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27 Lessons To Learn By The Time You Are 27

August 29, 2012

Birthday Card
For some reason, I always thought I’d be taller by the time I turned 27. Yet, I am still the same height that I was in high school. And I still have the same little stubby nose and the same toothy grin. But I’m alright by that.

If I haven’t grown in height, I’ve certainly grown in many ways as a person. And to show for it, I would like to share with you these 27 morsels of wisdom that I’ve accumulated in my 27 years of life. They are things that I’ve learned and things I continue to work on. I hope you will also find them helpful.

Before I get into that, however, I’d just like to give a birthday shout-out to all my family, my friends and yes, even you, my dear readers. I am incredibly thankful to everything and everyone who’ve ever helped me to get to this point in my life. In the short time that I’ve lived, I’ve managed to see a lot with my eyes and traveled to many corners of the world with my feet. I’ve met many amazing people who continue to enrich my life. And I’m grateful for everything that life has shown me thus far.

I know there is still so much more to look forward to!

And now for the good stuff…

27 Lessons To Learn By The Time You Are 27

1. Positive people are lucky. Lucky people are positive. They are the same people! Does this surprise you? When you’re positive, you are open to opportunities that life may have disguised as obstacles. Positive people are upbeat, helpful, and always willing to learn and grow from their mistakes. As a result, they always seem to have good things coming to them.

2. Balance your work, social and personal time. Balancing these three areas in your life is the key to living a fulfilled life. When you spend too much time and energy on just one area and neglecting the rest, the imbalance will eventually catch up with you. Don’t forget that personal time–you time, is equally as important as the time you spend working or hanging out with friends. Personal time can mean a lot of things for different people. It can mean time that you dedicate to your hobbies or time spent engaging and expanding your mind by reading a book.

3. Confidence is Hot. Don’t be afraid of making eye contact with people. Eye contact shows that you have nothing to hide and that you’re interested in people. When you make eye contact, don’t forget to smile. And also, nothing screams greater confidence than a terrific posture.

4. To keep your brain young and alive, keep learning a new skill. A book I read recently which  left a great impression on me is The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge. It’s a marvelous book that talks about the brain’s plasticity and how its functions can be augmented through specialized brain exercises. A more common way to keep your brain young and active is by learning a new skill. This new skill can be a new language, a new craft or even a new dance step.

5. Let negative people go. You might know people like this. People who spend a majority of their time complaining about their problems, feeling sorry for themselves and zapping you of energy. Whatever your relationship is to them, if they are bringing you down, let them go. Don’t harbor grudges or ill feelings towards them. Simply just let them go.  

6. Surround yourself with enthusiastic and optimistic people.  Enthusiasm and optimism is contagious. If you have people in your life who make you feel good about life, these are the people you want to keep. When you can only focus on the problems at hand, they’re the ones who will help you to step back and see the bigger picture.

7. Whenever you have the chance to dance, DANCE! In the morning when I’m eating my cereal, when I’m watering the plants or even when I’m sitting on the toilet, I am ALWAYS dancing. Dancing helps to boost your mood and it keeps you young in the heart! Not to mention that it’s a great way for keeping your body physically fit and wonderfully toned.

8. Stay in touch with people. People remember you by how you make them feel. If people take the time to write you, write them back. It doesn’t have to be a long, eloquent treatise. Staying in touch could even be just a short phone call. However small the gesture, the important thing is to let people know that you think of them from time to time.

9. Love what you do. You don’t have to quit the job that you hate today. But don’t give up finding what makes you really happy either. Once you find what that is, you’ve only won half the battle. The other half is sticking with it and making it work.

10. Be thankful for what you have. The truly rich people in life are thankful for what they have. And because they’re thankful, they take care of the things that they value and these things last longer. Keep thinking about the things that are missing or lacking from your life, and no matter how high your pay increases, you will always be stuck in an impoverished mindset.

