Updated: Dec 30, 2018
I’ve just turned 33 and even though it’s not a particularly remarkable birthday like my 30th or 21st was I wanted to use this opportunity to blog about the most valuable lessons I’ve learned so far in my 33 years. I believe that we are all here to learn our own lessons in life but we can all share what we have learned in the hope that we can be of some help to others by offering advice, inspiration and by being someone that others can resonate with.
So here are my 33 lessons:
1. Each day that we wake up and see another sunrise is a blessing. We all know the saying ‘life is short’ but it really is so feel blessed that you are alive today.
2. Your soul mate will enter your life at just the right moment. Your love will be reciprocated and you will never have to chase and fight for their love. They will love you just as you are and never try to change you. (In so many of my previous relationships I was always the one chasing love, I would pretend to be someone I wasn’t because I thought it would make me easier to love. I lost my dignity and did some silly things in my desperation to be loved but when I met my husband I never had to chase, I could 100% be me and my love was reciprocated). If you are having to chase love and are pretending to be someone you’re not then please stop. Only ever be yourself and never change for anyone!
3. Friends come and go throughout life, don’t beat yourself up and feel guilty if you can’t always keep up with your social life and your friendships. True friends are those who you can go for months or even years without seeing but when you do see them it’s like nothing ever changed.
4. Becoming a parent will change your whole outlook on life. When I became a mother I gained more respect for my parents and what they put into raising me. Your children become your priority and you will strive to achieve more from life once you have little people looking up to you and relying on you for everything.
5. It’s ok not to be ok! We all experience highs and lows in life and when we are experiencing our ‘lows’ we should never feel ashamed or like we need to hide it. Emotions and feelings need to be embraced.
6. Forgive quickly. Too often I have witnessed family members and friends falling out over the most trivial of matters and then holding a grudge because of it. I fall out with the people closest to me all the time but we make up and forgive quickly. Life is over very fast so let it go and forgive.
7. Making mistakes is vital for personal growth. We all make mistakes and if we didn’t then we would never learn a thing!
8. Don’t judge everyone by your own standards. Remember we are all so different and what one person can cope with another may not. We have all experienced different things in life and are all at a different stage in our life journey.
9. Don’t expect life to come to you. You need to put yourself out into the world and go after what it is you want.
10. Stop complaining. You are in control of your own life. If you don’t like something then change it.
11. You are what you eat. Lately I’ve been studying Ayurveda and it’s so true that if we eat a nutritious balanced diet then our body and mind will feel a lot more balanced.
12. It is possible to earn a living from your hobby. Hula hooping is my hobby and my job. We can all do what we love and earn a living from it, you just need the courage and dedication to make it happen.
13. What goes around comes around. Karma exists and I’ve experienced it first hand. Be wary of how you treat others and make them feel.
14. A lie will always escalate so always be truthful and honest. I told a lot of lies in my teens and early 20's and they all came back to bite me on the arse. (I told my first boyfriend that I was a year older than I was so on my 18th birthday when I was living in Spain with him and away from family and friends, I should have been out celebrating turning 18 but because he thought I was 19 it didn’t end up being a very special occasion and I even had to hide the cards I was sent by family with ‘18' on and pretend I hadn’t received any cards!) So what started out as a little white lie soon escalated, always be honest.
15. If you want to succeed in something you need to dedicate yourself to it and constantly ‘show up’.
16. The mind is a powerful thing. We have the power to control many aspects of our lives. Many stressful situations can be avoided if we change the way we view them.
17. Money is not the route of all evil. Money is a good thing when it’s in good hands but can be the opposite when it’s not. Think what money can do, it can allow you to travel, see the world and have some wonderful experiences. It can help those in need and buy healthy food which in turn can help keep you healthy and keep illness at bay. Money is not a bad thing, it just needs to find its way into the right hands.
18. If it doesn’t challenge you then it won’t change you. Challenges and overcoming them are all a part of life. Each challenge will only make you stronger and wiser and a better version of yourself.
19. Always listen to your body. Your body is a very clever thing and it will send you signs if something isn’t right. Listen to those signs and don’t ignore them. Often if I’ve been over doing things I’ll suffer with a bad skin breakout or if my diet hasn’t been well balanced I’ll experience very bad bloating in the evenings. When these things start to happen I know that I need to rest, tune into my body and take care of myself.
