31 Life Lessons Learned In 31 Years

Today is my 31st birthday.

I want to celebrate it with a few simple things this year: Chinese food with my husband, a nice martini, and tres leches cake.

As another year passes, I spent some time reflecting on some of the lessons I’ve learned.

Here are 31 life lessons learned in my 31 years:

  1. Spend time in silence and solitude. It is where you will find peace, inspiration, and clarity that can’t be experienced in the noise.
  2. There is no such thing as stylish and comfortable high heel shoes.
  3. A handful of great friends is worth more than a hundred mediocre ones.
  4. Be a good listener. You will learn, understand, empathize, and communicate respect.
  5. Time is not endless. Use it wisely, and don’t waste it!
  6. Inspiration and motivation come in small bursts. Act while it’s hot.
  7. A hug can solve a thousand problems.
  8. Own your failure and mistakes.
  9. Simplify. Get rid of the clutter.
  10. Kindness takes you farther than intelligence. If you are ever faced with the option of either being right or being kind, choose kind.
  11. Figure out the few essential things you value in life, and build everything around that.
  12. You don’t have to do anything – you always have a choice.
  13. Most people’s opinions of you don’t really matter. Stop worrying about pleasing and impressing others.
  14. Marry someone with a good sense of humor and a good sense of self.
  15. Nobody has it all figured out. So it’s okay if you don’t either.
  16. Exercise and eat well. Treat your body with care because it’s the only one you get.
  17. Things are usually better in the morning.
  18. Multitasking is overrated. Do one thing at a time.
  19. The measure you give is the measure you’ll get.
  20. Life gives and takes away. Learn the art of contentment and gratitude, and you will be free to embrace whatever you do or don’t have. 
  21. Find something that you love and enjoy, and make regular time for it.
  22. Skip the okay dessert (Hershey’s Kisses), and eat the really good dessert (Mom’s rum cake). 
  23. Create margin in your life. Maintain a healthy pace, and make room for interruptions.
  24. Wear something that makes you feel good every day, even if it’s nice underwear beneath sweatpants. 
  25. This too shall pass – those awkward adolescent years, the first months of parenting, depression – none of them will last forever. 
  26. Treat strangers with compassion, including the snippy clerk at the DMV.
  27. Learn how to manage money wisely before you have a lot. Save, budget, spend less than you make, and don’t go into debt.
  28. Embrace the present moment.
  29. Some things are worth paying more for. Buy the quality leather couch, wool coat, and good knives.
  30. Practice gratefulness. 
  31. Know yourself. Learn your weaknesses, strengths, and temperament. Self-awareness is a great gift to you and everyone around you.

7 thoughts on “31 Life Lessons Learned In 31 Years

  1. Happy Birthday Lady Lariss!

    I thought of you the moment I wrote January 18 in my Morning Message to my students.

    You had wisdom, sensibility, and impressive maturity when I met you in sixth grade. I'm not surprised by what a wonderful woman you've grown up to be. Still impressed by you.

    Love Always,


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