Introducing Cynthia. Or as she’s known on instagram @Ceceinstyle_
Cynthia is an old friend, (haha look mom I’m grown), from back in the day. We grew up together in a small Nigerian church in the prairies of Canada… I know it’s confusing but stay with me.
So as a young mom I’ve learnt a lot of hard lessons from personal experience. And then there are some lessons I haven’t learned from personal experience. Those lessons are the best lessons to learn.
It’s always a good idea to gain wisdom from the lives others have lived. Whether young or old. Married or single. It’s worth picking up ideas from those around you.
So here’s Cynthia. She’s a little bit younger than me and recently engaged, (I am soooo excited for her). She is a blogger with her own story to tell. And let me tell ya, she has lived! But don’t take my word for it, read on to hear from her.
20 Lessons to Learn If You Want To Change Your Life
Mistakes are inevitable- what’s important is that we learn from them! Below I share 20 lessons that are life-changing and important to learn early in adulthood, along with some personal stories of how I came to learn these lessons.
1. Learn to let things happen in their on time.
Goals are important but so is the understanding that we only have so much control in our lives. Having a good understanding of this means that setbacks won’t ruin your life.
Mistakes that you’ve made, like slacking off in first year university and failing a few classes won’t disintegrate your dream of becoming a doctor and discourage you into dropping out.
It means not marrying the wrong person because you wanted to be hitched by 23 but now you’re 24 and you haven’t met the right person yet so you’re going to settle for who you can get now.
2. Having few friends that you can trust is better than many that you can’t trust.
When you’re young, popularity is the goal! But as you age, you realize how important it is to have friends that you know without a doubt will have your back! Friends that can help you out of a tight spot, that can correct you without fear of your relationship ending, etc. Ironically, when I realized this is when I made more friends and had deeper friendships.
3. Learn to pick your battles.
My parents used to tell me I should be a lawyer, I loved arguing so much! I found out one day though, that this earned me the bad reputation of being argumentative.
I had to learn that some arguments aren’t worth having, and sometimes some people can’t be reasoned with. Just say “okay” and leave it alone!
4. Where you are now may not be where you’ll end up but it’s where you need to be.
Earlier this year, one of my superiors asked me how I was liking my new position.
In late 2018, I made the decision to switch out of a very exciting career into one that is pretty much paper work all. day. Not the reason I joined the military, at all. And this was voluntary! But I had to switch because my fiancé and I were planning on buying a house within the next few months, and my old trade could not offer me full time work.
I was also working 40 hours overnight at a second job and 3 days a week with the military. The schedule and the pay just weren’t doing it for us!
My new trade however, could start me on full time work the very next day, and this was more than ideal. So when I was asked by my superior how my new job was, I realized that even though it isn’t necessarily the most enjoyable, I was grateful for it. My circumstances were not ideal, but they were necessary, and allowed us to get our perfect home only a month and a half after I started.
Had I chosen to focus on the negatives, I would have been miserable. Knowing myself and my penchant for impulsivity, I would’ve switched back right away or quit. And right now, someone else would be picking out the paint colours for our perfect house.
5. My goodness girl, it’s okay to leave the house without makeup!
This is good for your skin, your life, and your wallet!
6. If you’re bad with money, fix that now before it’s too late.
If it feels like its too late, start now because it’s better late than never.
I like to call myself a reformed shopaholic. When I received my first credit card at 18, my best friend and I jumped in my car and booked it to Lululemon. I spent $800 in less than an hour!
When my student loans hit my account in first year Uniand I saw that they had sent me about $1k extra, my best friend (the same one haha!) and I skipped class and went shopping. At least I used cash this time, but the money still wasn’t mine, and I didn’t realize that when you’re sent extra money, you should probably keep it for the next semester. The next year, the government sent only $900 for a whole academic year, instead of $4000.
I’ve clearly not been good with money in the past. It didn’t occur to me that a credit card is not something to be used haphazardly. My ignorance was bliss! I didn’t have a regular job at the time (I should’ve never been approved for the credit card) and couldn’t make payments so I got charged repeatedly, the more i’d spend. Eventually I exceeded the $1000 limit, and my card had a balance of $1400 before I realized this wasn’t a joke and that I should pay it off ASAP.
Of course, this wasn’t before I got a SECOND credit card. Yes, yes I know. Horrible decision. Thankfully the bank only gave me a $500 limit this time, because the card was always, always maxed out.
Long story short…
I ruined my credit score. I never had any cash. If I wasn’t living with rent-free with my parents, I would have been living paycheck to paycheck.
