LESSONS IN LIFE: THE FIRST 28 YEARS

Berlin Zoo

I have gone through a huge amount of change and stress, mostly career-wise, in the past four years. This is why I wanted to write about the life lessons I’ve been trying to remind myself of lately.

Some are the kind you keep working with throughout your life, while others you only need to realize once. They are classic cliché material – until you actually get that it’s all true.

It's Selja

The title of this post almost was “things I wish I had realized earlier”. That thought conveniently brings us to lesson number one…

NO REGRETS
Don’t look back. You made those decisions with the best knowledge you had at that time. I can guarantee you, there’s not that many decisions that would be 100 % bad. If you’re still alive, you hopefully learned something that will have an impact on your decision the next time. There’s just no point in regretting, because there’s no way of changing the past.

LISTEN TO YOUR GUT
If it’s telling you that you’re not in something wholeheartedly, it’s probably right. You can deny it, but you can’t hide from it.

YOUR LIFE IS YOURS
Don’t let anyone else tell you how to live it. It will come back to you sooner or later. There are always people who only want good for you, but don’t necessarily realize that they are doing the opposite. Live for you. Be selfish.

STOP GIVING A DAMN ABOUT WHAT ANYONE ELSE THINKS
This will be the biggest eye-opener. It can be complicated to recognize the right time for this – drawing the line between being independent and selfish. Everyone’s busy thinking about what other people think of them, that they can’t be bothered to think about you too much.

BE KIND
“– , for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”. – John Watson

It’s inevitable to come across with rude people in my line of work. Those situations are hard to deal with at first, as most of us, myself included, pretty much try to have a curious and friendly approach to other people and the world.

Recognize that in 99 % of the cases, it has nothing to do with you. A little kindness goes a long way, as does taking the higher road. Life’s too short for getting upset over something you have no control of.

BE PRESENT
For the past few years, I’ve been stressed. Worrying, going through my to do-list, not really hearing. Doing a million things at a time and really just been somewhere else than in the present most of the time.

My biggest goal for the rest of the year is to really be present and focus on one thing at a time. Giving myself and others the respect they deserve by being there with them in the moment.

BE GRATEFUL
Every day. Stop always striving for more and be happy exactly what you have. You have every reason to be grateful. I have a tendency to complain just for the heck of it, so I’m 100 % work in progress.

CHASE YOUR DREAMS
They evolve. Sometimes they disappear for a while. They might be right in front of you for a long time before you really see them for what they are. The road to making them true rarely is a straight line, so be patient and keep working.

I made my dream a reality sometime ago and realized that it had changed into something else. It wasn’t there anymore. That made me *gulp* and I had to put the thought aside for some time to get used to the feeling. Until you truly find what you want, your dreams will make you chase them.

DO MORE OF WHAT YOU LOVE
So true. Because how else will you feel happy?

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