Today (Sep 25, 2013), I turn 32. After a great few days of celebrating and re-connecting with friends and family, I sat down and started thinking about everything that I have to be grateful for. And there’s a lot. It’s been a busy year; one filled with new experiences, new friends, and new opportunities! What I’m most grateful for: life is good!
Recently, I came across an article written by my good friend and former client, Chivon John. She turned 31 (happy birthday, Chivon!) and she wrote a great article about 31 life lessons that she’s learned along the way, which inspired me to write mine!
Reflecting on what you’ve learned is a great way to grow, and most importantly, to remember. To remember where you come from, how you got here, and where you’re planning on going.
So, here’s a list of my 32 life lessons that I’ve learned over 32 years of life (I hope they inspire you!):
1. Adapt, appreciate and add value
When I moved to Canada alone at the age of 16, I had to deal with adapting to a new environment that I wasn’t quite sure I belonged in. When I first arrived, I was depressed. Then I picked myself up, embraced my situation, and learned how to own my greatness to live a meaningful life! I’m always appreciative of the little things that people do. Adding value is about asking these questions “How can I make things better? What I can do for this person to make their life better?”
2. Be authentic, bold and confident
This is my ABC rule for living. You can choose to live by the status quo, or you can take a chance and separate yourself from the crowd! You’ll never regret stepping outside of your comfort zone to try and achieve your dreams.
3. Challenge the status quo
This is Magnify Your Marketability’s foundation: it’s what I believe in and what I encourage everyone to do. Change is the only constant, and you can choose right now whether you’re going to lead that change or follow behind it. Challenge the status quo!
4. Dream big
When I was still in high school, I started to read self-help books. The first one I read that really changed my life was called 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, and it inspired me to create a mission statement that gave me a purpose in life. Your dreams drive you, they are the places that you can find comfort in, and they’re waiting for you if you ever feel lost. So dream a lot, and dream BIG!
5. Embrace change and envision your best life
Change is the only constant. Embrace change as a way to grow and develop, and you’re on your way to living your best possible life!
6. Fail, and learn from it
Failure isn’t always a bad thing. It’s the way we learn, grow, and develop. It also makes you stronger! It may make you feel bad or lost in the moment, but trust me when I say that you may look back on that in the future and feel grateful that you had that opportunity to learn!
7. Go after what you really want
When you look back on your life, you’ll want to see something beautiful. Something that you can be grateful for, that makes you proud, and that resulted in a legacy that you’re happy with. This may not happen for you if you stick with a career only for the money, the prestige, or the security. Take a risk, follow your dreams!
8. Help others and be happy
When I was in university, I realized that my true passion was mentoring others. There’s something about helping someone who needs it that’s so inspiring and positive! My challenge for you: go out of your way to help someone, whether it’s a friend, family member, or stranger. You’ll make them happy, which will make you happy! The world is also a better place!
9. Invest in yourself
If you want to grow and differentiate yourself, you have to take the time to invest in your growth. Personal development is your key to unlocking your potential! Take at least one personal development course each year and read one personal development book each quarter.
10. Just do it
I’ve noticed that a lot of people tend to put things off. Maybe they’re nervous, they don’t feel ready ready, or they aren’t sure about something. Push those feelings aside. Until you take a risk, you can’t be sure of the outcome, and you definitely can’t be sure that it won’t turn out to be the best thing you’ve ever done! I moved to Canada on my own when I was 16 overcoming the language barrier, culture shock and my shyness. I started a math tutoring business in university without minimal contacts. Last year, I decided to jump into my business full time and it’s been a fun and fulfilling ride! Just go for it and you’ll figure things out along the way!
11. Know what you want
It’s much better to go about life with a plan. Take the time to develop one, and you’ll find that you’ll be able to reach your goals faster. So get crystal clear on what you want.
