Top 25 things I've learned at 25

Last updated 05:00 26/06/2014
Nickie Slater
LIFE LESSONS: Nickie Slater sees the importance of reflecting on our experiences.

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Ever stopped to think about the top lessons in life you've learned thus far?

If you're a bit of a reflection geek like me, then no doubt your answer is yes, and similarly, you may have established your own list of life lessons.

Because I've reached my quarter-of-a-century milestone, I've narrowed my list down to the top 25 lessons I've learned - most of which I'm still in the process of learning.

1. Success all depends on your perspective. I used to think success meant money, having a good job and a substantial amount of international travel under my belt.

The definition of what success means changes from person to person and should not be associated with cliché stereotypical goal posts in life. Create your own definition of success.

2. People matter, make time for them. Friends, family, co-workers, strangers, make time for them all, for it is the relationships we have in this lifetime that leave a lasting mark.

3. Everything is in a constant state of change. Everything is impermanent, therefore it is useless craving and clinging to feelings, objects, people and relationships. Everything is in a constant state of change and nothing can or does stay the same forever.

4. Listen to your body. Your body is capable of providing you with any answers that you need. Tune in to your body and really listen to what it needs whether that be rest, recovery, nutrition or movement.

5. Work smarter not harder. Slaving away hour after hour at your job doesn't equal getting further ahead. Look for ways you can achieve greater outcomes but reduce your workload.

6. Advice comes from personal experience. Everyone in life has had their own experiences, achieved certain outcomes, and held particular beliefs as truths. What has worked for someone may not work for someone else and that is okay.

7. Happiness lies within. Happiness does not come through the senses. We may think that when we hear, see, touch, smell and taste what we desire we will be happy. Searching through your sensory doors for happiness will not result in the outcome you are hoping for. The journey inward is the only way.

8. You can't run away from your problems. Thinking that you will be happy when you move, leave or shift is just a form of mental escapism. Wherever you go, you have to bring yourself with you.

9. Walk your talk. Model your truths and ideals to the world. Be the change you wish to see.

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10. Find your tribe. Find people that inspire you and ignite your inner fire. There is nothing more invigorating and motivating than talking amongst friends who truly connect with you and radiate positivity.

11. Look after yourself every day. Every day I make time for myself. Often this means putting things like work, appointments, socialising and meetings on hold. A few years ago I would have been very uncomfortable with this idea. However, from my experiences I have come to understand that if I don't take care of myself first, my health and wellbeing declines.

12. There is no past or future. If you pay attention to your thoughts, you will find that they often drift between places of the past or the future. The past is gone and can never be reclaimed and the future is yet to be. Live in the now.

13. You are enough. Last year I discovered through meditation that my deepest fear was that I was not enough. That I was not being enough, doing enough and that I was simply not enough as I was. Knowing that everything about this moment is perfect and as it should be, helps to remind me that I too am enough in every moment.

14. You don't possess anything and you don't need to. We are in a constant state of decay and we cannot stop this process. We cannot defy the laws of nature (although we try through products such as hair dye and makeup). Possession means having control over something or someone. If everything that is birthed dies and everything that is manufactured disintegrates or breaks down, we can never possess or control anything.

15. You will not be happy when you have x, y and z. Believing that you will only be happy when you have acquired materialistic items or achieved particular goals is setting yourself up for failure. Happiness cannot be bought and will not stick around for as long as you think it will after you have gained or achieved something. Happiness lies within, not in the external.

16. Make time for nature. Walk barefoot in the sand, feel the sun on your skin and the wind in your hair. Nature is a natural healer. Take time to bring yourself into the present moment by admiring nature in all of her beauty.

17. Don't be scared of the shell. A beautiful exterior doesn't make for a beautiful interior, in ourselves or in others. Our bodies are temples to house our soul and spirit. Being intimidated by someone because of their status, looks or reputation is simply giving into irrational fear. We can't grow and expand into who we are meant to become if we keep believing the stories and imaginings our fears feed us.

18. You are not better than anyone else. We are all on the same level albeit on a different journey. If those around you in your life are struggling through issues that you have long since resolved, offer them compassion not judgement.

19. What you think you become. If you think that bad things always happen to you or that you are unlucky, every experience that comes up in your life will mirror these thoughts back to you. You will begin to only see what you believe. Whereas if you take all experiences at face value, with no preconceived ideas about how any experience will be, you will begin to awaken and see things as they really are.

20. Change your thinking, change your life. Each and every moment you have the capability to decide your emotions, thoughts and reactions to all that you encounter. Just because every other time you've had a particular experience, you've reacted with negativity, doesn't mean that you have to react the same way today. You can change your thinking and reactions towards an experience at any moment.

21. The journey is the most important part. This life we're on is a journey to be enjoyed. Live for the experiences and every moment in between rather than focussing solely on the outcome. The glory of achievement is momentary. However, the journey is where the real learning occurs.

22. Sometimes done is better than perfect. Let go of the idea that you need to be everything to everyone and live up to a million expectations. Sometimes we can't be our best and sometimes 'just getting it done' is enough.

23. Let go of the past, it's only hurting you. Do you think that hanging onto past resentments and pain is hurting the people who were involved in your negative memories? You can bet it's not. Let go. By hanging onto resentments and hurts all you are doing is hurting yourself.

24. Posture and body language are important. The way your hold yourself says a lot about you and your current state of mind and you have the ability to change and control this. When I am calm and at peace I have observed that I stand taller, walk slower and have much more open and confident body language. Hold your most confident and powerful poses at all times to change your state of mind back to one of positivity.

25. We accept the love we think we deserve. Straight up.

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