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Life is a grand adventure, one full of incredible highs, great discoveries, new experiences, and mind-blowing challenges. There will be times that you feel as though you are on top of the world, as well as times that you will question just what you are capable of. What will you make of it?

Every day you will be presented with the opportunity to learn and grow. However, have you ever found yourself looking back on a situation and wishing you knew then what you know now? If so, know that you are not alone!

Here are 12 things I wish I had learned ten years ago (learn from my mistakes):

#1 – Your failures can become your biggest success as long as you learn from them.

We have attached a seriously negative stigma to the idea of failure, however, a change in the way that you view this situation may actually give you the power to turn your failures into great success stories. Rather than focusing on what didn’t work, look instead for what you can learn from this experience. This will give you the information necessary to rework your plan for your next try.

#2 – Find the things that make you passionate in life and make them a priority.

This is your life, and you want to make the most of it. If you are looking to live the happiest, most fulfilling life possible, then focus on discovering your passions in life. This could be a specific career path, a cause, or even a hobby. Whatever it is, follow your heart and find the things that bring you joy. When you find them, make these things a priority in your life. You are worth it.

#3 – What you want and what you need isn’t always the same.

There are going to be times in life where you find yourself wishing and longing for something that you want badly in life, but it’s important to know that wanting it doesn’t mean it’s what you need. Take a step back and look at where you are in life, where you are going and what’s needed to get there. Do you ‘wants’ align with this path? If not, it’s time to reconsider your priorities.

#4 – Less genuinely is more.

We live in a very materialistic society where we are taught from a young age that true success is measured by the biggest house, nicest cars, latest gadgets, and designer clothing. In order to make this happen, we try to do everything, working our lives away for what? Material belongings that we don’t even have time to enjoy? The sooner you embrace the idea of a simpler life, the sooner you will find true happiness.

#5 – You are not defined by the things that you have done.

This is a difficult one for anyone out there that lives with the pain of regret. We have all done something in the past that we aren’t proud of or that we would do differently if presented with the same situation today. You aren’t defined by these actions. Instead, look at what you took from this situation, how you handled it and how you used it to grow. Who you became overcoming this, that is what defines you.

#6 – No one can read your mind, you need to share what you are feeling.

Have you ever looked back on life and wondered if someone knew how much you cared or missed out on the opportunity to pursue a potential relationship because you couldn’t bring yourself to share with someone how you feel? Don’t wait until you are on your death bed to start sharing how you feel. Instead, tell those that you care about just how much they mean to you. No one is guaranteed a tomorrow, you don’t want to miss your chance.

#7 – You don’t have to give up yourself to love someone.

Far too often when people get into a relationship, they start to change themselves to try to fit some ideal in their head of who they should be. This could mean giving up things you once enjoyed, pretending to like things you normally can’t stand or even changing your personality entirely to try to be who you think your partner wants you to be. Don’t fall into this trap. True love means your partner loves YOU, not who they think they can turn you into. Allow your relationship to encourage you to grow and evolve into a better person, but don’t allow it to change you entirely.

#8 – All of the pain, struggles, and difficulties that you face in life are worth it in the end.

It may not seem like it at the time, as you struggle to face the darker times that life will throw your way, but have you ever stopped to consider how those challenges may actually be a blessing in disguise? We must live through the more difficult moments in our lives in order to truly appreciate the good times, the happy times. Without it, life would seem mundane.

#9 – Your past only has the power to hurt you if you allow it to.

If you are struggling with pain from your past, here’s a little tough love… Your past is behind you. It’s done and gone, and there is nothing that you can do to change it. Reliving that moment from your past over and over again is doing nothing but causing you pain and heartbreak today, and only you have the power to save yourself. Let it go, put it behind you, and focus instead on moving forward.

#10 – You get only what you are willing to give in life.

Nothing good comes free in life. If you want to achieve and experience happiness, love, respect, and joy, then you must make it a priority to put these things out into the world. This is the basis of the Law of Attraction. If you put good out into the world, you will receive good things in return. If, however, you put negativity out into the world, your experience in life will reflect this.

#11 – Revenge is never as rewarding as it may seem.

When faced with feelings of frustration, anger and upset, we often find ourselves considering revenge as the best response. However, you will quickly learn that following through on these feelings won’t be nearly as satisfying as you had hoped. Instead, you’ll be left with the pain and frustration. The only way to move past betrayal is through forgiveness. The sooner you embrace this, the sooner you’ll be free.

#12 – It’s never too late to become everything that you want to be.

Whether your 22 or 52, there is no age limit on when you can grow, change, evolve and become the best version of yourself. If you are reading this and wishing you had traveled more, chosen a different career, or taken up a specific hobby – then it’s time to stop waiting and start making it happen. Draw a line in the sand and make today the first day of the rest of your life. You have the power to become the person you want to be at any stage of your life.

Image via Daily Motion