Every day is an opportunity to learn something new, if you take advantage of it. This is a post to compile a few of the tidbits of wisdom that I have collected throughout my years. These are lessons that I’ve picked up in conventional places as well as those off the beaten track; from family, friends, strangers in the grocery store, solo travels, teachers, and even failures (as disappointing as those can be).
This is not an exhaustive list, as there is endless knowledge in this crazy world. The more I learn, the more I realize how much I still don’t know, and that’s a scary thought. But, it’s also exciting, and gives me hope and something to look forward to each day. I still have quite a ways to go and much to learn, but this is a good place to start.
1. “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.” – My friend noticed this on a sign hanging in a gelato shop in Venice after we had gotten caught in a crazy thunderstorm. A friendly reminder to embrace the curves and speed bumps life throws at you.
2. Don’t worry about what other people think of you. In the words of my wise father, “30% of the people you meet will love you, 30% will hate you, and the other 30% just won’t care.” (side note: I asked, “But Dad, what about the other 10%?” and he responded, “Don’t be a smart-ass.” – you get the gist.)
3. We can’t have all the answers, so it’s pointless to try and figure everything out. Most of the time, it ends in anxiety or fear about something that you can’t change. (I’m still struggling to live by this one. Baby steps.)
4. Treat others as you wish to be treated. Karma is a real thing. Pay it forward. There is enough conflict and animosity in the world without us needlessly adding to it.
5. It’s okay to ask for help. For so long, I thought that asking for help made you weak or “less than,” but in reality, it takes a lot of strength to ask for help. It’s emotionally and/or physically draining to go through life’s ups and downs alone.
6. Money comes, and money goes. My dear friend Elena taught me this lesson while we were in Paris, as a reminder not to let money control your decisions.
7. “If it’s worth it, it’s usually not easy.” – Sometimes in the midst of a undertaking, you can lose sight of the end goal. My friend Elena, mentioned above, is probably one of the wisest twenty-year-olds I’ve met. She also gave me this gem, something to remember when the going gets tough.