22 Life Lessons I’ve Learned In 22 Years

On Monday I will turn 22. As I look back at how quickly the time has passed, I’ve realised just how much can change in a year. It became clear to me that happiness comes from within. Being happy is really personal and it has nothing to do with anyone else. We must take the power to control our own lives and never give this power to someone else. As I reflect upon my year of being 21 and the years building up to that number, here are the 22 life lessons I’ve learned in 22 years.

1.     Life is happening now. We need to stop living life like we are going to get another shot at it. Life is not a rehearsal. The past is history and the future is never guaranteed. Live for what today has to offer and never postpone your happiness for another day.

2.     Hard work always pays off. The secret to success is hard work, commitment and determination. You gain a sense of self-satisfaction from pushing yourself to your limits.

3.     If you’re unhappy with your situation, change it. No one is in charge of your happiness but you. You have the power to free yourself from anything that makes you unhappy and start anew.

4.     Don’t waste too much time on negative people. Use their behaviour as an example of how not to act.

5.     Have no expectations and then you can never be disappointed.

6.     Love and accept yourself fully. The more you love and respect yourself, the less you will tolerate anything that compromises your inner peace. Self-love is the foundation for your happiness. Be patient with yourself as you evolve. Feel good about yourself and you will immediately feel better about everything else.

7.     Fill your life with adventures. Have loads of stories to tell.

8.     Time is the best healer. Your happiness is always going to come back. Bad times don’t last. Keep moving forwards and in a year's time you’ll look back and be proud of how far you have come.

9.     Live your life with passion.

10.  Don’t let fear or rejection stop you from following your dreams. Rejections won’t decide your fate. They simply redirect your course to something better.

11.  Your health is your most valuable asset.

12.  You don’t have to have it all figured out. It’s okay to not know what the future holds. There’s so much pressure on us to have everything all figured out by the time we are 22. We can be so hard on ourselves when we don’t believe we are living the life we should be living. Cut yourself some slack and believe you are on the right path to where you are meant to be.

13.  Don’t take anything for granted.

14.  We always have a choice. Whilst many things are beyond our control we have choice in the way that we see things and react to them. We have the choice to not let circumstances define our future. We have the choice to be positive and happy. We have the choice to live our lives in a way that will make us happiest.

15.  Patience is a virtue. Life is amazing and then it’s ordinary and then it’s amazing again. We need to stay patient during our mundane routines, as the amazing times are not far away. 

16.  Go with the flow. Trust the way that things happen is always for the best. Force nothing and let things take their natural course.

17.  Do things that challenge you. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. Strength grows in the moment that we push ourselves to do the things that we once thought we couldn’t.

18.  Try new things. Take risks. Learn something new. Experience life outside of your comfort zone.

19.  Live according to your values. Once your values are clear, it becomes easier to make decisions. Anything that does not align with your values can be discarded.

20.  Spend quality time with your loved ones.

21.  Once a year, go to a place that you’ve never been before. Life is not meant to be lived in the same place.

22.  The purpose of our lives is to be happy. Happiness is defined by our own terms. What makes you happy will be different to what makes someone else happy. You were born for a purpose and you have the power to achieve it.

Lucy x