22 things I learnt in 22 years –» life lessons
One thing that connects all of us —
is that we are all students of life. Constantly learning and growing, forever evolving and changing. Never standing still. Always remaining in a state of transformation.
Two months ago yesterday, the earth turned around the sun for the 22nd time since my soul found it's way into this physical body of mine. 22 years and two months have passed ever since I entered planet earth in human form.
This post was supposed to be up 2 months and one day ago, on my 22nd birthday, the 6th of December. I didn't make it since so much was going on at this point of time - uni, work and organizing everything for my second trip to LA. Two days later, I sat on a plane again.
I really fell for this city and found a second home in another country, with strangers who soon became my second family. I came back and worked on uni assignments for 5 weeks straight. So it has taken me a long time to finally sit down, make time for a proper recap and think about what life has taught me so far. Today, I want to share everything that I have learned on this journey I'm on so far with you... My main lessons, what I took from them and how I managed to grow into the person that I am today.
Here are my 22 life lessons that I learned throughout my time on planet earth. I wanted to share them with you so that you can apply them to your own life and maybe take something from them. Without any further rambling, here we go:
Talk about your blessings more than you talk about your problems. This is a huge one. As humans, we always tend to see the negative in any situation, e.g. if something doesn't go as planned or expected. We are more likely to focus on everything that went wrong instead of all the things that went right. Try this simple practice every time you feel like complaining or drowning in negative thoughts: Give yourself a reality check and try to asses the situation from a neutral point of view. Make sure to put things into perspective way more often. You are sitting on a giant rock spinning around itself, floating through infinite space and you worry about not owning the latest IPhone/ 'only' getting a B in your last exam/ what other people might think of you/ loosing your favorite bracelet / you name it / fill in the blank. Like really? At the end of the day, all of these things don't really matter. Health, friendship, family, a balanced life, being present - these things truly matter.
Always make sure to chose quality over quantity. When it comes to friends (and anything in life, really), quality is more important than quantity. Investing in material things as well as strong relationships will make all the difference in your life and enhance it as a whole.
Don't try to control everything. I really had to learn this the hard way - several times, to be quite honest with you (yep, the universe keeps challenging you and confronts you with the same struggles & obstacles until you finally learned the lesson you needed and simultaneously neglected to learn -seems unfair, I know, but trust me it happens for your personal growth and a higher purpose). Key message: let live flow and grow organically. Don't force anything. Neither relationships, nor outcomes. You can only control what you do but you can never control how other people will react or what life has in store for you. The universe knows better, always. Trust it. Keep flowing with it and stop stressing so much (I still need to keep reminding myself of this SO often).
Detach from as many physical things as possible. The art of detachment... I could probably write a whole entire book about this topic, but for now, let me tell you that this is one of the most valuable lessons you will ever learn in your life. The less you are depended on external things that are temporary or out of your control, the happier you will be. Let go. I know how hard this is. But learn to let go, and you will set yourself free. This is especially important when it comes to relationships with other people. I learned this the hard way in 2017 and it brought me so much personal growth... and freedom. "To love and let go, love and let go, love and let go...it's the single most important thing we can learn in this lifetime.” - Rachel Brathen
Don't stress over what you can't change. If there is something you can do about a certain situation, go and change it. If you can't change it, accept it. Surrender and let. it. be. Have faith that everything that happens needs to happen in order for you to get where you want to be. Life prepares you for everything you will face at one time in your life, so see every obstacle as a challenge to grow and learn from, as a blessing rather than something entirely negative. I know how hard this is. But it makes all the difference in your life (and saves you 100% of stress). Give less fucks. Seriously.
