40 years, 40 big lessons in business, life and love

June 11 birthday blog - EC Writing Services

It’s my birthday today! And I’m 40 {I know, I know, I don’t look a day over, 39}.

Forty – wow! I feel like life is really only getting started. So many places yet to see, so many people to meet, so much I want to do and create. I feel more comfortable in myself too.

This would be my best advice to my younger self – be comfortable being you.

It’s been a very interesting past 12 months; you see 12 months ago, almost to the day, Raf (my husband) and I made a big decision. We had been holidaying in Port Douglas, Australia, in a penthouse and were loving the laptop lifestyle.

Rafa was trading and selling his awning and 4WD accessories and I was running EC Writing Services and Wow School Global. It was fun – we had that beach-business life going on too – and we got the bug; the itch to pack up and travel.

So when we got home on June 4, and started talking more about what we both really truly wanted … we decided to just do it and going travelling around Australia!

And that was that. So our plan went from living in Port Douglas for three months to living inNorth Queensland for six months, then we decided we would also go to Cape York, and then we started dreaming about travelling around Australia.

So here we are. We haven’t made it too far yet, as we have been lovingly stuck in Cairns, in Far North Queensland, due to COVID.

Each year, I reflect on the year that’s been and share my learnings … there’s been a lot to think about … but the best thing I’ve learnt in this last year is to just live your life the way you want.

Don’t worry about what others will say, do or think, or if it won’t work – it will work if you want it to.

Which brings me to my list of 40 must-learn, big lessons in life, business and love; one for each year of my existence (in no particular order):

  • Travel more – Go where ever the wind takes you. The more you travel, the richer you’ll be.
  • Worry less – In fact, just stop worrying. It serves no purpose at all.
  • Don’t settle – I learnt this from a past life in my first marriage. There is more to life (in all areas) than you can ever imagine. If you settle, you’ll never know.
  • Choose your relationships – Choose your intimate relationship carefully, you only want one “forever” person!
  • Let go of what’s not working – Oh gosh, I think I needed to learn this lesson about 100 times. Just let it go. It will be OK.
  • Build your network – I can’t tell you how many amazing opportunities have come from people I know. Look after your network, sources and community.
  • Stand up for yourself – Don’t let people push you around or walk all over you. You deserve more than that. Find the courage to stand up for yourself.
  • Stand up for what you believe in – if you are passionate about something, let the world know. Stand up for what you believe in, have a voice and share your words. It’s a privilege to be able to do that.
  • Don’t be afraid to show yourself – Your true self, in all your realness. Don’t be afraid, people will love you for it!
  • Love yourself – it’s self-love day every day.
  • You are enough – I never knew what this meant until I knew what it meant! But when I got this lesson, I really felt at peace.
  • Do self-love activities – One of the things I started when going through my divorce was to give myself a big hug and tell myself “I love you”. I felt like a weirdo until it started to feel good. Now I just give the best hugs haha
  • Live your life the way you want to – I learned this one only last year and again from my sister this year. And that’s why we are travelling. It took a lot of courage to do that, sell up everything and just hit the road with no real plan.
  • Don’t worry about what people think – Ever since I was bullied in high school I have cared too much what people think, and it’s exhausting! I wish I had learned this lesson well before now, but finally, I just don’t care.
  • Be ok with being by yourself – I know so many people who despise being by themselves. I never liked it either but there is a certain profoundness that comes with this lesson. It’s called growth.
  • Look after your mental health – One in five (20%) Australians aged 16-85 experience a mental illness in any year. The most common mental illnesses are depression, anxiety and substance use disorder. (Source: Black Dog Institute).

I suffered terrible anxiety about 6 years ago as a result of a stressful divorce. For me, my mental health and wellbeing is a constant area of improvement.

  • Eat well – What you put in is what you get out.
  • Exercise every day – OK, well, maybe not every day, it’s about being active every day, your mind and body will thank you for it.
  • Learn more – What’s that they say, if you’re not learning you’re dead?!
  • Get a coach – If you want to be successful in any area of your life, get a coach or mentor. Throughout my career, I have always had a coach or mentor.
  • Do that one thing – what’s the one thing that’s going to make you feel on top of the world. Do it. And keep doing it.
  • Live your passion – I feel blessed that I knew exactly what I wanted to do from an early age – I was a published journalist at 14 – but if you don’t know what your passion is and you’re not living it, make it your mission to find out. I know so many people who have been high-profile leaders who have left to start a side hustle.
  • Fall in love – That’s it for that one. Let yourself be loved and love hard right back.
  • Forgive – Above all the hardest lesson I’ve learned. Forgiveness allowed me to grow more quickly, let go and start loving my life. But it was hard and I didn’t want to at first. But when you don’t forgive, you are the only one who suffers.
  • You’ll get hurt and you’ll get over it – Learn with how to get over being hurt. Sometimes it just takes time but there are other things you can do like forgive, let go, be present and be grateful.
  • Laugh at yourself – If you do something funny, laugh. If you say something silly, laugh. If you do something embarrassing, laugh.
  • Laugh more in general – I once went to laughing yoga in the middle a very well-known Brisbane park – New Farm Park. Doing it, I felt like a fool because we were literally being child-like and laughing, pretending to surf, using our imagination and playing games. It was so embarrassing and I was outside of my comfort zone x100o, but it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
  • Be silly sometimes – do a silly dance, act like a kid, go a little bit crazy. Why not?
  • Treasure your good friends – You don’t have to have a huge circle of friends, in fact, many people only have a small handful of very good friends, even if they know a massive number of people. Treasure those who love you for you.
  • Expect the best – Too often we get caught up to expect the worst. I say, hell no, let’s expect the best – then watch what happens!
  • Work on your positive mind – I’ve always been a positive person, but this is an area I work on every day because your mind is strong and determined, and I want mine to work with me to grow and achieve success in any area I choose, not against me with negative thoughts.
  • Tell people that they matter – we all want to feel heard and we all want to matter. Your task today is to tell someone your love that they matter.
  • Tell people you appreciate them – your second task is to tell someone you appreciate them.
  • Say no – Oooh, this is a great lesson to learn and even better when you practice it.  Newsflash – I suffer massive FOMO! So I always thought I would miss out if I ever said no. So I said yes to everything and I burned myself out. Don’t be like the old Liz!
  • Be strong – You are stronger than you know. I don’t know how many million times I have had to say this to myself.
  • It will be OK – I was talking with a friend many years ago and she said, “Somehow I just know everything will be OK”. When I went through my divorce, my lawyer said, “Everything will be ok, you know?”. Now in everything I do I use that mantra and so far everything has been OK!
  • Don’t take it personally – Learn to detach yourself from the outcome and just go with it. A coach once told me this and I had no idea what he was talking about – but as I learned this lesson, it’s an easy one to get. Focus on the outcome and work towards it but don’t be attached to it.
  • Watch your money – I will commit to this lesson every day for the rest of my life. There was a time in my business where I did not do this and it almost ruined me. Now I do what money coach Denise Duffield-Tomas does and watches my money in and out every day.
  • Spend money on yourself – You work hard, you deserve it. Period.
  • Be grateful – whenever you are feeling low, look around at what you have and say out loud all the things you are grateful for. I bet it changes your mood!

I’m sure there are more, but these are the biggest ones I have had to learn, accidentally learned or been forced to learn over and over again!

How many of these can you identify with? Share your lessons with me here on this Facebook post.

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