It’s interesting to reflect on how much can happen in just two decades. From birth to crawling, walking, talking, going to school, entering adulthood, and experiencing a whirlwind of growth and development. Honestly, it is nice to no longer be 19 and uptight about my academic performance. Looking back on my teenage years, I can see how much I’ve grown and how much I’ve learned. From navigating the complexities of high school to venturing into the unfamiliar territory of adulthood, I’ve gained valuable insights that I believe can help others on their journey. So, in celebration of my 20th birthday, I want to share with you 20 lessons I’ve learned so far.

Every rejection is an opportunity for growth: Rejection can be disheartening, but it’s important to remember that it’s not the end of the world. Each rejection is a chance to learn and improve, and with each rejection, we become more resilient and better equipped to handle future challenges.

Everyone achieves success at different times and in different ways: Success is subjective and means different things to different people. It’s important to remember that success is not a race, and it’s okay to take your time and define success on your own terms. Don’t compare yourself to others, and don’t be discouraged if your path looks different from those around you.

Embrace change; it’s the only constant in life: Change can be scary, but it’s a necessary part of life. Embracing change allows us to grow, learn new things, and become better versions of ourselves. Instead of fearing change, try to see it as an opportunity for growth and embrace it with an open mind.

Taking care of yourself is productive: It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and neglect our own well-being. However, taking care of ourselves is crucial to our productivity, happiness, and overall well-being. Make sure to prioritize self-care and make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

Your problems are valid even if someone has it worse: It’s easy to downplay our own struggles when we compare them to those of others who may have it worse. However, it’s important to remember that our problems are valid and deserve to be acknowledged and addressed. Don’t dismiss your own struggles and make sure to seek support and resources when needed.

Be grateful for what you have: It’s easy to get caught up in comparing ourselves to others and focusing on what we don’t have. But taking time to appreciate what we do have can shift our perspective and bring more joy into our lives. Whether it’s a roof over our heads or a supportive family, there is always something to be thankful for.

Never stop learning: The world is constantly changing, and there is always more to discover and explore. Whether it’s through formal education, reading books, or trying new things, learning keeps our minds active and engaged. By being open to new ideas and experiences, we can continue to grow and evolve as individuals.

Failure is not the end: It is a necessary step on the path to success. It’s easy to feel discouraged when we don’t succeed at something, but failure is actually an important part of the learning process. By reflecting on our mistakes and using them to guide our next steps, we can turn failure into a valuable opportunity for growth and progress.

Life is too short to hold grudges; forgive and let go: Holding onto resentment and anger only harms us in the long run. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting or condoning hurtful actions, but rather letting go of negative emotions and moving forward with positivity and compassion.

Show the world what you can do: Don’t hide your talents and abilities. Share them with the world, and let your light shine. You never know who you might inspire or how far your talents could take you.

Comparison is the thief of joy; focus on your own journey: It’s easy to get caught up in comparing ourselves to others, but this only leads to feelings of inadequacy and unhappiness. Instead, focus on your own journey and strive to be the best version of yourself.

Be kind, always. It costs nothing and means everything: Kindness is a powerful force that can make a big difference in the world. It doesn’t take much to be kind, and the impact it can have on others is immeasurable.

Master a craft, exude confidence, and set your price: When you have a skill or talent that you’re passionate about, put in the work to master it. Exude confidence in your abilities and set a fair price for your services. Don’t be afraid to negotiate, but also know your worth.

Success is not a destination; it’s a journey: Success is not a fixed point that we reach and then stop. It’s a journey that requires continuous learning, growth, and evolution. Embrace the process and enjoy the ride.

Take risks; they lead to rewards: Stepping outside of our comfort zones can be scary, but it’s often the key to achieving our goals and dreams. By taking calculated risks and pushing ourselves to try new things, we open up opportunities for growth, learning, and success. Remember, the greatest risk in life is not taking one at all.

Build something PEOPLE want: Take the time to research your market and understand your audience, so that you can create something that meets their needs and desires. Whether you’re starting a new business, or launching a product, always keep your audience in mind and focus on building something that they will truly value.

Try to learn something about everything and everything about something: It’s important to stay curious and open-minded and to try to learn something new every day. At the same time, it’s also beneficial to specialize in a particular area of interest and develop a deep understanding and expertise in that subject. By striking a balance between breadth and depth of knowledge, we can become well-rounded individuals with a unique perspective on the world.

Start before you’re ready – you don’t have to have everything figured out: Many people hold themselves back from pursuing their dreams because they feel like they’re not quite ready yet. But the truth is, no one is ever fully prepared for what life throws their way. It’s important to take action, even if you don’t have all the answers or a clear roadmap for success. By taking that first step, you’ll gain momentum and begin to figure things out as you go along.

Be true to yourself; authenticity is key to happiness: In a world that can sometimes feel like it’s constantly pushing us to conform and fit in, it’s important to stay true to ourselves and our values. When we try to be someone we’re not, we sacrifice our authenticity and ultimately our happiness. By embracing who we are and what we stand for, we open ourselves up to genuine connections with others and a fulfilling life.

Sell what the buyer is buying: Understand the needs and desires of your audience and tailor your message to resonate with them. Show people what they want to see and tell them what they want to hear.*

As I wrap up my reflections, I am reminded of how far I’ve come and how much further I have to go. Life is a journey filled with unexpected twists and turns, but I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned along the way. I hope that my insights can help others navigate their own path and find success and happiness in their pursuits. As I look ahead to the future, I am excited for what’s to come and the new lessons I will learn.

May the Force be with you on your journey, and May the 4th be with you – always!