11. Stop blaming others for your problems. When you’re having problems, it usually means you’ve put yourself in that situation. Which means, you have the ability to take yourself out of it. So take responsibility and action for your own life.

12. Listen more than you speak. Successful people in this world have mastered the skill of listening. They barely talk about themselves. Instead, they listen intently to others. And that’s how they learn to avoid doing the same mistakes that you’re doing.

13. Ask questions.  Ask because you are genuinely interested. Not because you just want to have something to say. And whether or not it’s something that you were expecting, always be open to the answer.

14. Love yourself as you are. Want to know the secret to being truly beautiful? Loving and accepting yourself exactly as you are. As people get older, they become accustomed to looking in the mirror and seeing only things that they want to change about themselves. Try this for a change. Open your eyes not only to all your imperfections but also to all your best assets. Then completely accept that these things about you exist.

15. Don’t waste your time on bad movies. Just because you bought the ticket and the popcorn, don’t feel obliged to stick around until the closing credits. Classic example of a bad movie? The Notebook. Utterly banal and boring. I couldn’t even care to fast forward to the end to find out what happens because I’d already predicted it.

16. Solo time to rejuvenate. Whether you bathe with essential oils, meditate, go for a solo walk or have a quiet cup of tea, your time with yourself should be a time for rejuvenating the mind and the body.

17. Thinking makes it so. Fearful and negative thoughts are often self-fulfilling. When you’re worried that something bad might happen, your thoughts are scattered and so it leaves you open to an accident waiting to happen. Or for example, if you’re worried that someone might hurt you or leave you, you might act defensively and end up driving them away. Fortunately, this is also true in a positive sense. When you believe in something or someone, your actions, whether subconscious or not, will make it so.

18. The strong ones are the ones who don’t give in to anger. Anger clouds your mind. Whether you’re right or wrong in a situation, once you’ve given in to this blinding emotion, you’ve lost your ground. Irascible (adjective) easily provoked to anger; very irritable. Equanimity (noun) mental or emotional stability or composure, especially under tension or strain. Don’t be irascible. Strive for equanimity.

19. Diligence. Work little and work smart. Have a clear goal. Then work with intense focus towards this goal.

20. Regret is Pointless. Would have, should have, could have–these phrases serve no purpose. Learn from your past, accept that it happened and then move on. You’re the only who can make your situation even better than before.

21. Technology is your ally. Technology moves forward, and at a very fast rate. There are people who want to keep things exactly as they were before. This is not going to happen. You must evolve and adapt. If you learn how to use technology properly, it can be a very powerful ally. Use it. Don’t let it use you.

22. Timing is everything. Know when to take your time, and when to act on an opportunity when it’s there. Timing is also important when it comes to saying certain things at a certain time to certain people. This is called tact.

23. The power of NO. Politicians know how to say no without ever having to say no. Don’t be a politician. Know when to simply and firmly say No.

24. Develop a thick skin. Don’t dwell on the snide remarks and the little acts of rejection that people have thrown at you. You’ve got more important things to worry about. However, do keep your ears open to the negative feedback that can help you better yourself.

25. Effective communication. Be vocal about your wants and needs. If people are not getting the message, say it in a different way. But definitely do not indulge in passive aggressive behavior. Usually, when people are overstepping their boundaries, it’s because you haven’t made your boundaries clear.

26. Keep your imagination alive. Tumble around, look up at the sky when you’re upside down, color in coloring books, lay on the grass and daydream to your heart’s content. Dream big and never stop bellowing the fires of your imagination.

27. Truth is freedom. When you tell the truth, you don’t have to cover up your tracks because you have none. You don’t have to remember old lies that you’ve told and worry constantly that you’ll be found out. Truth isn’t just about being honest. It’s also about being open. When you have nothing to hide, you are free. And truth will show itself in your actions.

Julien Boulangerie

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Peace out everyone. And I hope your day is as delicious as my birthday cake!