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Wednesday, 4 January 2017

11 Serious Life Lessons Learnt in 2016

Paris under the Eiffel Tower

As with most of us at this time of year, I’ve spent the Christmas period reflecting on the year just past and thinking about what the coming year might bring. As the year draws to a close I always like to think about what I’ve learnt in the last 12 months and remember the lessons going forward.

So here’s what I’ve learnt in 2016;

Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed so don’t take today for granted

2016 has been full of loss from public figures to friends and family members, most of which came as a complete and utter shock to us. If the past year has taught me anything, it’s that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. The trouble is, we all think we have time. 

This year I’m starting off by writing a list of things I want to do and achieve in the next 12 months and putting a plan in place to make sure I complete most, if not all of them. I’m also trying to take more time out to spend with friends and family and treasure that time with them.


Health is the most important thing we have and without it we have nothing

Health is something I think we all take for granted until it’s gone. In 2017 I need to look after my body and mind better as I know I haven’t been very good at this in previous years, well, ever. I plan to get fitter and stronger, eat healthier (well during the week), take more time to relax and pamper myself, and be a good beauty blogger and take my makeup off at night and look after my skin. This lesson also comes down to making the most of every day because one day, we might not be able to jump out of bed and do the things we’ve always wanted to do, so whilst we can, we should.

Take a chance on every opportunity. An opportunity that doesn’t seem that exciting may well turn into something amazing

In 2016 I took a chance on a job that I wasn’t too sure about when reading it on paper. When the job description was first handed to me, I didn’t feel too inspired but decided to go to the interview anyway. Turns out it was the best decision. I feel in love with the job and the people straight away and feel so at home there. I now get to travel Europe nearly once a month and since April I’ve visited Madrid, Munich, Zurich, Nice, Rome, Amsterdam and Milan twice – something I would never have thought would be possible from a job I didn’t think would be that great. I guess this comes down again to not forming opinions until you’ve given something a try, being open minded and open to every opportunity.

Even if an opportunity may not seem that great at the time, you never know where it may lead...

True friendship can stand the test of time, hardships and hard truths

2016 has been a year of ups and downs friendship wise but it’s true what they say when they say everything comes full circle and equilibrium is always resorted (reminding myself of the English Literature days!). I’ve learnt that in friendship, true friendship, sometimes you may need to be harsh with each other, as long as what is said, is said in love. I will always value complete honesty in friendship and I respect people way more when they’re honest. If my dress looks bad, tell me. If my makeup isn’t blended, tell me. If I’m being a bitch, call me out. Obviously there are ways to say these things, but true friendship can take hard truths, appreciate the people who tell you what your need to hear, not just what you want to hear. I’ve also learn how much friendship can stand the test of time and distance, there’s some people you may not see for ages, but when you see them again it’s like you never spent a day apart – treasure those people.

Friends are there to stay up all night with you when you’re crying, who will drive hours just to see you for an afternoon and who call you every day to see if you’re okay when you’re going through a hard time. There have been plenty of difficult times for everyone in my friendship group this year, and the support we have for each other gives us strength, and makes us feel that it’ll be okay.

Good friends help you find important things when you have lost them, your smile, your hope and your courage.

Not everyone who smiles at you is your friend. Not everyone who claps for you wants to see you win

This has been a really hard and painful lesson to learn this year. I am often very na├»ve when it comes to people’s intentions. I believe that people want to be my friend for me, not because of any other ulterior motive.  I think that whilst on one hand most of the blogging community are really supportive, I do feel also that there is an amount of jealousy throughout the community and sometimes I feel like certain people are just waiting to see me fail. 

There’s been people who I think are friends, but really they’re only interested in the blog collaborations that being friends with me may bring, plus ones to events, and introductions to the brands I’ve worked with. I’ve begun to notice those people who only get in touch when I have an exciting collaboration just gone live and the people who ask intrusive questions just trying to get as much inside information from me as possible. 

I think when it comes to my blog in 2017, I need to concentrate more on myself and not worry what anyone else is doing, and not let other people get involved in things I’m working on unless  I’m 100% sure I trust them – which is hard when you’re basically just meeting people on the internet. 

Love those who will love you when you have nothing to offer but your company

For a couple of reasons, I feel like some people have taken advantage of me this year. People hang on to get invited to blogger events and be included in exciting opportunities. People always expect to stay at my house to stay to attend events in London when I haven’t actually asked if they’d like to etc. I always feel a pressure to appease everyone and make their lives easier, which is, a lot of the time, at the detriment to myself.

