I am officially 20 years old, now that number sounds new to me! It feels…older and…maturer. No more “teen” uttered alongside my age anymore. It seems like I’m on the verge of a new phase in my life, with new challenges to be faced, new experiences to be tried, and new responsibilities to live up to. Then the usual cliché question comes up: have I done something worthwhile in the past 20 years (actually the first 10 years don’t really count because I was still a kid so 😀
But how do I measure the worthiness of my experience? Does it lie in the achievements I’ve made? Or the lessons I’ve learned? Or is it about how I have developed and changed along the years? I believe the essence of one’s journey in this life is a mixture of these three elements. After all, it was never about the number of years you’ve existed; it’s about how you change over the years, how you work on yourself, and how much impact you leave behind.
Thus, I have decided to thoroughly think about then share with you 20 lessons I’ve learned in my past humble 20 years:
1) Religion is there to make our lives easier and more serene, not harder or more complicated. Ask about what you don’t fully understand and seek the truth.
2) Your family is your main backbone in life. They provide unconditional love & support regardless of your mishaps and flaws. Be proud of them & show them how much they mean to you.
3) Friends are the second family you choose for yourself, the ones who bring out the best in you. Maintain yourself a small circle of close friends, who will be your companions on the journey of life, and a large circle of acquaintances, whom will you probably need and perhaps even upgrade your relationship with them along the way. Love them both genuinely.
4) Don’t think of education as a mere means to reach other goals. A good education is an end in & of itself. Find what you love to study & do it with passion. Don’t work in a certain field just because the work field demands it, impose yourself with what you love.
5) Preserve the spirit of your inner child. Allow yourself the flexibility & openness of childhood along with the maturity of adulthood. Remember that you couldn’t be mature when you were a child but you certainly could be an adult with a young, childlike soul.
6) Have an activity you only do for yourself, not for people, fame, acknowledgment, competition, jealousy, or any reason other than the fact that you enjoy doing it. Do with passion and dedication.
7) Learn from everyone you meet, whether superior, equal, or inferior to you. Learn from any situation you come across, whether it’s happened to you, to someone you know, or even read about it somewhere. Be receptive, observant, and open-minded.
8) Retain the lesson you learned from your mistakes then forget about the misgivings themselves so you can leave more room for happy memories. Remember that your past directly contributed to where you are today, so wear it proudly.
9) Don’t immerse yourself too much in the virtual world of social media. People only show the best part of their day so don’t get fooled by their seemingly perfect lives. Real communication is emotional & spiritual presence not a bunch of letters, emojis, and pixels.
10) On the other hand, savor & indulge in every single moment of your life. Experience it with all your senses. Never miss a moment without adding value to it in all possible ways.
11) Fall in love with yourself & always work on developing it. You can’t possibly make others happy or better them in any way before attending to YOU first. A cloud has to be filled with water before it starts to rain its affluent transparent beads.
12) The beauty or the hideousness we see around us is only a reflection of what’s inside our minds and souls. Things are just things, what you reflect is what you get. Notice what you reflect.
13) Being grateful lessens the impact of a calamity because you feel relieved that things are not worse than they are. It doubles the joy of a bliss, one time for the delight of the bliss you were endowed with and another for content that it is actually happening to you.
14) The present moment is the only thing in your hands that you can be sure of. Don’t think too much about the future ’cause it’s not guaranteed & don’t ponder a lot in the past ’cause it’s not going to change. It’s only investing in the present moment that can ensure you have the future you want and avoiding the parts of the past that you hated.
15) Enrich your personality with knowledge. Know a thing about everything. Find information they way enjoy most, be it reading, movies, social interactions, you name it. The more you learn, the more you realize you haven’t learned a thing. It’s a sweet infinite cycle.
16) Your body is a gift, so don’t ruin it with junk food and a bad lifestyle. Eat healthily but spoil yourself every once in a while. Eating good food is one of the most indulging and satisfying pleasures. Nevertheless, if you want to change your body to the better, do so with love and acceptance for no one else but yourself.
17) Make excuses for people. They will always make mistakes & so will you. Criticize the behavior not the person who did it. Reproach but don’t blame.
18) We all have the same 24 hours in a day so spend more effort managing your time rather than complaining about it. It’s all a matter of organizing priorities regarding what you want rather than making up excuses.
19) Allow yourself a chance to experiment life, within the boundaries you set for yourself. Neither follow the rules too blindly nor disregard them completely, use your common sense & intuition.
20) And finally, follow your heart but take your brain with you. Feel comfortable in what you’re doing. Get our of your comfort zone & enrich your experiences. Trust me, life is worth it! 🙂
– All images are hyperlinked to their original sources.