May 5, 2011

turning the tables.

Alright, guys. Let's get real here. I spend a lot of time writing about the snippets of advice and insight I encounter every day--but clearly, I don't know everything. (Um, not even close. I still have a lot to learn.) So today, I thought I'd switch it up. Today, I'm going to pretend that we're all sitting around in a cafe, having a heart-to-heart over coffee or tea or whatever you fancy, and I'm going to turn the tables--I'm going to ask you some of the questions I tend to ask myself:

What's one of the hardest lessons you've ever learned?
If you could go back and teach your former self one thing, what would it be?
What's the best advice you've ever been given--and who said it?
By what standards do you measure your own life?

I'd love to hear your answers to any and all of these things... There's just so much we can teach each other, and I think it's incredibly important that we share what we know. Don't you?

I can't wait to hear all of your wisdom! :)

(Photo: Boesepueppi)


Monica said... [Reply to comment]

What's one of the hardest lessons you've ever learned?

That you can't, and shouldn't try to, change others.
Learnt the hard way.

If you could go back and teach your former self one thing, what would it be

That I deserve the love of a good man. Forget the losers.


bohemian twilight

becky said... [Reply to comment]

The hardest lesson I have ever been taught is to make peace with myself---and, incidentally, that is the answer to your last question, too: I am slowly becoming my own marker for progress, my own method of setting goals and achieving contentment. It took a shock---which resolved itself, later, and happily so---to make me realise the importance of one's own company and of doing things for yourself. I think so much pressure is put on ourselves as daughters, sisters, lovers, friends that we do all we can, over and over again, to impress and appease. And sometimes it is a dangerous thing---to become dependant on another's expectations. For me, it is not a lesson learned by any means---in fact, it is a struggle, sometimes, to focus---but I think all of the best lessons are like that: works in progress.

If I could go back and teach myself...You know, I'm not sure it would work. I highly doubt I would listen---to all the people that once told me not to worry, I didn't, and I do, and I will---but also I do not believe it would lead me back here. I wouldn't be who I am today.

Arnold, my boyfriend, told me to believe---and not in any real religious sense---but in the kindness of people and in the beauty of the world and in the notion, the deep, deep notion that everything will be okay. So sometimes it is a hard one to take on board---but oh, it is worth it. Self-belief, and belief in the future panning out, is a very liberating thing. Because when it does, when you realise that it all simply slots into place, you, too, realise the world's beauty and then, well, then you believe in that, too.

Lillian (Unstitched.) said... [Reply to comment]

Oh, how fun!

One of the distinctly hardest lessons I had to learn was how to forgive myself. It was back in high school and I was beating myself up for weeks over a mistake I had made (in a relationship, that caused it to end). My dad, who never talked to me about my personal relationships at that point, said that very simple piece of advice, that I knew and heard before, but sometimes they say it at such a perfect time, that it just fits in a little space in your heart. And he just said simply, "You have to forgive yourself." And that's what I did, and moved on.

I would teach my former me - don't be so timid or afraid. Take chances. Be fearless. What's the worst that could happen? (Actually, I'm still telling myself this everyday :).

The best advice I've been given...I'm not sure if this counts as advice, but I'll refer to a quote I heard: "When we say no, or when we follow our dreams or true callings - people might be 'disappointed' in our choices. Allowing people their disappointments sets us free." - Christine Kane.

The standards I set for myself - to be the best person I could be in all aspects, not to settle for what's easiest, and to really find joy in the big things and the little things. I try to infuse my everyday with a little creativity or something new that will keep me joyful and curious.

It's funny that you should say that you don't have all the answers. I think at 24, I want to be able to know it all, since I do have profound conversations with many people all the time. And I so wish I had that security that, say, a 30 year old would have over me, but it is completely life experience. Even having been a precocious child and always more mature for my age, to gain that emotional maturity still requires certain life experiences to get you there. I guess I'll have to be patient in that sense and grow up slowly :)

Cassie said... [Reply to comment]

Making us think this morning aren't you Laura? :)

One of the hardest lessons I had to learn is that some relationships aren't going to last forever & not to put your all into one person; they could just up and leave at any moment.

If I could go back and teach my former self one thing, it would be to perfect the double pirouette and maybe even try a triple. Such a dancer. :)

What's the best advice you've ever been given--and who said it?
"There is no need to worry and stress over it - God already knows what's going to happen, so let Him deal with it." -Mom

By what standards do you measure your own life? Hmm...I guess I measure my life by my personal beliefs and morals...because when I think about it, isn't that what it all comes down to? :)

Shelby Lou said... [Reply to comment]

By what standards do you measure your own life?
I set very high standards for myself. I think that by doing so, I always have the opportunity to be better. For me God is a huge part of my life, and all I really want to do is be able to give my heart to him. If I'm not doing something that helps me achieve that goal, I'm doing something wrong, and I need to change it. You know how there are a bunch of self-help books that talk about not sweating the small stuff, or letting it get in the way? I'm the type of person who focuses on the little things. Because if I can be really, really good at one small thing.. I'm moving forward.

