3 Life Lessons I Wish I Learned Earlier

It’s my birthday!

I know, I know. This blog isn’t supposed to be all about me. But…inspired by Ramit Sethi’s annual birthday posts, I thought I’d use this auspicious date to start a tradition here on UnWrite the Rules.


I’m going to share with you 3 things that I’ve learned to be true over the past year.


We’re all constantly growing and learning, even if it’s hard to see on a day by day basis. So I highly recommend taking a moment each year to look back and reflect on your growth and achievements over the past year.

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And what better occasion than a December birthday to do it? Without any further ado, here are three nuggets pearls of wisdom that I’ve learned over the past year.


1. I am enough (and so are you)


This is the year that I discovered the glorious British treasure that is Marisa Peer and learned about the life changing results of simply repeating the phrase “I Am Enough”.

(Her episode on the Mindvalley podcast was amazing – listen to it here).

We all know that self-confidence and self-belief are essential to living a successful life (by whatever standards you judge success). It’s why top athletes and elite performers across all fields invest consistent effort into mindset and visualisation practices. And even though I’ve already spent a ton of time learning about subconscious programming and the influence it has on our daily lives, Marisa’s message was the lightning bolt that finally ignited the fire in my mind.


You ARE enough.

Right now.

Just as you are.


I think when I’d encountered this message in the past, I worried that fully accepting myself right now would make me lazy. That it’d take away that motivation and drive to constantly improve myself. 

But the irony is that it seems to be increasing that desire. Or at least, it’s making me more effective in attaining those goals.


Photo by Amy Treasure on Unsplash


Because now, my goals aren’t based on a fear of being inadequate. I’m not seeking a stamp of approval from other people or society in general. I’m not chasing my dreams out of a need to prove myself to anyone (including myself). I am enough. 

Accepting that you’re enough means that your desires and wishes for improvement are authentic and aligned with who you truly are and where you want to be. And once you feel that what you’re seeking is in line with your true self, then things really start to get into flow.

Success comes more easily.

You’re better able to weather the ups and downs that come with living a life as a human on Earth.

Plus it’s easier to tap into your well of self-belief and confidence during those tough times.

It’s a life-changing principle. Watch the video below to hear examples of just how (literally) life-changing this has been for some of the clients Marisa Peer has worked with.


(The interview above is with another amazing human – Lewis Howes – on his School of Greatness podcast.)


The best thing of all, is that it’s SO EASY to program this truth into your subconscious mind. All you have to do is repeat to yourself, every day, “I am enough”.

That’s it. 

It’s so easy, we’d be mad not to at least try it, right?


Some ideas on how to program your new belief:

  • Write I Am Enough with lipstick on your mirror each morning
  • Set an alert on your phone that displays the message I Am Enough twice a day
  • Choose a cue – something you do every day, like brushing your teeth or even flushing the toilet – and use it to prompt you to say I Am Enough out loud

This is a practice that builds over time, so consistency is key. I’d love for you to try it out then come back to let me know in a couple of weeks how it’s affecting your life. It’s awesome, I promise!


Lesson #2: You can build deep friendships at any age


There’s a cultural myth that it’s difficult (if not impossible) to make true and deep friendships as an adult. I don’t know where it originated, but I do know that it’s utter bollocks.

As someone who has up and moved cities (and countries) on a fairly regular basis since my early twenties, I’ve never been able to coast along on the familiar childhood friendships developed during our (alleged) peak years of friendship formation.

When I moved interstate at 22 to join a federal government Graduate Program, I made some of the best friends of my life. Yet I told myself it was a special case.

Then when I moved to Vietnam at 24, I made new friends who are still important to me to this day. But I told myself that too was a special case.

Moving to London at age 30, I fell in with a crowd of super-awesome humans who are still part of my life. Guess what story I told myself? Yep, that it was a special situation. It was just luck.

Now I’ve been travelling solo for nearly 3 years, and during this time I’ve collected a handful of kindred spirits who I know I would have become friends with even if we’d met back in ‘real life’.


Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash



No matter how many times I’ve been blessed with deep and meaningful connections, I just couldn’t get rid of this pre-programmed notion that it’s difficult to make “real” friends as an adult.

Well 2018 was the year that I decided to ditch this limiting belief for good. The new friends I’ve met this year alone have become some of the most important people in my life.

So if you’re someone who feels alone, it’s time to ditch the story that it’s hard to make friends as an adult. Because it’s most definitely a bunch of baloney. 


Some ideas on how to meet new people as an adult:

  • Join a class: If it’s something you’re interested in, odds are the other people there will be interesting too.
  • Take a group tour or hike: There’s nothing like fresh air and wide open spaces to get the conversation away from chit chat and into more deep and meaningful territory.
  • Become a regular somewhere: It could be a coffee shop, a library, anywhere that people tend to congregate at. Soon enough you’ll recognise the familiar faces, and this will make it easier to strike up a conversation and get to know each other.

The need for friendship and connection doesn’t have an age limit. Start doing things that interest you, that light your fire, and you’ll meet other people on your wavelength. 


Lesson #3: Freedom is not caring what other people think


I’ve always felt like old people are so great at this. So you want to dye your hair purple? Do it! Feel like going to the grocery store in your dressing gown and Ugg boots? Why not?

Life becomes so much more open when you free yourself from the (most likely imaginary) burden of other people’s possible criticism.

There’s a quote that I love:

“You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.” – Olin Miller

This is something I’ve really been working on this year, and I had a practical chance to test it out. The details are pretty dull (it was to do with the digital nomad community and expectations around how frequently you need to move to be considered nomadic) but the concept was about acceptance and fear of judgement from a community I’ve identified with for the past few years.

Instead of changing my behaviour to meet what I thought were the expectations of others, I decided to do what I wanted and let other people think whatever they wanted to think.

And guess what? Nobody thought anything.

Yep, all the fears I had were just in my own head. I was telling myself a story, and causing myself unnecessary mental discomfort. Which reminds me of another quote I love (usually misattributed to Mark Twain):

I have been through some terrible things in my life, some which actually happened

So take a leaf out of an octogenarian’s book. Do what you want. Be the real you.

Odds are, the people around you won’t care half as much as you think they will. And even if they do, it’s their mistake for imagining you were someone you’re not; it’s not your job to contort yourself into acting in a way that doesn’t disturb other people.

You do you, boo!


So there you have it. Can you feel the wisdom seeping out of the screen? I hope so – some of those lessons were percolating for a few decades before popping into my awareness this year. I really hope they help you in some way!


Before I go, I thought I’d do a quick round-up and share the most popular articles of the past year. If you’re looking for a good read, queue them up!


7 Reasons Your Should Write a Personal Mission Statement

Ditch the images of boring and meaningless documents stuffed with corporate-speak that gather dust on an office shelf. Crafting your own Mission or Vision Statement can help keep you focused during the quest to create an awesome life you love.

Learn The 7 Benefits of a Personal Vision Statement Now

How to Get Motivated

You don’t have to wait until a full red half blood super moon to start a new habit or project. By harnessing the power of extrinsic motivation, you can get yourself to do what you want to do, even when you don’t want to do it!

Learn How To Get Motivated (When You Don’t Feel Motivated)

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to Life Satisfaction

You’ve probably seen this Venn diagram before, but do you actually know how to apply it? This post gives you a step by step process as well as a free downloadable workbook so you can take it from theory to practice and find out what to do with your life.

Work Out How To Find Your Ikigai


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