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17 Important Life Lessons I Wish My Daughters Knew Earlier

17 Important Life Lessons I Wish My Daughters Knew Earlier

As a mother of two girls, there are many things that keep me awake at night. Our world is becoming smaller and increasingly artificial, reducing the chances of children learning life lessons that are so vital to them. If children don’t learn these lessons on their own, I take it as my responsibility to impart as much wisdom while I still can. And, here are 17 life lessons that I want my daughters to know before it’s too late.

1. Be Content

We live in an age of instant gratification, with the latest mobile phones and clothes becoming a statement to the world. Learning to be content from early on will help as your daughters grow up. They won’t always get what they want, and that’s okay.

2. It’s Okay To Make Mistakes

Firstly, everyone, no matter how perfect, has made mistakes, even your mother. Mistakes are part of growing up. The important thing is to learn from them. The bigger the mistake, the more there is to learn.

3. Life Isn’t Easy

Anyone that has ever achieved anything in life has done it with steely determination and without expecting anything to come for free. The only way to get what you want is to go out there and take it.

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4. Your Opinions Matter The Most

What others think of you doesn’t matter as much as what you think of yourself. People may try to impose their ideas of perfection on you and try to get you to conform to their ideals. As long as you know who you are and what you stand for, it shouldn’t affect you.

5. You Look Great As You Are

There will be pressure on you to look a certain way. There will be people that judge you based on your body, on how fat or thin they think you are. As long as your healthy, what they think doesn’t matter. Everyone is made differently, your beautiful just as you are.

6. Food Is Your Friend

Being skinny is not the same as being healthy. You may feel pressure to stop eating, or only eat “diet” food. These bad eating habits that will only spoil your health. You don’t need to starve yourself to lose weight. A balanced diet and a little exercise will go a long way.

7. Cherish True Friends

You’ll have plenty of friends that will come and go. But, there are a few that will stay with you through all the ups and downs life throws at you. Never take them for granted, true friendship is a valuable commodity.

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8. Kindness Is Key

A little kindness goes a long way. Even in situations where you have every right to be rude, maintaining your attitude and being sensitive to the situation will help define who you are.

9. Learn To Accept Change

In life, there’s only one thing that’s constant, and that’s change. The sooner you accept that fact, that faster you will be happier. Change can be used as fuel, to grow and become who you always wanted to be.

10. Have Fun

Having fun is one of life’s greatest gifts. Don’t get too caught up in things that may seem like the world now. They will become inconsequential in a few years. No matter what the situation, or how dreary it may look, find a way to have a little fun.

11. Set Goals, Work Towards Them

If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. A personal or professional goal, don’t be afraid to set lofty aims. Once you’ve decided what you’re aiming for, make sure you work towards them, even if it’s one small step at a time.

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12. Keep Your Faith

When times get hard, get on your knees and pray. Your faith is like an anchor; it will keep you grounded and help you overcome difficult situations.

13. Family Is Everything

As you grow, you’ll feel the need to stand up on your own. Especially in your teens, your relationship with your family may strain. It may seem like a burden rather than a blessing. The truth is you won’t find the same level of acceptance and love anywhere else.

14. Your Possessions And Your Values Are Separate Things

Having expensive clothes, the latest electronics, and fancy cars isn’t the answer to life’s problems. Things you own or the money you earn are not what should define your value. Those are easy come easy go, what will last is your character, your relationships, and your self-worth.

15. Love Isn’t Like The Movies

Know all those fairy-tale relationships where the princess live happily ever after? It doesn’t always work that way. Relationships need to be cared for and nurtured. Compromise and understanding are the core of happy families.

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16. There Isn’t Much You Cant do

The sky WAS the limit. You define your limits, not your situation or your environment.  If your focused, and willing to put in the hard work, there’s nothing that can stop you.

17. I’ll Always Be There For You

Whether you live next door or in another country, if you feel like you’ve made a mistake or just want to talk, I’ll always be there for you. Daughters are a precious gift; they seem to grow up so much faster than little boys. Life can be full of ups and downs; there is no way you can foresee what it’s coming and try and prepare for it. That’s why I hope these life lessons will help them when they need it the most.

Featured photo credit: http://freephotostags.com/ via freephotostags.com

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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