Your most important wealth is your health. I honestly couldn't agree more to this saying. If you aren't healthy, life simply isn't enjoyable. You are not able to live life to it's fullest. Whether it's a headache or a leg injury. Whatever it is, it holds you back from things you want to do. On another note: your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Make sure to take care of your whole entire being and check in with yourself daily by asking yourself the following questions: Does my body feel energized, well rested and did I provide it with all the vitamins and nutrients it needs in order to thrive and perform it's best? Did I take the time today to be still and let my mind rest, let it wander? Did I do something that my soul enjoyed? And what about spiritual practices that bring me fulfillment and inner joy? Keep in mind that you are a holistic system. Make sure to take care of all aspects of your being for they are all interconnected. I neglected my mental health for years and years, it took me 19 years in total to discover my spiritual side and I couldn't be more grateful that I finally live in a healthy body that thrives on an abundance of plants. Damn, it feels good to take care of yourself. I need to work on my work-life-balance and I think there is still room for improvement, but I'm on a good way. What about you?
What you resist, persists. Don't resist life or any circumstances you might find yourself in. Practice patience, acceptance and surrendering as much as possible. I know how hard this is since I am probably the most impatient person of all times. But I am slowly learning to surrender way more often when things don't go as originally planned. Always remember that the universe confronts you with the same kind of situations until you learned the lesson you needed to learn. The earlier you start accepting and stop resisting, the easier your life will become.Lessons are repeated until they are learnt.
Don't be so incredibly hard on yourself. It's okay not to give 100% at everything 100% of the time. It's okay to take care of and put your well-being first. In fact, it's necessary and I ask you to do this. Nothing in life is as important as your mental and physical well-being. Also remember that it's okay to experience setbacks. It's okay to struggle, to fall to learn, to grow, to feel all the feelings and not be optimistic 100% of the time. You are human. Take your time, as much as you need. Just make sure to get up again after a while and don't drown in negativity for more than a few days without any progress and shifting your mentality. It's about progress, not perfection. It's about consistency and taking baby steps towards the right direction. There is no such thing as 'failure'. Only life lessons. Remember that.
Magic only happens outside of your comfort zone. So make sure to step outside of it every. single. day.Do one thing every single day that scares you. Whether that's talking to the girl at your gym, smiling at a stranger, trying out something completely new like playing the piano, traveling to another city on your own or challenging you to push yourself even harder at the gym - whatever it is, make sure it scares you and then go and go and do it anyway. This is where the magic happens. I mean it. Great things never came from comfort zones. Take the leap and take your life to the next level by taking the next step although you can't see the entire staircase in front of you. Step into the unknown. Lose your mind and find yourself.Only 1 year ago, I used to be the person who would always chose security over risk. Who would chose comfort over adventures. As you might be able to tell, I eventually changed my mind. I figured that outside of your comfort zone is the only place where you will ever grow. So this is what I did. Like a wildflower, I grew in all the places people never thought I would. To be quite honest, neither did I expected myself to transform this way. But here I am today, running my own blog, inspiring thousands of people from all over the world online and making a difference in this world. All I ever wanted came true. Why? Because I started putting myself out there. I started my second Instagram Channel to share my passion and the vegan message with this world and see where we are now. This community is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Thank you for being part of it. I'm not gonna lie, in the beginning, it was incredibly scary for me to put myself out there and, by opening up, making myself incredibly vulnerable. Sharing my deepest thoughts and personal ups and downs with the world is something I would have never dreamed of doing 4 years ago. But this is the price you pay when you truly want to have an impact and make a change.
Change is the only true constant in life. Go with the flow way more often. This quote by one of my biggest inspirations sums it up pretty perfectly. “Life is made up of a collection of moments that are not ours to keep. The pain we encounter throughout our days spent on this earth comes from the illusion that some moments can be held onto. Clinging to people and experiences that were never ours in the first place is what causes us to miss out on the beauty of the miracle that is the now. All of this is yours, yet none of it is. How could it be? Look around you. Everything is fleeting." - Rachel Brathen Embrace change. Don't cling to anything. Just let life flow.