If you could go back and teach your former self one thing, what would it be?
I would go back to the moment when I decided I didn't want to be friends with a certain person, because they were too much "drama". I would go back to that moment and slap myself for being a drama queen. Then I would teach myself the art of patience with friends. My Mom told me once when I was so upset about how my friends were treating me that, "It's not all about you. You don't know how they are thinking. You don't know what's going on with them. Sometimes, even after sitting and listening forever, you need to keep listening." I guess that is in the same category as the advice question. We need to be more patient with our friends, and when they aren't being as good of friends as we want them to be, we need to be better.

That's all! :)

KT Mac said... [Reply to comment]

I love the excuse to think deep today!

The hardest lesson I ever learned was that the thing you fear most can be your greatest blessing (in disguise). Really, it is incredibly powerful to face that fear and realize it wasn't something to be afraid of after all. (And now I have a future blog post to write...)

The standards by which I measure (and live) my life are: Did you live a joyful life? And did you bring joy to others?

And the best advice I was ever given was to never stop dreaming, dream big, and realize that life has a better dream for you than you can imagine. Just let it unfold.

Hannah Elizabeth said... [Reply to comment]

Oh Laura, what a beautiful idea...Kinda like your heart.

The hardest lesson I think I've learned (lately at least cause my memory is terrible) is that usually the things we feel called to are the things we have to work the most on. Example: I feel that honestly, in my life, my calling is to love people unconditionally and with every fiber of my being. I am learning, that I am a very judgmental person. If I can become a good lover of people by the time I die it'll be a miracle, but it doesn't mean that I shouldn't strive for it. For me it makes sense that I would never be done growing. If I was already good at my life purpose then there would be no reason to live.

That happiness is a choice and positivity can never be overrated. And sometimes just stopping to look at the big open field on the side of the road is enough.

I'm sure it was my mom, but I'm trying to decide what piece of advice. My mom's words of wisdom are the kind that come to mind just at the right time. Most of the time her advice consists of making me look at things in perspective. "Hannah you are vivacious (such a great word), lovely, and have a thirst for life. This (fill in the black with the thing I'm complaining about that day) will not defeat you." She's kinda great mom. My aunt also once told me that I had fireflies all around me and that I had an earthy spirituality that radiated the beauty of God. WHEW! Haha. Not really advice, but definitely something that's stuck with me.

I measure my life by the measuring stick of Jesus. I am nothing without him. My best day is filthy rags, but because he first loved me I am free to pour out that love on other people. I measure my life in overflowing cups of love. The love that was first given to me and the love that I try to spread to all I meet.

Ah..this even helped me just meditating on these things as I typed them out. You have such a sweet soul that radiates beauty and love. Thanks for this :-)

Rachael said... [Reply to comment]

If you could go back and teach your former self one thing what would it be: I would teach myself that it doesn't matter what other people think. I used to worry so much about what others think. It was all I could think about! It really hindered me and made me really self-conscious. So that's what I would tell myself.

By what standards do you measure your own life: Just to be happy. I know that's probably what a lot of people would say, but for me, it's everything. I guess the standard though, would be: to make myself happy at all times. Of course, that can't be done. But to strive towards that. And for me, that means doing things that may be scary, but to do it because I know it's what I need to do, to be happy.

Caiti said... [Reply to comment]

Laura, I love this idea. I have truly enjoyed reading everyone's comments and gleaning from their wisdom. I can't wait to come back this evening & read what the rest of your readers have to add! Posts like this are why you are without a doubt, my favorite blogger! Can't wait to one day buy a bestseller book of yours ;)

I don't claim to know much, but this much I know to be true:

Hardest lesson:
I am not super woman. I do not have super powers. It is not up to me to make sure everyone is happy. I tend to be an idealist and would have an elaborate illustration of what a particular event looked like (i.e. birthdays, dates, trips, anything that could possibly get hyped) and when things didn't live up to my hype or go EXACTLY as planned, I would be crushed. (Not something I am proud of) But I've learned to not focus on the exact details, but more on the people I'm spending these occasions with and the beautiful memories we are making. It was hard for me to relax, but once I did, life tasted all the more sweeter.

