Okay, we're gonna get a little personal here. It's my mom's birthday! She's given me a lot of really great advice and guidance over the past well...whole life I've lived. And I wanted to put something up to honor her.
I was thinking...what are some of the most important things my mom has taught me thus far? And there are so many...but I narrowed it down to the five that could be the most useful to everyone.
So here are 5 fantastic lessons I learned from my mom, that I can now pass on to you all! Happy Birthday Mom! This one's for you.
1. Do things for yourself, not others.
My mom has been telling me since I was a little girl that the best way to get things done, is to do them for yourself. We often do things because we think they'll yield certain results, but that's not right. We have to do things because WE WANT to do them. Anything less is just going through the motions. And that's no way to live. Mom always taught me that I'm going to follow my path, and if other people don't like it...it's their loss, not mine.
2. Your greatest enemy is yourself.
At least in my case. Mom noticed some things were up with me and introduced the idea that I was...well...screwing myself up. The pressure I put on myself became a problem an d instead of yielding positive results, I became a wreck. Both of my parents are successful and amazing people. But they gave me a lot to live up to. And there has always been an impossible standard to meet. I feel like most of the time, I'm running ten steps behind my own head and that can be exhausting.
Mom made sure that I knew that slowing down and giving myself a little more credit was a good thing. She's always been the one cheering me on and helping me understand my worth even when I couldn't see any. That kind of relentless positivity and support doesn't come around often. And I am so thankful to always have her in my corner. Even when I can't bring myself to be there too.
3. You can't let people tell you who to be.
I've always valued my independence, and my mom was the one who encouraged it. It couldn't have been easy raising someone like me. Rebellious, a little too smart for her own good, and totally an old soul trapped in an adolescent body. There was always something wrong with me. And I was rarely happy, but through all of that, I learned that my soul, my being needed to be valued. I deserved it. I proved myself to be a viable candidate for success and happiness, and through my independence I gained a little taste of it.
Mom was always there to encourage me to be my own person. There was no path right for me, so I had to create my own, and mom made sure I stuck with it no matter how hard it got. The road is long, but it doesn't need to be as hard anymore.
4. You've got to slow down and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Whenever I get into a serious funk, I end up calling my mom and crying to her on the phone. Somehow through my blabbering she always gets to the heart of what's bothering me. And more often than not, it's the fact that I don't feel like I'm enjoying myself...like everything is work.
She's been trying to tell me to slow down and stop to smell the roses my whole life, but in the past few months it has really started to sink in. I'm on an adventure and I need to treat it like one, or else I'm going to regret it. And nobody wants to live with regrets.
5. There's something to be said for just pushing through.
Not every day is going to be a win or loss. Some days just exist in that time frame and then they end. An ongoing theme in my family is all or nothing or "death or glory" as I refer to it. My mother came from a family of strong willed people who never let anything get in their way. Excuses aren't options and when the going gets tough, the tough turn professional. That's a great motto to live by. Although living in this extreme way has gotten me into trouble, I'm slowly learning to put things into balance.
Success isn't everything, and mom has always taught me that there's value in moving forward and pushing through against all odds. The ability to shine when the lights are off is what creates success. And my mom does that every day.
Though mom is back in the states and I'm overseas, these lessons carry me through.