There lies so much beauty in imperfection and vulnerability. For the majority of my life, I tried to be perfect. I used to put myself under so much pressure to always keep showing strength, negotiating all my weaknesses. I would never let anyone too close, ever. Crying in front of others? No go. Saying what I truly felt on the inside? Nope, no way. I persisted any deeper feelings and buried all my insecurities under a confident smile. I didn't try to fake anything, but I simply didn't want anyone to know how I truly felt about myself and my life on the inside. After recovering from a major break-down as a teenager, I slowly started learning what it meant to truly feel. Deeply, intensely and without feeling the need of constantly explaining myself (something I always used to do before, justifying myself was my second nature). After shifting my mindset and starting a journey of personal growth, I finally started showing my raw, uncovered emotions in front of others. By opening old wounds and letting all the poison out, I slowly healed. What I want to tell you with this little background story of mine is that it's not only acceptable but even necessary to feel deeply. To accept emotions as visitors. To really work through them. If they are unpleasant, you can start releasing them after a while. It took me years and years of practice but going through this process of personal transformation was oh so worth it. In a nutshell: You are not weak by showing weakness. There lies so much strength in making yourself vulnerable. Believe me when I tell you that finding people who want you to be raw and honest, your messy and broken self in front of them is the most beautiful thing in the world. And you will only attract those kind of people into your life who love and appreciate you for the person that you are at your very core, when you finally start accepting and loving yourself unconditionally. no matter how flawed you are. My personal advice is to stop acting as if everything is okay when in fact, it is not. I have deepened all my relationships by unapologetically being my weird, messy self. Feels freaking awesome to finally be able to have authentic, genuine and deep connections with others that are based on trust and mutual acceptance of each others imperfections. It all starts with yourself. Always remind yourself of this quote whenever you start feeling unworthy or weak again: "Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring." - Marilyn Monroe
The best moments in life usually are the ones you never saw coming. Like really, don't try to plan every single thing in your life. The best memories are the ones you could have never imagined to make with people you haven't even met yet in places you didn't even know existed.
Life is all about balance. "Be kind, but don't let people abuse you. Trust, but don't be deceived. Be content, but never stop improving yourself." - Nishan Panwar And: “Balance is key. In everything you do. Dance all night long and practice yoga the next day. Drink wine but don’t forget your green juice. Eat chocolate when your heart wants it and kale salad when your body needs it. Wear high heels on Saturday and walk barefoot on Sunday. Go shopping at the mall and then sit down and meditate in your bedroom. Live high and low. Move and stay still. Embrace all sides of who you are and live your authentic truth! Be brave and bold and spontaneous and loud and let that complement your abilities to find silence and patience and modesty and peace. Aim for balance. Make your own rules and don’t let anybody tell you how to live according to theirs.” - Rachel Brathen (you might have already noticed, I adore this person and her mindset) Living in extremes is easy, establishing a proper balance however is the hardest thing in the world (at least for me). I needed to learn that life is neither black nor white. It is colorful and different conditions or outer circumstances require different priorities. On some days, you are full of energy and might be working from 8am until 11pm. That is perfectly fine as long as you don't go crazy and maintain these working hours every single day. The next day you might just sleep in and take it a bit slower. Finding that sweet spot, the perfect mix of work and play isn't always easy and sometimes requires some practice, patience and setting very clear priorities. I might write another blogpost on productivity and how to set your priorities very straight in the future if you would be interested in reading more about this topic.. Just let me know down below. :-)
Self love is key to everything in life. Talk to yourself the way you would to your dearest friend. It doesn't matter what other people think about you as long as you are truly happy with your life and feel confident about yourself. Once you start loving and accepting yourself, you will attract people into your life (and only tolerate those - high standards, peeps!), who appreciate and value you, people who see your worth. It all begins with loving yourself. Unconditionally, okay?The relationship you have with yourself sets the tone for all the other relationships in your life. Self love is crucial. The way you treat yourself if how others will treat you. Give yourself the love you give so freely to others. All too often, we are our own biggest critics. But it doesn't has to be this way. Love yourself endlessly, take care of yourself, treat yourself when you need it. You are amazing, and you deserve it. You are worthy. Give yourself a hug. Smile at yourself in the mirror after waking up in the morning and tell yourself that you are a freaking bas-ass. Simply because you are.
