Someone asked me the other day, “As December 2022 you (today), what advice would you tell the January 2022 version of you, if you could go back in time?”. Naturally… I stole the question and eagerly asked everyone else I saw that day, the same thing. It got me thinking.
Apart from the fact that I would move to another city alone, live without a car for the first 4 months in said-new-city, move share houses 5 times (and live with 6 people in one of them), go to Europe for the first time on a (relative) whim for 9 weeks and work in an entirely different career than the one I had studied for, for the entire year, there’s quite a bit I would tell one-year-younger me.
This year has been a challenging, vibrant and overall transformational one. I was lucky enough to have been inspired by some legendary people in my circle — new and old, have access to eye-opening books and podcasts (AKA poddys) and be pushed into and encouraged to step up to the edges of my comfort zone, on multiple occasions. I’d say I’ve learnt a lot.
With this, here are 22 things that I know to be true that I either learnt or came to understand more clearly this year.
- It’s never too late to start over and redefine who you think you are. In fact, changing your career or life direction might just be the best decision you ever make towards your happiness and wellbeing.
- Your state of mind is a choice (for most of us). Choose to relax your shoulders and keep your heart open, and it will never close. In the meantime, you will find an abundance of energy that you didn’t know you had.
- Friends are the family you choose. Choose friends that align with your core values and the mundane moments will become more beautiful.
- Disconnect to reconnect. Time spent in nature heals just about anything.
- You need WAY less than you think you do. De-clutter and live simply for improved mental clarity and freedom. It will also make moving house 100x easier.
- Travel will be your greatest teacher. Nothing will enrich your perspective more than travelling the world. What’s more, you’ll find that the unique qualities that make you, you, truly apply anywhere in the world (and that’s pretty cool).
- Playing (without a purpose) is underrated. Play is one of the best ways to peel back the layers of your false identity and rediscover who you truly are at your core. Start with doing what you loved doing as a kid and see where the wind takes you from there.
- Find things that you’re bad at and do them often. Being humbled is a good thing. In the process, you will expand both your mind and the boundaries of your comfort zone.
- Your health is your most important asset. Without it, literally nothing else matters. Invest in your health daily and ahead of time.
- Small habits make all the difference. Start small and remain consistent to achieve big results. In the meantime, you will build self-confidence.
- Be kind. At the most fundamental level, all people are the same and crave love and connection, despite how they present themselves to the world. The smallest acts of kindness can go a long way for others and will in turn, contribute to your own happiness.
- Consciousness = mindfulness, gratitude and regular meditation. In my current end-of-2022-opinion, that is.
- Your body is a vessel in which you navigate the world. It does not define you. People that tell you otherwise are usually suffering with their own insecurities. Plus, the most attractive thing about you is your confidence anyway. Focus on physical nourishment, self-love and compassion and your body will show you love in return.
- Creativity is birthed from silence. Press pause on your productivity to allow creative ideas to come to the surface and flourish.
- To accept help is to accept love and build deeper connections. You don’t have to do everything by yourself because you can. People need people. It’s actually #science (#history #evolution #factz). Plus a collaborative approach is almost always more fun. You’ll probably even yield better results.
- Everything begins in the mind. Re-wire your subconscious beliefs and you can alter your reality and genuinely achieve anything you want.
- Your gut instinct is a valuable tool. It’s a real thing. Follow the path of least internal resistance and you will be happier, more creative and more energised on a daily basis.
- You win or you learn. There are no wrong turns in life. Your biggest challenges will turn out to be your greatest learnings. You quite literally learn more from your mistakes than when things go well.
- Family is everything. It’s a cliché for a reason. Having family that you love and are still alive is a blessing and a privilege. You’ll miss and appreciate them more when you’re apart. Make time for them regularly and tell them that you love them, often. Then tell them again.
- Nobody has it all figured out. Anyone that looks like they do is likely idolising someone else that has something else that they want. Plus, material success doesn’t equate to happiness. The unknown is a liberating place and you won’t be here forever. How random. Enjoy it.
- Practise staying present. Life is unfolding in this very moment. Life actually is this very moment. Try to take it less seriously and have more fun. Ask yourself: “Will this matter 5 years from now?” and if it won’t, don’t give it another 5 minutes.
- Don’t take anything personally. Everyone is fighting their own internal battles that you can’t see. Set boundaries, focus on yourself and show up with love.
Life’s pretty cool. Here’s to 2023.