I had a birthday this week. There's something about having a birthday shortly after New Year's that makes you either especially determined to Make Great Changes or especially reflective...this year, I feel like I'm a mix of both.

I made a list shortly before my birthday of the biggest lessons learned in the past ten years. I wrote them down as quickly as I could, without second-guessing any of them (that includes the order I wrote them down). Here's what I came up with:

1.      No one else defines you but you. (Sydney also referred to this lesson in her recent post--this is by FAR the biggest lesson I've had to learn these past few years.)

2.      Love is either rare or plentiful depending on your outlook.

3.      Doors of opportunity aren’t opened so much as kicked down.

4.      Other people breaking promises (or telling lies) doesn’t give you an excuse to do the same.

5.      Success is relative.

6.      Screwing up is equally relative.

7.      No matter what hole you’ve dug for yourself, you’re still in control of your own life.

8.      While complaining might feel good (and occasionally be a necessary evil), it is not progress.

9.      Hard work and persistence are often the same thing.

10.    An open mind is the best cure for any ailment of the heart.


  1. Great list, Holly! I find myself learning these lessons over and over. My birthday is coming up in two weeks, and I might try doing something similar.

  2. Happy Birthday and thanks for a great list.

  3. As a workaholic, I especially agree with #9. :)

  4. That list is powerful stuff! Thank you for sharing it. And happy birthday!

  5. Success and screwing up are relative. Absolutely. Great post.

  6. Happy belated birthday and thank you for the list. :)Numbers 1 and 5 really hit home.


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