20. Find your tribe! Surround yourself with likeminded people who understand you and are on your level. You need these people in your life to build you up and help you become a better version of yourself.
21. Step outside of your comfort zone. We all like to be comfortable now and again but are we really alive on this planet to simply be comfortable? Hell, no! We are all here to make a difference and an impact in some shape or form. When you step outside of your comfort zone amazing things happen. (Flying an aeroplane solo across Florida when training for my private pilots licence really pushed me out of my comfort zone, it was terrifying but also exhilarating and is one of my biggest accomplishments to date).
22. Be in touch with nature. Once a day spend some time with nature. It may just be 5 minutes in the garden taking in your surroundings and breathing in the fresh air or perhaps a beach/forest walk or a cycle ride once a week. Whatever it may be just spend a few moments daily appreciating nature.
23. What people’s opinions are of you is none of your business. People will judge you no matter what you do and they will form their own opinions of you. Never let it worry you what others are thinking of you, it does not matter. What matters is how you view yourself.
24. Every situation is temporary. Enjoy the good times and know that the bad times are only temporary. In my 20's when I experienced a very dark time in my life it was hard to see that things could ever be amazing again but you are stronger than you know and once you come out the other side you will appreciate the good moments life has to offer so much more.
25. Children can teach us so much about life. Viewing the world through the eyes of my children has made me see things differently. This world isn’t a bad place at all. Yes there are many sad and bad things that happen but there are so many good things that this world has to offer. Find something good in every day and notice how your views of the world will change.
26. Grief should not be a taboo subject. When somebody is suffering a loss and are in the midst of their grief don’t be scared to talk to them about it. The worst thing you can do is avoid talking to them about it. Let them open up if they need to and let them know they can talk about it whenever they need. Everyone copes with grief in different ways, there is no time frame for it, there is no right or wrong way to cope with it. Embrace each emotion that it brings and never feel like you have to hide those emotions.
27. Childbirth hurts A LOT but it is the most empowering and beautiful experience this life has given me (3 times over).
28. Don’t be a people pleaser! Only ever trying to please other people will eventually leave you feeling resentful. Help others by all means and give freely but never let it come before your own happiness.
29. Say yes to opportunities. Even if you are unsure how to do something just say yes and then figure out how to do it. (I was once asked if I could do an instructional hula hoop video in Arabic. I don’t speak Arabic but I said yes anyway, got someone to write me a script and did it!) I am told that it’s now being shown at a museum somewhere in Kuwait. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by saying YES!
30. Let go of the past and don’t let it define you. Yes your past experiences have all shaped you and made you the person that you are today but the past is where it belongs. Today is what counts. Do not dwell on the past, it is done and can’t be undone.
31. Never let bitterness consume you. For many reasons relationships may not work out and when children are involved this can be especially difficult. Just because you are no longer in a physical relationship with someone does not mean you cannot maintain some kind of relationship with them for the sake of the children but more importantly for the sake of your wellbeing. Initially this will be difficult as so much hurt and anger is involved but you need to find a way to see past it. Forgive one another and put aside your differences. It can be done! (My eldest daughter is now almost 10 and I’m happy to say that I have a pretty good relationship with her father. It wasn’t that way to begin with because I was feeling so much hurt and anger towards him but as time went on and I went on to meet my husband and have 2 more children the anger and hurt faded. I don’t always agree with his views or parenting skills just as he may not do with mine but we are at a good place where we can be friendly and open with one another regarding our daughter. My daughter is lucky to have 2 dads, she carries both their surnames and both her father and my husband accept the situation). Everyone can get to this place through forgiveness and ridding yourself of any bitterness.
32. Trust the process. We are all born into this world for a reason and whether you are religious or not you can’t argue the fact that something bigger than us is at work in the universe. We are all on a journey and it may not yet be clear to you what that journey is but just put your trust in God/the universe or whatever it is that you may believe in and trust the process.
33. Finally try never to go to bed on an argument and always be the first to say sorry even if you don’t believe something is your fault. Get a good night's sleep and remember each day that you wake up is a new day and a chance to start over!
Hannah Murphy (Hula hooper, entrepreneur and mother of 3)