32 Lessons from 32 Years
Looking back on three plus decades feels kind of crazy. How did I get here? Anybody else in this age range feeling me? The kids I used to babysit have now graduated college. My 10th college reunion is next month. WTF mates.
Here we are, so let’s learn something from it, shall we?
Stop giving a shit about what others think. Sooo not worth it.
Your heart knows better than your head. Sometimes it takes a little more effort to drop into this space.
Logic-ing your way to things won’t make you happy. Being practical and reasonable does not always work.
You can’t make people ‘projects’. Whoops. You shouldn’t be out there trying to fix or change anyone.
You can’t control everything. Focus on your concrete ‘locus of control’. (Thanks, TFA).
We waste a lot of time in our heads, putrefying in fear. Wacala! Just start acting and everything will flow more easily.
Your family (to some extent) gets you. They are your people. They are your tribe. They know your ‘crazy’. Don’t push them away.
You don’t have to do everything alone. Strive for interdependence over independence (truth: it’s a higher level skill).
Assets-based thinking will get ya soo much farther in life. I focused on faults, the lack, the things I disliked, for so long. Let me tell ya, not very motivating.
People and relationships are everything. Your community, your crew, colleagues, or the barista that knows your name and your order… Treasure them!
Soul work is worth it. It’s not a common homework assignment handed down in grade school. You must stay on the lookout for it and be aware when it shows up. It’s not easy, but holds the power to deconstruct, rebuild, and transform.
Regular reflection should be a thing. Like maybe the government mandates a regular period of quiet at work in school or the world-wide internet shutw down for an hour every Sunday. Just a thought.
Your most important relationship? Yup, it’s with that beautiful being staring back at you in the mirror. Treat them well.
Stop focusing on the lack. Err, might’ve said something similar in #9 but hey, it’s because it’s really important.
Shifting your mindset is like rewiring a house. It takes time, a few short circuits, and constant reconnecting to Source to make it happen.. Be patient and keep trying.
We have a voice inside of us that has all the answers. It’s source, universe, divine, intuition, your gut (whatever you like to call it) and knows us better than anyone.
Sometimes, faith and trust in the process can get you a long way - all the way to those outcomes that you wanted.
Grudges are not worth holding on to. It messes with your energy.
Knowing where you’re doing, having a rough idea of your vision, is helpful. But as with anything, don’t get too attached.
Be flexible, able to adapt and pivot from a young age. The older we get, the more hardened in our ways we can become. It’s nice to be able to roll with plan B, C, or D without freaking out.
Travel should be a mandatory requirement in high school. Getting out of one’s comfort zone from early on broadens minds in a way that one doesn’t even recognize.
Follow the path of least resistance. Always. When you are forcing, it may be a sign that something’s not right.
Understand how and where you derive your energy. Respect that.
Find activities that are your own precious practices. Allow them to fill your regularly.
Don’t wait for special occasions. Treat yourself (in forms big and small) at all times. I’m the kid that didn’t open the art set I got for Christmas because I held on to it for a rainy day, like I was savoring it or something. Umm, no. Open it. Get messy. Break some china, use the silver daily. Carpe diem friends.
Acknowledge people. Of course saying thanks to the person who holds the door is a given, but sometimes there are deeper conversations that we never get around to - with parents, partners, teachers and mentors… People influence us in so many ways. It would make their day if you let them know it.
Gratitude is some pretty powerful stuff. Like it actually has the ability to shift our minds (and thereby affect our actions) if we do it with consciousness. So give it a shot. Create a regular gratitude practice that works for you.
Allow yourself to feel. I remember when Nana died. I was 12. Dad was unemployed, little bro was born nine days later. So much was going on, I quit the basketball team. (You guys, this was a poor choice, my jump shot was sick). Lots of overwhelm and fear but I held it in. Despite whatever society or family patterns have told you, let yourself ride out the rough times by dropping in to your body and feel whatever comes up. Express it and surrender to it.
Your bullshit meter improves with time. This is a good thing. You have a better sense of yourself, others, and how to read people. Use it accordingly.
If I don’t meditate and do yoga regularly, I want to punch people. Please don’t run off and stop reading, we’re almost done! But seriously, I need those things because they help me stay grounded and connected to my core. Find out what those activities are for you and do them.
Also, it’s super important to stay hydrated. You know how people get hangry? I get that way if I don’t have enough water. Be proactive and fill your Nalgene. Don’t let yourself go to that dark, dry place.
If all else fails and you are feeling crummy, help out. Engage. Volunteer. Giving of yourself has a positive-feedback loop that continues to fill you up even as you offer yourself in service.
Have a lesson you want to share? I’d love to hear it! Please drop some knowledge in the comments below!
PS: I know that all family compositions are different and some relations are truly strained and the padres don’t get you, at all. Friend, I feel for you and am thinking about you.