Today on the 5th of April 2017 is my 25th birthday. I am officially *gulp* a quarter of a century old and time shows no signs of slowing down.
This month is also special because I am approaching my 6 month mark on the road traveling across South East Asia (my current location is Cambodia).
I am by no means a perfect person, but I have been striving to improve myself.
I’ve learnt a lot along the way and so here are 25 pieces of life advice:
For all living things. Encountering a lot of stray, mistreated and neglected animals in Asia has made me more compassionate about every living creature. Be conscious of where your food comes from, I am not trying to force you into being a vegetarian or vegan, but do your research, understand the industries and their treatment of animals and do your best to be conscious and make decisions that minimalise animal suffering.
- Positive thinking
Never underestimate the power of positive thinking and the impact it can have on your health, mood and life in general! It took me a while to get out of a negative thought pattern, it takes focus and more work for some of us than others.Look at the law of attraction – positive thinking will bring you what you want or need, negative thinking will only be reflected back to you and bring more negative situations and a cycle of negative thought patterns.
- Do what makes you happy and choose to never regret or dwell on it
Do what makes you happy, go with your heart’s choice, and do not regret what made you happy or dwell on a decision that gave you happiness at the time, don’t feel guilty for it.
Take time to keep yourself in balance. Balance healthy food with treats, exercise and lazy days, time with loved ones and alone time. If you feel yourself tipping off balance and feeling down or irritable, put everything aside and fix it, don’t stew on it and let yourself continue to feel worse.
- Let go of things that no longer serve you
Get rid of negative people and thoughts (anger, guilt, jealousy etc), take yourself out of negative situations. Anything or anyone that doesn’t benefit you, let it go.
“He who clutches at stones only burns his own fingers.”
- Having a purpose.
Whilst traveling has been great and lazing in a hammock on a beautiful beach every day SEEMS to be the dream, the novelty will wear off eventually and you will feel restless. Everybody wants a purpose, something to do or something to aim towards. Work, volunteer or create, do something to give a bit of purpose to your days.
- Everyone is entitled to their opinion
Just because someone has a different opinion to you does not necessarily mean that they’re wrong. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion just as much as you are entitled to yours, is there any point getting confrontational or nasty? No, you will gain nothing from it!
- Love yourself!
Learn to love yourself and be happy with your flaws. I haven’t looked at a scale since I left home and while I do occasionally wonder what the difference would be, I am much happier for it! Not being able to weigh myself has helped me move passed judging my worth on a number. That’s all it is, a number – not an indicator of your health, fitness of happiness.
Most of the time I do not wear make-up because it’s too damn hot (although I still wear my favourite red lipstick on occasion!) It’s taken me a while but I am happy with my natural face.
So, I have a question and a challenge for all you ladies…
Question: Would you (right now) walk into town or go to a public place to meet people you know without any make-up on? IF no, why not? That is after all, your face! The face you were born with! Your natural, beautiful face!
Challenge! My challenge for you is to not step on a scale or measure yourself in any way! Try doing this for at least one month but ideally as long as possible. Instead, make conscious decisions on what is healthy, but also treat yourself to things that make you happy, and make the effort to move a little every day. Go on how your body feels not on how you think it should look or a number you think you should meet.
When I was first told to “practice” gratitude, I honestly could not get that feeling. Sure, I could list stuff that I was grateful for, but that’s just words! You need to feel gratitude deeper than that to feel content. Someone described it to me as a similar feeling to falling for someone – that happy, elated feeling that makes you smile every time you think about them. They told me to think of a person that gave me that feeling and hold onto whilst I thought of the things I was grateful for. Additionally, having seen some of the things I have in the past few months, and working for free or 10 dollars a day (which is more than what a lot of people here get) I can certainly say my gratitude has increased!
- Not everyone is going to like you!
There will always be people who don’t like you and whom you don’t like. Just move past it, chuck it in the fuck it bucket and move on in search of people that you do click with instead of going out of your way to impress people who don’t like you as you are.
- Be YOU!
On that note, be YOU! Be passionate about the things that YOU love. Don’t ever be embarrassed, if you love Lord of The Rings, or Star Wars or collecting stamps then own it! Don’t pretend to like things you don’t just for the sake of fitting in with other people and don’t let people make you feel small because they think what you like is boring! If you love it and you enjoy it then embrace those things which make you, you!
- Share and inspire
Get to know people just that little bit more, share your stories with them, get a little personal because you may have something to offer this person that could really help them or even change their life or vice versa. We all learn from each other, and each person that comes into your life is a gift with a lesson to be learned.
- Money can be made but not time
If you have a dream but you’re scared of the financial implication just remember that death is the only certainty that we all have, and you can’t take money with you. You can always make more money if you lose it, but you can never make more time than what is written up for you. You could spend the next ten years dreaming that dream but it will still only be just that, or you could have spent those ten years working on it and building it and making it happen.
- Appreciate your loved ones
We never know which moment will be our last. Unfortunately, I have lost many friends at a young age in unpredictable circumstances so do not spend time being annoyed over grievances, talk it out, make-up and take the time to spend with them, let them know that you appreciate them.
- Build each other up not tear each other down
Give people compliments! Why do we not do that more often? Do or say something to give someone/anyone a boost! When it happens to you, you will realise what a difference that little boost can make!
- Quit judging people
I’ll admit I can be pretty bitchy and I’ve been working on that. If I think a bitchy judgmental thought then I tell myself off for it and make myself think of one nice thing about that person instead.
- Educate yourself
Before you judge someone on their opinion, have you educated yourself on the subject? How much do you know about the world around you? When you visit a new country, do you bother educating yourself about it’s history and culture? I believe it’s very important to do so; there’s a lot of things we were never taught in school and so it is down to us to educate ourselves.
- It’s ok not to be ok
As much as I advocate positive thinking, I know all too well that sometimes it seems impossible, and that’s ok. It’s ok not to be ok sometimes, so don’t beat yourself up because you’re sad or angry or hurt. We’re all human and we all have those periods in our life.
- Ask for help
I am stubborn and have a lot of pride. I would rather eat pot noodles for a month than ever ASK someone to lend me money. This isn’t necessarily a good thing, I would rather put my health in jeopardy than swallow my pride and ask for help! That is something that I need to work on but I encourage you whether it’s material or emotional, if you need help, then ask for it!
- Don’t carry other people
Don’t spend so much time looking out for others that you don’t look out for yourself. Don’t carry someone else if it feels like too much and don’t let other people hitch a ride off of your kindness or work ethic.
- Don’t invest your happiness in other people
Love yourself before anyone else and don’t invest all of your happiness in another person, another person should be there to compliment you, your happiness should not depend on them.
- Learn your loved ones stories, before it’s too late
Do you know how your grandparents met? Do you know the song your parents danced to at their wedding? What about the family members that you never met? Have you ever asked what they were like? Ask before it’s too late, get an insight into the stories that are interwoven with yours.
- Challenge yourself
What is a challenge to you? Hiking a mountain? Running a marathon? Facing a fear? Push yourself, challenge yourself, conquer your fears and make yourself realise that you are capable of anything! Don’t let anyone make you feel like you haven’t achieved something because challenges are different for different people.The satisfaction and adrenaline you will get from challenging yourself will be amazing, plus you can look back and say “If I could do that, then I can do this, no problem.”
- Follow your gut instinct
It is so important to trust your gut instinct/your intuition. Go with that feeling in your gut because it is nearly always right.
- Honesty is the best policy
No matter if it is embarrassing or difficult to admit, it’s better to be honest straight away. The repercussions are usually always worse if you lie, and people will end up more hurt in the long run.