I don’t believe in coincidence.
I don’t believe in luck.
I believe we learn what we need to learn at just the right moment in time.
I believe we connect with the people we’re supposed to meet when we need them most.
I also believe that every person is blessed with someone special whose presence enriches her world and life in completely unexpected ways.
My special someone came to me at a particularly vulnerable time, a time when my eating disorder was raging inside and my life seemed to completely fall apart. And no, I’m not talking about a guy, I’m talking about my piano teacher and one of my favorite people in the world. Every hour I shared with her shaped my character, strengthened my soul and soothed my heart. I had started taking piano lessons with her when I was 13 years old, a time when my abusive brother was more violent than before. I was as unhappy as can be, but being with her never failed to lift my spirit. She was so full of practical advice and empathy that she soon turned into my closest confidant.
I often think back to her lessons and I’m thrilled that I get to share them with you today.
1. Don’t ever apologize for being you.
People will always find things that are wrong with you. It’s up to you to either go into victim mode or be confident and true to who you are. You can’t please everybody, focus on those who love you and accept you fully, flaws and all. You’re perfect the way you are and there’s no need to ever be sorry.
2. No matter what happens, be grateful for what you have.
If you’re as driven as I am, are struggling financially, emotionally or have ambitious goals, it’s easy to go into the comparison mode. Why don’t I have what she has? Why is this not going faster? Why is this not working? Will I ever get there? It’s in those moments that it’s essential to focus on what you already have. You’re healthy, have a home, a job, family and friends you love and who love you. Your life is so very, very rich. Start a gratitude journal and see how much happier and balanced you’ll be.
3. Never stop being curious.
Learning shouldn’t stop after you graduate college. Instead, that’s when it begins. The more curious you are in life the more fulfilled and successful you’ll be. Always ask questions, focus on others and grow with every opportunity you get. Instead of watching TV mindlessly, read a book, watch a documentary or talk to others. Broaden your horizon by traveling, learning new languages or new skills and your life will never get boring.
4. You are the owner of your life.
I had to learn this lesson the hard way. I used to blame my brother for everything: my eating disorder, my depression, my complete inner void and ultimately, my failure to find my way in this world. This attitude hurt me a thousand times more than it ever hurt my brother and it caused me to live in paralysis.
By playing the blame game, I was standing in my own way to own up to the cards life had dealt me and transform them into something positive, world-changing even. Nobody is responsible for your life the way you are. No matter what happened in your past, it’s up to you to own your future. You have to make an active decision every day to face life head-on and have fun doing so.
5. Keep on going.
Whenever I would mess up a part of a piece of music, my teacher asked me to simply continue. Stopping was never an option. That’s what you need to do in life too. Things will happen, obstacles will present themselves, but if you keep going, you’ll never loose. Don’t get the wrong idea, every person stumbles, every person makes mistakes and we all tread water from time to time.
Nobody is perfect even if it sometimes appears that way. But the difference between those who succeed in life and those who don’t is continued action; no matter how skinned their knees and elbows are, winners get back up and continue to go their way.
I know you’re a winner, so keep on going. Always.
Brilliant advice is timeless and priceless. So, the next time you meet someone who shares a few words of wisdom, listen closely and learn. You never know when that knowledge might come in handy.