27 Life Lessons In 27 Years

As the year draws to an end, I always find myself looking back over the year. Today, though, I thought I’d look back over the last 27 years. It inspired me to write a piece entitled ’27 life lessons in 27 years’. Here they are…

Number One

You don’t have to be friends with rubbish people. There’s no law to say you have to stay in unhappy friendships. If people consistently disappoint and upset you, say SEE YA and don’t look back.

Number Two

Being popular in school is actually counter-productive. I was in the ‘popular’ group at school and I’m so thankful I listened to my teachers when they said ‘you need to find new people to hang out with’. I did, and I haven’t looked back.

Number Three

Learning to enjoy your own company will make your life a lot happier. I still haven’t mastered this one, I like company! But, I’m getting there, and when I spend the day alone, I always feel recharged.

Number Four

You don’t have to be a ball-buster to get ahead in business. Brash people who lie their way through life will always get caught out. Genuine is the way forward. When people tell you, you need to change in order to be successful, don’t listen unless you want to.

Number Five

Be positive. My friend recently told me she’d moved away from negative people at work because they were bringing her down. That’s why she’s my friend. Positivity is so much more refreshing.

Number Six

Don’t ever compare yourself to anybody. The person you’re comparing yourself to is probably comparing themselves to somebody else. It’s a vicious circle. We all have attributes others are envious of. Yes, all of us. 

Number Seven

When you want to break up with somebody, be cruel to be kind. Cut off all communication. Don’t drag it on. We’ve all been on the giving and receiving end of a breakup. It might be awkward in the short term but in the long term, they’ll appreciate it.

Number Eight

You’re not going to be everybody’s cup of tea. Don’t try to be, either. You will come across people in life you just don’t gel with. That’s absolutely ok. If you spend your time people pleasing, you certainly won’t be pleasing yourself.

Number Nine

There are some people in life who are meant to be there. If you lose touch, but can’t stop thinking about them, get back in touch. I cannot stress this enough. I’ve lost touch with some incredible friends and I’m so pleased we’re back talking again.

Number Ten

Be wary of who you take advice from. Some people are pedalling their own agenda; only listen to people who you can really trust. If somebody you don’t trust offers advice, take it to your inner circle and see what they think. They’ll call them out if they’re being shady.

Number Eleven

Empower other women. Do not bring them down. It reflects on you, not them. When your friend does something bloody awesome – let her know. You might find if you’re being a cheerleader for others, they’ll also be cheerleaders for you.

Number Twelve

You can have a day off work. Crawling into work and dying at your desk all day isn’t productive – or hygienic – for anyone. If you’re ill, you’re ill. Take the day off and don’t spend the entire day feeling guilty about it. That applies to school, too.

Number Thirteen

If you have the opportunity to move away and go to University, please take it. I couldn’t decide whether to move away. I can say, hand on heart, they were the best three years of my life. It made me as a person and I’ve found friends for life.

Number Fourteen

Your path doesn’t have to look the same as everybody else’s. Want to travel the world? Want to have five children and settle down? Or, want to work 24/7? Do it. It’s your life. Everybody will have opinions on how you should live it, please don’t live it making everybody else happy but yourself.

Number Fifteen

Don’t become poor trying to appear rich. I see this more often than you’d think. Don’t live outside of your means to impress others. Be impressive with your achievements, your kindness and your positivity, not with your possessions.

Number Sixteen

Be healthy. You don’t have to be a 6-day-a-week gym goer (unless you want to be, of course), but don’t eat crap every day. It’ll make you feel rubbish, gain weight and well, it’s not at all good for you. Make healthy decisions whenever you can.

Number Seventeen

Travel. Don’t waste time being scared of flying or scared of going to new places. Your life is short and the world is a big, beautiful place. This is, for sure, something you’ll live to regret. If you’re too scared to do things, are you really living, or just existing?

Number Eighteen

You have to be present. Worrying about the past or future is tempting, but ultimately, it’s completely pointless. You can’t change the past and you don’t know what the future holds. So, be in the moment and enjoy what you’ve got.

Number Nineteen

Use the question ‘will this matter in 5 years?’ and apply it to every inconvenience in your life. If the answer is no, don’t spend your time obsessing over it.

Number Twenty

Your friends and family are extremely, extremely important. Don’t neglect them. Don’t be rude to them. This one is so important. Watching people be rude to their friends and family is so awkward – don’t be the person doing that.

Number Twenty-One

If you’ve got a problem with somebody, tell them. Call them up, text them, meet up…whatever. Don’t let it fester and become something it probably never was. Also, if somebody wants to sort things out, don’t be an arse about it. Accept apologies and people reaching out to you with graciousness.

Number Twenty-Two

If you don’t like your job, please just quit. Life is far, far too short to spend so much of your time on something you hate. Take a leap. It’ll always work out if you put your heart and soul into it.

Number Twenty-Three

Don’t lie. When people lie, they really underestimate the people they’re lying to. I think I can see through most lies. People think they’re being savvy, but they’re not. Be an honest person – it’ll get you much further in life.

Number Twenty-Four

Try not to be annoying on the commuter train. Don’t eat smelly sandwiches, or shout at people for no reason. Don’t sit down and make a pregnant woman stand up, or push somebody out of the way to get on. The list is endless. Everybody has someone or something to get home to. Yours isn’t any more or less important than everyone else’s.

Number Twenty-Five

Don’t be averse to change. When I left primary school I didn’t want to go to secondary school. When I left secondary school I didn’t want to go to University. These are just some of the bigger changes we feel worried about. I’ve never regretted a change in my life.

Number Twenty-Six

Listen to your gut. Whether it’s about a shady person, a potential boyfriend or girlfriend or a colleague. We all get these gut feelings we can’t shake. If you get that feeling about somebody, approach with a lot of caution.

Number Twenty-Seven

I’ve left the best for last; you have to put in the work. Nothing gets handed to you on a plate. Whoever you are, whatever you do, you’ve got to earn the right to get where you want to be. Don’t take shortcuts.

What are some of your life lessons? Share them below!




A writer and author with two published books and a third one on the way. I write mostly about women's interest topics; travel, careers and cooking. I'm available for freelance work, so please contact me if that's of interest.

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© Caroline Elvin 2017.