We always see those articles about an 80-year-old woman and a list of the things she wished she would have known when she was younger, or what she has learned. Most of the time, these articles are from generations ahead of us, imparting pieces of wisdom with the hopes that we will take it and apply it so that we do not make the same mistakes they have; not letting history repeat itself, so to speak. I love those articles, I always open them, I always ingest them and most of the time, they end up in my journal as nuggets of knowledge that I need to start applying to my life TODAY!
Sadly though, following through and applying those drops of wisdom is something that, for me, is easier said than done. In almost ALL of those articles it states, “Stop caring what people think….” Do I still struggle with caring too much about what people think? Yes, I do. It is a constant effort to overcome and I try, but I still do care. I do know, however, that I have learned some lessons in life that I know for sure to be true for myself.
This past year, I read Oprah’s book, What I Know for Sure, in which she gives her readers little thoughtful gems of wisdom from her years of work on the Oprah Show and in life. She themes the book around joy, resilience, connection, gratitude, possibility, awe, clarity and power. I think it is important that as we navigate through life we start creating and building our own lists based on what we know for sure and allow these lessons to grow us into the human beings we were put on this earth to be. Now, allow me to give you some of my own thoughtful gems that I know for sure here are 5 things, I know for sure.
I am 31 and Here are 5 Things I Know for Sure.
1. Failure is Important.
I think this is one of the hardest lessons to learn because we are all so programmed to think of failure as a bad and/or negative thing. The other day, I listened to Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday podcast and she had Dr. Phil on the show. During this episode he said something that really struck me: “If you learn from your mistakes, it’s tuition. If you don’t, you have just paid a penalty.” The moment I heard that quote, I got goosebumps; it really illustrates one of the best examples of taking failure as a positive. There have been times in my life where we have fallen short or failed and, at those times, it is so easy to consider these failures as a negative thing or think that something is wrong with us. Days, months or years later we hopefully come to the realization that failure in that past moment was a HUGE learning opportunity and helped us with something later on in life. So, as hard as it is, we need to actively try and look at every failing attempt as a learning opportunity or God saving you and pointing you in a different direction.
2. You Have a Choice.
This one took me a long time to grasp. I think this goes hand-in-hand with the concept of “the power of saying no.” Saying, “No” to hanging out with people that don’t serve you. Saying, “No” to going to a place you don’t want to. Saying, “No” to anything that doesn’t fill your soul. I have spent too many dinners with people who drained me, had too many jobs that didn’t fulfill me and too many events that frankly, I didn’t want to go to. That is a lot of time wasted. In retrospect we only have so much time on this planet, so treat that time as precious as it should be and choose how you use it wisely.
3. God is ALWAYS There With You.
I am a firm believer in a higher power and with that belief comes higher purpose. At times when you feel low and times when you feel the best, know that God is right there cheering you on and drying your tears. Loneliness is definitely a human emotion that I think all of us feel from time to time, whether you are single, married, a mother, a father; we all get little bouts of it. Remember that you are not alone and that someone always has your back and knows your worth.
4. There is Always Something to Learn.
This goes hand and hand with the “Failure is Important” lesson above, in which you can find something to learn in failure; but is also goes deeper than that. You can find something to learn in everything around you. You can learn from movies, books, teachers, school, friends, family or moments in life. You can be in the market at the checkout and have someone help you with your bags – which teaches you gratefulness. You can be looking at nature and learn grace. You can see your child for the first time and learn what unconditional love feels like. The point is, there is ALWAYS an opportunity to learn something and no one should ever wish to know everything. Thinking you know everything will truly only leave you stunted – there is always something new to learn.
5. Love is the most important thing in life.
I was very blessed to have learned this at the age of nineteen when my Mom was fighting cancer. I should let you know that my Mom is completely cancer free now and healthy but at that time, coming face to face with the fear that I might lose my Mom made me realize that all you really need in life is something that can never be bought; all you really need is love (cue the Beatles’ song). Don’t let the small things in life ruin your day, ruin your hour, remember that what is most important is love and we need to lean into love with our Families, our Friends and our Communities. “Unless you love, your life with flash by.” – Tree of Life
The other day, I was listening again to Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday Podcast (per usual) and I heard a statement that when we pass away, our eulogy is read, and it focused on what is said in that eulogy. Let me ask you, have you ever been to a funeral where the eulogy goes over the resume of the passed loved one? I sure haven’t. The eulogy, in essence, always goes over who that person was and how they made people feel. They NEVER talk about how much that person sold at their job or if they became Vice President of a Fortune 100 or not. The eulogy is always spiritual and always talks about that person as their spirit and their soul. Remember this, the next time you are stressed at work or basing your success on your resume. Your success is you, it’s who you are, it is your soul and your legacy, it’s who you touch, inspire and love along the way.
“Unless you love, your life with flash by.” – Tree of Life
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