Living your life in the present means acknowledge the past (good and bad) but not letting it run your life. I believe, to be truly 'present', you need to use your past as a learning tool that gives way to personal development.
With this in mind, I wanted to share with you a summary of the main 10 things I have learned in my 29 years of life.
1- Being nice to yourself is NOT a crime
As referenced in my article Discovering the art of Self Love by ForresterBeautyUK. This is so important; you will ALWAYS be your own harshest critic, therefore, taking a few steps back and looking at things from an outside perspective will always help in injecting a bit of rationale and kicking you out of automatically being negative.
Once you get into the habit of being nicer to yourself, you will soon find yourself being your biggest supporter- which really is the way it should be!
2- Never sell yourself short.
Every achievement of yours should be celebrated, if people would like to compliment you on your success, let them. If people want to know how you got where you are, tell them; share your experiences-good and bad. The more you accept your success and share your story, the more confident you will feel in your achievements and capabilities.
3- Let the people you care about hear & see it from you.
We are all guilty of putting those closest to us on the back burner. Life is complicated, and with its complications come a million and one distractions. We take comfort in knowing that our loved ones will be there for us but sometimes this means that we take them for granted.
I have a scheduled lunch date with an old friend who works near where I live, so on my day off I see her on her lunch break; outside of this I would hardly see her due to how far away she is and the cost of travel. So, for my friend and I, weekly catch up is really important and making that time for someone you care about is important.
4- Kill 'em with kindness
An old manager taught me this and seeing it in practise and how effective it was really changed the way I had previously dealt with "challenging" personalities. I have managed to make genuine connections with a variety of people I have had shaky first encounters with.
From the woman I used to work with, who took my dry sarcasm for rudeness, it took months before she started reciprocate my friendliness.
5- Giving strangers a compliment can make your day
This doesn't happen often but it would make me feel so good when a stranger would approach me and compliment a piece of clothing or one of my hair experiments. So, I decided to make a conscious effort -with the aim of it gradually becoming subconscious- to do the same to others. And it feels just as good to be on the other side, it really does! To give a total stranger a lil' more spring in their step by saying out loud what you would have whispered internally. No effort required!
6- Being engaging is not hard.
I used to put a lot of pressure on myself when meeting new people, always worried about making a bad first impression. However, after a few networking events, I am now an old hand. The usual Hi, I'm X is customary, which is then followed by (tailored to the sort of networking event/ party/ box social etc etc in attendance) a event specific question such as, How long have you been working in X industry? then a open ended question like, What challenges have you faced? and you're pretty much done for the evening!
People love it when others show an interest in what has brought them to there current position in life- good or bad. Plus, you learn so much from listening to other people's journey AND it takes the pressure of you having to talk about yourself!
7- Pressure to be in a long term relationship should be ignored; NOW.
I have had good and bad relationships but the one I spent the most time in was a shocker; I think the underlying force that drove me to persistently pursue it, was a dreadful fear of being alone and the social pressure to be in a long term relationship that is "going somewhere".
The older I have gotten the more I can honestly say that loneliness is a terrible thing to feel and social pressure is a ****ache but it doesn't have to be that, an unhappy long term relationship is the cure. There are a lot of good people out there, to be friends with, and perhaps more but not always and that's OK. I promise!
You CAN have a circle of good friends and an active social life and not require a relationship; even for safe and regular sex: No relationship required.
8- Like a fine wine or a stinky cheese- The way you grow older is really down to you.
I started my active lifestyle young, I was on every team going at school, football, hockey, volleyball etc etc. And I have fluttered in and out of a perfect diet and exercise regime to being a gluttonous pig.
Now, I do still have periods of being slack with my diet but I have always wanted to be that woman in her 50's that everyone thinks "My god! You could crack nuts with that arse!" and that thought, ladies and gentlemen, is what keeps me on the straight and narrow.
9- Being the X one all the time, is not a reasonable expectation of yourself.
We all have personality traits that are slightly louder than the other sides of us. Whether friends generally describe you as the funny one, the loud one, the opinionated one etc etc, the pressure to always represent that one side of you can be destructive to you.
Allowing yourself to be expressive, whether that be, being the diplomat in a debate even though your always the one with a solid opinion; simply because you just haven't decided what side of the fence you are on or if you even want to pick a side!
Or being the quieter one of the group, even though usually you love to be the focus of the group; just because you want a break from being the headline or you just want to spend most of your focus on that one person you wanted to genuinely get to know at said event.
10- Someone you give everything to will wipe their arse with your heart whilst smiling in your face.
There isn't a person I know who has made it passed 30 without this happening to them. I am pretty sure, it is one of the very few things in life that is certain.
It feels, how I imagine it does, when someone has stabbed you with a 6ft fish hook and that you will never ever trust another human being for the rest of your life and you find yourself thinking "If I just get loads and loadsa cats!" but it really, only makes you stronger, better and wiser. I still have the cats though...