39 Life’s Lessons on my 39th Birthday.
This is “what I know for sure” at this point. I expect that with time it may change. I encourage you, not necessarily to read my list, but to create your own. Maybe you will be surprised how much you have learned, and how many things still remain to be learned.
1. Some of our dreams are born to be realized. Other dreams take up a lot of energy and inner struggle, and once you have a chance to realize them, you see: they were only a dream, and will die as a dream.
2. Other people will get annoyed with the most innocent of our passions and preferences. Listen, observe and continue with what fuels your fire. For me it’s reading. Books bring comfort to me, bigger book =bigger comfort.
3. Meditation. Yes, please. For 23 years it has been a place ( a state ?) of discovery, recovery, equanimity.
4. Yes, less is more, Mies. I love luxury but it changed it’s meaning for me over the years. Now luxury means to me: time and freedom. Luxury as I understood it before was really a hassle, requiring maintenance. Now only because I love something, it doesn’t mean I need to trade my time to own it.
5. Once I became clear about HOW I want to live: it became surprisingly easy to live it every day. With the inner light on… I guess it’s what Camus called “living on a high tide.”
6. Our critics are doing us a favor. Only recently I started listen to them with greater attention: they show us our weaknesses and faults – something that we are often completely unable to see on our own.
7. What we do with the critique (#6) is a different story. Sometimes the critic is right about us, and sometimes they are blindly projecting their issues on us. A healthy dose of critical thinking on our part will move us forward (in our search for greatness) or move us away from them.
8. “What gives meaning to life, gives meaning to death.”
9. Instead of hitting your head against a wall, change the direction.
10. Some lessons take years to learn.
11. When we are open to acknowledge our weakness – the weakness loses its power.
12. Journaling – priceless! In any form. Writing thoughts, feelings, experiences, conversations. Why? We won’t believe how we changed. It warms my heart to go back to old journals and conversations I wrote down. Some of the people are no longer here, some are no longer in my life. Some I have forgotten.
13. It’s worth to keep old letters. For the same reason as in #12.
15. Self love and kindness is important. First we love ourselves thru the eyes of another person. We create a new reality when we fall in love with ourselves, without them.
16.Don’t put anyone on a pedestal. People like to present themselves better than they are. But they will also disappoint. And in the end they’ll turn to be a completely something else, for reasons you will not understand. Sometimes even they won’t understand.
17. At the same time, it costs us nothing to give them another chance and another. I believe people can change, just as I change, just as I would like someone to give me another chance. Of course nobody has any obligation to anyone. Just because you live this way doesn’t mean I need to.
18. The body was made for moving / dancing!
19. We are not responsible for someone else’s happiness, peace, etc. However we are responsible for our words and actions.
20. Good friends – one of the best gifts in life.
21. Just like a good conversation, good friendship is not created without some effort.
22. Inner peace is not a coincidence. Though it’s a part of inner life, it is directly affected by our actions or lack of them.
23. It doesn’t make sense to blame others for something they did or didn’t do. We often did exactly the same thing to them or to others. Example? When you wonder why that person never calls, you may be the person who never calls to someone.
24. “What do I want?” is often a better question than “What should I do?”
25. We don’t want to see certain things because of fear. We are scared of fear. But if we dig out a bit of courage, beyond the fear is always a wonderful discovery.
26. Insecure people are annoying.
27. It pays to be honest with the right people.
28. If you observe those that try to appear perfect in order to be loved or accepted, you realize that such pretending highlights what they want to hide.
29. Don’t believe answers to Hypothetical questions. We really learn about ourselves when we are right in front of a challenge.
30. Create or visit a little paradise to recharge.
31. “We experience in life what we’re deeply convinced is so.”
32. A compromise may be the right answer sometimes, but not too often
33. It is easy to create an illusion of happiness, but true happiness takes work.
34. The most exciting thing is to see how we can change.
35. Celebrate simple things. (I mean the simple things that are priceless)
36. Being alone has nothing to do with being lonely.
37. It is fun to have secrets.
38. Always elevate your experiences
39. When we surround ourselves with beauty, in any form, it’s easier to be in “here and now.”