I’m the grand old age of 35 and I figured now is as good as any time to share some of my life lessons to live by. I like to think of myself as a naturally enthusiastic person. I always look for the positives and so here are some of my tips with a little bit of an explanation as to how I live my best life on a daily basis.
1.Do what makes you happy.
I would have thought this is obvious yet time and time again I end up having conversations with people about difficult situations which could have been avoided. For example – in the past I used to think I had to accept every invitation and say yes even if it meant inconveniencing myself. I felt awkward declining and might have in the past made an excuse. Now I feel perfectly happy with saying “no thanks, it’s not my scene” – what on earth is the point in spending an evening at a restaurant when you don’t like the food, or spending your entire rainy day fund celebrating someone else’s hen do on a weekend abroad. I might sound like a miserable old woman, but I’d much rather spend my time and money doing things which I enjoy rather than making sacrifices for everyone else.
2.Make every moment count
This one really is important. Time is precious and the older the get the less you seem to have. So making the most of every single second is vital. How you do this is up to you. I’m not saying you have to keep busy or multitask and be productive. It’s about adding value and making memories. For example, my class recently won a trophy, it was our first time and perhaps the only opportunity so to celebrate I filled the top of the trophy with ice lollies to share with the class. It was a little gesture but one which I’m sure the kids will remember and appreciate forever, and a well deserved treat for their effort.
3.Don’t sweat the small stuff
I have a lot of conversations with people who seem to worry too much about details, and let this get in the way of moving on or moving forwards. There’s always things which are going to create obstacles but do not let this get in the way of living life. For example – if you want to go and see a band then buy the tickets straight away, by the time you’ve googled train timetables the tickets may have sold out and there’s always a way of getting there. I have travelled to music festivals in Spain several times, always managing to get there via different routes and had some of my best adventures along the way
4.Create more than you consume
I figured I better put something a bit eco friendly in here but you can interpret this as you please. It makes sense to try and recycle. I’m an avid fan of reselling repurposing or simply donating stuff we don’t need any more. This can also be relevant for your social interactions. I try to be the kind of person who gives advice and is there for my friends, and having that kind of mindset means that when I do need support, people are there for me. There’s nothing worse than interacting with people who are exhausting.
5. Priorities matter
I have my priorities. Number one for me as a parent is Arlo. Family comes first to me. One thing I’ve had to learn is that other people have different priorities and that’s okay. That just means you aren’t compatible in some respects. This goes for employers who don’t understand and will not offer parents flexible working. It goes for relationships where people don’t share your values. Establishing where you stand and removing yourself from situations where your values do not align is perfectly okay.
6. You can’t change other people
As hard as this one is to come to terms with its absolutely vital to figure out. There is literally no point bashing your head against a brick wall and waiting for someone to change who they are because nine times out of ten a leopard never changes it’s spots. Of course people grow and learn but some things remain the same. I can guarantee you’re thinking about someone reading this paragraph and my advice would be either learn to put up with them and all their flaws or draw a line and walk away.
7: Find the adventure in every day
This one goes without saying for us. We live for adventure and love nothing more than having time off to get in the car and explore new places. However, now more than ever learning to make do with what you have got is important. Trying new things can start right at home – the definition of adventure is an unusual, exciting or daring experience. So start with the way you dress. Do something different. Change how you eat. If you want to try dessert before a main course then go for it. There’s so many rules and red tape that doing something different for a change can be exhilarating. Then try exploring a little further afield. There’s so many places in my home city I haven’t seen yet. Sometimes we like to get the bus or train and get off at a new stop or a stop earlier to wander around on foot. We pop in to little shops we have never seen before and end up talking to new people.
8.Kindness is infectious
This one is so true. It doesn’t take a lot to be kind and you have the opportunity to make someone smile with every interaction you have. The easiest way to do this is to offer compliments. Not just about the way people look but about their behaviour and actions. Saying please and thank you goes a long way. I like to stop to give way to others, hold open doors, pause to let someone cross the street. These little things do not inconvenience me in any way but make a difference to others. If you make someone smile when they’re having a bad day then the chances are that they’ll have a change in mindset and spread the joy elsewhere.
9. Say what you mean and mean what you say
I’ve been in quite a few situations where I haven’t stood up for what I really believed in, and then lived to regret it. Or I’ve kept quiet in a meeting as I’ve been unsure about a plan’s effectiveness and just gone with the flow. So now I say what I think and feel. I’m unapologetic about it. if I’m unsure about something I won’t vote yes for the sake of it, and if I disagree with a plan then I will say so. I also make sure that I follow through with actions. This has helped my confidence grow without limits and I like to think people respect my honesty as a matter of principle and so will turn to me for consultation purposes.
10. Live life with no regrets
There’s no could have or should have with me. I can’t change what has happened in the past and I’m continually moving forward. One thing I have learnt this year is that feedback needs to be constructive. I apply this well at work and am working on it in my personal life too. The benefit of hindsight is fabulous. You can look back at situations and wish you had done things differently but ultimately you can’t change things. Your past makes you who you are today and you have to keep moving forwards. Accept every single mishap of life as a learning experience and learn to let go. Keep moving things forward
11. Make it happen
This is the only way to live your life. The most important life lesson to live by. You have to be the one to effect change – opportunities and experiences do not just land at your feet without action. If you want something then find a way to make it happen. Set yourself targets. Do not let anyone tell you that it’s impossible or get in your way of achieving your goals. If you want a promotion or pay rise then do not wait for the annual review. If you think a guy in a bar is attractive then don’t wait for them to make the first move. If you want to win the lottery then you have to buy the ticket.
There is something for everyone at Times+ Life Lessons Festival, whether you want to hear incredible stories and life lessons from an incredible line-up of speakers on the live talk stages, learn ways to improve your health, life and mind, as well as develop new skills in our masterclasses, switch off and unwind in the exclusive ‘Sensory Slowdown’ immersive experience, explore stories through Art installations or relax and unwind in a host of social spaces, it’s an incredible 3-day festival packed with content to entertain and enlighten.