1. Your Peace and Happiness Must Come From You
No one person or thing can make you happy or bring you peace. That must come from you. People can only enhance or chip away at those things. You have full ownership. To rest your happiness and peace in someone's else's possession is to say that you are an empty vessell.
2. You Won't Always Be Rewarded for Doing What's Right
We're taught from our youth that we must do the right thing. However, if doing the right thing is against the status quo, it could get you blackballed, fired (Yes, that happened to me.), or create some enemies. Sometimes it's easy to go with the flow. Doing what's right and doing what is easy are often not the same things. Listen to your intuition, then do what it tells you to do, just be prepared.
3. Be Fully You and Live In It!
4. Enjoy Your Own Company
Don't get so used to doing things in groups and pairs. Take a moment to shop alone, go out to eat alone, go see a movie solo. I've learned if you can't enjoy your own company, how can you expect others to?
5. Create Your Own Definition of Luxury
I don't strive to own the hottest foreign sportscar or the 20 bedroom mansion. If you do, work towards it. Never feel less than because you can't afford shiny things. I'd rather travel the world solo or with friends and family while trying different cullinary fare, or to work poolside on a random Tuesday. Think of your dream lifestyle and work towards that, not for what others have.
6. Don't Force Yourself Into a Societal Norm
Don't let others do it either. I'm unmarried without kids. That.Is.Okay. If that's not the life you want, that is also okay. Want to focus on school and career first? Cool!
7. Don't Let Men Disrepect You
Check the hypersexualized pick up lines, sexist, and misogynistic comments and behaviors at the door. Don't let them blame you for them being disrespectful to you!
8. Family Can Extend Beyond Blood Relatives
I have such close bonds with people who aren't blood related to me that the line between friend and family is blurred. Cherish these people.
9. Never Settle
In life, love, career, etc. We all deserve the best. Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods. This mindset can be a lonely one as it weeds out a lot of people and opportunities in your life, but don't just go through the motions and set out to LIVE your best life as Auntie Oprah famously says.
10. Prayer Changes Things
Pray things into existence, no matter how small. Say prayers of thanks for blessings big and small.
11. Cherish Your Elders
Soak up all of their wisdom while they're still here with you.
12. Eat Healthy
That fast metabolism in your early 20's will take a nose dive around 25 if you're not careful. Get in the habit of eating healthy and exercising regularly. Trust me. I've had my own weight issues and we only have one vessel, take care of it.
13. Read More and Across Genres
Most of us love a juicy drama or romantic novel. However, reading about finance, the housing market or about the latest in other countries helps you become more well rounded and informed.
14. Each One Teach One
When you get to a certain level of knowledge and success, even if it is not your end goal, help a hard working young person get to where you are by showing them the ropes.
I found that trying is one of the hardest things to do. Putting one foot in front of the other is so scary, but I don't want to be on the other side of "What if?"
16. There is No Neutrality When It Comes to Injustices
Okay, touchy subject but it needs to be addressed. For example, I noticed when a story hits the news that was provoked by race, gender, or religion, many of my fellow bloggers suddenly fade into the back ground. They are quiet for the time period said stories are hot topics. When they get overshadowed by the next big story, it's back to makeup, fashion, and whatever else. The common claim is that isn't their brand. These are human issues, not brand issues.