Hengistbury Head photo session and precious life lessons I’ve recently learnt…

I can honestly say that my mindset has shifted 180 degrees in the last year thanks to reading some books and following certain valuable Instagram accounts. In this blog post I’ll describe some important life lessons I’ve recently learnt, in the hope that they’ll help other people as well. The photos come from a photo session my friends and I took at Hengistbury Head, which remains one of my favourite places in Bournemouth.

‘I told God about my plans and he laughed’

Have you ever told yourself that ‘by the age of 30 I’ll have this, do this, and that’, and it didn’t happen? Me too! It’s a difficult one and causes lots of frustration and pain. It’s obviously important to make plans and goals, because they are a driving force in our lives, but it’s important to remain flexible and open to everything life throws at you. Sit still, accept that everything happens for a reason, and at the right moment you’ll get what you need. Some things you really want turn out not right for you, and you’ll be grateful you didn’t get them in the end.

Never take advice from people with whom you wouldn’t trade places with.

So many people will tell you what to do, what not to do. Giving advice comes so easily to everyone. Ask yourself first: does this person live a life I want to live? Does this person follow his/her own lessons? Is this advice genuine or does it come from a place of jealousy? Is this person a role model for me in the field they’re giving advice on? If no, don’t listen. Sometimes following your gut and instincts is better than listening to lesson-givers. The same refers to you – remember that sometimes it’s better to listen than to give advice. We all just need to be listened to sometimes, not judged.

In case of emergency, put on your own oxygen mask first.

When we’re on a plane, even mothers are told to put on their oxygen masks first before they help their kids. It’s not selfishness. Why? Because, you can only help others when you’re strong yourself. Don’t get me wrong, helping others is one of the most satisfying and rewarding things in life, but sometimes we help other people even though we need to help ourselves. If you keep helping others, but neglect yourself, it eventually causes resentment which is a very negative and toxic feeling to carry.

Money DOES buy happiness.

Being financially well means independence in making decisions. What is happiness if not being able to go on beautiful holidays and make unforgettable memories? Eating tasty and healthy food; buying nice clothes, looking well and feeling confident; not worrying about paying off your bills equals good sleep; being able to help your family and friends when they’re in need and so on, and so on! I don’t know who invented the proverb ‘Money doesn’t buy happiness’, but all the things above mean happiness to me, so in my opinion, this proverb is totally wrong. Don’t be ashamed to want more money: find ways to earn more money. Money will help you enjoy life.

Give and you’ll be given. Generosity comes back.

I’ve noticed that being kind to people and sharing positively comes back around. You’ll be given your kindness back. Good Karma does work. There’s only one rule to follow here. Be good to good people. Notice who appreciates your time and gestures. Don’t waste your energy on people who never invest their energy back in you. It will cause resentment.

You are what you eat, the people you spend your time with, the things you read and watch.

We all know that a healthy diet and exercising are good for us. But have you ever wondered where your mood, beliefs or opinions come from? A toxic friend or a family member? Cut them off. Watching negative news, murders, wars, increasing Covid cases? Switch it off! Annoying people on Instagram – unfollow them! Moaners and complainers draining your energy – avoid them! Good energy is everything, so choose wisely. Ask yourself about the people who surround you. Does this person make me happy? Does this person enrich my life or make me feel at ease? Do the things I read and watch, especially before going to bed, make me feel good? If the answer is no, slowly reduce the energy drainers and see how your mood and life change. I’m not saying to become completely ignorant about what’s happening in the world, but remember you’re exposed to a lot of propaganda these days. Bad news sells better than good news…that’s why we see a lot of negativity in the media.

‘No’ is a full sentence.

I used to feel guilty when I said no to people, or used to agree on things I didn’t really want to do, just not to upset anyone. If you know that something is not aligned with your values, or does not make you happy, just say no. People who have similar attitude and value their boundaries will understand it’s not against them, but it’s simply you taking care of yourself. The same applies when someone says no to you. Respect and accept their reasons. Don’t take it personally.

Do you agree with what I’ve written? Have you learnt any valuable life lessons this year? It has been a difficult one for many so I believe that sharing life wisdom is really important!