The BIG 5-0! Celebrating a half-century feels like such a monumental milestone, and yet I still feel the same. For the last six months, I have focused on embracing this new stage of life. With kids leaving home, new grandbabies to love, and milestones to prepare for, this birthday has been a time for reflecting.
Yes, twenty-five years ago I turned twenty-five. It was the year my oldest daughter was born, we moved to another state, and I became a full-time stay-at-home-mom.
I’ve considered all I’ve learned and the events often surrounding the growth. There have been significant moments like getting married and having children. Life lessons like what I learned from infertility and a wandering child. Even the silly mistakes like the horrible perm I got in 9th grade and buying my first miniskirt. I feel like these lessons have helped me become a better version of myself.
In other words? We are not the sum of our mistakes, but we are the product of our experiences.
To celebrate my birthday, I thought I’d share some of the products of my experiences in a two-part series. Today part one includes the first 25 things I’ve learned over the last 50 years. (Because 50 at one time is a lot to swallow.)
Celebrating 25 Things I’ve Learned
1. Cynicism and criticism are poison. Negativity is powerful.
2. Optimism and a positive attitude help clarify my perspective.
3. Gratitude keeps me optimistic and positive.
4. Make the most of a bad day.
5. Look for Miracles. So often we focus on some grand moment in the future, missing many of the daily miracles around us. When you are looking, you will see them everywhere.
Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters to do not achieve.” -Gordon B. Hinckley
6. Circumstances rarely determine happiness.
7. The small and simple determine your destiny.
8. You get as much out of something as you put into it.
9. Always act on an impression to help someone.
10. I’ve never regretted being kind.
Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.” -Henry Ford
11. Be brave and stand up for what you believe in.
12. Try something new. Even if I hated it, it gave me an experience I’d never had before and experience really is the greatest teacher.
13. Fear is nothing to be afraid of. Lean in, and allow yourself to feel fear.
14. There is value in saying no. I try to use it sparingly, but sometimes saying no is a nice little permission slip to avoid guilt. It is acknowledging it’s okay to not be wonder woman or superman today.
15. Work and happiness go hand in hand.
God left the electricity in the cloud, the oil in the earth. He left the rivers unbridged and the forests unfelled and the cities unbuilt. God gives to man the challenge of raw materials, not the ease of finished things. He leaves the pictures unpainted and the music unsung and the problems unsolved, that man might know the joys and glories of creation. The Lord designed a classroom in which we would have to work hard.”-Thomas S. Monson
16. Instant gratification does not lead to lasting happiness. Our search for joy will never be found chasing after our selfish desires.
17. Happiness is contagious. Share it with others and surround yourself with happy people.
18. Joy is in the struggle. The one thing we all have in common is the struggle.
19. I can love people who don’t agree with me, look like me, or don’t love me back.
20. Pure love is when another person’s happiness is more important than my own.
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”Lao Tzu
21. Forgiveness is Freeing.
22. Learn about what you love.
23. Love is something that grows stronger every day from simple acts of giving and receiving. To give unconditionally and love with all I have brings joy. Not because of how the receiver reacts, but because of the way it makes me feel inside.
24. No one is perfect. It is better to abandoned perfectionism and focus on being you.
25. Self-love is magic. Even when you don’t feel it, live like you love yourself. Eventually, you will believe it.
Does any of this resonate with you? Learning lessons from life aren’t always crystal clear when we are in the process of going through them. Sometimes it takes a little perspective to see what you learned and why it is so valuable.
Click here to read part II where I share my last 25 life lessons with a few more of my favorite quotes.
Which one was your favorite? Be sure to let me know why in the comments below.