31 Years, 31 Lessons

Lessons.

It was my 31st birthday yesterday, so in addition to eating cake and mini eclairs (my favorites!), I also spent some time thinking about key lessons I’ve learned over the years. It all started with reflecting on the past year but then morphed into 31 lessons—one for each year of my life.

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Here they are... 

1. It doesn’t matter how we’re born only how we grow up. Our origins don’t (have to) determine our destination. 

2. Recognizing our fundamental goodness and loving ourself is essential.

3. The Universe works in mysterious ways. Trust it.

4. People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. The best ones stay for a lifetime.

5. The secret to happiness is a formula: Happiness = G + P + A. Recognize your fundamental goodness + discover your purpose + take action and you will achieve happiness.

6. Our ultimate purpose isn’t to find meaning, but to have an experience of life — the experience of being alive, integrated, authentic, and fully present.

7. Follow your bliss.

8. Be who you are regardless of what others want you to be.

9. Nothing can take place of persistence; talent will not, skill will not, intelligence will not.

10. Authenticity gives us the authority to lead.

11. Before we can help others, we need to help ourselves. Before giving oxygen to someone else, we need to have some to give. 

12. It’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.

13. All people fear something, have lost something, and hope for something.

14. Fear alone is our worst enemy. Fear is a disease. It’s only cure is hope.

15. Everyone deserves a chance. A chance is a galaxy of opportunity.

16. We are all driven by pain and pleasure. We can let that control us or we can use it to advance us. 

17. Change is the only constant. When we embrace it, we get to manage it.

18. We make up our own family.

19. Traveling is an incredible teacher: it stretches us, expands our perspective, and gives us experiences and memories that last a lifetime. 

20. We don’t have a choice whether we will change and grow, only whether we will do it willingly or resist it. 

21. There is no try, only do.

22. Real progress happens over time. 1% at the time. 

23. We make ourselves feel. Regardless of what happens externally, we get to decide the meaning we ascribe to it.

24. Control is an illusion. There are only three things we actually get to control: what we focus on, what things mean, and what we do. 

25. Want to feel better, get motivated, and empowered? Doubt your disempowering beliefs.

26. When we take responsibility for our own life: our focus, our thoughts, our actions—when we #ownit—everything changes, for the better.

27. Life isn’t fair. It never was supposed to be. But we get to make it a little fairer, for ourselves and others. Expecting life to be fair is a recipe for pain; not working to make it fair is a recipe for emptiness.

28. We are not our thoughts, our bodies, or our voice. We’re the being that is watching it all.

29. We die the moment we allow the world to make us bitter, when we replace joy and hope, openness and enthusiasm with bitterness and fear, closedness and anger.

30. As we grow older, we learn to care less about the opinions of others and more about our own.

Finally, 

31. As much as anyone else in this universe, each of us deserves love and abundance, and to have a blissful and free experience of life.

Here’s to a wonderful week ahead! Own it! 

Adi Redzic