During the fall semester, I recently finished a book design class with Paul Sych where I designed a hardcover book called Self. It's about my past, present, and future self. I got to dive deeper into understanding and learning more about my thoughts, philosophy, and perspective in life. At the beginning of 2014, instead of setting new year's resolution I gave a theme to this year being 'The Year of Self-Discovery'. This book allowed me to end the year off by writing about my journey and my life. Inside this book, I designed a spread for 21 things that I've learned in my 21 years. You can view the project here.
21 Things I've Learned in 21 Years
Take some perspective. Take a step back and realize that the problems you're facing aren't so bad. Will it matter in 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?
Do less. Focus on what you love. Go outside and play more. Spend time with the ones you love. Don't work so hard that you forget to have fun. Being constantly busy doesn't always mean you're being more productive.
Fear will try to stop you. Doubts will try to stop you. Believe that you can do anything you set your mind to and don't let anything stop you.
Seek discomfort. Be okay with the unfamiliar and the uncomfortable. This is how you will learn and grow as a person. You've got to be challenged in order to grow.
Have compassion and empathy. Everyone has their own story and problems so be kind to others for you can make a difference in their day.
Focus on being present. The moment is all there is. Let go of the distractions that prevent you from fully living right now.
Give people your full attention. Truly listen to what they are saying. The best thing you can give someone is your time and presence.
If you love someone, tell them. Be open, and honest. In the end, relationships with people is what matters the most.
Spend time to understand yourself. Self-discovery will allow you to be happier with who you are. You have to be in touch with yourself and your own emotions before you can develop strong relationships. Finding yourself will be the greatest journey of life.
Be grateful. Count your blessings and focus on what you have that make you happy. You'll instantly be happier and realize how much you have, and what matters the most.
You are in charge of your own happiness. How you look at the world is entirely up to you. How you react to negative and positive situations is completely your choice.
There’s no such thing as failure. You might not always reach a goal but something good comes out of every bad and unwanted situation.
It’s okay to not be okay. You don’t always have to be on top of your game. Just get back up and conquer the world.
There will always be moments of adversity and struggle. Just remember that there has to be darkness in order to see the stars, rain to appreciate the sunshine, and sadness to understand true happiness. It is always in proportion and that's the balance of life.
If you want to do something, do it now. Be spontaneous and go! Money and time will always be excuses that creep up on you so let go and just live.
The world does not revolve around you. Focus on what goes on in front of you, around you and within you.
You are beautiful. Don’t waste energy on being self-conscious of your body, or what people think of you. Even if you're the juiciest peach on the planet, there will still be somebody who doesn't like peaches.
Travel as much as you can. Open your eyes and let the world be your teacher. Learn about different cultures, see new sights, and just experience as much as you can.
Never stop learning. There’s too much in the world that we don’t know about yet. Stay passionate, stay curious, and keep on exploring.
Everybody likes different things. Don’t judge people for their likes, or preferences. Let them be themselves.
Try your best in everything that you do. Don’t half-ass anything. If you've decided to commit to something, then put your full heart into it. Do it lovingly.