It took years to repair the damage I had done in less than one year.
But now I know better, and these mistakes are more entertaining stories than they are a shameful part of my past.
If you’re reading this and your view of money is the same as mine was, then consider this your call to action!
Learn how to properly handle your money now, before life teaches you. Do what you need to do to get your finances on track. You won’t regret it!
7. Don’t jump to conclusions!
Especially when it’s about ways people have offended you. I speak from personal experience when I say that you can lose a valuable friendship over jumping to conclusions about situations.
Find out the truth before you do anything drastic, and if you can’t find out the truth, then you might need to give the person the benefit of the doubt!
8. Be nice to everyone.
You don’t lose anything by being courteous and nice to other people, even if and especially if they’ve been horrible to you.
9. Identify your weaknesses, and work on them.
I hate small talk, and if i’m being completely honest, I’d have to admit that I can be hella awkward. Close friends are often surprised when I say that I’m shy, but of course I’m perfectly comfortable around close friends- they don’t see the shyness.
Around strangers or acquaintances however, is a whole other story. I can be quiet and sometimes will avoid someone I run into in order to bypass small talk or awkward conversation.
It drives my fiancé crazy, and probably doesn’t reflect well on me.
But that’s okay because I am working on it! It’s a constant effort and it is one of my biggest goals to limit this by the time I’m 30. It’s not something that I like about myself but I also can’t make changes and be accountable unless I am honest with myself, and identify this as being a weakness.
10. Learn to not automatically judge others.
Learning to not judge others is freeing and is probably the best thing i’ve done for myself. My relationships changed for the better, I became happier, and my personality was a lot more attractive.
11. You know your abilities and gifts- don’t let anyone make you doubt them.
12. Learn to forgive quickly!
Refusing to forgive someone leaves you in a prison, not them! The person that hurt you might not even know or care that they hurt you, but you’re losing sleep over it. Find a way to forgive them so that you can have some peace!
13. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
I can’t imagine all the opportunities I’ve lost by being afraid of stepping outside my comfort zone!
14. Not everyone will like you. Accept it.
It’s just how it is, so living your life trying to impress everyone is futile, and might leave you miserable.
15. If you’re passionate about something, pursue it!
Don’t waste time doubting yourself, while opportunities are just passing you by! And don’t listen to those that doubt you or discourage you. You know what you’re passionate about better than anyone.
16. Rejection isn’t always bad.
Protection is often disguised as rejection. A friend sent me a meme once that read, “If a girl can steal your man from you, she’s doing you a favor, darling.”
17. Learn to celebrate other people’s successes without feeling bad about yourself.
I only say this because for sooo long, every time a friend of mine would be successful in an area, envy would step in before I could even celebrate her. For some reason, it wasn’t automatic for me to be happy for her, and this also meant that no matter how many successes I had or how good life was going for me, I’d feel like crap.
This also made the relationship feel like a competition!
Living life like this was not good for our friendship or my mental health. I had to do something about it.
I also tried my best to be aware of when these envious thoughts would come, and literally talk myself out of them, for example:
“Cynthia, her success doesn’t mean your failure.”
“Cynthia, you have so much to be grateful for!”
And after a long time of doing this, it was more natural for me to be happy for her, and the strain on the relationship slowly dissipated.
18. Take care of your health.
I met an older lady once who seemed to really struggle walking. As I moved to help her, the first thing she said to me was to start taking care of my health now, because health issues when you’re old aren’t fun.
She told me what her major health issues are, and I told her that I knew someone that specializes in that area. To my surprise, her response was that her problem is she loves sweets, and it’s too late to turn back now. Then she said I should check out her favourite bakery.
It was an interesting interaction but the point is, don’t let your health go so far down that you feel it’s too late to do anything about it! If you’re alive and reading this, it’s definitely not too late.
19. Pursue self growth.
Do things that help your personal growth! Read books, spend time with mentors, watch documentaries.
20. Stop comparing yourself to others!
I mean, this is one of the biggest issues today. We compare ourselves to others, especially on social media and then feel inadequate, even though what we see is a highlight reel.
We need to understand that we don’t have the big picture!
Instead of letting other’s accomplishments make us feel worthless, we need to learn to be inspired, encouraged and motivated by them!
Bonus! I wrote 21 and couldn’t choose which one to let go of.
21. Learn to laugh at your mistakes!
We’re all imperfect humans that are bound to make tons of mistakes. Learn to laugh at yourself and consider it a learning point so you know what NOT to do next time!
What are some life-changing lessons you’ve learned? I would love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below!
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