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Lessons Painfully Learned

ThoughtsEmerline JiComment

As I had dinner with one of my friends recently, we started talking about things that we'd really learned in recent months. We spent a lot of time diving into the things we thought we knew... but actually really really didn't. He said he kept notes on his phone. I said I had piles of journals at home. Turns out we had learned many of the same lessons through very different experiences. While doing some final spring cleaning, I went through the last couple months of my journal entries and somewhat gleaned 32 "lessons" I feel I learned... through tears, pain, and struggle! 



  1. There is a real difference between what you actually enjoy doing and the daydreams of what you want your identity to encapsulate. 
  2. Feel out your natural inclinations and grab ahold of what you know as real, solid, and important in your life. 
  3. Create and live out a life that is true to your personal dialogue – one that feels honest and alive. 
  4. Most things don't fit neatly into a story that makes sense... so be honest about your struggles and vulnerabilities and experience them fully if it's the best you can do. 
  5. Your attention is at its most powerful when undivided. 
  6. Honor every activity, moment, person, and situation with as much attention and respect as possible. 
  7. Your worst moments often can become the most transformative and impactful ones. 
  8. Trust those reoccurring curiosities that excite you. 
  9. Think about how life would be different if you had the stronger and braver version of yourself at the driver's seat. 
  10. Have full faith in the long, slow, and steady. 
  11. Your journey can be cherished and celebrated at every step of the way in both painful and lighthearted ways. 
  12. What you want to do with your LIFE can be so much more expansive than just what you want to do for a living. 
  13. Cultivate relationships that flourish and hold them close. 
  14. Knowing what you DON'T want can help you know what you DO. 
  15. Commit to and invest in the elements of your daily routine that builds you a life of goodness and positivity. 
  16. Own and fall in love with life's processes – it's often the ones that you're so immersed in that are hard to see and appreciate. 
  17. Become absolute in your pursuit of your message. 
  18. Live as your whole self. 
  19. Inspire and empower one another for we are all each others environments. 
  20. You are what you practice. 
  21. Soul work first. 
  22. Make excellence and wholeness an indispensable part of the equation. 
  23. Life is always under construction. 
  24. Make every choice deliberately. 
  25. Bad faith leads to living inauthentically – living others' values because you're afraid of living your own. It is inherently self-defeating. 
  26. The only real way out is through. 
  27. Sometimes it takes a lot of darkness to be able to recognize and fully appreciate the light. 
  28. Learn to recognize the kinds of people you want to really keep around you.
  29. Even if things are not always perfect, figure out how to take steps forward. Go big or go small. 
  30. Remain clear on the why and the incentive of raw joy – the bar can always be raised. 
  31. Generously share the real lessons and stories you've lived into and through. This kind habit will add to the quality of your life and the lives of others. 
  32. Be more than your bold intentions.