This isn’t your regular cheesy, gratitude article full of life lessons.
Below you’ll find 27 of the most raw and real life lessons I’ve learnt over the last 27 years – one for each year. Some of these lessons are serious and some not-so-serious but equally important. One thing’s for sure, I’ve got a helluva lot more learning to do, yet!
- When booking accommodation for your holiday, follow these steps: look on third-party websites for the best price (but don’t book), contact the property directly and let them know the price you found/which website it was on. More often than not they’ll honour that price (and sometimes throw in extras) for booking direct, because the third-party sites take a large percentage off the top!
- Follow the 1% rule. When shopping online, if the purchase is more than 1% of what you make in a year, hold-off for 24 hours before buying.
- Buy a 2L water bottle and keep it on your desk. You’ll find that you don’t even notice yourself picking it up for a drink throughout the day.
- Buy good quality bedding, undies, and runners (thanks, Barefoot Investor). Also, silk pillowcases really do smooth your hair, help to prevent fine lines, and are more antibacterial than other fabrics.
- Stop believing consumer debt is normal. It isn’t! And, you don’t need a car worth half your yearly salary if you have to finance it.
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- You’re more resilient than you think, and you will survive the worst day of your life – a lesson I’ve unfortunately learnt. My mum passed away suddenly last year and the experience was unimaginable but, somehow, I continue to get up each day.
- Also, going through shock/trauma really does feel like you’re being punched in the stomach. Like, you actually double over in pain.
- Start whatever you want to do now, even if it’s going to take a few years. The time is going to pass either way.
- Organic wine doesn’t give you a headache (as much).
- Don’t pluck above or below your eyebrows, only pluck the middle if you HAVE to. You’ll definitely take more ‘good hairs’ than not and one day they’ll stop growing back.
- Do one thing every day towards your future. For an example, go for a 20-minute walk, read five pages of a self-improvement book, put your spare change in a jar, call your utility company and ask for a better rate. It all adds up.
- Shop for clothes that aren’t ‘trendy’. Will that tie-die loungewear set be good for years to come? Probably not. Build a wardrobe with good quality staples and pop in only a few ‘trend’ pieces each season.
- Ballet Slippers by Essie is the perfect neutral nail colour. Just be sure to use a prep and top coat. Believe me.
- When buying roses, squeeze the base of the flower: hard and firm = fresh. Soft and aerated = old. Your significant others will thank you.
- Throughout your life you’ll have three types of friends: long-term friends, business/career friends and tequila friends. Look at your pals and try to work out in your mind which one they are and prioritise your time accordingly.
- Love languages are a thing and the sooner you understand your partner’s, the easier it will be to exist with them. For example: mine is words of affirmation and my partners is physical touch. One day he came home from work and I was laying on the couch. I said ‘Hey, how was your day?’ he replied ‘Good’. I didn’t get up to hug him to say hello and he didn’t tell me about his day, and we had an argument for no reason. Makes sense now. He wanted a hug, I wanted to know about his day. Working on it!
- Value your low-maintenance friends. The ones you may not speak to for months, but when you do, it’s all love. They’re rare – appreciate them!
- If you feel anxious (heart racing, ears hot, shortness of breath), cool down your body temperature first by putting a cold flannel on the back of your neck.
- When holidaying, stay in one SUPER boujee place. You’ll find yourself talking about it years down the track.
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- You can have anything you want. You can’t have everything you want.
- Walk around your car before you unlock it. This sounds a bit excessive but being on the safe side is always better than the alternative. It only takes 10 seconds! (Shout out to crime podcasts for teaching me this one.)
- And if you do find yourself in a dangerous situation, never let the person take you to a ‘second location’. Listen to the Super Soul Conversations podcast with Oprah Winfrey on this topic. It could save your life – it’s saved a lot of others.
- Celebrate the small wins as well as the big wins. Paid off your personal loan? Celebrate. Won the ‘Best on Ground’ award? Celebrate. Didn’t kill your fiddle-leaf fig? C.E.L.E.B.R.A.T.E.
- Listening to a feel-good Spotify playlist when you’re feeling crappy is seriously underrated.
- Need to wind down? Breathe using the ‘4,7,8 method’. Breathe through your nose (into your belly, not your chest) for four seconds, hold it at the top for seven seconds, and exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. Repeat as many times as you need.
- Don’t buy store-bought pancake mix when it takes five minutes to make your own at home.
- You can disagree with someone and still value them as a person. This has taken me a while to come to terms with and I’m still learning. My political views are very different to my dad, but we also grew up in very different times. Of course, they’re going to be different! I don’t need to voice my opinion every time and neither does he. Understanding perspective and knowing when to voice your opinion is invaluable.