Most people don't get through a life without a few lessons, and for me, having others share theirs is one of the most incredible gifts I can receive. Even if I don't agree with their statements or actions, I often find out new things about myself and what I want out of life (and don't want) as a result of these conversations. Of course, I have my own daily trip-ups, hang-ups and stumbles to learn from as well. Here, I share the list I wrote for myself detailing the lessons I have learned thus far. Perhaps you'll gain something from one or two, disagree with others or honor us all with your own lessons in the comment section below.
If you are living authentically and without fear, you can't please everyone (or even most people) for longer than a couple of weeks. If you find yourself proving this wrong, take it as a sign you need to make a change.
You aren't supposed to get through life without scuffing your knees, breaking your heart, or taking a wrong turn. Lessons and sorrows are the shading in the overall painting.
In spite of what is perpetuated by romantic comedies, the truth is that you are complete all on your own, all of the time.
People who cannot communicate effectively, clearly and respectfully tend to live very difficult lives.
Taking pride in your work, reputation, value system and appearance is a great way to get to where you want to go much faster.
Your value does not shrink or expand in relation to how much emotion, time or money someone else is willing to spend on you.
Rage, entitlement, and arrogance may help you break down a wall, but compassion, good manners, and a calm demeanor are the keys to getting through the door and being welcomed on the the other side.
Missing them doesn't mean they should be welcomed back.
Love is a precious and valuable gift. It's almost as valuable as time with someone you love.
That said, love is not enough.
No one is going to swoop in and save you or grant you three wishes. If you want something, you'd better work for it.
Life is lovely and exciting, but it isn't always fair.
When it's over, you'll wish you put down that phone and paid closer attention and you won't care about those petty arguments.
You're not supposed to be like everybody else. This is why you have your very own body, mind and soul.
Most people get jealous, angry and worked up over stupid things.
Every day we make a choice to go out and play or stare at a wall where the past is hanging.
Sincere apologies mean something. Those friendships without them mean nothing.
Life is hard enough without having to spend it with hard people.
Aside from your actions and reactions, you can't control it, whatever it is.
The smallest lie can cause the biggest heartache.
Those who love you care when they hurt you, even when they didn't mean to.
You're much smarter, stronger and more capable than you think -- and much less invincible.
Every person on this earth is a human being and all human beings were created equal, so don't look up and don't look down.
Your heart can be mistaken but your gut is always right, even when you don't want it to be.
No one is living perfect life, they just have perfect moments like you and me. Everyone has problems.
Don't bother with people for whom decency/kindness/honesty is something they have to "work on."
Some obligations, disappointments and heartaches are just blessings with the wrong name.
When you feel something is right, go with it.
Dreams are important, but reality only changes when we do.
Passion without compassion is a disaster.
Opportunity does not come knocking, it waits for you to find it.
You really don't have to put up with all of that crap, you know?
You are not responsible for the things your parents did or did not say to you, do for you, or teach you. You are, however, responsible for everything you say, do and show others. Drunk or sober, angry or joyful, sincere or not.
Sometimes you "win" by just deciding to stop talking, get up and go.
Just because she is pretty or he is attractive doesn't mean you're not. Just because he or she has a great job or has has met someone doesn't mean you won't. Turn that jealousy into inspiration and watch your life blossom.
It's not about being "hot." It's about being intelligent, honest, kind, self-respecting, decent and drop-dead smart. That's gorgeous.
There's plenty of good men and women out there. If someone gives you anxiety, excuses, a reason not to believe him/her or anything that requires a prescription, they need to be out of your life.
Having a relationship is not the goal. Having a healthy, happy and loving relationship (with yourself and then someone else) is.
There's never a reason to be a mean girl. You're an intelligent, compassionate and professional woman. Carry yourself like one and surround yourself with women who think catty is best reserved for Lindsay Lohan movies.
When it comes to your relationships, spend more time than money, give more compliments than criticisms, and for goodness sake, flash your manners.
A negative imagination is a dangerous, destructive device. Just because they say it, or you think it, doesn't make it true.
Men who have six packs and great biceps often sustain themselves on a diet consisting of chicken and eggs and will choose the gym over date night with you. Remember that.
It's OK to be ambitious, but ruthless? Bye, bye network.
Don't spend your time trying to date a baller. Spend it working to become a baller. He or she who dates someone for money should not be surprised when they treat them poorly. How do you treat that sweater you bought three years ago?
It's OK to like sex. If you have it with someone who has not shown you respect, told you they love you, or wanted to date you before having it, it's not a good idea to expect the act alone to change the status quo.
Keeping your nose clean and living with dignity upgrades everything from your relationships to your mental stability.
Just because you ignore it doesn't make it go away, and just because you rationalize it doesn't make it right, and just because you want him doesn't make him right for you.
Karma is really cause and effect. Change your actions, reactions and the way you put yourself out there and you'll change the way the world responds to you.
Love means different things to different people. When you say "I Love You," you are taking responsibility for your actions and suggesting you will care about another person and their feelings. If they love you like they love hot dogs and songs on their playlist, that's not going to do much for you long-term.
Happiness may not always be as easy as making a choice to be happy, but we always have a choice as to how to filter situations we find ourselves in. Is it proof the universe hates us or is it just life?
You have things about you that make you oh-my-goodness-look-at-them beautiful.
Your life is happening, right now, in real time. The world is moving and days are passing. This can be seen as time passing us by or an ever-present opportunity to experience something new, make amends, step into a new direction, reach out and show gratitude. Just remember that everything you want is out there and everything you need to achieve it is inside of you.