27 Lessons in 27 Years

November 3, 2014

Since my 27th birthday was this past Thursday (p.s. THANK YOU for all the birthday wishes!), I thought I'd share with you all 27 life lessons that I've learned in my 27 years.

1. Focus on yourself and not everyone else - comparison gets you nowhere but unhappy.

2. When a great opportunity comes your way, take a risk and seize it. Some amazing things could happen.

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3. It's okay to ask for help, you'll be surprised how much people actually want to help you when you ask for it.

4. When you build a relationship with someone you shouldn't just like who they are now, but you should like and support the person they are trying to become.

5. You're going to meet a lot of people throughout your life that you just don't understand. That's okay. There are billions of people on this earth - you're bound to be confused by quite a few of them.

6. Don't be afraid to look silly, those who judge you aren't the right kind of people to be around anyway.

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7. On that note, remember not to judge people. Love them, forgive them, let them go, but don't judge them; that's not your job.

8. You're going to make mistakes. They may be little, they may be huge, just remember that you can choose how to react to them.

9. You can't help someone who doesn't want to change, and trying to do so can often lead to them pushing you away.

10. Appreciate the small, quiet moments in life. These are the ones you'll always look back on with a smile.

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11. Disappointment comes from expectations. Although expectations can be helpful in some parts of life, they are usually much more harmful in your personal life. Don't push high expectations onto people or events, just enjoy whatever comes your way.

12. Always be thankful for what you have; don't be the person who didn't realize how great they had it until it was gone.

13. Dance. Anytime, anywhere. It's good for the soul.

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14. Find a community where you feel like you belong, where you feel welcomed, and where you're enthusiastic to welcome anyone else into it.

15. Don't ever apologize for your faith, religion, or lack thereof. It may change throughout your life, but it's very personal to you and you should never let anyone make you feel bad about it.

16. Pay attention to how your actions and words affect other people. You may not realize it, but what you say and do can often have a huge impact on someone else, so try to keep that impact positive.

17. Get a pet. If you can't have a pet then foster one, borrow one, pet dogs on their walk (with permission...). It's amazing what a happy animal can do for your spirit.

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18. Take a few minutes each day to stop, breathe and reflect. Reflect on your day, on what you're grateful for, and what kind of person you are now and want to become.

19. Read. Whether it's a book, an article online or a magazine - take some time to step out of your own world and into someone else's.

20. Costumes make everything more fun. Embrace them.

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21. Love your family. Whether it's the family you were born into, or the one you create throughout your life. Never forget to appreciate the people who are always there to support you and love you.

22. Learn other people's "love languages," and use them to show them how much you care. Some people need a hug, some people need an affirmation, some need you to do something special. Remember that what you need may be very different from someone else.

23. We never really "grow up." Every adult is still a kid deep down inside.

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24. And on that note - your parents and grandparents are people too, with their own history of mistakes, accomplishments and life lessons. Learn from them, appreciate them, and don't be disappointed if they fall off that pedestal you put them on as a child.

25. Treat your body and mind well - you were given this amazing gift at birth and you only get one life with it.

26. Don't think that just because your life is "normal" or "mundane" that it's not important. Everyone is here on this earth for a reason - find yours and find the joy in your purpose. Don't ever let anyone make you feel like you are less than them.

27. Smile, especially when you don't feel like smiling. I promise you'll feel better.

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