They say “with age comes wisdom”, but I beg to differ. There have been plenty revolutionary moments invoked by young people that have changed the course of history. Think of Malala Yousafzai, who was only 11 years old when she started her protest against the Taliban. Emma Gonzalez, a highschooler that went on live TV to advocate for gun control, and many more… So, before being hesitant and leery towards the possibly life-changing advice I am about to give you, keep these names in the back of your mind and while you’re at it – keep that mind a little open as well!
The Search for a ‘Highest Self’
If you’re anything like me, you are constantly thinking of new ways to improve yourself and take yet one step closer towards your highest self.
A highest self = ‘an eternal, omniscient, conscious, and intelligent being, who is one’s real self’
May this be in a religious, spiritual or simply mental concept; reaching your highest self represents the constant strive towards bettering yourself mentally and physically. As someone who has been on this journey for the past years, someone who has read many of these articles, watched documentaries and has read plenty of self-help books: I have learned a lot of important lessons. As a homage to learning these lessons before becoming a legal adult -by the parameters of the American law- here are 20 lessons I’ve learned at 20.
20 Lessons at 20
Lesson #1: Your physical self is a representation of your inner self and vice versa
Lesson #2: Loving yourself should not stop you from self-improvement
Lesson #3: Be realistic, not limiting
It’s okay to dream big; don’t limit yourself to what is comfortable or other people’s idea of ‘possible’. However, it is important to stay aware of your own capabilities and limits.
Lesson #4: Life is a fun game, so stop taking it so seriously
Lesson #5: Healing is in nature, not in stores
Lesson #6: You are what you consume
We’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat”, but what many don’t understand is that although this refers to the physical food we consume, we are also a visualisation of the music, media and content we take in every day. If the first thing you do after waking up in the morning is reading turning to your phone and absorbing all the negative news circulating around the world that day, you can’t be surprised if you end up feeling down the entire day. If the music you listen to daily sings about feeling alone and depressed, guess what feeling you will experience most: loneliness and depression. Sounds and emotions have frequencies and when you consume songs with a low vibration, your inner state will match that frequency, putting you into a low state with matching low emotions.
Lesson #7: No one really cares
This lesson can be interpreted in a bad and a good way – neither of the two being incorrect. The harsh but real truth is that nobody really cares about the things that matter the most to you. You are the only person that can fully feel your emotions, think your thoughts and experience your life. Therefore, although people that care about you will be able to empathise with you and support you, only you can help yourself get better.
On the other hand, with no one caring about what we do, comes the freedom of not worrying so much about what others think of you and honouring what YOU want to do.
Lesson #8: Meditation is your best friend
It grounds you to your surroundings and stabilises your inner emotions, making you more aware and connected to your inner-self.
Lesson #9: Being selfish is not a bad thing
Being selfless and not giving value to your own feelings and boundaries will never reward you. There simply are many bad people on this world, so it is important to put yourself and your emotions first (without hurting others in the process).
Lesson #10: Sometimes friends can just be friends
Not every single person you meet will hold the same ‘value’ as the other. Only talking to people that you could see in a long-term, very close friendship is a limiting mindset that will prevent your from making fun memories and connecting with more people. Sometimes it is okay to just have a friend you would only party with, or one that you would only talk to at work, etc.
Lesson #11: What you speak into existence matters
So plant the seed for your day and affirm yourself with positive words.
Lesson #12: Your habits are a projection of your future
Lesson #13: You don’t owe anyone anything
Just because someone is nice to you, does not mean you owe them anything. It is okay to say no to people and to set your own boundaries and respect them. At the end of the day, you have to put yourself and your emotions first.
Lesson #14: At the same time, nobody owes you anything either
Lesson #15: Luck is just the seasoning on top, whilst hard work and self-belief is the main dish
Lesson #16: If you rely on other people’s validation, you will never be happy with yourself
Because other people only see a fraction of who you truly are; only you can hear all your thoughts, experience all your emotions and know all your interests. So why would you listen to what others think of you, if they don’t even know 0.0001% about you?
Lesson #17: Be your own biggest supporter, and others will cheer along
The way you see and treat yourself is a manual for the way others will treat you. So, if you carry yourself with confidence and self-love, others will follow and do the same.
Lesson #18: Reading books is not ‘old-fashioned’ and everyone should do it
Lesson #19: You can’t control your outside circumstances, but you can control your own reaction to it
Lesson #20: Treasure the past, live in the presence and don’t worry about the future