9 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in the Past Year

I’m feeling very chatty today, so I wanted to write a more reflective piece about some things that I’ve recently learned about life. Developmentally, I think the past year or so has been very significant for me. I’ve changed a lot as a person and I believe I’ve also developed a better understanding of life in general. These are a few things that have really become apparent to me in this portion of my life.

You have to make decisions for yourself

Of all the things I’ve learned this past year, this is by far the most important. When faced with a difficult decision, I’ve always been the type of person who thinks about how other people will react to my choice rather than how I actually feel about it. I’ve often let the opinions of other people decide what’s best for me and gone along with decisions because someone else thinks they’re good.

But this year, I’ve discovered how necessary it is to make choices for yourself instead of other people. Even if someone may have your best interests at heart, they aren’t you. They don’t know exactly what you’re thinking and feeling, so they can’t be the ones who make your choices. The person who has to live with your decisions is you, not your friends or your family. If you know what’s going to make you happy, you should go after it. Your loved ones don’t have to agree with your choices–all they need to do is support you and the fact that you have to do what makes you happy. It might not be the easy to against what others think, but it’s definitely how you get to where you want in life.

People are always going to judge you 

Regardless of what you’re thinking, doing, or wearing, people are going to be critical of you. For anything you do, someone will always be there offering their unsolicited opinion. There’s no way to avoid being scrutinized by others, so the best thing to do is live in spite of their judgments. Instead of wondering how other people perceive you, think about how you perceive you. Create the version of yourself that makes you feel the most confident. It doesn’t matter what other people say or think about you, because they’re going to say or think it regardless of what you do. If you’re going to be criticized, you might as well think, do, or wear whatever it is you please. Concealing yourself in the fear of being judged by other people won’t save you from their scrutiny, or make you happy. The best parts of life happen after you’ve made the decision to embrace who you are without thinking about how you appear to others.

The best things in life don’t come easily 

There’s a saying that says “the best things in life are free,” but I don’t think that’s true when it comes to success. Getting to where you want in life requires a lot of work and a lot of patience. It isn’t something that happens overnight or without a great deal of blood, sweat, and tears.

One thing that has really instilled this idea in me has been blog photography. When I first started blogging, I didn’t know anything about flatlays, blog props or the importance of using natural lighting. It took a copious amount of research and practice, but eventually I began to improve my blog photography. The experience definitely taught me that the most worthwhile things in life are only achieved if they’ve been worked for.


Don’t let other people dictate your happiness 

Your happiness is yours for a reason. It isn’t supposed to be controlled by other people. Obviously other people should make you happy, but they shouldn’t be your only source of happiness. One thing I’ve learned this past year is that your happiness should come from yourself as much as it comes from others. Whether it comes in the form of a hobby or a leisurely activity, you should be supplying your happiness as well. Happiness is an important thing to be in control of because it gives you motivation and shapes your outlook on life.

Attitude really is everything

Perspective is a strange thing. You don’t realize how much it actually influences the way you see things until it changes. Getting yourself into a good mindset can be quite the difference maker. It opens you up to more possibilities and really helps you grow as a person. The greatest thing you can do for yourself is adopt a hopeful attitude. Difficult things seem a lot less overwhelming when you’ve convinced yourself you can do them.

Success comes from making a plan and following through with it

One of the most effective ways to get things done is to simply make a plan and follow it. Goal setting is a great method for success and all it requires you to do is have a goal and be willing to work for it. It sounds like such a cliche strategy, but it actually does work. It’s really about planning out the path that you want your life to take instead of waiting for a path to come to you. And if you want something to happen, it’s the best way of obtaining it.


Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone

Stepping out of your comfort zone is one of the most important yet most terrifying things you can do. We all have places, behaviors, and situations that make us feel comfortable and secure. And while there’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel secure, these comfort zones sometimes work to hold us back. Despite how tempting it may be to stick with what you know, it’s healthy to step out of that comfort zone every once and a while. It teaches you to try new things and encourages you to see the world in perspectives other than your own. You have to be willing to try things that scare you if you want to be successful. It may not seem like the most comfortable thing to do, but it’s good to test yourself and dive into new experiences.

It’s better to look forward, not back 

I wrote about this topic once before in my post on making difficult decisions. In decision-making, I think it’s very easy to stick with something simply because it’s familiar. But in order to get where you want to go in life you have to be willing to move forward. Sometimes that means moving on from things that you’ve been a part of for a long time. It may be difficult, but things have to change if they are ever going to improve. Moving past parts of your life can definitely be nerve-wracking, but you have to remember that it’s natural to look ahead.

You’re going to have good days and bad days

Life is full of ups and downs. There will be moments that work out in your favor, and others that don’t. Some stretches of time will make you feel unstoppable, while others will make you feel like you can’t catch a break. What’s important is that you learn to embrace the balance of good and bad. Remember to cherish the good times and stay hopeful during the bad. It’s okay to not feel 100% every single day of your life. Sometimes you have to expect that it’s out of your control.

Thank you so much for reading! These little life lessons have become very apparent to me in this past year and I’m glad to have finally written them down. Let me know if you like seeing life-related, reflective posts like this.

What are some of the most important life lessons that you’ve learned in the past year? 


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12 thoughts on “9 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in the Past Year

  1. I agree with all of these. Especially about making your own decisions and not worrying about people judging you. I’ve always been so indecisive, but when I make the decisions myself and go ahead and do what I need/want things turn out better for me personally than letting someone else decide. And people will judge you whether you’re doing bad or good so just focus on being good while they’re focused on watching and judging you be good or doing good

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve always been the same exact way! One thing I’ve realized is that learning to make decisions for yourself definitely makes you a much happier person. And I agree so much about people judging you. As long as you’re focused on the good things in life, their opinions won’t make any difference 🙂


  2. Loved this post. I guess for me it’s not caring about what others think. They can judge away, but I can choose to ignore.

    I’ve also learnt when to walk away from situations and friendships etc. Some situations and friendships have sell-by-dates. It’s important to know when to walk away and be ok with it.

    Fab post x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Don’t let other people dictate your happiness” resonates most with me – coming from an Asian culture where parents/cousins/extended family dictate what’s “best” for me was carrying a lot of heavy weight. Over the last 7 years, living on my own in Canada, I’ve learned to ignore what people expect from me (even if from distant) and just do my own thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely think that making your own choices and doing your own thing is the only way you can be happy. It might be challenging at times, especially when other people think they know what’ll make you happy more than you do, but it’s all for the best. I agree so much with what you said about learning to ignore what people expect from you. It’s such an important thing to remember

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah! These life lesson sure are so valuable and so hard to obtain. BUT exactly as you wrote, “the best things in life for come easily”. I’ve really been learning that the best things in my life haven often come out of my hardest times. Time and time again it isn’t extremely difficult for me to see that my trials will lead to growth and good. Being self-fulfilled is what I have been reaching towards this year. Man, is it a daily challenge. If I can be honest, it’s a challenge, especially when it comes to a certain guy in my life. But the goal is still to be satisfied with myself! I know that I have to love myself completely in order to truly love those around me 🙂

    Thanks for the post!


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