We all as teenagers create expectations of having our lives figured out when we reach a certain point in time. But once we reach that point, we realize we are far from that. At least, that is my case.
This week was my birthday and guess how many years I turned? I am half-way to my 50’s, one-fourth a hundred, you name it. I’m finally 25 years old, an age I’ve always looked forward to. I look back in time to when I was a teen and which expectations I had towards where I would be now.
Despite being far from those expectations, not having my life figured out, and not knowing yet exactly what I want to do with it, I’m looking back and I can’t help but smile.
Life is a wild rollercoaster, you know? I think about what I have and haven’t achieved, my successes and failures, and the worst and happiest moments. I think of the tough roads I’ve had. I’ve felt lost, afraid, lonely, depressed, insecure, and desperate; and seeing how far I’ve come gives me the satisfaction of who I am today and the uncertainty of my future.
So in honor of turning 25 short years of age and what I’ve learned along the way, I’ve collected 25 pieces of advice for everyone who simply is still wondering what the heck they want to do with their lives:
1. For every fall, just remember who you are and what makes you fierce, brave, and a fighter. Stand back up gracefully with that in mind and you’ll go high. Do it your way and be proud of it.
2. Don’t be afraid of being alone, the worst thing that can happen is you become more independent, self-sufficient and self-confident. Own your aloneness, don’t let it own you.
3. It is impossible to be liked by everyone and worrying about others’ opinion is a waste of neurons, so be yourself and own it.
4. When things don’t go as planned or as wanted, see it as an opportunity to get creative and find a new solution, a new way or a new plan.
5. If you still haven’t found your passion, focus on finding a way to combine your interests and what you enjoy doing, and you’ll get closer.
6. Don’t worry much about not knowing what you will be doing in the near future. Uncertainty is not always bad, it’s when the plot of your story starts to get interesting.
7. If you don’t know what you like or what you want in life, push yourself to go out, try new things, live new experiences. Simply go out there and look until you find it, and believe me, you will.
8. If you are not interested in trying new things and you feel you are good where you are but nevertheless don’t know what you want to do with your life: you need to get our of your comfort zone more than you’d think. The reason why you don’t find something that interests or moves you is because you haven’t tried hard enough to look around. You can’t see if you don’t open your eyes. So stop complaining, open your mind, and you’ll find the way out of your inner misery and eventually pop into what makes you happy.
9. You will get over the tough moments. Just breathe deeply, and then keep breathing, and then keep breathing, and then keep breathing…
The sun will rise tomorrow again.
10. It’s okay to feel depressed, just remember that it doesn’t define you. You are like the sky and depression is like the clouds: the clouds come and go, but you are always there.
11. Every day, rain or shine, feel grateful for what you have, what you’ve gone through, and who you are.
12. Go to parties/networking events alone and eliminate that social anxiety that limits you. Dare yourself to meet new people by approaching them first and starting the conversation. They will probably be glad you did that and you’ll never know how they can connect you to opportunities.
13. Don’t wait for someone to make the first move, make the first move yourself.
14. If you want to learn more about your work industry, a hobby or any other thing that interests you, join meetup groups with similar interests and actually go to their events.
15. Stop finding excuses not to do something that is outside your comfort zone, you are limiting yourself and pushing your growth opportunities away.
16. As corny as it sounds, don’t depend on finding love, just keep enjoying your life, love will find you.
17. Whenever you feel lost, travel solo to a new destination (or actually for any reason, do that!).
18. Success is relative. For one person it might be building a family while young, for another volunteering indefinitely, for another travel first before a stable 9-to-5, and so on. Don’t compare yourself to others, there is no rush, everyone has their own timing.
19. Don’t cheat your way up to success, work to deserve it and don’t follow the crowd, be authentic and do things your way. Success will taste much better.
20. People can be stupid, unfair, and ignorant. On heated arguments, try to be the better person, count to ten, calm down and remain classy. That says a lot about your character.
21. You’ll never know what kind of shape or form opportunities will come in, be open minded and invest your time smartly.
22. Force yourself to new experiences and situations. Eliminate your fears one by one, from little to big. Start by trying food you’ve never had before and then move to another continent. Just kidding!
… or am I?
23. Whenever you feel sad, think of this joke:
What do you say to an alien with two heads?
That is sad…
24. Always take everything with a bit of humor (maybe not in front of your boss though).
25. Hmm I’m running out of wisdom to share, so let me go with this one: don’t be over-perfectionist and sometimes let 24 count as 25 ;)!