I turned 27 years old this week. This still surprises me because I feel much younger but the reality is that I'm almost 30 years old now. I feel caught between being young, wild and free and feeling a bit out of place when friends are beginning families and buying homes. When I stop the comparison trap though, I realize that I am truly in the best time of my life.
I spent this last weekend with my favorite people doing my favorite things. We drank under the city lights, had breakfast in our pajamas, ate cake with my family, sipped mimosas on a Monday morning, played in the mountains of Colorado, and reflected on the best of times and the worst of times.
While I reflected, I realized I've learned so many lessons in my life so far and those lessons have become guiding principles in my daily life. I hope that in sharing them with you, you'll be inspired to grow, change, and pursue your greatest potential. So here you go!
27 Lessons in 27 Years
1. Speak your truth.
Don't hide behind fear, insecurity, or shame. Say what's on your mind and be brave, even if your voice shakes.
2. Ask for what you want.
3. Adaptability > capability.
Be flexible, adapt to new situations, try new things.
4. “The victim mindset dilutes human potential. By not accepting personal responsibility for our circumstances, we greatly reduce the power to change them.” Dr. Steve Maraboli
5. Nothing changes if nothing changes.
6. Compliment often; speak the beauty you see in others.
If you think someone around you is kind, smart, or looks amazing: tell them.
7. If you can't offer a solution for it, don't complain about it.
Solve the problem or shut your mouth. Complaining doesn't fix problems.
8. Never leave work for someone else that you can do yourself.
9. It is better to be worth knowing than to be well-known.
10. "Ego is about who is right. Truth is about what is right." Mike Maples Jr.
11. Done is better than perfect.
Finish that project, start that business. Ideas don't get things done, doing the action does.
12. Seek to belong, not to fit in.
“Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand, doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are.” Brene Brown
13. Communicate expectations before they have an opportunity to go unmet.
14. Self-discipline is a form of self-love.
Keep the promises you made to yourself; follow through with those goals, habits, and dreams.
15. Courage > comfort.
16. Work to be 1% better than you were the day before.
Small growth each and every day will add up to huge change.
17. Kindness always matters.
18. The entire day doesn't have to be ruined because ten minutes went wrong. Make the other 1,430 minutes count.
19. You're allowed to question the rules.
20. Know your "why".
When you know why you're doing something, you have a solid foundation to return to when things get hard or overwhelming.
21. The best plan is one you can actually do.
Don't get caught up in huge, sweeping changes. Make a gameplan that is sustainable long term.
22. Your dreams don't have to make sense to anyone, not even you.
Do your dreams sound crazy and impossible? Great, that's the point. Go after it anyway.
23. Courage is more important than confidence.
"When you are operating out of courage, you are saying that no matter how you feel about yourself or your opportunities or the outcome, you are going to take a risk and step toward what you want." Debbie Millman
24. If your response is "I'm too busy", try saying "it's not a priority" and see how it feels.
25. Fail forward.
Let failure refine you and better you. It's simply an opportunity to grow.
26. "No." is a complete sentence.