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25 at 25 – lessons I’ve learnt in life

25 feels like a massive milestone for me. There’s just something about that number that has had me reflecting on my life quite some bit, for at least the past six months.

Now, I’m far from being qualified to provide life advice, but to celebrate my turning quarter of a century (eek!), here are 25 pieces of advice I’ve been given, lessons I’ve learnt and quotes that I enjoy that I try to stick by. In no particular order…

#1 How hard can it be – Our unofficial family motto, you don’t know if you can do something until you’ve tried it. Give it a go, see what happens.

#2 If it takes less than a minute, do it now – This is a brilliant little trick I’ve started doing to be more productive. Don’t put things off, if it will take you less than a minute, do it right away. From putting the plates in the dishwasher right after eating to save tidying later, to sending a quick reply to an email, it’s a super useful tip.

#3 Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time – Have you ever had a lazy Sunday afternoon followed by that pang of guilt that all you’ve done is catch up on your favourite TV and read a couple of chapters of a book? I read the above quote and now I think do you know what, sometimes those days are fine. Take some time out to do ‘nothing’ and enjoy it.

#4 Learn when you’re most productive – Work out when you work best and plan your days accordingly, where you can. I find that I’m better off getting all the little tasks out the way in the morning and then focussing on longer tasks – perhaps a big piece of writing – in the afternoon.

#5 It’s okay to accept compliments – If someone says something nice, just say thank you. Not ‘thank you, it was in the sale’ or ‘thank you, it’s just something I threw together’ – just thank you.

#6 And it’s even better to give them – Make an effort to tell people if they have done a good job, if you like their new shoes, if the cookies they brought into the office are delicious. It will make them feel great, and you will too.

#7 The more you put into something, the more you get out – This one has probably been drummed into me (and everyone else) since primary school, but do you know what? It’s true.

#8 Learn to laugh at yourself – Don’t take things too personally unnecessarily and don’t take yourself too seriously.

#9 Sometimes things go wrong – And that’s okay. You’re human and you’ll make mistakes from time to time, but it’s how you come back from them that matters. Forgive yourself.

#10 Stop comparing your behind the scenes with other people’s highlights reel – Social media has made this more of an issue, with people comparing their everyday to the best of life that people share on social. Everyone’s life is on a different timeline, just do the best you can with what you’ve got.

#11 Find a job that you love – You spend an awful lot of time at work, make it something you’re interested in, passionate about and that is worth getting up for in the morning.

#12 Ask questions – If you don’t know, don’t be afraid to ask. If you want to learn more, ask. If you need help, ask. Never stop learning.

#13 And perhaps, more importantly, listen more – You know that saying, you were given two ears and one mouth…

#14 Know what you’re good at and be proud of it – I’m meticulously organised, make great shortbread and have a pretty good eye for detail. Not the most important skills ever but I know what I’m good at.

#15 And know what you’re not so good at and work on it – For example, I cannot draw or design to save my life and I’m terrible at ironing (although maybe I won’t work on the latter and leave it to my husband…)

#16 Say yes to new opportunities – Whether it’s a new experience, an event, a challenge or perhaps a new job, say yes and give as many things as possible a go.

#17 But equally, learn when to say no – You can’t do everything, so learn to prioritise and have some ‘you’ time in your life too (there’s on I learnt when taking on too much at uni!)

#18 Learn a few decent recipes by heart – I think it was my Gran who said this to me; it’s always good to have a few decent meals up your sleeve that you know how to whip up easily.

#19 Learn how to work with everyone – Thanks Mum for this one. There will always be people that you meet in life that you just don’t click with, but still have to spend time with. Learn how you work best with this sort of person, whether it be at work or within your social life.

#20 Manners cost nothing – Never underestimate the value of a thank you.

#21 Read more books – Simple really…

#22 Learn how to budget and save when you can – You’ll appreciate it further down the line.

#23 Stand up for what’s right – Discrimination, hatred, downright lies. Call them out and make people know it’s not acceptable. Use your voice and be brave (but also don’t put yourself in danger when doing so).

#24 Call your mother, she worries – My Mum gave this to my brother on a fridge magnet and the older I get, the more it resonates. Not just your mother, but if you’re lucky enough to still have family around that care, call them for a chat.

And finally #25 Be kind – The world needs more kindness. Make an effort to spread it around whenever and wherever you can.

Images 2, 3 and 4 from https://stocksnap.io/.

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