person). You never know how big of an impact your little gestures can have on someone.
17. Be nice to everyone regardless of their status. It doesn't matter if it's the janitor at a restaurant, cashier at the grocery store or the CEO of a major company, everyone deserves kindness.
18. Silence is golden. Taking even just a few minutes in the morning and evening to meditate changes everything.
19. You're never too old to call family and friends for help.
20. When you feel butterflies and excitement in your body, follow it no matter what. Your gut will never steer you in the wrong direction.
21. Don't settle for what's comfortable. Fight to live the dream you want, it exists.
22. Travel as often as possible. It doesn't matter if it's to another country or to the town next door. The world is far too big and beautiful to not discover it.
23. The right romantic relationship will come, don't force anything. Focus on loving yourself & enjoying life and all else will easily fall into place.
24. You don't have to do what everyone else is doing. Do the opposite. Be different. Follow your own bliss. We all have different paths and that's what makes this life so fun.
25. Never stop learning. There's so much to discover!
While I've experienced a whole lot in the past twenty-five years, I still have so much more to learn. The fun thing about life is that we can plan, anticipate, and scheme but more often than not we will be steered in a complete different direction. The most valuable thing I've learned is to trust that no matter what, everything always happens for a good reason (even when you might not know what that reason is yet).
And so I say farewell to 24 and hello to 25 with one of my favorite quotes:
"Bless the present. Trust yourself. Expect the best." - Serge Kahili King