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I just celebrated my 44th birthday and was thinking about the positive side of getting older. You know the saying, with age comes wisdom, and I agree. It got me thinking about all the important life lessons I have learned and inspired me to write this article and share it with you in hopes it will make a difference.

Because 44 is such a huge number 😉 I am splitting this into 2 articles.

Here are the first 22 of 44 life lessons:

1. We are here to make a difference- I learned this from a very young age. It’s my family’s motto. What I know is that when I am making a difference for others, I feel a sense of purpose and fulfillment that gives me joy. It’s up to us to find what we are passionate about and use it to make a difference.

2. You are enough- This was a tough one for me and a life-long lesson. At times we all feel like we aren’t enough in some way. Some of us more often than not. The reality is you are enough exactly as you are. We all are. There’s no need to prove it.

3. Self care is not selfish- So many moms have a hard time with this one. We are always putting others’ needs before our own. We often feel guilty about taking care of our own needs. So much so, that we fail to do it. What I now know is self care is necessary. It’s the key to being a good parent and partner. It allows for patience, presence and feeling centered. Taking care of ourselves is a gift to everyone.

4. Comparison kills confidence- We tend to compare our worst with someone else’s best. This is a no win situation. We can never be good enough when we compare ourselves to an unrealistic standard. If confidence is the goal, we must focus on our personal strengths, skills, passions, purpose and the things that make each of us uniquely who we are. Simply by being, we are enough. Stand in your value and stop comparing yourself to others.

5. Baby steps will get you there- Put one foot in front of the other and you WILL get there. I used to have a huge patience problem, where I couldn’t wait for things to happen. I felt like I had to do it all yesterday and I would get down on myself if I didn’t. I’ve learned to keep the end goal in mind and take steps toward it every day. There’s no use in adding undue stress and pressure. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and you will get there.

6. It’s all a matter of perspective- There are so many ways to look at things. Five people could experience the same situation and each have a different view point about it. No one is wrong or right. However, one person’s view will likely feel better to them than another’s. It’s all in what we choose. Each of us has the power to choose perspectives that work for us rather than take a way from our peace, joy and balance. What will you choose?

7. You are never alone- Even though you may feel alone at times, the truth is you never are. There is always someone going through a similar experience, somewhere. We are all universally connected. There is always someone who loves you, cares about you and wants the best for you. Whether you believe in a higher power, a oneness, a connection to the tangible or something else, you are never alone. It just isn’t possible. Knowing this truth will bring a sense of peace.

8. It takes a village- This is often used in reference to parenting. Back in the day, villages would literally raise children. Today, we have gotten so far away from this concept. It is up to each of us to take responsibility for how we contribute to the well being of others. Looking out for other’s best interest is a good thing. When we allow others to contribute to our own plight, it’s empowering. This is not only in parenting, but in entrepreneurship and other meaningful undertakings as well. The more we can connect and collaborate with others, the more enjoyable, light and doable things become.

9. Your time and energy are your most valuable assets- After having children, we learn this one really quickly. It feels like there is never enough time in a day, right? And energy, what’s that? When we feel like we don’t have something, we really understand its value. I’ve learned to be protective of my time and energy. I’ve learned to say no to what doesn’t serve me. I’ve learned to focus on my highest priorities and passions. I’ve learned that money comes and goes, but time and energy are priceless.

10. Things are usually way less scary than they are in our heads- Fear is such a huge killer of dreams, goals and confidence. When we live in our heads, we create big, scary monsters that steal our joy. What I have found more often than not is when we don’t allow the fear to paralyze us and we take action anyway, the outcome is far less scary than we made it out to be in our mind. So, take a chance because you never know the breakthroughs that are waiting on just the other side of fear.

11. You can be a good mom and pursue your passions simultaneously- I just recently learned this one. For the longest time I had the limiting (false) belief that if I pursued my purpose, which happens to be my business, that I could not also be a good mom. It held me back for years until I finally saw a beautiful example of a mentor who was the kind of mom, wife and entrepreneur I aspire to be. I saw a new possibility for myself and formed a new belief, which is, by living my dream and pursing my passion, I am a better mom and I am setting an example for my children to do the same.

12. We are each responsible for our own happiness- This is one I wish more people understood. It would help alleviate lots of suffering and it’s so empowering when we really get this. No one can make you happy if you are not happy already. Cultivating an inner happiness will bring more happiness. Understanding this basic yet very underutilized principle, brings so much freedom to those who operate by this.

13. Vulnerability and authenticity create connection and intimacy- I struggled for the longest time to show vulnerability in my relationships, because I saw it as a sign of weakness. What I couldn’t see for so long is that my unwillingness to be vulnerable caused a lack of connection and intimacy in my relationships. I craved that level of intimacy, but couldn’t understand why I wasn’t getting it. Until, I finally realized that allowing my partner or friends or relatives to see me completely, in raw form, allowed them to related with me and feel closer to me. I learned that being authentic through my fears, my ups and downs and in every moment, I could create connection and have the intimacy that I desired for so long. People want to love us just as we are. We just have to give them the opportunity.

14. You only live once so make it count- We only get one shot in this lifetime. Waiting around for the right conditions, the right time, the right whatever, is just a way to hold off on our dreams, our passions and our best life. There is no right time other than now. Each moment matters. How we live matters. Our choices matter. Make the most of it all right now.

15. Women are powerful- Oh yes we are! So many of us don’t know our own strength and inner power. When women get clear about who they are and their gifts, they can change the world. Women bring a whole different way of being that the world needs right now, including compassion, empathy, love and a subtle strength that hold things (and people) together. We are the ones to make the greatest impact and radically change the world. Sadly, many of us don’t know it yet. I am committed to changing that.

16. Knowledge is power- Education is one level of empowerment. The more we know, the better informed we are to make decisions that are in alignment with who we are. Having the knowledge is critical, but what we do with it makes all the difference.

17. Love wins- We are bombarded with images and messages of hate and violence. Sadly, this has become a normal way of being. I reject this. I believe love is the most powerful of all emotions and can overcome anything. I choose love, even when it’s challenging. The more I give my love, the more it expands. Love always wins.

18. Life’s too short not to laugh- Laughing is the best medicine. Have you ever had those good belly laughs that instantly changed your mood to the good? Laughter is liberating and just feels good. Don’t take life so seriously. Bring play and laughter into your day and enjoy your life regularly.

19. No one will love you the way you want to be loved if you don’t love yourself first- Self love is the most important love. They way we treat ourselves is how we will allow others to treat us. I have learned to love myself, even the things about me I don’t like. I accept all of me. As a result, I have finally attracted my true love and life partner.

20. Don’t sweat the small stuff- It’s easy to focus on the minutia and forget the big picture, but when we do we forget about what is right with the world and succumb to feelings of frustration, despair, anger and dissatisfaction. It’s not worth it.

21. Done is better than perfect- This has been a hard learned lesson. I have been paralyzed by having to get it right rather than completing it and making a difference. Procrastination and lack of follow-through only leads to disappointment. Perfection is a myth.

22. Everyone wants to be acknowledged and appreciated- So many arguments and misunderstandings could be prevented if each of us were willing to acknowledge and appreciate people for who they are. It’s not difficult to do, but it does take effort. The payoff is so worth it. And when we give that which we wish to receive, chances are we will get it back tenfold. A little acknowledgement and appreciation goes a long way.

Let me know which of these lessons, resonates most with you. Also, please share any of your significant life lessons with me. Let’s see how much we can inspire each other!

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JUSTINE ARIAN, CPCC Certified Professional Co-Active Coach

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