A Birthday Reflection of 37 Life Lessons

Today, I turn 38 years young.

If you are reading this, thank you; For taking the time, for caring about my journey, for trying your best.

Here are 37 of my truths that life has taught me thus far:

  1. Inside me, right now, is the answer to every question I have. Every single one.
  2. Mother Nature is the supreme source of knowledge. The more time I spend honoring, respecting, and observing her, the more I realize I should spend more time honoring, respecting, and observing her.
  3. Love is the most powerful force in the world. There isn’t even a close second.
  4. Living in a hypothetical future is a guaranteed way to miss building a fulfilling present.
  5. Control is a disguise for a lack of trust. Trust for myself, and trust for the person or circumstance I am trying to keep under a tight grip.
  6. “I would never” is a disguise for fear. I said “I would never” stop eating meat, date someone with a kid, or live with cats. All 3 of those things happened in my life. I want to eliminate “I would never” from my vocab.
  7. Traveling with a romantic partner is my favorite thing in the world.
  8. Every time I get a new stamp on my passport, my soul secretly does a happy dance. The darker the ink, the longer the dance :)
  9. Relying on others for emotional security drains the life force of all involved.
  10. Clarity screams in silence.
  11. Everyone has unlimited advice, yet no one has full context. I want to go deeper into my own full-contexted inner voice. I am the only one who will ever know the “full story.”
  12. Swimming in the cold ocean warms every part of my being.
  13. Watching a sunset or a sunrise makes me feel “home.”
  14. The more I judge other people in some subconscious attempt to feel superior to them, the more I end up hating myself.
  15. For 5 years now, my mom and I have been writing monthly hand-written notes to each other. There is so much more I want to know about my parents’ life, and am grateful to be able to still ask them, so I should ask more. I think every son or daughter should ask their parent to be pen pals.
  16. I love the sense of adventure, accomplishment, and freedom from waking up in one city and falling asleep in another.
  17. I try to lookup more. Literally, lookup. There are miracles happening above us all the time. More time looking up at the sky, less time looking down at a screen.
  18. People are trying their best, and beating themselves up a lot more than we think. It’s not cool to add to the punching bag party.
  19. I often feel like I am not enough. I am working on that every day. It’s hard but worth it. Standing in front of a mirror, looking myself in the eyes, and saying “I love you Brian” has been a good start down this path of self-love.
  20. Meditating 20–30 minutes a day for the last year has completely changed my life.
  21. Becoming vegan almost 3 years ago has completely changed my life. I ate animal products 3–5 times a day for 35 years. I promise, it’s possible, fulfilling, and so fun to get creative with peaceful plates. I also love sharing my experience with this life transition if you’d like to explore it.
  22. The only thing I love as much as being with people is being alone.
  23. Creation > Consumption. Consumption stresses me out. Creating energizes me.
  24. Single-use plastic is the biggest scam known to modern society. I want to be better about avoiding it.
  25. I admire courage and bravery — to pursue a career that you love, to be with someone that you love, to stand up for someone or something you love. Especially when you do it on an island.
  26. Slow and steady beats fast and inconsistent. Keep going, small steps, and celebrate little victories along the way. They add up.
  27. There’s is never a wrong time to do the right thing. The truth always, always, always wins at the end.
  28. I pick a new word every year that I hope guides my days ahead. This year was trust. So many moments I needed to remember to do just that….trust.
  29. Karma is real. I audit mine often.
  30. Words have power, think them, filter them, and speak them carefully. To yourself, strangers, friends, family, partners. Because once they have been said, they’ve been said.
  31. It’s really hard for me to ask for help. If you’ve ever helped me in any way, you have no idea how much I appreciate you.
  32. If you feel bad, even a tiny tiny tiny bit bad about what you are doing, then stop. You know the feeling I am talking about. You know it.
  33. My romantic relationships didn’t fail just because they ended.
  34. We are massively intelligent beings that chose all we are living. On my best days, when I believe this, I realize that I cannot make a mistake, or a wrong decision, or a bad move.
  35. Movement is to my body is what meditation is to my mind. A gift, an unlock, a channel to something bigger than myself. I never take it for granted.
  36. Kindness is a noble pursuit and usually starts with me being kind to myself.
  37. It’s people that make places special. The people that come into my life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

As I turned 37 this past year, I had a clear plan. I was supposed to be traveling all over the world with all my possessions in one carry-on bag. Instead, I spent almost the entire year in Uruguay.

It was not the year I imagined. But it turns out, it was the best years of my life.

Because I couldn’t fly tens or hundreds of thousands of miles as I planned.

So instead, I sat still in front of a fire. I swam in a cold ocean.

I shined my light and discovered my shadows.

I fell in love with a special woman named Jimena Arrosa, and even started to do the same with myself.

I saw so much of a country that I now consider one of my favorites in the world (Arriba, Uruguay).

I smiled and screamed. Felt peace and frustration. I laughed and cried. Felt hopeful and scared. Felt joy and pain. I felt lost and found.

And today, as I turn 38, I write this with my heart wide-open, grateful, growing, imperfect, and proud.

Proud to feel. Proud to mess up. Proud to love. Proud to do my best. Proud to rest and grow. Proud to be a little better tomorrow than I was today. Proud to be a part of the amazing family I picked. Proud to write. Proud to share with the supportive people like you who are drawn to reading this.

I’ll close with this thought:

I think what we all want in life is to do or find something that makes us feel that we mattered.

For me, writing is the closest thing I have found to let my soul fully express itself. It makes me feel like I matter. It makes me feel that maybe my words made your life a bit better. It makes me feel like I am doing my part in this massive energetic exchange.

And that feels like the best birthday gift ever.

A fully expressed soul. Yeah, let’s do that this year.

Let’s fully express our souls, so that every day, we are born again.

Wherever you are, wherever you’re from, and whatever you feel.

Maybe it’s time to come home.

Maybe it’s time to be brave.

Maybe it’s time to be re-born, or

Maybe it’s time to be born for the very first time.

And if that sounds like you, I’d like to say:

Happy Birthday.

International Speaker and CEO of a Life in Shorts. Daily Vlogg’in my journey on YouTube @brianrashidglobal. Helping brands of all size tell stories that sell.