“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”

19 Lessons For 19 Years

NOTE: Some of these lessons are reiterations from other bloggers/writers

1. Always be kinder than you feel. Bad days come and go but how you react to certain situations can potentially effect your relationships for a lifetime. 

2. Solitude is more desirable than being in the presence of people that make you feel like a compromised version of your self: You were meant to be great. What's the point of valuing the companionship of people that try to hinder your success?
3. Patience is the most valuable characteristic you can develop. Most people do not realize this till very late in life and find themselves perpetually frustrated with everything around them.

4. Happiness is only obtained when you have complete and utter acceptance of your self. This is a direct quote from the RZA's bestselling novel Tao of Wu. In a section of the book, he goes on to explain that happiness is the highest form of enlightenment.

5. Success and legitimacy is not based on how well you manage your eyebrows. (contrary to popular belief) This may seem like a very specific lesson, but it puts a spotlight on the amount of time and effort we put into physical details. In the end you're beautiful even if you have a few misplaced hairs over your eyes

6. Know what sparks the light in you. Then use that light to illuminate the world. I read this quote on the back of my Starbucks a couple weeks ago. As I was making fun of the fact that Oprah now has quotes on the back of coffee cups, I realized how accurate it was. Knowing what inspires or drives you is noble. Using your energy to inspire the rest of the world is even more noble.

7. One way to truly be content is to accept life and it's impermanence. Pain may not always subside, but things will always change. 

8. You can not make someone love you. You can only inspire them to appreciate your physical attributes and your personable qualities. Love is not something that can be synthetically produced.

9. Material items, ALL OF THEM, can be replaced. There are some people that fabricate large attachments to their possessions which gives them a skewed perspective on what really matters. This is concerning as some people would rather be killed than lose their iPhone 10s 

10. You were beautiful before he said you were. Your worth cannot be appraised by anyone but yourself. 

11. You're feelings are warranted because you feel them. Opening up is probably one of the toughest things for me due to the fact that for a long time I was told what I was feeling was unimportant or "not cool." Here I am today, nearly 20 years old, telling you that my feelings do matter and I have a right to express them.

12. He who angers you, controls you. It is very easy to get caught up in your anger or sadness. Because of this, there are times when decisions are not rationally made, but rather made on a furious whim. Who ever has power to make you mad now knows how to set you off.

13. Resist comparing your insides to someone else's outsides. I think this is fairly straight forward.  

14. Peace is a universal term. (Another excerpt from Tao of Wu) Peace is the absence of confusion and conflict. The whole energy of the word is good. 

15. Do not compare your chapter 1 to someone else's chapter 20. For some, it takes a little bit longer to figure out what is important to them. Attempting to equate to someone who is three steps ahead and already been through their personal struggle is simply unproductive. I believe this lesson could be easily understood vice versa. 

16. Befriend people who are eager to learn and understand more about the world. Talking to people about real things is refreshing after months of having irrelevant surface level conversations.

17. Travel. This can be difficult. I have been fortunate enough to venture for a very small price, but I believe having the desire to explore and learn is half the work of being able to travel. Whether it's a tour around Europe or a road trip to the next city, there are always different perspectives to comprehensively encounter.

18. Listen to your body. It knows more than you do sometimes. If it tells you to slow down, slow down.

19. Practice makes--better. Spend more than an hour on an activity everyday instead of consistently telling your self that you will never be good at it. If I realized this earlier in life I would speak fluent Spanish, French and Japanese... and I would probably be a better writer.

-Sofala xx