Hey guys, Valorie here. I hope you're all doing well while I'm in China. :) You guys have all seen one guest post from Sar before (isn't she great?), and now here's another. I thought this was so cool and exactly what Simply, Valorie is often about, so I was excited that she suggested posting this. Anyway, enjoy, and tell Sar how much you love her. :)
To celebrate my birthday, I came up with 25 life lessons I’ve learned throughout my 25 years on earth. I've seen others do this, but I wanted to come up with my own. As I celebrated growing older, I reflected back on my life thus far and tried to gleam some understanding to God’s plan.
25 Life Lessons I've Learned in 25 Years
(Previously posted on Sar's blog.)
So far, this is what I’ve learned:
1. Learn people’s names. If I could rank in order my life lessons learned, I think this would be the most important. Whether it is the housekeeper who cleans your work building, the mailman you see every afternoon, or the woman you meet at the party who is your best friend’s brother’s niece, learning someone’s name is the key to building strong and meaningful connections.
2. You will never be good at everything. Embracing your idiosyncrasies or faults will make you happier over the long run. I cannot sing well, I have a softball player’s thighs, and I will never, ever be able to fold a fitted sheet. I still sing out loud in the car where nobody can hear, I love how my legs look in running shorts, and nobody sees the fitted sheets when the bed is made. And I’m okay with those.
3. Speaking in I-statements is the best way to solve any argument. “I feel this way” is one argument that your friend/mother/significant other cannot disagree with, as they are your personal feelings. Being open and honest with your feelings will divulge your heart and make your relationship closer.
4. Life isn’t fair, but nobody promised it would be. Good people die, bad people live, and how you cope is ultimately up to you.
5. Choose your battles. It will only make you more frustrated if you fight over small things, but if something is important to you, be prepared to make a stance.
6. Always choose love. Love conquers all.
7. As Charles Swindoll once wrote, “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” You cannot always control what life throws (or doesn’t throw) your way, but you are always in charge of your reaction.
8. Forgive others. Whether you are holding a grudge from 7th grade,or you are hurt from someone last year, forgiveness is the key to your personal happiness. Holding grudges will only make your heart heavy.
9. It is perfectly acceptable to be angry with God. He is prepared for your anger (and certainly can handle it), but He will help you overcome your hardships.
10. Just breathe. And if that doesn’t work, by all means, just dance.
11. If at any reason you feel like life is weighing you down, or you cannot handle it, visit those who have it worse off. I guarantee that being immersed in an environment where others are going through worse struggles but with a more positive attitude will almost immediately change your outlook.
12. You will always have someone who dislikes you; no matter how hard you try. Wasting your energy caring what others think about you is silly, tiring, and pointless.
13. Smile at people you meet or pass. You are more personable, and you never know whose day you are going to make.
14. All people deserve a second chance. A third chance is pushing it.
15. Sometimes you have to obey rules you don’t want to follow, but if you don’t try to help change them, you’re just complaining.
16. All good relationships are hard work. Even people who are meant to be have to be willing to compromise and learn each other’s needs.
17. Although stepping outside your comfort zone is scary, the payoff is exponentially great. Feeling as if you’re stuck in a job? Apply everywhere, even not in the town you live in, and move. Afraid of heights? Go bungee jumping. Conquering your fears will make you feel invincible.
18. Enjoy the little things, and recognize how much you love them. The feel of your mother’s hands. Skipping in parking lots with your dad. The way you and your brother can accurately quote the entire movie “Aladdin.”
19. Laughing at yourself is the only way you can be comfortable with who you are. It will also make you un-embarrass-able.
20. Asking for help does not make you weak, it makes you smart enough to realize that you can’t accomplish your task alone. Stubbornness only delays your success.
21. Never regret your life experiences. If you did something you are not proud of, make sure you don’t do it again. Everything you have done previously makes you who you are today.
22. If it is something you have never done, you should not judge someone who has—regardless of the choice. You are allowed to have opinions, but your judgments are better held to your own actions.
23. A random act of small kindness goes a long way. Pay for the person’s drink behind you in the coffee line. Bring your coworker lunch. Hide your office worker’s favorite candy in her desk drawer with a note.
24. If you want to be somebody else, change your perspective.
25. If you’re still having a bad day and all of the above is not working, then wear frilly underwear. It is not possible to have a bad day when you’re wearing cute underwear.
Sar is a mid-20s graduate student at Baylor University. She's attempting to earn her PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience. Her hobbies include photography, working out, and drinking Diet Coke (breakfast of champions). Sar also teaches an introductory statistics course, which means her students think she's ridiculous for thinking numbers are cool. Her full name is Sarah but even her good friends forget how it's spelled so she goes by Sar. You can find Sar at love love love is all you need or @lovelovelovesar.