“Today is the oldest you’ve ever been and the youngest you’ll ever be again — make it count.”
A few weeks ago a coworker asked me, “If you could be 16 again with all of the knowledge you have now, or 45-years-old with a million dollars, what would you choose?”
“To be 16 of course! If I was 16 with all of my current knowledge I’d be a millionaire in a few years anyways.” I replied without hesitation.
His question got me thinking about the lessons I’d pass on to my younger self and how my life would’ve been different if I had known years ago what I know now. And while there’s a wealth of knowledge I would have loved to have during my childhood, teenage years and early 20’s, it’s never too late to change directions, apply life’s learnings and incorporate better life practices.
Here are 8 wise lessons I wish I’d known when I was younger:
1.) Don’t Take Anything Personally
You aren’t defined by what other people say or think about you — you are defined by your own thoughts and feelings about yourself. There will always be someone in the world who judges you and questions why you’re doing what you’re doing, and in these instances you must remind yourself that this is YOUR life and not someone else’s. This is your story. Your painting. Your masterpiece.
Don’t take to heart the opinions and judgements others might form about the ongoing picture you’re creating — bare in mind, they’re only witnessing a tiny fraction of your creation, and they don’t live inside your head — therefore, they can never fully understand the reasoning behind WHY you’re doing what you’re doing — and that’s OK!
Live your life in alignment with your own truth, and don’t get caught up in what other people are say or think about you. Set your own standards for who you are and who you want to be.
2.) Mistakes Are Great Teachers, So Learn From Them
You’re going to make mistakes in your life. You’re going to have judgement errors. You’re going to do things you wish you hadn’t and you know what? Everyone makes mistakes so don’t get too caught up in yours.
That’s why you’re given second chances so when you’re presented with similar situations or experiences in the future you can make better decisions.
As Jesus Christ once said, “My brother, choose again.”
Mistakes are great teachers, so use yours as a learning experience. Don’t get caught up in the “I should have done X, Y and Z” mindset. Instead, acknowledge what you WILL do differently next time and then move on.
3.) Everyone Has Insecurities
That popular girl in your class? She has insecurities. That high school football star everyone always fawns over? He has insecurities. Your teachers have insecurities. Your parents have insecurities.
No one is perfect in their physical form, and even the person that you idolize or think lives the “perfect” life has things about themselves they hide from the world or wish they could change.
Don’t trick yourself into believing you’re the only one riddled with insecurities because this will cause you to focus on what you don’t like, rather than what you do. Everyday when you wake, look in the mirror and say aloud three things you love about yourself — doing this will shift you into a “feeling good” state of being.
4.) Everything is Temporary, Even Your Pain
Life is always changing, always moving, always shifting directions. Everything in this physical world is temporary including hard times and painful experiences. When you’re going through a challenging time, remind yourself “this too shall pass” because it will.
5.) You Get What You Focus On
“If you can see it in your mind, you will hold it in your hand.” –Bob Proctor
You aren’t destined to be trapped in a hard, painful or unpleasant life regardless of where you come from UNLESS you allow yourself to be.
Whatever you give your attention, that’s what you’re bringing into your life. This is one of the divine laws of the universe, so focus on what you DO want to bring into your life and believe you can have it and it will be yours.
6.) Energy is Real so Choose Your Friends Wisely
Everything in this universe is energetic, including you and everything and everyone you surround yourself with. Like energy attracts like energy so stay away from people who chronically complain, bring you down, get into trouble and make bad decisions because their low vibrating energy will rub off on you.
Surround yourself with friends who have goals, ambitions and who’ll lift you up and encourage you to follow YOUR dreams.
7.) You are the Masterpiece of Your Life
It doesn’t matter what your parents want you to do or be. It doesn’t matter what your teachers, friends or anyone else wants you to do or be.
What matters is that YOU figure out what your interests and passions are and pursue them in whatever way is most suitable for YOU.
“You are the masterpiece of your own life. You are the Michelangelo of your own life. The David you are sculpturing is YOU.” –Dr. Joe Vitale
It’s up to you to find your path and travel down it — no one else in your life holds the map but you. Follow your truth. Create your own dreams. And live your life for YOU.
8.) Love Yourself
You are an incredible, intelligent, capable, deserving, spiritual being that’s having a human experience. You came from love and you are love, so always love yourself.
When you love yourself, you free yourself from the expectations and opinions of others and live in alignment with your truth.
Above all remember, YOU define yourself. What will your definition of self be?
About Antasha Durbin: Antasha is a spiritual writer, life-long student of the universe, and psychic tarot card reader. Her website, cajspirituality.com, is dedicated to casualizing the spiritual experience and making it attainable for anyone, anywhere, anytime. Follow her for free, easy-to-digest and highly actionable advice on spirituality, mindfulness and empowered living.