22 Life Lessons Learned By 22

My secret tools for daily life

Photo by Nicole De Khors from Burst

These life lessons came mostly from life situations, thinking (a lot of thinking), and books. Others appeared suddenly, surprisingly, probably in the result of my inner background thinking I wasn’t aware of.

Today seems to be the perfect day to publish this story, as I’m turning 22.

These 22 things are my secret tools in my daily life.

Altogether, it completely shapes my life perspective.

Here are the 22 life lessons I’ve learned by 22:

1. Thoughts become things

When I realized this one, it truly changed my life. I was doing an internship I didn’t like (in fact, I’ve got some problems with going every day to the same place sitting in the same chair all day long). Every day, I woke up thinking “I don’t want to go”. Every day, I felt worse. One day, I knew I still didn’t want to go, but I didn’t say it nor did I truly thought about it. The change was astonishing! The day’s perspective instantly seemed way less awful. So even if you know it, don’t say it in your mind. Don’t give those thoughts substance. It would make them real.

“Thoughts become things. If you see it in your mind, you will hold it in your hand.”― Bob Proctor

2. There’s nothing keeping you from doing it but you

You’ve got ideas and projects, but you are afraid of actually putting in the work to achieve it. The truth is: you are your only barrier. Step out of your own way.

3. The way we spend our days is the way we spend our lives

This is actually a quote from author Annie Dillard. When I read it for the first time, I stopped in surprise. This is so true that it becomes almost scary. There is no “I’ll do it later”, “It can wait”, “I’ll be happier when I’ll be…”. Your life happens now.

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” — Annie Dillard

4. Now is happening

The previous one brings me to this one. Now is happening. And the now is like a very very thin line, taut at the exact limit between past and future. This line moves forward as time passes, always at the same speed. Being in the now is standing on this line. But it’s so thin that you can’t fit in with your mind. There’s not enough space for the two of you. That’s why you have to be in the now with your body and your senses, but without your mind.

5. Life is a flux

Everything changes. Nothing is eternal. This one is hard to accept, but once you’ve done it, surrender becomes a relief. Life is a flux. Learn to surf the waves of its flow.

6. If you are not satisfied with something in your life, change it

Life is too short to keep unwanted things in your life. Whether it’s people, your job, the place you live, something you do… If it interferes with your happiness, throw it away. Now.

7. Don’t make a decision under temporary emotions

This one is linked to the previous one. Yeah, change it. But think about it before. The key is not to make major decisions under temporary emotions. Sadness, anger, and happiness are the three most common emotions which can lead you to acts you’ll regret later.

Tips: When you feel a specific emotion and it makes you want to make a decision, write down what you would do, and wait a few hours or days for the emotion to leave. Then consider making the decisions again.

8. Listen to your inner voice

Everyone has one. Listen to it. It’s wise.

“Your mind knows only some things. Your inner voice, your instinct, knows everything. If you listen to what you know instinctively, it will always lead you down the right path.” — Henry Winkler

9. Listen to your body and your emotions

What you feel in your body and in your mind are pieces of information sent by your deep self. Welcome these pieces of information, and try to act according to it.

10. Be true to yourself

Lying to yourself can be easier. But that’s the worst idea of all. You’ll end up slowly drifting away from your own deep self, and it leads to nothing but unhappiness.

11. Stillness is the key

Take a step back inside your own self. Calm down. Breathe. Slow your mind. Miracles will happen. Ideas will arise.

“In the stillness of your presence, you can feel your own formless and timeless reality as the unmanifested life that animates your physical form.” — Eckhart Tolle

“Everything that’s created comes out of silence. Your thoughts emerge from the nothingness of silence. Your words come out of this void. Your very essence emerged from emptiness. All creativity requires some stillness.” — Wayne Dyer

Photo by Tim Goedhart on Unsplash

12. The trick when you’re feeling down

When there’s nothing wrong, but you feel down, it’s because toxins obstruct your clear vision. Eliminate it by taking a nap, doing sport, or going out and having a walk. You will come back feeling refreshed, and your whole perspective will have changed.

13. A healthy mind in a healthy body

Everything is said. Eat well. Exercise a bit. Feeling good in your body helps feeling good in your mind.

14. Sport is important

I’ve always been kind of hyperactive. But I’ve discovered only recently that doing even 20 minutes of sport, at home when I’m feeling overwhelmed, angry, or whatever really helps. It brings back inner peace and stillness.

15. Treat yourself

You deserve it.

“Life is too short to deprive yourself of things.” — Nathalie Emmanuel

16. Confidence builds by doing

You need to start somewhere. Do it. It’s okay not to be perfect. No one is. You’ll become better and better over time.

17. Do things while you have the time to do it

To me, this applies particularly to work. As a freelancer, I sometimes have an emptier period of time. I have learned to use this time doing as many things as possible, before getting a storm of requests, ending up having no more time to complete any of it.

18. Music has power

Use it.

19. Live your best life

You only have one. Make your bucket list, and tick the boxes.

20. Surround yourself with well-chosen people

Vibes are everything. Surround yourself with good ones.

21. About money

You won’t bring your money with you to your grave. So use it. Don’t feel guilty. But the balance is to use it wisely, so you don’t end up in difficult situations. The question to ask yourself before buying anything is: is it adding value? This is one of The Minimalists’ principles.

22. Work hard, play hard

This one is one of my favorites. I work hard, so I play hard taking trips and living adventures. Or treating myself. There’s a balance to find here.

There’s a balance to find in every sphere of life.

Full-time traveler, trying to grasp and capture the essence of things in words — I write about life, fitness & food — auriane.alix.medium@gmail.com

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