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31 Life Lessons in 31 Years

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Alyssa has studied psychology, philosophy, religion, and the arts. She loves sharing her thoughts, ideas, and papers with the world.


Birthdays are special and fun. It's a time of celebration and for me, reflection. I like to take a few moments to think about how far I've come and what I've learned. It's also the perfect time to think about the future and I like to set a few goals for myself.

This is the third installment of life lessons. Two years ago I shared 29 of my biggest lessons learned. I was so excited to let go of my 20's and enter into my 30's, so I did another edition. 30 is a milestone and it has been my favorite age so far. I've learned a lot in the past year, so I thought I would do one final edition of this little series. I hope to accumulate more lessons to share when I turn 40.

In no particular order, here is my list of 31 lessons I've learned in 31 years.

1. People are who they are. You can't change anyone.

2. When someone reveals who they are to you through their actions, believe them.

3. The only thing you can absolutely control is your reaction.

4. There is always a choice. Sometimes you have to look deeper to find it, but it's there, and you have the power to decide.

5. Life is far too short to spend it angry or holding a grudge.

6. Let go of anything that isn't serving you.

7. Shopping for a new vehicle is way more stressful than it should be.

8. Realize that it's your life.

9. Your actions, your mood, and your energy affect those around you.

Spend time exploring with the ones you love.

Spend time exploring with the ones you love.

10. Attachment leads to suffering.

11. Let go of anyone who no longer deserves a spot in your life.

12. Remember to have fun, especially when you find yourself getting too serious.

13. Some people are not your people, and that's okay.

14. You are responsible for your own happiness.

15. Appreciate your body, no matter your shape and size.

16. Don't be afraid to ask for help or a little advice.

17. Not everyone will love what you do, but you have to be determined in what you believe in.

18. If you create something amazing, people will show up for it.

19. As you get older, your level of confidence in yourself increases.

20. Nothing and no one is perfect.

You're never too old to climb a tree.

You're never too old to climb a tree.

21. Let go of the picture in your head of what life is supposed to look like.

22. Comparison will turn your heart green with envy and leave you feeling bitter and insecure. Know your triggers and avoid them.

23. Everyone is just doing the best they can.

24. Forgiveness is for yourself and it doesn't mean you have to accept anyone back in your life.

25. Make peace with your past and leave it to rest. Move forward with an open heart and an open mind.

26. There's nothing wrong with an ordinary life.

27. It's never too late to chase your dreams.

28. Reviewing your goals every month, instead of once a year, is the key to success.

29. I get emotionally attached to my car, but not to material things.

30. Not everything deserves a reaction. Sometimes silence is the best answer.

Each day is a gift.

Each day is a gift.

This final one is a repeat from last year, but one I return to when I find myself getting overwhelmed or stressed out:

31. In the grande scheme of the universe, life is short. Be grateful, be kind, remember your manners, and enjoy your time here on this planet.

© 2018 Alyssa

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