An example of a list of lessons by Zoe, I hope this list inspires you to create your own!
Some of the most difficult lessons often have to be lived first hard to understand their value. As difficult as it is to experience hardship, each difficulty has a lesson. Zoe smith has kept a running list of life lessons that people have taught her and she has learned through lived experiences. Approaching her 25th birthday in February 2022 after 3 years of major life transitions and growth she started compiling her 25 items that she wanted her friends and family especially the young women in her life to know. Below is the list she shared across social media platforms with the people in her life on her 25th birthday.
Lessons I’ve learned in my 25 years
- Eat the damn cookie
- Listen to your body’s signals
- Tell people how you really feel
- Apply for the job. Even if you think you are under qualified
- Start saving for retirement in your early 20’s even if it is $20 a month, put it in a higher risk account, it will go up and down in value but don’t touch it.
- Stop apologizing for taking up space, for using your voice, for articulating what you want.
- Use sunscreen. Always. Even in the winter. Always.
- Be unapologetically yourself
- When you witness racism, sexism, anything-ism—call bullshit.
- Failing builds character and tenacity
- Cherish time with your family
- Take a minute and breathe. Life is already too fast, no need to speed it up.
- Love fearlessly
- Start going to therapy. Even when you feel fine, build that support system
- 3-5 really close friends is infinitely more valuable than 30-50 surface level friends
- Never let a man critique your body. When he does, walk away. For good.
- Apologize sincerely
- When comforting a mourning friend, empathy is more valuable than sympathy. Everyone’s grief looks different
- Never focus all of your energy into one person
- Bottling up your feelings does nothing but crack the bottle until it explodes.
- Know your worth & don’t be afraid to walk away when someone does not.
- Society will always tell you what your life “should” look like. The strongest women write their own narratives.
- Rest when you feel tired
- When you are feeling down, insecure or less worthy, give yourself affirmations until you believe them
- Experiences are more valuable than things