17 Things I Learned in 2017

It’s a new day…a new year. While in theory, this day is different from any other day, it marks the beginning of a new chapter. Every year I try to take the opportunity to write down some important things I learned the previous year. Sometimes I re-read and re-learn, but this list serves as a year-long reminder that with God I’m coming a long way. I hope these suggestions help you as well!

1. Start every morning with prayer. No matter where my day ends, I’ve found that when I begin it with God, nothing in that day is impossible.

2. To thine own self be true. Shakespeare knew what he was talking about. Be who you truly are, and give others the opportunity to love you (or honestly dislike you) for it.

3. Don’t put out your own light in order to make others shine. This only leads to continually attempting to please others who probably won’t be too thrilled with you regardless.

4. Never forget where you come from. For me, it was humble beginnings. I’ve learned to never be too proud to tell those stories, because of their potential to light the pathways of others.

5. There is no substitute for traveling. Seeing the world enhances your ability to think outside of your normal perception of reality, and that….is priceless.

6. Don’t let your fears hold you back. This year I conquered one of my big ones (twice!!) by visiting the SkyDeck in Chicago and the Eiffel Tower in Paris. I am absolutely afraid of heights, but couldn’t imagine sacrificing those opportunities of a lifetime over fear!

7. Proper planning prevents poor performance!! Planning ahead and preparing for what I know is coming far ahead of time has saved me on many fronts! This proved so essential during the wedding planning process last year.

8. Negativity breeds contempt, bitterness, and an all-around dissatisfaction with life. Surround yourself with positive influences, ideas and people.

9. Don’t be afraid to put someone else on.

10. SLEEP!! That is all.

11. Treat every person as you would want to be treated…as God would treat them, regardless of what you believe they deserve.

12. Constant comparisons are toxic. The only one you should compare yourself with is your old self. Comparisons will always leave you trying to unnecessarily keep up with others who you think your life should look like, when all along everyone has their own journey. Do you, and embrace your journey.

13. A little service goes a long way.

14. Depression is real. Suicide is real. Our generation of young people struggle with these things. Never turn a blind eye to someone who might be struggling with these issues.

15. Surround yourself with people who want to be better, and people who will encourage you to do the same. Now, I don’t mean cheerleaders, who are here for the highlights, and support you when you make the big moves; I’m talking about those who chastise you in love when you are wrong, but encourage you on your journey to be right–those who are by your side regardless. Surround yourself with those whose strengths are different from yours, and vice versa, so that your influence is stronger together. For instance, let’s say you don’t know how to drive, and no one in your group knows how either, and can’t teach you. Do you all jump into the car and ride it out until you “teach” each other? Hopefully not!…you outsource by calling Driver’s Ed, and hire a professional who is currently successful in that area. Now, there are always exceptions to the rule, but y’all know what I mean! 😉

16. Sometimes life is really, really hard. Things don’t turn out as we expect them to, and that is discouraging. We might not have all the answers, but if you are a Christian and believe in a higher power you know we serve a God who does. Cling to His promises and never forget His undying love for you.

17. Life is a gift, and something we’re not promised. In order to really make a difference in this world, we’ve gotta live as if each day is our last. I’m planning to do all that in more in 2018!

I hope this has been helpful to you. Also know that I appreciate each and every one of you who read my blog, and it warms my heart every time I hear you have been positively uplifted or influenced. Have a fantastic New Year!!



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ALANAYA So Chic/Into the August Red is a lifestyle and fashion blog by A. Brown. Copyright 2018. All Rights Reserved.

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