7 perks of growing up

I sat down to make my annual birthday list of what I’m grateful for. I’ve noticed some common themes, and I’m attributing positive change in my life to these seven key areas:

Patience – In my twenties, I was carried away by emotions and split-second decisions like a kite in the wind. With time, I’ve learned how to sit through unpleasant and uncomfortable feelings and deal with situations from a more focused, grounded place.

Perspective – A friend once told me perspective was the key to a happy life. I agree, for I have found that keeping a balanced scale when confronting challenges and successes makes a big difference. There will be lows and there will be highs, good days and bad, some uninspired days in between. (As a monk once told me, “If there is no night, how can there be day?”) Also: never underestimate the power of a good laugh.

Confidence – Gone are the days when a negative word sends me into a downward spiral. I’ve learned the importance of being yourself and how not giving a fuck can propel your career and personal development forward.

Curiosity – Curiosity is like a plant. Feed it, nurture it, it will grow. This is one of the most exciting parts of living: the ability to explore, ask questions, learn and be stumped.

Compassion – Life experiences have given me a better understanding of the pain and challenges swirling around in the world, and time has taught me the wisdom and patience needed to listen to others without making assumptions. Of course you may not have been through exactly the same situation as someone else, but you can listen to their unique story with an open heart and mind.

Relationships – I’ve gently discarded relationships that are harmful and have embraced those that are loving, supportive and encouraging. I no longer hold onto people out of guilt or necessity. Instead, I actively choose those individuals who stand by me through ups and the downs. I appreciate these people dearly.

Contentment – I am able to enjoy and savor simple moments without constantly having to worry about the next move or what might happen in the future.

What do you think is best about growing old(er)? Tweet me @redheadlefthand.

Here’s to another great year of discovery and excitement!