Dont compare your chapter one to someone else's chapter 20. Comparison is the thief of joy. You have probably heard this saying before and it's oh so true. If someone is in a place in their life where you eventually aspire to be as well or, if other people who might be even younger are already 3 steps ahead of you, don't beat yourself up for taking more time. Everyone has their own unique journey and their own pace of figuring things out. Be patient with yourself and keep aiming towards your goals. On another note: Stop comparing your every-day-life to other people's highlights on social media. It's only a snapshot if reality, not the whole entire picture.
Worrying is the biggest waste of time. You can neither change the past nor predict the future. All you will ever have is the present moment. Regretting past decisions or feeling anxious about the future will do nothing for you but destroys your inner peace of mind. Protect your space, protect your peace. Keep having faith that everything will always work out exactly the way it is supposed to.Live more. Worry less. Don't waste your time worrying about things you can't change or that have already taken place. There is simply no point.
You can start over and re-invent yourself at any given moment. Let's be real, you don't have to wait until the first of January to finally start taking action towards your goals. Neither do you need to wait until next week to finally become fit, eat healthier, workout more regularly, start your own business, work on your passion project or finally start learning a new skill. Just start on an ordinary Wednesday, the fourth of November. The earlier you start, the better. Also, you can start over at any given point of time. Just because you studied BWL, it doesn't mean that you can't become an artist in the future if that's what you are aspiring to be. You can change the direction of your life anytime.
Everything in life happens for you, not against you. Everything is either a blessing or a lesson you needed to learn. Unpleasant things will continue taking place in your life until you finally learned the lesson you needed to learn. It's on you. See the good in every situation and keep your mindset positive and your thoughts optimistic.
Investing into yourself is the best investment you will ever make. Trust me. Do it. Take more time to read books and articles on topics you are passionate about. Get your 8h+ of sleep every night. Buy organic fruits and vegetables. Put natural care prdoucts on your skin. Nourish your body with all the vitamins and nutrients it needs. Drink enough water. Arrange enough time for regular workouts each week in your schedule. Take care of yourself. Practice self-love daily.
You can only connect the dots looking backwards. Trust that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes, you can't see that reason straight away but you for sure will some day. Until then, laugh about the confusion and don't take life too seriously.
Done is better than perfect. I am so guilty of this. I am a perfectionist at heart. But sometimes, you need to drop all your sky-high expectations and just finish something rather than spending another hour over-thinking each and every single step you took. Just get it out there (this was my mindset when I finally launched my blog and even when I decided to uploaded this post - to be quite honest, I could have spent another 2 evenings perfecting it, but honestly, I think it already is good the way it is - we are always our hardest critics, can you relate? :-D). In the end, it's all about delivering value , not about perfection. If I would have waited until my blog is finally perfect, it wouldn't be up today and I couldn't have shared any content with you guys on here.
Gratitude changes everything. Damn, it really does. Try it and let me know how you feel after writing down 10 things that you are grateful for each and every single night before you go to sleep for one entire week. Just one week. Can you tell the difference?
Before you go...
...here's a little bonus for you guys, simply because this post came way too late (might use this excuse to spoil you with another 9 lessons because why the hell not, I feel like I have learned so freaking much that there is never too much knowledge to share and too much value to offer ;-)) :
Minimalism simplifies everything in life. This lifestyle has added more value to my life than I would have ever imagined. I am not labeling myself as a strict minimalist whatsoever since the definition of minimalism is very broadly defined, at least in my opinion. But buying less material things and escaping this consumerism mindset I have been in for nearly two decades has definitely added heaps of value to my life and enabled me to save up so much money. These days, I rather invest my income and savings into making memories and going on trips with friends. This is what I will look back on when I'm older. Not my shoe or bag collection. I used to fill an empty hole inside of me with materialistic things. Now I feel fulfilled because I am surrounded by good people and experience life through travels in a completely different way. Also, getting rid of old things is the most freeing thing in the world. You feel so much lighter in every single respect. To put it simply: Decluttered mind = decluttered life.
