I kicked off to NZ in January, with a backpack and no plans. This trip had been my light at the end of the tunnel after the mongrel of a year that was 2013. I kept a bit of a journal, and I decided to write down any life lessons, that were confirmed or learnt along the way. Some I learnt the rough way on the trip, others I only realised as I reflected on some of the things I’d left behind.
- Trust your gut instincts
Yes we’ve all heard it, but that funny feeling in the pit of your stomach, that uncertainty in your head…its there for a reason. After a week I split with my friend to go the long way round with a guy we’d met the night before. We both had an uneasy feeling about him, and I said “I don’t think he’s dangerous, there’s just something not quite right.” Damn straight!
- Don’t let what other people say, determine what you become
You know how you can speak things into your life and into being? Well in hindsight so can others. If you have people in your life constantly telling you “you’re not good enough”, hear it often enough and give it time and you’ll start to believe it. It gets to a point where it is unconsciously a belief you hold about yourself. Whatever it is people consistently tell you, be aware of it and don’t let it determine who you become.
- Some friendships come and go, some last a lifetime
And this is ok! Although we have facebook and social media now, you will still find some the spark in some friendships dies over time. Sometimes there’s fights, or you move apart or grow apart. But rather than be bitter or twisted or sad, appreciate what you had, and make room for more beautiful friendships. Sometimes holding onto dying friendships can cause more damage than just letting go.
- Stand firm by your morals, beliefs and values. You will attract the right people
Sometimes its easy to let morals or values slip in the presence of some people. Particularly when you are meeting new people. There are so many reasons; pressure, laziness, wanting to fit in or be liked, work colleagues, gym buddies, family etc. Sooner or later thought it will catch up with you. When you’re not living by what you deep down believe is right, it will always catch you. Be proud of who you are and what you believe in, that’s what makes you, you. Why hang around people who want you to be anything else? Stand firm and you will attract like-minded people who will support you and stand by you.
- Don’t allow toxic relationships to happen. If they do, get rid of them. Quick.
Sometimes we know this is happening, and sometimes it sneaks up on us and BAM! As soon as you realise that a relationship is toxic to you, whether its your partner, colleagues, friends etc. if you can’t fix it…get rid of it! Someone may mean well but be talking so much negativity into your life. They might be constantly pushing boundaries with you. Causing you contsant stress or upset or anxiety. It’s not healthy or productive to you. So let it go. You give out to others, what you put in.
- Music has the power to change your mood instantly
Playing happy music when your sad or angry is the last thing you want to do. Usually you want to pull out the heavy metal or sad songs, because they keep you there and allow you to mull in your own misery. But play your favourite happy music, or calming music and see how your mood changes.
- It’s not where you are that makes a place, its the people you surround yourself with
A guy in his infinite, drunken wisdom, told me this one over a game of pool at the pub. But its hands down my favourite. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, if you surround yourself with good people, it can be the best, happiest place you will ever live.
- Life is all about people
Nearly all my life lessons are based on people. We can’t live without people. We grow up with family, we make friends, we search for a partner, we get married, we have kids and grand kids, and we die. There’s a lot of other stuff we do in between, but life is all about the relationships we create with people along the way. We revolve our lives around people. We work to provide for people. We work to save people. We cross the seas for people. We fight some of our hardest battles, for people. We live and die, for people.