25 Life Lessons Every 20-Something Should Know

It’s maaaaaa birthday!

Today I turn the BIG 2-5.

And, to be honest, it’s the first birthday that’s freaked me out.

Twenty-five feels really big, like I’ve crossed some invisible line from “girl-whose-trying-to-figure-it-out” to “wiser-woman-who-actually-might-know-what-she-wants.”

Maybe that’s because being in “my early-twenties” has felt like wearing a security blanket — a warm, cozy place where you can’t mess it up too badly.

No one takes you too seriously, but no one expects too much either. It’s been nice here. Safe. Comforting. Lots of experiments. Lots of fuck ups. Tons of laughs. Even more lessons.

But, it’s time to grow…

While I’m a little nervous about evolving into an adult, I’m so grateful I’m expanding.

This week I’ve been reflecting on how far I’ve come and looking ahead to where I want to go. It feels good to take stock, to digest some of life’s lessons and say thank you.

I’m sharing some of my greatest quarter-century lessons today. It’s my hope that no matter how old you are, this list teaches you a thing or two:

  1. The truth really does set you free.
  2. The money you make, the friends you attract, the work you create and the relationships you build are directly related to your sense of self-worth. You only get what you think you’re worthy of getting.
  3. You can’t always control what happens in life, but you can always control how you respond. Grace, dignity and kindness go a long way when shit hits the fan.
  4. Holding a grudge is like letting someone live rent free inside your head. Let. It. Go.
  5. There is a higher power. God. Universe. Source energy. Give it whatever name you want, but trust in it. Surrender to it when life overwhelms and be guided to the solution.
  6. Feelings are clues. When you’re not feeling good, you’re not on your path. Time to change course. (Shout out to Danielle LaPorte for that one)
  7. Heart > Mind. All. The. Time. You can’t think your way out of a problem, you’ve got to feel your way out. Sometimes we can’t explain the gut feeling we get or back up our hunches with facts, but we don’t have to. Let your intuition guide you. Trust she’s always got your back, because she always does.
  8. Gossip is toxic. It drains energy and serves no one.
  9. Clarity comes through engagement, not thought. Overthinking? It paralyzes you. If you’re trying to figure out what to do, talk, move, do, stretch, dance – whatever. Just get out of your own damn head. (Props to Marie Forleo for this mega lesson)
  10. You are always worth the investment. (see number 2)
  11. Treat others the way you want to be treated. If you break it down, we really are all made of the same stuff. No one is better than you, no one is worse. If you think they are, time to check your ego.
  12. Want to be free? Forgive.
  13. Laughter is the best medicine. Second best? Meditation.
  14. Food is also medicine. But, it can be poison too. Educate yourself on what you’re putting in your body. Then feed yourself the cream of the crop. (see number 2 + 10 if all you think you can afford is Kraft Dinner)
  15. Mother Nature always has exactly what we need. Get outside.
  16. You are enough.
  17. Never put somebody else’s needs, wants or desires above your own. Always, always, always do you. You’ll show up with more to give if you feed your soul first.
  18. Be present. This moment, this one, the one happening RIGHT NOW, is all we have. When the future shows up, it will actually be the present. Being totally engaged and present in everything you do is the secret to living a peaceful, fulfilled and totally amazing-no-matter-what life.
  19. Everything is figureoutable. (Another wise nugget from Marie)
  20. Practice real listening. The kind that involves an open heart and eye contact. Too often we listen just to respond. We interrupt or talk over others to make our point, never truly hearing what another has said. The greatest gift we can give someone is the gift of being heard, so listen up.
  21. Relationships are our greatest teachers. The ones that go bad hold the deepest lessons.
  22. You don’t need permission.
  23. Life is far too serious to actually take seriously. Make every day fun. Enjoy the little things. Play a lot and laugh even more. Do whatever you can, whenever you can to experience
  24. Keep it real. You have gifts, skills and talents that are 100% unique to you. And you know what? The world needs them. Your job on this planet is to share your authentic self with others, not to keep up with the pack or repeat what has already been done. It’s to be YOU.
  25. Eventually, everything connects. Life may seem random, but it isn’t. Every heartbreak, wrong turn, and expensive mistake has led you to this exact moment. Without them you wouldn’t be here. Trust life has your back. You are exactly where you need to be.

Bring it on 25! I am so ready for you.

With so much love,

Alex

PS: I’d love it if you could let me know what lesson spoke to you the most? Or advice you’d give your 25-year-old self! Le me know in the comments below.