Sometimes I feel that if my blog collaborations dried up and my followers dwindled, there’s certain people who would not be interested in speaking to me anymore. So my vow for 2017 is get rid of these people. Be like a tree and let dead leaves drop.

It’s really hard for me to do this because I’m always trusting and mostly naive of people’s intentions but I know I need to be harder on myself because in the end, I’m the only one who gets hurt when I feel used or taken advantage of.

There are some incredible people in my life who I know will still love me when I have nothing else to offer but my company, and those are the people I need to concentrate on. My boyfriend always tells me I try to please people too much, and often the wrong people, and I guess that is it! 2017 is going to be a year of concentrating on the people that truly matter, and forgetting about the rest.

Social media allows us to create a life we want others to see, don’t let it be your only judgement

This is something that is present even more so in the blogging world in my opinion. Just because someone looks like they are so happy and have an amazing life, it doesn’t mean they are, so I’ve tried to take a step back from forming opinions based on social media because that’s never the full picture. I’ve also learnt that some people portray themselves a certain way over social media but in real life they aren’t like that at all, I guess it comes down to not believing everything you read, and also not buying into the hype of something/someone before you have time to form your own opinions.

I’d rather be completely exhausted from the hard times which breed success than well rested from achieving nothing

People always say I’m crazy for always taking so much on and being constantly crazy busy. I work full time in a job that often has me out of the country, I blog, organise blogger events and also freelance a bit too doing blogger outreach and social media management. But I don’t know any other way. 

From the age of 18 I had my own Avon business, purely commission based so I learnt quickly that working hard means earning more money and the harder I worked, the more I earnt. I love the thrill of achievement and working hard, even though I do feel tired quite a lot of the time and sometimes I think I’m near a breakdown from working so much, I genuinely don’t think I’d have it any other way! Working so hard makes me feel like I’m achieving something, maybe not right at that moment, but I know that one day my hard work will totally pay off.

Don’t wait for everything to be perfect before you start to enjoy your life

I definitely need this quote stuck to my bedroom wall… or maybe inside my fridge seeing as that’s the place I spend most of my time. I do feel like I’m guilty of waiting for everything to be perfect to start enjoying life, but the truth is, it probably won’t ever be perfect. In 2017 I’m definitely going to be living in the moment more. 

I’ve waited my whole working life to have enough money for a super luxurious holiday but every time I have a bit of money, it goes on grown up stuff like bills, the mortgage or my car, so this week I decided to just book a crazy expensive holiday and put it on a credit card to pay off monthly. I have enough money for the repayments each month and this allows me to spread the cost out. I didn’t wait for the perfect moment; I made the best of the current situation and found a solution. 

This is definitely a concept I’m going to try and use more for things I want to do/achieve because waiting won’t get me anywhere.

Surround yourself with people who make you hungry for life, touch your heart and nourish your soul

Recently I’ve realised that the people you surround yourself with influence your life, mood and mental health more than you think. Surround yourself with people who are the believers, the doers, and the go getters. People who work hard, inspire, and are positive. If you surround yourself with these types of people, the drive, motivation and hunger for life rubs off on each other creating something pretty powerful. In 2017, I’m on the search for more people like this because I need more of it in my life.

Trust your journey


Most of all this year, I’ve learnt to trust my journey. I may not be exactly where I want to be at any one time, but I’ll get there. I just need to trust myself and my decisions and I know I’ll find my way. 

Let me know if there's any important lessons you've learnt in the past 12 months. 

Love Lauren xx
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5 comments

  1. I found myself nodding at all of these points. Good post babe xxx

    Hayleyjoeann.com

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  2. So many great points. I'm terrible for not living for the here and now and always focusing on the future so I need to stop waiting for everything to be perfect too x

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  3. SO many great goals for this year! I love that your goals are truly from the heart, they always have more purpose and you're more likely to achieve them when they're what you truly want. Good luck achieving them, I hope you have a fabulous 2017! Nikki x

    www.twentysomethingmuddle.com

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  4. Amazing post love, I found myself agreeing with so much of this. Hopefully 2017 is a fabulous year for you :)
    ♥ Fran - www.frannymac.com xxx

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  5. Great post!! Especially the not waiting for everything to be perfect before you start enjoying your life. I'm so guilty of this, I need to start enjoying the moment and making the best of what I have! :) xx

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