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This year for me has been a very different, yet amazing one. I have had some high highs and some low lows. I have run my business, started a blog and completed a full year in my corporate job.  I have gained friends and lost some. I have felt alone, homesick, lost and have questioned some of the decisions I have made. I have shocked myself at my some of my capabilities and have watched God take over (even more) in my life. Most importantly, I have learned more about myself this year than I ever have. Through all of the lessons & “messes”, not just this year but throughout my life, I thought it would be cool to list some of them to share with you all. I am sure you guys are aware or have experienced most of these but maybe there’s an extra nugget or two you can grab from it… Be Blessed <3

Most important things I’ve learned before turning 24…

  1. God must come first in EVERYTHING, or you’re screwed.

You have to learn to consult God in everything you do, every decision you make and before taking a step into any direction. My favorite scripture of all time is Matthew 6:33 — But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” God is basically saying “You put me first and I’ll make sure everything else you touch is “gold” (within his will of course)”.

  1. Everyone and Everything has a season.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 — To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

That being said, some are happy times, others sad. Some are productive while others seem wasteful. Some inspire peace and others bring pain. All of them are necessary for us to learn, grow, and evolve as spiritual beings. Their appearance is not by accident. If we look close enough, each experience reveals divine purpose that we can learn to trust God.

  1. Having God fearing friends matter.

When choosing your friends, it’s important that they value the same things. A true friend should help strengthen your relationship with God. Proverbs 27:17 explains it this way: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” The bible also warns that “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33). So choose wisely…

  1. Get a mentor.

The bible says “… in a multitude of counsel there is safety…” We all need to have someone in our lives who assist us in accountability, provides guidance in career… or simply serves as a listening ear. Find a mentor who is old enough to have “been there done that”, young enough to be able to relate in a relevant way to your issues/concerns and who is available. Make sure it’s someone you have confidence in, trust and can look up to for inspiration.

  1. Not everyone will like you. Get over it.

Learn this quick, or people will teach you at the most inconvenient time. Love yourself and enjoy your own company!

6. Workout.

It not only is good health wise, but also helps as far as confidence and stress relief. Along with that, it supports you in preparing your body for getting older, knowing that you may change physically.

  1. Find a hobby that relieves stress.

Outside of working out, it is very important to find a hobby that you can release, forget about the rest of the world, your priorities and other things that bring about stress…

  1. Don’t get caught up in drama.

It’s not worth it and won’t matter years down the line. You waste energy & time that could be focused on things that bring forth fruit.

  1. Be a germaphobe.

People and things are very contaminating. Stay on top of the simple cleanly things. You won’t regret it…

  1. Don’t focus so much on the future that you miss your present.

This has to be one of my biggest lessons learned. As you all know in my previous posts, I explained how I am always looking towards what’s next and how I need to prepare for it, that I don’t enjoy my current blessings. You miss out big time by being this way.

  1. Be intentional about time spent with loved ones.

This is one thing that people our age may take for granted. We think that once we say goodbye or good night, for sure the person will be there the next day. That is not always the case. Family time, honoring the seniors in your family by being helpful and present brings such self-gratification. Tell people that you love them often, if you really do. Plan in your schedule to spend time with them; including holidays, birthdays, etc.

  1. Only invest in things/people that bring about growth.

After a certain age, all of your relationships must be mutually beneficial or bring about growth in some way, shape, or form, if not, what’s the point?

  1. Time is limited. You no longer have a second to waste.

Every single second of your life matters. Choose wisely what you spend that time on.

  1. Know your worth.

Self-explanatory..

  1. Don’t ignore the signs.

One of my biggest life mishaps came about from me ignoring the signs. Whether big or small, from a person’s character all the way to what move to make in life, don’t ignore them.

  1. Intentionally set aside quiet/alone time to regroup.

Quiet time allows you to reboot your brain and unwind. Constantly being “on” does not give your brain a chance to rest and replenish itself. Being by yourself with no distractions gives you the chance to clear your mind, focus, and think more clearly. It also helps with gaining a better grasp of who you are and what you desire in life, you’re more likely to make better choices about who you want to be around and what you want to invest your time in.

  1. Always make new friends.

I’ve always been faulted by friends and family for being “too friendly” or befriending “random” people. I now embrace it. Obviously we should always guard our heart. But will always want to be known to be the type of person that gives people a chance and doesn’t stay in a bubble or stagnant with one group of friends. Allowing new people to enter your life alters your thinking and allows for internal growth.

Also, while older friendships can and often grow, they can also hold us back or remain unchallenging. When we know people for a long time, we are not necessarily obligated to present our best selves. We can fall back on habits we might otherwise be challenged to outgrow. With new social circles, we are connecting as our most present selves, from our most recent experiences. Start breaking habits and allow your newest stories to catch up with outdated self-perceptions.

  1. Create new traditions.

As we continue to keep the traditions that our family has placed on us growing up. I think it’s also important that we create new ones that will establish a legacy beyond that.

19. Travel.

Traveling opens your perspective.

  1. Don’t be afraid to break the ice.

You will waste so much time waiting for someone else to do or say something, JUST DO IT!

  1. God is looking for praise not perfection.

He already knows we aren’t perfect, all he is looking for is a sincere effort and for us to acknowledge him in everything.

  1. Take care of what you are blessed with.

Why would God give us anything more, if we can’t even maintain or take care of what he has already given us?

  1. Don’t write off what’s not for you.

Just because something or someone didn’t work out for you, that doesn’t mean they are a bad person or the situation isn’t a good one, it just wasn’t for you!

  1. People will talk if you do, People will talk if you don’t. Live your own life!

 

JaLisa <3

 

Author JaLisa Vaughn

More posts by JaLisa Vaughn

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