A while back, I wrote the first part of this blog post on the 20 things I learnt in my 20s. You can read it here. I thought it was time to reveal the other 10 things I’ve learnt in my life while growing up. I hope sharing these will help you in your life too, where ever you are!
11. Expensive Taste
OK now I’m not making excuses for spending huge amounts of cash for that Prada work bag or jumbo Chanel 2.55 but sometimes, it really pains me to find out just how much something costs after I’ve set my heart on it. It could be anything from bags to shoes to dresses – it wouldn’t matter. But I’ve come to accept it, that that’s just who I am and if I love things that are a bit pricier than others, then so be it. Either I work hard to earn the right to own it, wait for sales and maybe score, or just leave it aside and see what happens. After all, you never know for sure what life can bring.
12. It’s Easier to Change Youths than Adults
Meeting new people – adults – can sometimes be tiring but what’s worse is when you meet someone whose personality and beliefs just don’t sync with yours. Don’t ever try to change them because humans are stubborn by nature and many of us somehow only learn things the hard way. Youths, on the other hand, are like semi-formed adults. The younger they are, the more they can be nurtured with the right values and taught the proper lessons they need. If you want to make a positive change in your society, start with the young but be genuine in your motive.
13. Teaching is Meaningful
I never thought I’d say this but teaching is one of the most meaningful things a person can do in a lifetime. People often say it isn’t all about the subject that is taught in class, but more about what happens outside of it. To be honest, children learn more about how to lead life as a better person, or how life can be unfair, than which chemical equations are appropriate under certain conditions. But – and you may find this surprising – the teacher also learns. I’ve learnt so much more about myself, how others see me based on how I behave, and how I could be a better person by being more empathetic. I don’t think there’s anything else I’ve ever done in my life that has made me grow so much in the past few years.
14. Happiness is a Choice
I know it may be difficult for you to agree, especially if you’re going through some really tough time right now. But happiness is a choice. There have been times in my life when I’ve found it hard to not be depressed or anxious, or when I was just plain expecting the worst, but these times have taught me precious life lessons. The best lessons are to always lead life in a meaningful way, and to always be thankful for what you have, even if it may seem like there’s nothing to be thankful for. If you haven’t read “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, you should. You can get it on Amazon here.
15. True Friends are Gems
The older you get, the more you’ll realise how friends do come and go. But you’ll also find out who the ones in it for the long run are. These friends are the one you can call at random times just to cry over the phone with and not be afraid they’ll judge you. They are the ones who make the effort to meet up, instead of just saying that you should. They are also the ones who will be there regardless of whether you need them or not. When you know who they are, make sure you never lose them.
16. Fight for What You Want (Having a Job is Important)
I know how heroic fighting for what you want can sound like, but if you only do things that you like, you’re not being smart. Life isn’t a straight road to the final goal you want to achieve and most times, you’ll have to just grit your teeth and do whatever it takes to get you there. It might not seem obvious at first, where things will lead you, but when you try hard enough to work towards something, even if it’s a detour of 5 years, when you finally get there, you’ll see that there wouldn’t – couldn’t – have been another way. And if you find that you don’t end up where you thought you would, maybe it wasn’t what you had wanted all along.
17. You Answer to No One Else But Yourself
Your life is yours and you are the only one who can make a decision. If your decision is made by someone else, then all it means is that you’re not independent. OK, either that, or you’re too emotionally attached to the ones around you. Don’t get me wrong, being emotionally attached to someone else isn’t always a bad thing but when you make a choice to do something significant with your life based on what you think they would feel, or how they would be affected, then you’re not thinking for yourself. Always remember this: Don’t do something that you think you might regret in future.
18. Be Spontaneous (Trekking Can be Fun)
I’ve never been the adventurous sort, the kind who would dig in mud and do rock climbing (my poor nails). Yet life needs adventure every now and then. It wasn’t only until recently that I felt my life needed some spice (if you’ve been a “real adult” for years, you’d know how boring things can get). So when the boyfriend suggested taking an overnight train and go trekking in the mountains for 3 days, I agreed after considering the amount of mental preparation and pep-talks I’d need to give myself before embarking on the trip. It turned out to be such a great experience that I’ll remember for as long as I possibly can.
19. Live a Fulfilling Life
Whatever you do in your waking hours, always be mindful that what you do should add some value to your worth. It may sound like a never-ending quest to bump up your resume but it’s not. Things that add value to your life can be something simple like learning a new skill, taking up a new hobby, read books from an author you’re not familiar with, volunteer, foster animals, build your very first IKEA table or creating handmade gifts for your loved ones at Christmas. Whatever it is, make sure it counts for something.
20. Relationships Can Hurt But…
So you have been hurt, or you’re so afraid of getting hurt that you just avoid relationships altogether. Or you make up some lame excuse like, “I’m not into anything serious right now,” but get so affected when the guy you’re dating hangs out with someone else. What I’m saying is, just be brave. If you think that a relationship might have a chance of becoming something much greater, you should try anyway. Because there is always that one chance you take, which can end up to be the one that shows you what love is; that transforms your life; that gives you rainbows, thunderstorms and unicorns even when you don’t ask for them. If Maya Angelou can do it, so can you.
If you liked what you read, you can connect with me on Instagram, where I update snippets of my daily life.
Press on with fervour,