A few days before I turned 25, I was chatting with a friend of mine on Facebook. What started out as a casual and light conversation quickly and unexpectedly turned into something like a virtual interview with Oprah.

Out of nowhere, she asked me a serious question: “What have you learned a quarter of a century of life?”

I was caught somewhat off guard; however, I had just been dropped some knowledge and wisdom during another conversation with a different friend of mine earlier that day, so I was already in a bit of a reflective mood.

I had also been thinking about doing a list of 25 things I’ve learned in my 25 years of life and what that list would entail. Off the top of my head, I rattled off ten lessons to my friend. Later, after the conversation ended, I decided to go ahead, do what had been on my mind for a while, and put together a full list.

The following includes 25 lessons I’ve learned in my lifetime:

1. God is real.

2. Everything happens for a reason and according to God’s timing.

3. As long as you put forth your best effort, God will handle the rest.

4. You won’t always be someone’s favorite or number one choice. However, you will always be perfect to and valued by the person who sees your worth. All you can really do is do and be your best and let everything else happen on their own and fall into place.

5. The best things and the things that are meant for you will usually come to you. You won’t really have to fight or struggle for them.

6. There’s beauty in the struggle (even though it might not feel like it as you’re struggling).

7. Your thoughts and speech are very powerful and can shape your reality. You have to be careful with your thoughts and words. They should always be as positive as possible.

8. Don’t ignore your instincts. You have them for a reason. Ignoring your instincts can cost you big time!

9. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Even those who might not always deserve to be treated well.

10 Anything is possible.

11. Everything that glitters isn’t gold. Everything that’s red isn’t ketchup.

12. If the meat ain’t cookin’, then something must be wrong with the crock pot.

13. Things happen. Deal with them accordingly.

14. What one person won’t do, there’s always another person who will.

15. When one door closes, another will open.

16. Not everyone is your friend.

17. When it’s real, you’ll know it.

18. Friends are the family you create. Be careful with your creations.

19. In the end, everything will be alright.

20. “HBD” and “Happy Birthday” are two different things. So are “IMY” and “I miss you,” and “ILY,” “Luv ya” or “Love ya,” and “I love you.”

21. Always aim to carry yourself well and be on your best behavior. You never know who’s watching you.

22. Always try to have a Plan B. If possible, go all the way to Z.

23. Sometimes you’ll have to go through a lot of rejection and hear “No” more times than you would like in order to get to that one golden opportunity and hear “Yes.”

24. Rejection is like God’s way of saying, “No, not yet” or “No, I have something better for you.”

25. Laughter and love can be the cure for anything.


26. You can never be overdressed or over prepared. It’s not fun being the opposite.

27. There’s always someone who has it worse than you do.

28. Everyone is fighting some kind of battle. Just because a person seems to have everything, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re happy. Just because a person seems to have very little, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re unhappy.

29. Become comfortable with being uncomfortable.

30. Go where you’re celebrated.

I certainly don’t know everything and I am still learning and growing every day. However, the list I just gave are things I know for sure. Some of these things were taught to me as a kid, some of these things were learned as a result of just living and having various experiences, and other things were learned as a result of observing other people. Nevertheless, I hope you are able to take these nuggets of wisdom and apply them to your own life.

Your Brother in the Livin’ Like Maya Movement,



About The Author

Herbert is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Science in Advertising and currently resides in Chicago. When not doing consulting work, he enjoys writing, reading, volunteering, music, and television, among other things.