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As I approach my birthday, I can’t help but feel an immense amount of gratitude.
I finally feel at peace—at peace with where I have been and where my life is headed. And overall, I feel a calmness within myself.
After reading Oprah’s Letter to Her Younger Self, I was inspired and figured I’d take a stab at it myself.
Here’s a list of things I wish I could tell my younger self:
1. Not everyone will like you, and that is completely okay. Don’t lose sense of your true self to conform and be what other people want you to be.
2. You will lose touch with friends who you thought would be there forever. Instead of dwelling on it, focus on surrounding yourself with like-minded people.
3. Don’t get caught up in the he said/she said drama. It isn’t worth your time or energy. Instead, focus your energy on all things positive.
4. Invest your money in something more important, like saving up for a vacation. Remember that shopping spree at the outlets? Where are all of those clothes now?
5. Learn to forgive people, even if they don’t deserve it or ask for it. Clear your mind and conscience of that negative energy—you’ll feel happier once you do.
6. Don’t let past failures make you become cynical about life.
7. Don’t be afraid to fail. If you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying hard enough. See where you’re failing, regroup, and try again.
8. Keep kindness in your heart. Don’t be naïve, but give everyone the benefit of the doubt until they prove otherwise.
9. It’s okay to be selfish with your time, but always respect other people’s time and the fact they can be just as selfish with theirs.
10. Take care of your body. Stretch, rest, and do some yoga—your body will thank you later.
11. Never go to sleep angry.
12. Read more books that will benefit your self-growth and add value to your life.
13. Pick up the phone and call or Facetime your family and friends. Texting has no emotional connection.
14. Remember, you are getting older and so are your parents. Make time for them, even if it interrupts your social life.
15. The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s greener wherever you water it.
16. The quality of your friends is more important than the quantity.
17. Be patient, whether it’s with driving, with people, or with yourself. Very few things get built or done overnight.
18. Stop getting less than eight hours of sleep.
19. Stay humble and kind.
20. Be you, and love unapologetically.
21. The world isn’t fair but you can be.
22. Intention is everything. Do it on purpose.
23. Be honest with yourself first, then others.
24. The weight of the world does not rest on your shoulders. Share it or let it go.
25. You do not have to show up to every argument you’re invited to.
26. You cannot pour from an empty cup. Find out what you need to refill.
27. Always answer with love.
28. “No” is a complete sentence. You do not need to be an approval-seeking creature.
29. Burnt bridges do not light a forward path.
30. Use your passion as fuel for what makes your soul dance.
31. Think before you speak/write/share. Is it true? Is it nice? Is it necessary?
32. Rest is productive.
33. Treat others the way they want to be treated.
34. Be the most honest, unabridged version of yourself, and follow your heart.
35. Don’t ask yourself what you want to do, ask yourself how you want to feel.
36. Stop worrying about getting other people to like you—get you to like you.
37. The world needs you for something important.
38. Say thank you—every day.
39. You attract who you are, not who you want.
40. Learn new skills, break bad habits, and always grow.
41. Wait for someone who wants you to take care of you before them—someone who loves all of you, not just the convenient parts.
42. Life is a tapestry. There is no point where you aren’t in control.
43. Save your sorry’s for something sad.
44. Life will unfold in proportion to your courage. Be brave with your life.
45. Always choose yourself.
46. There’s no need to worry because everything always works out in the end.
47. For real happiness, focus on how your life feels instead of how it looks.
48. What other people say and do has nothing to do with you. It is a reflection of them.
49. Falling down is a mandatory aspect of life. Getting back up is living.
50. The only person holding you back is you.
51. The fastest way to solve a problem is to stop participating in the problem.
52. There is no expiration date on real love. It never leaves the heart, it just changes form.
53. Everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you made. If you want a new outcome, make a different choice.
54. The sooner you choose to like yourself, the easier life will be.
55. The best advice is felt in your heart, not directed from your head.