31 Lessons I Learned in Life

31 Lessons I Learned in Life

It’s my birthday today and I’m 31 years old! Whoop whoop!

I thought back of all the lessons I’ve learned during this year and here it is:

1. There’s always something new to learn and a different way to do something, so keep reading and listening.

2. Share your knowledge. There’s always someone who knows a little less than you on a topic.

3. Know your why. People close to you might not get certain decisions you are making, especially if you are investing in something different. It’s important to remember why this decision you made is important to you. Also if you fail, it’s good to remind yourself of your why, so that you can try again.

4. Google it!

lessons learned
Melissa Javan

5. Phases throughout motherhood changes and I have to remind myself that each phase, no matter how challenging, is temporary. It will get better.

6. Do you. Accept yourself and do what is best for you and your child. What matters is that you are continuously trying to learn to do things better and intentional.

7. I like having my child at crèche and I like having my space. That said, it’s also possible for me to be a stay-at-home mom and try to work from home.

8. Your child will forgive you easily, especially if he or she is still little. So don’t be hard on yourself; forgive yourself easily.

9. You (as the mom) are the light of the household, my mom told me once. I keep this as motivation.

10. Do self-care on a regular basis. As moms, we take care of ourselves last, but we often need breaks too. If I need a boost, I watch a romantic comedy film.

11. Take chances – apply for that job you’re not qualified for and complete that test they asked you to do. (I didn’t get the job I applied for but I got a freelance opportunity out of it.)

12. Things don’t work out the way you want it and sometimes it’s better that way.

13. Interviews are not about you, especially the “Tell me about yourself” question. Interviews are about what value you can bring to the company you want to work for and how you will be useful to them.

14. Confidence is everything. You can have the skills, but if you don’t show confidence, you won’t get the opportunity. So work on building your confidence in your abilities.

15. When you don’t know where to start with a task, do as much research about it and start with tasks that you know how to do.

16. It takes a village to look for a job. Utilise your network.

17. A career change is okay. In fact, no matter which career you are in, you should try to learn more about it and its industry. Don’t wait for your employer to upskill you.

RELATED POST: Finding a job is a job

18. Be consistent, especially if you are blogging or spreading a certain message online. You will be rewarded if you are consistently doing a good thing. There are people are watching you even if it doesn’t seem like it.

19. Blogging expands your network. So make sure you invest in relationships and being part of communities.

20. Blogging is hard, but this is because you learn a lot of technical skills along the way.

lessons learned melissajavan 2
Melissa Javan and husband, Leslie.

21. The thought of freelancing and working for myself is scary. But, there are others going through the same type of situation. Reach out to them or read their blogs on how they overcome the fear.

22. Fear will always be there. Do it in spite of fear.

23. There are always people who are willing to help you with something. So just do the work and you’ll eventually find these good people.

24. Even if you lost a lot (like your job and your savings), there’s always something to be grateful for. One day I realised my money in the bank was finished (two months after I got retrenched), but I was on my way to the toilet thinking this and realised: “hey, at least I still have toilet paper”.

25. When it comes to changing your financial situation, you have to change your mindset first.

26. Nelson Mandela’s quote “It seems impossible until it’s done” is so true. I realised how paying off my debt seemed impossible but I almost there.

27. Volunteering has loads of benefits, even if it takes a while to see it. You can read more about it here.

RELATED POST: Six Things I Learned About Paying Off Debt

28. Perceptions often mean nothing; your view on someone can be completely wrong. Don’t believe everything you think.

29. Life is so unpredictable – you never know when it’s the last time to see someone. This year we’ve lost a best friend and a crèche teacher to death.

30. Lindiwe Mlandu, a friend used to say “you have the right to change your mind” and this is so true. For instance, there was a time where I didn’t want to celebrate my birthday and now it’s completely the opposite!

31. Accept that you and people you love also make decisions based on how they grew up and/or their life experiences, and you might not get why they made that decision because you grew up differently.

Which one (or two) of the above lessons can you relate to? Let me know in the comments below.


  1. I love this so much and I think I need to do a list, too! I think it puts everything in to perspective and makes you realise just how lucky you are how much you have. I relate so so many of these things! XO

  2. Happy Birthday Mel. Wishing you a day filled with laughter and special times. May the year ahead bring you wonderful blessings and surprises and just knock your Sox off. xxx

  3. Hi Melissa

    Point 11: Take chances, i applied for a job 3 months ago, and over this period i can only say a learning phase for me indeed.

    Point 22: Fear, something i never knew i could overcome

  4. I love this post. I resonate with a few of these points. Happy Birthday beautiful Melissa. Thank you for being such an incredible woman. 💖

  5. Happy Birthday!! The two I related to the most are things I’m working a lot on right now. To do things anyway even if I am afraid, and to remember that it seems impossible until it’s done.

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