Even if you have had really meaningful life experiences when you were young, enough time might not have passed for you to see how you've been affected by them. Perspective lets you understand yourself, the cards life has dealt you and how you've played them. Coming to grips with your past lets you learn from your mistakes and use them to your benefit. This is emotional intelligence.
Understanding how temporary life really is makes you appreciate your health, family, friends and the time you have. You can accept the daily difficulties and minor irritations you experience in these relationships without letting them hinder them. You grow to understand the importance of being nice, the power of forgiveness and the freedom in tolerance. You appreciate your own life more when you appreciate others.
Being able to focus on the here and now, without constantly wondering if there's something better somewhere else, is a gift. Living in the past leads to sadness, and living in the future causes anxiety. Being in the moment is the only way to truly be happy and get as much out of experiences as we can.
Young adulthood is about trying to come to grips with who we are. A lot of that grappling is spent trying to figure out how to change the traits we don't like. As you get older, you realize you can't change who you are but can change the way you think. Being aware of the traits you don't like but not letting them stop you from being who you want to be is more powerful and rewarding than "curing" those traits.
When you're young, your ambition (desire to climb the professional or social ladder) can overshadow your ability to do real, quality work. Such work can only happen when you slow down and focus. Ambition is important, but it's only useful when balanced with an equal drive to do good work. Focusing on quantity, not quality, is something we get better at as we get older.
You know what works and what doesn't. You understand your strengths and weaknesses and know your limitations. You understand that anything that feels unmanageable isn't right. Instead, you focus on what you can do with what you do have, and the result is that you are your best self.
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