Hi guys! Happy Wednesday! I always like to bring new topics to the blog and today’s is one that applies to all of us: life lessons. These are typically statements our parents have told us for years, or lessons we’ve been forced to learn through trials and mistakes — I’m sure a certain (maybe cringeworthy) life experience just popped into all of our heads. Keep reading for some of my biggest life lessons I’ve learned for happiness and success that have proven to be true for me without fail in my 24 years.
LESSON 1: Work smarter, not harder.
I’ve heard this one a ton, but it can take a while to fully understand. I’m a big believer in working hard (where can this ISFJ Virgo sign up for workaholics anonymous?), but I’ve come to learn that you’re wasting your time and energy if you’re not working smart. Working smarter is in fact working harder because you’re optimizing the quality and efficiency of your work, in turn getting more done better. Establishing and utilizing systems allows you to be the best you can be when it comes to your work, allowing you to gain more opportunities and climb your ladder of success. When I’m feeling like I’ve got a lot on my plate, I take a moment to recognize the best way to approach the tasks in front of me to kill it (or at least try to 😉 ) in everything I do. Our society, specifically in the “girl boss” community since that’s what I’m familiar with, glamorizes working yourself to the bone and making important and necessary things like eating and sleeping take a back seat to your career.
LESSON 2: You teach others how to treat you by how you treat them.
Treat others how you want to be treated — it’s the oldest rule in the book. In this case, lead by example. Set guidelines for yourself and the people in your life by taking the time to establish what it is that makes you the most content in relationships, whether it be romantic, family, friend or work relationships. Leading by example is the best thing you can do for yourself because it puts out positive energy to others, and in turn makes you happier as well. If you’re the friend that’s always making an effort to reach out to your buds and they aren’t reciprocating, know that the ball can still be in your court and the do-diligence of your influence and emphasis on how you want to be treated allows the people in your life a chance to step up or be left in the dust. If you value experiences and are happiest when doing certain things or living a certain way, make it known to those you wish to hold valuable relationships with in your life with your actions. If you want friends that check in on you, check in on your friends. If you want to see a particular friend at least once a month, initiate making plans. People that value you will reciprocate.
LESSON 3: If you can’t “win” due to things that are out of your control, win by doing things you can control.
This is the classic tale of the big dog vs. the underdog (anybody else always find themselves rooting for the underdog in any given movie no matter what?! Example: Harry Potter, Twilight…). If you’re competing for a new position at work or anything else in life that you really want, there are often things that are out of your control that can put others a step above you. These things can include having connections or more work prior experience, if we’re going with the job example. Equalize yourself or surpass others with things you can control, like being the first one to the office every morning, working the most efficiently, staying later, taking extra steps to educate yourself further on your own time, etc. You can in fact make yourself look better without making other people look bad in your favor, so recognize where those opportunities lie and use them to your advantage. It’s okay to take on an underdog mentality and recognize that you may not be at the top of the heap, but what you do with that knowledge and how you let it affect your drive and resiliency is what matters. For instance, I may not be able to offer a personal status of 50,000 Instagram followers to brands I work with as a blogger, but I can be the most professional, respectful and above-and-beyond blogger they work with.
LESSON 4: I’d rather say less, than too much.
I’ve always been a person who’s selective with her words, and more times than not I never regret it. This can apply to important conversations, social media and socializing in the work place. You can never take back things you say, but every day is a new opportunity to say things you’ve never said. For me, there’s nothing worse than saying something you wish you didn’t because once it’s out there, it’s out there. You can’t inhale your words back in and make them disappear. Life is not a cartoon and your words contribute to everyone’s perception of you, which in turn becomes the reality of you in other’s eyes. My motto is I’d much rather people think “man, I wish she’d talk more” than “man, I wish she’d shut up.” Always leave them wanting more. I suggest rethinking everything in your head (specifically in important situations when you’re being driven by your emotions) before saying it and considering if that comment is at all valuable before vocalizing it. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
LESSON 5: Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
One of my top tips for legitimacy in all aspects of life includes never making promises you can’t keep and always staying true to your word. I’m a HUGE believer for this and have such little respect for people that can do this time and time again without any hesitation or guilt. People will hesitate to send opportunities your way if they think you’re a flake and won’t stick to your promises. You completely lose your credibility little by little when you decide to skip things you’ve already said yes to without any real rhyme or reason — it’s something I’m always cautiously aware of when making plans and committing to things. To avoid breaking promises, I approach every situation very upfront by letting the other party know what my schedule looks like by simply being realistic. I’ve learned to never sugarcoat things or build up unrealistic expectations. Simply being honest, even if it isn’t the most ideal response for the other party involved is much more valuable and respectable.
What are your biggest life lessons? Do you relate to any of these? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for visiting & check back for a new post on Friday!
P.S. If you missed it, I uploaded a new YouTube video on Monday! You can watch it here and subscribe if you’d like — I already have a hair curling tutorial and everyday makeup routine edited and ready to publish within the next couple weeks, so stay tuned!