Always stray true to yourself. Don't let anyone ever tell you that you are not beautiful, good, intelligent, (...whatever it might be) enough. You are not here to please other people. You are here for a reason. Live life on your own terms. Don't neglect your values or change in order to please someone else. If someone doesn't like you exactly the way you are, they don't deserve a place in your life. This is the reason why I started becoming very picky about who I choose to surround myself with and invest my time into. Everyone deserves being accepted the way they are without being forced to turn into a different person.
The most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. The day I found my life purpose, my life started falling into place. What is your purpose in life? Have you found it yet? Ask yourself this important question and scribble down your thoughts.
Being present is the biggest gift you can give to anyone. Time is more precious than expensive gifts will ever be. Be present with your family and friends when you decide spending time with them. Whatever you do, make sure to really be there- mentally, physically, emotionally. Put your phone to the side when you are around other people who want your unrestricted attention and truly be present.
You can't pour out of an empty bottle. Make your well-being your number one priority. Before you think about giving to others, take care of yourself first. I learned this lesson the hard way and eventually started carving at least 30 min out of my day, no matter how packed my schedule might be, for self-care and relaxing. If my batteries aren't recharged, I can't give to others and serve the collective community of this planet. Self-love and self-care aren’t selfish but necessary.
Inner beauty is more important than outer beauty. What are society's beauty standards anyway? Tiny hips, a big butt, lots of muscles, long hair, perfect skin, you name it. Screw it. You are beautiful exactly the way you are. And if you treat other people with compassion, love, understanding and kindness, you are beautiful beyond measure anyway, no matter if you have asymmetric teeth, short legs or pimples. These things don't define you. Character does.
Trust your intuition. Your first instincts almost never lie. Mindfulness is key and matters most when you are trying to connect with your intuition. Through regular meditation practices, you will sharpen it and re-connect with that inner voice of yours over time. Energy and vibes don't lie. Once you have learned to connect with this inner guide of yours, your senses will no longer trick you.
A growth-mindset will take you anywhere you want in life. Always stay curious and open-minded. This is how you proceed and get ahead in life. You will be more likely to meet new people, develop your skills, expand your knowledge and grow as a person in so many ways. A fixed mindset however will keep you from succeeding and making progress in all different kinds of fields. Don't think you already have all the answers. No one of us does. Every single one of us keeps learning until the rest of their lives. That's the beauty of this journey all of us are on. You are never too old to change your mindset, educate yourself further on a specific topic or grow as a person in general.
What you put in is what you get out. It always works like this. What you put into your mouth is what your body will reflect on the outside. When you feed your mind with negative thoughts and limiting self-beliefs, you will never be able to live up to your fullest potential. The work you put in now determines where you will be 2 months or 5 years from now. Get clear on what you want to attract into your life and start taking small action steps every single day according to those goals.
So that's about it you guys, I hope you enjoyed reading my 22 (oh well, actually 32 , I have never been good with numbers anyway) life lessons that hopefully helped and inspired you in one way or another.
If you want to get to know me better, feel free to read my 'About' section or simply follow me on Instagram to stay updated and see what I get up to. I always love sharing my daily thoughts in my captions. I always pour my heart and soul into them, in hope to inspire you as I go along in life. If you want to get to know me better, check out my About section and let me know if you'd be interested in a "Facts about me-" post. :-)
Sending love to you, fam! If you read until these bottom lines, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Comment down below if you read until the very end, I would love to know.
Love & Light,
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