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I recently celebrated my 40th birthday and in the week leading up to my birthday I spent a lot of time writing and reflecting on what felt like a significant milestone. 

I was mining for some wisdom from the past 40 years and it came out as some advice that I’d love to give my daughter, when she’s old enough to receive it. 

Some lessons learned for my daughter…

1. Trust your feelings whether in love or at work. They really are the only thing you can rely on to guide you – even if you don’t fully understand them. Don’t disregard them or deny them – ever.

2. No one is perfect including you. So with this knowledge you can be more forgiving and compassionate to yourself and to those in your life.

3. Happiness is an attitude, not an arrival. You need to actively practise noticing the good in your life and build inner resources to manage the inevitable challenges that come with being human.

4. Learn to delay gratification but also learn the art of discernment, recognising when to persevere and when to let go. It could be one of the most critical skills you learn.

5. Learn an instrument. It will open you to the gift of music in a way that you can’t access if you’ve never learned and it will deeply enrich your life (it’s never too late to start!). Make sure you do it with an playful and fun attitude.

6. Learn about money early. Your relationship with this mysterious force will have a profound impact on your life and your decisions and it’s much better if these decisions are made consciously. It sounds superficial but it’s not.

7. Choose your friends carefully. Life is too short to spend time in friendships that you don’t truly cherish. These chosen friends will have a powerful influence on your life.

8. The only thing you can’t get back is time. So be intentional about how you spend it.

9. Your emotions are one of the most powerful driving forces in your life. Learn how to manage them.

10. Love is more about how much you can give, rather than what you’ll receive. It’s cliched, but so true! Once you realise and practice this, you’ll be a whole lot more satisfied in every aspect of your life.

What are some of the lessons you’ve learned from your time in this world? I’d love to hear. Share in the comments below.