When I started to write online, I decided to write for my younger self. I promised that everything I published would contain at least one lesson I wish I’d learned earlier myself.
After reading hundreds of books on living better and being happier and publishing more than 500 articles, I still come across valuable lessons I wish I’d discovered earlier.
And I believe that’s one of the most beautiful things about our human experience: No matter how old you are or how much you’ve already experienced — life will always continue to bless you with new lessons.
Feeling uncomfortable doesn’t always mean that you’re in the wrong place
Did you ever make a bold decision you regretted just a few moments later?
I did — many times.
One of these moments was three years ago when I decided to move in with my partner.
My family is from Turkey, and there, living with your partner before marriage isn’t common. And even though my parents welcomed my non-Turkish partner right away, they were not ready for us to live together without being married.
It took me lots of time and courage to make that decision, yet, when I saw my mum crying after I first told her about it, I inevitably doubted my choice.
It was one of the most uncomfortable and painful conversations of my life, and I surely questioned my decision, but I also learned a valuable lesson: Just because you’re feeling a little uncomfortable doesn’t mean you’re wrong.
Three years later, I’m still proud of my choice, and my relationship with my parents is stronger than ever before.
Great things are never easy to get anyway — whether that’s a job, the next income goal, a strong body, or making choices that don’t align with cultural expectations.
In the end, you can’t be sure if you made the right decision without just giving it a try. And if you never try, you’ll never know.
Investing in yourself will never disappoint you
These days, everyone’s telling you to invest your money because of rising inflation levels caused by the pandemic.
But if you’re new to the game, investing your hard-earned money is no easy choice.
You want to be sure your investment is worth it. You want to avoid risks. And ideally, you want to have guaranteed returns.
The truth is, there are very few investments with low risks and high returns.
But there’s one way to invest your time, energy, and money that’ll always be worth it: An investment in yourself.
Invest in your mind by learning new skills.
Invest in your health by taking more time to move your body and prepare nourishing meals.
Invest in yourself by spending more time around people who make your heart dance.
Invest in experiences you’re genuinely excited about.
Great things are where you want to see them
Research proves that being grateful increases our happiness because it makes us more aware of our blessings.
Focusing on the things that don’t go well in your life is significantly easier, yet, it also makes you feel miserable.
Instead of constantly aiming for more, take a moment to think about all the blessings you’re already surrounded by.
Take a minute of your day and write down at least 3–5 things you’re genuinely grateful for.
This practice won’t magically change your life, but it’ll help you shift your focus from lack to abundance.
Don’t help someone who doesn’t want your help
Trying to help someone who doesn’t even want your help is one of the worst feelings in the world — especially if you genuinely care about that person.
The truth is, you can’t change anyone but yourself.
Even if you believe you know what someone needs, you can’t force them to do (or avoid) anything if they’re not ready for it.
Instead of trying to help people who’re not open to your support, try leading by example and focus on yourself.
Being alone is better than being surrounded by the wrong people
Most people fear spending time alone because that’s when they’re alone with their fears and insecurities.
But the harsh truth is, being alone is always better than being around the wrong people.
If you can’t sit still in silence and be alone with your thoughts for a while, it’s just a sign that you have unresolved issues bothering you. And there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you decide to take care of it and work on making peace with your past and yourself.
Just make sure you don’t end up making space for others just to escape your own company.
Diane Von Furstenberg
You’re always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.
You are only fighting yourself
You are your biggest enemy.
No one can make you feel bad if you don’t allow them to do so.
The only person you’ll ever have to beat is yourself.
And the only person you should ever compare yourself to is your past self.
It’s not about beating the other guy. It’s not about having more than the others. It’s about being what you are, and being as good as possible at it, without succumbing to all the things that draw you away from it. It’s about going where you set out to go. About accomplishing the most that you’re capable of in what you choose.
Everyone is different
Even though our societal systems try to ignore it, the truth is that we’re all different.
Stop comparing yourself to others and listening to fairy tales about how your life should look like.
Everyone’s path to fulfillment and happiness is different, and judging others is none of your business.
Most people don’t think like you.
What makes sense to you might sound like nonsense to someone else, and vice versa.
But just because someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t mean you’re wrong. And just because you disagree with someone doesn’t mean they are wrong.
Stop trying to impose your point of view on everyone else and start listening more carefully.
You don’t need to agree with everything others say or think. You just need to respect each other’s voices and opinions so you can get along despite the differences.
You can create your own definition of “rich”
Even though many people spend the majority of their lives trying to make more money, the truth is that money itself doesn’t necessarily make you “rich” nor happy.
You can make a million dollars and spend a million dollars on alcohol, cigarettes, and parties that make you feel empty instead of rich.
Real richness is defined by how you make your decisions, how you spend your time, and how happy you ultimately feel.
Stop fighting for goals you think you should achieve and start creating your own definition of “happy” and “rich.”
Just because many people enjoy traveling and visiting exotic places doesn’t mean you need to travel and see the world to be happy.
Just because most people admire fancy cars doesn’t mean you need one.
I personally don’t even have a driver’s license because I never needed it and decided that I don’t care about owning a fancy car as a status symbol.
My definition of “being rich” is being rich in time and relationships.
I spend 90% of my time in yoga pants, check my emails three times per week, and have an empty calendar 99.9% of the time.
That’s my definition of a rich life.
Ask yourself what your’s is and how you can create a life that’s covered in peace and love instead of “things.”