If I could go back & teach my former self one thing, I would say this:
"Everyone has their own insecurities, they hardly have time to notice yours, so Little C, be yourself, be genuine, be honest, but above all else - Be Love"

Best Advice:
Happiness is a choice, not always an easy one, but it's there for you anytime you want it. - My mom

Standards of Measuring my Life:
I strive to live my life with a deep thirst and hunger. A thirst and hunger for life, adventure, curiosity, joy, love, and light. Every day I strive to feel alive. Sometimes that feeling comes from sharing a delicious meal with loved ones, feeling the sun's rays on my skin, exploring a new part of town, getting lost in a book, art that inspires the soul, or that deep connection in serving and loving another life and expecting nothing in return.

ashlee said... [Reply to comment]

Hardest: Happiness is the result of decision making and active participation on your own part. NO ONE can make you happy except YOU.

One thing I would tell myself: Other peoples opinions only matter as much as you allow them to. As soon as you decide it doesn't matter, everyone else loses all power over you. It's wonderful!!

Best Advice: You can only hate someone you still expect something from. When I find myself building animosity toward someone, I identify the expectation, and let it go. And then I'm free from all that negativity. I wish I could remember who told me this so I could thank them properly, but I can't.

Standards: I'm very religious. My standards are set by the inspiration I get through my relationship with my Heavenly Father and my Savior.

TehrAna said... [Reply to comment]

1. What's one of the hardest lessons you've ever learned?..

honestly probably that i was strong enough to stand on my own. i packed my bags and left home and for the first time ever i was completely alone no family and no friends and it was hard i never did anything by myself or for myself so knowing i could was a great realization for me.

2. If you could go back and teach your former self one thing, what would it be?

dont trust so easily, your trust and your faith is something to be earned. cause once you lose faith or trust in someone getting it back is nearly impossible

3. What's the best advice you've ever been given--and who said it?

my gramma told me once "you've hit rock bottom, you cant get any lower now.. so pick yourself up and start working back up, because thats the only place you can go.

4. By what standards do you measure your own life?

you know i dont really have any standards or a measure to my life, i just.. live life. i used to be so caught up in my set plans for my life finishing college getting married starting my family having a career that was my plan and i found so tiring so i just stop striving for this perfect life and just started living and i have never felt better about my life. i just wanna be happy and healthy thats all i strive for. =)

Girly Notes said... [Reply to comment]

wow.. I've never thought about these questions ,well probably I've been avoiding asking these questions to myself

the hardest lesson I've ever learned was appreciating my family specially after I lost my father who was the most amazing man I've ever known but I didn't realize that while he was alive.

if I can go back in time and teach my former self one thing it would be patience.

the best advice I've been given was from my sister and it was that life is about highs and laws (in my country there's a famous phrase says:a day for you,a day against you.

thank you for giving me the chance to think about this :)

Elizabeth said... [Reply to comment]

The hardest lesson I have ever learned is to live every day as if it is my last. This past summer my best friend's little brother died. I was very close to her family, so it was very hard on me. They're car was hit by a drunk driver. Her brother was only 11. Now I am sure to live every day as if it is my last because I want to be able to die knowing I had a positive, happy life full of love.

If I could go back and teach myself one thing, it would be to take risks. This year is the first time I have actually started taking risks. I have learned so much more about life. I just wish I had started sooner. Compared to my crazy, fun, happy life now, my old life was dull.

My dad gave me the best advice I have ever been given. It is to not be afraid of what others think of you. Everyone gets judged every day and I am sick of it! Whenever I go out in public with my friends we will start singing and dancing. Everyone stares but we don't care! It makes life more exciting. :)

I measure my own life in happiness. :)

p.s. I really love your blog, it really makes you think. I hope that you can check out my blog too. :)

The Many Colours of Happiness said... [Reply to comment]

This is such a good idea!

What's one of the hardest lessons you've ever learned?
That sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can't fix someone else's problems.

If you could go back and teach your former self one thing, what would it be?
To take things less seriously. To be more optimistic. To follow my heart and my dreams.

What's the best advice you've ever been given--and who said it?
'don't rely on other people for your own happiness'- my mum said this

By what standards do you measure your own life?
I don't really have standards I use to measure..I guess I try to live and be the best I can be.

Alyssa said... [Reply to comment]

reading all of these has made my day much much better...

i think one of the biggest lessons i have learnt is not to compare yourself with others... when we stop comparing it relieves a lot of stress we put on ourselves and gives us a chance to shine

Akvilė Tamoliūnaitė said... [Reply to comment]

I have just read this post and I still wanted to share.
the best advice, that I've ever been given is this: "when do you stop searching for truth in this world? there is no truth here! and there's never gonna be!"
maybe it sounds negative, but actually it isn't. things often seems unfair to you, somehow that you think it shouldn't be, but you must take it as it is. and deal with some things you can't change.