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18 Things @ 18!

Life, the common thread between all of us, is a journey. The hills we hitchhike, the trenches, the valleys, and the rivers we cross, are all obstacles that we encounter on this journey. “Everything happens for a reason,” seems like a cliche statement but all of the occurrences are for a greater purpose–for learning, living, and loving on a different level.

Eighteen years of life has taught me a lot. So in celebration of my life, eighteen years of learning, I would like to share that list with all of you.

​(The list is not generated by importance)

  1. Love you, like Kanye loves Kanye. Never give others the power to dictate your happiness. Realize that friendships retire, relationships sometimes end, and not everyone will be in your life forever. But despite these things, you deserve happiness. True happiness arises during the discovery of self love. Become so consumed in your love for yourself that you become unconcerned with the approval of others and the dependency of others to generate your happiness. Recognize your flaws, but flaunt what you love, about you.

  2. Be honest with yourself. Always stay true to yourself. Often in attempt to satisfy others, to come across as strong, or perceive ourselves a certain way to others, we ignore our own emotions. There’s nothing wrong with caring, being nice, feeling sad, or harboring any emotion that makes you human. True strength is exhibited when you recognize your weakness, embrace it, and build upon it to make you stronger.

  3. Mind your business. Take six months to mind your own business, and six months to stay out of other people’s business. Essentially, mind your own business 24/7. When you spend your time in other people’s business, you loose out on time that you could be focusing on yourself. Minding your own business doesn’t mean that you can’t be there when people need you, but it is simply a reminder that you should be your main focus.

  4. Be selfish! Selfishness is as equally important as selflessness. Sometimes you just need to set time aside for you. When you’re not working, cleaning, or helping other people, devote some quality time to yourself. Enjoy life’s pleasures: let your phone die, read the book you’ve always wanted to read, go to a place in your city you’ve never been, take a walk in the park for some fresh air, and do what you enjoy! Indulge in those things for the sake of your own happiness. Take some time out for yourself, cherish your happiness, and create new experiences for yourself, which sometimes requires being selfish.

  5. Mistakes happen, learn from them. Everybody makes mistakes, but the most important take away, is to learn from the mistakes made. Treat all experiences as opportunities for knowledge and growth. Learning from the experiences not only ensure that you don’t repeat similar situations later on in life, but also help develop you into a stronger individual.

  6. Indulge in your passions. Do what you love. I promise that you will enjoy life so much more by doing what you love, and loving what you do. Don’t do it for the money, do it for the joy that it brings you and for the passion you have for it. Whatever it may be, indulge in it. Surround yourself with positive passionate vibes, it will bring you happiness.

  7. Stay focused. Always keep your eyes on the prize, remain prideful about the goals that you hope to achieve. Continue to work towards the dream that you lust for. Transform dreams into reality. Don’t loose sight of what is important, if you wan’t it, work for it. Remain focused on the goal, distractions will hold you back, but keeping a clear vision will propel you closer towards your goals.

  8. Rid of expectations. Expectations force you to develop a hopeful mindset, relying on other people to meet your expectations. Unfortunately, you can’t rely on everyone. Most of us can barely rely on ourselves. When we generate expectations, we play ourselves. We set ourselves up to be let down, and then when things don’t turn out the way we wished they did, we are upset. It’s often helpful to remove expectations from the equation. Hope for the best, but expect everything less. Remain positive, but realize that if things don’t turn out the way that you expected them to, you should still be happy.

  9. Try new things. Be adventurous, do something that you have never done before, taste a food that you’ve never tasted, and try all of the things life has to offer. From new exercises to new coffee flavors, there is always something new to try. Try it for the experience, if you don’t like it, fine, try something else. Trying new things is all about broadening your perspective, you may not enjoy it, but you will have learned something new about yourself, or the world surrounding you.

  10. Make things happen. Stop waiting around for things to happen on their own. Sometimes, you have to take fate into your own hands and work for what you want. Nothing is ever granted to you, you have to work for it. If you expect results, start working towards it. The reality you hope to achieve requires work, and you must be willing to put in the work to make things happen.

  11. Get a journal. Everyone needs a journal. Why? To keep yourself up to date with you! Writing in a journal reduces stress, creates awareness of your emotions, provides a release of anger(or other emotions you feel), and an open space where you can share your inner desires (fears, etc.), the journal is your judgement free safe haven where you can express yourself. Think of your journal as documentation of your greatest memories, toughest obstacles, and life’s occurrences, all documented, for you to track your progress, recognize your strengths and weaknesses, and further discover who you are as an individual.

  12. Avoid time wasters. People who waste your time, don’t deserve it, period. If they waste your time, they don’t value your time, the things that you have sacrificed, or appreciate the time that you have given to them. So therefore, if they’re wasting your time, you may need to reevaluate the relationship.

  13. Shoot your shot. We miss 100% of the shots that we never attempt to make. Whether it be for our lives, our futures, or whatever, windows of opportunity come crashing down when we don’t take advantage of them. Meet new people, start new conversations, network with others. Shooting your shot can potentially be the driving force that propels you closer towards the future you long for. Take the chance, you’ll never know what the outcome will be.

  14. Not everyone has your best intentions at heart. Not everybody cares about you. Some people hope to see you fail, fall, fault, and quit instead of finish. Realize that not everyone is going to be there for you, to build you up. Often there are people who enjoy seeing you torn down. Realize that you have to be an advocate for you! Look out for yourself, because you can not rely on other people to do so. Find the difference between those who care about you, and those who don’t, because some snake’s disguise themselves as weeds, waiting on the time to poison you.

  15. “If it doesn’t challenge you, it can’t change you.” Most obstacles are great, for the obstacles we overcome, make us stronger individuals. So I encourage challenges, I invite them, for they will only make me better, stronger, and wiser. For the purpose of growth, accept the challenge, although it may be hard the long run benefits will be priceless. Challenges, adversity, and obstacles exist for personal, emotional, and spiritual growth and gain, take advantage of challenges, they might just change your life.

  16. Growth and change happen. As we grow older, we grow apart. Sometimes people change, for better or for worse. Regardless of if we want it or not, growth and change must occur, they are crucial to the process of life. As unfortunate as a it may seem, growth and change must occur as we progress through the various stages of life. Not everyone is meant to stay in your life forever, you won’t be in the same place you were in 5 years ago, we all must progress. And this progression, this growth and change, will impact us, molding us into the individuals that we are meant to be.

  17. Cherish your experiences. We won’t be forever young, eventually we must grow old. So cherish the times that you have with those that you love, spend time with friends that mean a lot to you, and reminisce on the old times, commemorating a past that will never be forgotten.

  18. Live your life for you. Your mother and father already lived their lives. Start living a life that you love and create a legacy that you are proud of. Live your life to the fullest, enjoy it, because you only have one life to live, make the best of it, and leave your mark on the world.

I am blessed to be able to celebrate eighteen years of life, eighteen years of love, and eighteen years of learning.

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