Wow, I can’t believe I’m now 30! I feel like when we’re younger, we never look forward to getting older but 30 feels good.
On my actual birthday, there was this really good energy. I know that might sound a little crazy, but it just felt different. And then weirdly enough, I had two really important and significant things happen in regards to my work/brand. I don’t know! It was just interesting that all of this was happening on October 2nd. But I’m not going to second guess it! I’m just going to take it as a good omen and roll with it.
But moving on to what I’ve learned over these last 30 years, ha! I wanted to do this post because I feel like in the last year I’ve grown up a lot, and have learned a few things as I’ve gotten older. I know that sounds cliche, but it’s true! I feel like these “lessons” have always been in the back of my mind, but this last year they’ve really been solidified for me. I think these are all important things to recognize when it comes to living a fulfilled and happy life.
- Comparison is the thief of joy. How many times have we heard this one!? Well I’m saying it again because it’s important. As I’ve gotten older I’ve become more aware of what everyone else around me “has” and it’s easy (especially with social media) to get caught in the comparison trap. I’ve learned that at the end of the day, assessing what others have versus what I have is futile. It’s doesn’t bring anything positive to my life. Because I know that this is what it brings, I’ve learned to just stop myself and redirect my attention elsewhere if I start to fall into that trap. It’s made me much happier on a daily basis.
- Most things aren’t a big deal. Since working in a medical ICU, I have gained a whole new perspective. Getting stuck in traffic? Annoying. Have a ton of things on your to-do list? Stressful. Didn’t get the promotion at work? Frustrating. Faint and fracture your jaw (LOL)? Sucks (but it’s not permanent). I get that all these things are a part of life and some are bigger deals than others BUT at the end of the day, don’t sweat the small stuff. Be happy that you lead a life that allows these things to be your stresses.
- Value your health. Touching on the what I was just saying about how I’ve realized most things aren’t a big deal after witnessing what a lot of people go through (in the MICU). I have learned how grateful I am to have a healthy and able body. So many people don’t have that luxury and it’s one that a lot of us take for granted everyday.
- Happiness breeds success–not the only way around. Those who are happy aren’t happy because they are successful. Successful people are those that come from a place of genuine happiness and positivity. Your mind is a powerful tool, don’t underestimate it!
- Money is nice to have, and it makes life easier in some ways, but it doesn’t make you happy. This is something that my Dad said to me several years ago and it’s always stuck with me. Growing up, we never wanted for anything and even as I’ve gotten older my parents have been a big support for me, especially financially after I fractured my jaw and had about 20K in dental work (eek!) But I will say that he’s right. When Stephen first went back to school, I was barely making any extra income from my blog and we were dependent on my nursing income. Now, our finances look very different but we aren’t any happier. Yes, it’s fun to have the ability to travel, to buy new furniture for the house, etc. But at the end of the day those things don’t bring happiness–just remember that!
- Sometimes you have to make adult decisions. Being an adult isn’t always fun–you have to think of things beyond that instant gratification. For example. I feel like I see so many bloggers leaving their corporate job and blogging/influencing full time. It was something I considered but one of the big things that stopped me was HEALTH INSURANCE. Thinking of these things aren’t fun, but as an adult you have to. You can’t underestimate the importance of certain things and just do what you want because you think it will work out, or it’s what everyone else is doing. Being an adult means analyzing all aspects of a situation, and not necessarily choosing what you want or what will be the most fun.
- Be kind. Kindness goes such a long way. You never know how you might impact someone’s day from a kind word or gesture. Don’t underestimate the power of this.
- Don’t spend time worrying about what others think. I’ve found that the less time I’ve spent worrying about what others think the more happier and successful I’ve been. Anytime I get self-conscious, I just think–I’m probably never going to see these people again and if I do, so what? I’m doing what I need to do to be successful, to enjoy my life, to bring me happiness, etc. At the end of the day, you’re not going to be happy because of what someone thought of you. And if other’s opinions and perception of you is what is driving your happiness, they please re-evaluate your life!! 🙂 At the end of the day, you have to do what YOU want to, not what others expect of you.
- Find the silver lining. Find the positive in the less than ideal situations. Let’s face it. Some situations are just shitty. But that’s life. Again, the mind is a truly powerful thing. If you dwell in how crappy any situation is, that’s all it’s going to ever be. Instead, find the silver lining. When I fractured my jaw and had it wired shut for two months, I could have dwelled on how crappy that was. Instead, I was grateful that my injuries were temporary, I showed myself how strong and capable I was by still working out and hitting my macros despite my situation, and after I used my weight loss/gain transformation as a way to help others. There is always something positive that comes out of a bad situation, you just have to be willing to find it.
- There’s more to life than having the “perfect body.” When I first started my fitness journey several years ago, I was so obsessed with my outward appearance. I thought that having abs and having a “perfect body” was going to make me happy. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t. Sure, your physical appearance does play a role in your self-confidence and I’m not saying it doesn’t feel great to look good! But I’ve also realized that there’s a fine line between the two. I became my happiest when I started to accept myself for who I was, not who I wanted to be. It’s great to have goals that focus on your physical appearance, but how you view yourself (the mental and emotional side) is more important as that is what will have the most impact on your overall happiness.
In writing these out, I think I’ve realized a common theme. At the end of the day, you have to live your live for YOU, and no one else, be grateful for all the good in your life (don’t sweat the small stuff), and use tough experiences to learn something, to help someone else, and to build your character. Do any of these really resonate with you guys? Or anything else you’ve learned as you’ve gotten older? Would love to hear them!