12. Life is what you make it
13. Make time for yourself
Don’t let your career or business run you. To stay healthy and happy, you’ll need to take a break occasionally, and that’s perfectly okay! For example, I decided to to take the day off on my birthday and every time after my weekend workshop, I would treat myself for a massage. I also block personal time in my calendar every day.
14. Nothing has meaning except the meaning you give it
Change your perspective to change your life. Look at things a bit differently every once in a while, and you’ll be surprised at how it can really change how you’re feeling!
15. Own your greatness
When you decide to own your greatness, magic happens! You’re more confident and things just flow. You also have a greater impact on others. Recognize what you’re amazing at and amp it up! You rock, so get out there and own it!
16. Persist, be patient and be proactive
The longer you stick with something, the more likely you are to become great at it. Never lose sight of your goals, and always do everything you can to achieve them.
17. Question your assumptions
Assumptions can be dangerous because they mean that you may be stuck in a certain way of thinking. Question everything, always!
18. Relationships matter
When I moved to Canada on my own at 16, I had zero network. I learned to treat my friends like family. To build our network, you need to take time to develop relationships and help people out. Be kind and respectful. There’s a golden rule “Treat others of how they want to be treated”. You never achieve success alone. Yes, success matters too. But when you’re looking back at your life, you’re more likely to regret not spending enough time with your friends and family than you are not staying at work longer.
19. Step up! Speak up! Show up!
Let yourself shine! When you show up, really show up as people can feel it. Set your intentions, be confident, dress well, and speak your mind! You’ll make a lasting impression!
20. Trust your intuition and take charge of your life
You can rationalize with your head, or you can feel with your heart. Trust that you know what’s best for yourself and take action to take control of your destiny!
21. Unleash your uniqueness
Your quirks are what makes you, you. And you’re awesome! Own it and unleash your uniqueness. You’ll be more confident and comfortable in your own skin.
22. Volunteer to make a difference
There’s nothing more rewarding than making a positive difference in the world. A lot of people don’t volunteer because they feel too busy, but you never know what impact you can have on another person! When I was volunteering at a Children’s Hospital to help children with mental illnesses and eating disorders be optimistic and make positive changes in their lives, I didn’t know what to expect. After my time at the hospital ended, I received a letter from one of the children saying that I had saved her life. Never pass up an opportunity to make a difference!
23. Who? What? When? Where? Why? Ask questions to figure things out
Be curious. The more you learn, the more you grow! Always ask questions, remember meaningful answers, and try to find things out for yourself.
24. eXcel in what do
Always push the boundaries and be remarkable. Go that extra mile, because you never know what benefits will pop up and what opportunities you’ll be able to create!
25. You matter. You were born to make an impact. You have what it takes
Your life has purpose. Your story is important. Your dreams count. Your voice matters. Love yourself. Value yourself. Be yourself. The world needs you!
26. seiZe the opportunity
Don’t let a life-changing opportunity pass you by. Take advantage of everything that you can!
27. Dare to differentiate
Just because your friends or colleagues aren’t doing something, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t either. The only way that you’ll stand out in a crowd is by looking, acting, and being different!
28. Inspire magnificence in others
Always encourage those around you, especially if you feel that they may be facing some tough times. They won’t forget it!
29. Act in spite of fear
Everyone has fears. The key is to learn how to dance with them instead of letting them control you. To change your life, you have to act despite the risk you may face!
30. Never give up
If you’re going to try to achieve your dreams, you deserve to give them the best chance possible. Don’t give up easily. Good things come to those who wait!
31. Achieve excellence
In everything that you do, whether big or small, strive for excellence. All of this will play a huge role in your reputation and personal brand, so always set the bar high for yourself!
32. Celebrate your successes!
Never forget your accomplishments and what makes you great, because you worked hard for them and you deserve to give yourself a pat on the back!
You’re awesome! Thank you for sticking with me on this journey! In return, I’ve created a gift for you. When I’m feeling sad or down, I look at a list of motivational quotes that I’ve compiled over the years. They motivate and inspire me to be the best that I can be!