Health & Beauty

20 Life Lessons from 34 Years Around the Sun

As I enter my 34th year (seriously, how did we get here so quickly?), I’ve been taking a moment to look back on the past decade or so. It’s been a time of both accomplishments and mistakes, all of which have shaped the person I am today.

While I’ve gained valuable insights about myself, I’ve also been on a journey of unlearning. I’ve made an effort to simplify my life rather than complicate it, and I’ve sought to redefine the concept of success. It’s no longer just about climbing the corporate ladder or reaching certain milestones; true success lies in the kind of person you’re becoming.

Here are a few lessons, insights, and recommendations I’ve acquired and want to share.

1) You are the leading lady (or man) of your life — Take charge of your life and embrace your role as the main character.

2) Forgive — Forgive yourself for your mistakes and forgive others, even if it doesn’t mean continuing a relationship — you can forgive and forget. Buddhist philosophy teaches us that forgiveness is fundamental for our own happiness, and letting go of the pain that we’re carrying can release us from anger and hurt inside ourselves.

3) Failure is important — Embrace failure as a stepping stone to success and learn from it.

4) A lot of life is about unlearning — Challenge societal norms and let go of beliefs that no longer serve you.

5) Too much of anything isn’t always good — Practice balance in all aspects of life, from wellness to indulgence. Meditate, but laugh out loud with friends over a bottle of wine, have a night in, but also stay out until 2am. Drink water, but also drink cocktails. Eat healthy but have that piece of cake on special occasions — balance is key in everything you do.

6) Be kind to yourself — Show yourself compassion and prioritise self-care, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

7) Build pockets of stillness into your life —Find moments of calm. I’ve been pretty good at this over the years but it’s still on my list of intentions to keep going because when we’re stressed it’s easy to let our wellbeing — mental and physical — slip by the wayside. Meditate, drink water, go for a walk, be out in nature, do yoga — do the things that bring stillness into your life.

8) Prioritise sleep — Make it a non-negotiable part of your routine.

9) Connect with others —Cultivate meaningful relationships and appreciate the support of those around you. Connection and community can really boost our longevity.

10) Care less about what people think of you — Focus on your own happiness and follow your own path. We all care about what others think to some extent, but we don’t need the approval of others to be happy.

11) Find your purpose — Discover what truly drives you and use it to guide your life choices. Earlier this year I did a course delving into the world of spirituality and I learned a lot about success and redefining it. Everybody wants to be successful, it’s our nature as humans to want to strive for success and if we don’t get it, we’re dissatisfied. But we ultimately need to ask ourselves what is our dharma — our purpose, our calling. Once we’re clear about this, this guides all our movements in life — it allows us to be mindful and helps us stay focused on real success.