26 Life Lessons

  1. Build Wealth

So, I’ve been working hard at building a wealth portfolio for my future family and, if you’re like me, you got some debt! I started following Dave Ramsey’s baby steps (click here for resource) and putting myself on a strict but necessary budget. Around the same time, I signed for a few online classes I needed for my teaching licensureandmy graduate degree, which both costs way too much $ But, I realized something… there’s no way I could start paying off debt by getting into more debt! So, I paid for these classes upfront. Listen, graduate school ain’t cheap. But I’d rather be a little tight on money for a season than to be in debt for lifetime.

  1. Relationships Are Essential

And this should be a duh. Lately, I’ve been following Michael Todd and I’ve purchased his book Relationship Goalson Audible (click here for the link to the book). And I’m glad I did. I’m tired of getting relationships wrong like all the time. Following what my culture presents about relationships is probably the biggest culprit. Relationships, friendships, familial relationships and everything in between are what make the world tick. And even though I am not where I want to be relationally, that doesn’t mean I give up one trying to make them work.

  1. Life Happens

It is “post” quarantine 2020 and COVID-19 has scared the nation into hoarding, homeschooling, and online living. Let’s be honest, no one knew this would happen, no one could have planned for a worldwide pandemic, but life is not something we can control. We just have to make do with whatever it gives me.

  1. Health is Wealth

Similar to #1, staying healthy is something I wish to do, not only for myself, but for my future family. Last year I became a certified Mossa instructor for Group Power at the YMCA. And whenever people ask me: “Why’d you do that?” I tell them because it’s amazing what our bodies can do. But the truth is, I don’t loveworking out BUT I do love the results. And I know that if I keep this healthy lifestyle up now it won’t be a problem when I get older.

  1. Value Family

Some people, my age at least, get in the habit of pursing their “dream” or “calling” and, in doing so, become blind to what matters most. I have a strong bind to this too; however, there is a good balance between pursing your dreams, wherever they may take you, and being there and present for loved ones.

  1. Apologize Quickly

Forgiveness is something a lot of people seem to be in short supply of, especially with the social climate we are in right now. And if we happen to be the ones who are wrong, a “sorry” or “I didn’t mean it” can go a long way.

  1. Change is Good

Growing up as a black kid in the hood, I often feared changed. Consistency and stability are both states of being I craved. Change was something I didn’t quite understand… until I encountered its byproduct – growth.

  1. Do The Right Thing

This may be the hardest thing to do at times. But it can be as simple as speaking up for someone, a co-worker, or friend who has been wronged or speaking to someone who may need some sound advice. And, most times, a listening ear goes a long way, which brings me to #9.

  1. Be Present

I don’t ever want to be so caught up in my everyday life that I don’t pause to see, listen, be there for someone else.

  1. Master The Side Hustle

Multiple streams of income is where it’s at! Starting a side hustle of your own or even working for other businesses is a great way to make some extra money to save up or pay off lingering debt.

  1. Know Yourself

This one can seem a bit tricky, but the more I am aware of my likes and dislikes, the more I can better accept or decline any relationship, business idea, or social agenda anyone presents to me.

  1. Laughter is Medicine

I have been practicing smiling. And no, I am not an angry black girl, but I found that when I smile more throughout my day, I feel a lot better emotionally, mentally, and physically. I loved it so much I wrote a poem on it called, “How To Smile” for Medium (click the link here to view the full poem).

  1. Say Yes More

I finished Shonda Rhimes’s book Year of Yes about two years ago and I cannot get it out of my head. As a black woman, I am aware that we have so many different choices on our plate that it gets a bit aggravating to say yes to just one thing. So, in her book, she practiced saying yes to everything for an entire year.

  1. Say No More

Now, I know what you’re thinking, but this does not contradict #13. Ms. Rhimes didn’t just say yes to the entire world. I mean, she’s a busy woman. She prioritized things that are important to her like family, her company, & her health. If she had a gala scheduled for one night but her daughter wanted her to stay home and read her a bedtime story, guess what? She did say no. She chose to say no to the lesser of the two, which is, dressing up for rich, white people. She showed her daughter that she cared more for her than those bougie folks in white America.

  1. Confidence is Attractive

My 2020 word of the year is Confidence. It is, literally, the best thing you can do for yourself. The confidence I’m talking about isn’t conditional to a person’s good looks or big achievements. It isn’t conditional to recognition of reasoning either. It is a kind of confidence that no one can give or take away. It only comes from within.

  1. Teach the Children the Truth

I’m coming into my third full year as a high school English teacher, and I must say, kids actually want to learn. Though, they may put up a fight at first. They are genuinely interested in what we (as adults) have to say. So, I’d rather teach my students what is true. The events of Spring 2020 are going to be recorded and documented in history books for ages to come, some narratives may be falsified and just plain ugly. What will you say? What will you teach the children?

  1. Be A Hero(ine)

I am not a healthcare worker or any other essential personnel. But I have had countless students reach out for guidance, friends reach out for a mental health check ins, and family members connecting for nothing else but a good conversation. And that, folks is what I call being a hero. Most times you will not be recognized for your heroic deeds, but they do make a difference.

  1. Read As Much As Possible

Don’t @ me on this one! I am a reader at heart and a writer by nature, so reading comes easy for me. However, I would encourage anyone who wants to grow mentally, academically, professionally, or just gain awareness about the world around them should read. It is still the largest consumed form of entertainment available. Read anything and as much as you can.

  1. Compromise is Key

The biggest deals are made through compromise. I’ve had to compromise at work with co-workers, compromise my living space at home with my family, and compromise on a brand-new pair of shoes I wanted for the old Vans I already have. I am not saying compromise on your big things or that it should be done often. But a stubborn person doesn’t get far.

  1. Learn A New Skill

I picked up (or tried to) soap-making this summer. And it has been a wonderful mess so far. I believe in healthy, clear skin and I only use products that I trust. So, face bars are going to be a new edition the Honestly Store facial care selection (click link here for full list of products).  I am only getting older and with that being said, at a certain age, the brain stops learning new things, (click link for more info). So, make the most of it!

  1. Humility is Sexy

I don’t know about you, but a stuck up, prideful, egotistical person just drives me crazy! Do me and yourself a favor by staying humble. As the great proverb says, “Pride comes before the fall.”

  1. Failure is Necessary

Success never comes by easy, and definitely not by always being right. Failure makes you stronger and it makes you human

  1. Let People See You

This one is in conversation with #15. I have battled fear and insecurity for so long that I couldn’t just let people see who I was, the real me. Let’s be honest, being real is scary sometimes, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

  1. Be Open

Open-mindedness is next to godliness or something like that, ha! Seriously though, being open to people and their views doesn’t mean you don’t hold strong to your own. You just acknowledge that there are other narratives to the story.

  1. Challenge the Status

Statistics, stereotypes, and stigmas seem to plague the black community, but you don’t have to be one. Just because your grandmother was a people pleaser doesn’t mean you have to be one too.

  1. Love is King

Let’s being honest, love is still the greatest force on earth. Spread some today.

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