So today is my 24th birthday! On one hand, I’m super excited, because I love my birthday. On the other, how weird is it that I’m 24? Sometimes it feels like I was in high school yesterday, like I’m still 16 or something. To celebrate with all of you today, I want to share 24 of the most important life lessons I’ve learned during my 24 years on earth! Maybe you’ll learn something, or maybe you’ll be able to laugh at my mistakes and not make the same ones! So let’s get to it: Here are 24 life lessons I’ve learned in 24 years. 🙂

24 things I've learned in 24 years - A Daynna Life

1. Strong, authentic, quality relationships are the greatest measurement of happiness.

I want to highlight quality over quantity here. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that having a few close friendships is much greater than having 100 acquaintances. It becomes less about being popular and more about having genuinely mutually caring relationships with the people you allow into your life. Those relationships are the greatest measurement of happiness, in my opinion.

As you get older, it becomes less about being popular and more about having genuinely mutually caring relationships with the people you allow into your life. Click To Tweet


2. Mindset really is everything.

Just a year and a half ago, I was a lost, confused, anxious mess. Somewhere along the line, my mindset shifted (check out my article How to Perfect Your Girl Boss Mindset to learn more). Now, I feel empowered, like I can accomplish whatever I want. Because of that, I’ve been a lot happier and a lot more successful in my endeavours. MINDSET. IS. EVERYTHING.

3. Each person that comes into your life has something to offer.

Whether it be a beautiful friendship, a role model, or someone with a lesson to share, everyone has something to offer you. Each person has a story that you can learn from. Don’t be so quick to skip over someone’s story. You might learn something of value to you.

4. Failure isn’t only an option, but a necessity.

I’ve talked about this tons before. I even wrote an entire article about failure only being failure of you don’t learn from it on Sweet Success Society. The fact is that failure allows us opportunities for improvement and self-growth. What’s so bad about that? We should be embracing those moments. Plus, the success at the end is so much sweeter!

Failure allows us opportunities for self improvement. We should be embracing that rather than avoiding it. Failure IS an option that leads to success! Click To Tweet

5. Cutting negativity out of your life, no matter what the source, is absolutely okay.

In fact, keeping negative people or situations around will only hurt you in the end. Sometimes you need to do what’s right for your own wellbeing. There’s nothing selfish about that. It would be selfish of anyone else to expect otherwise! Eliminate the negativity in your life, because you deserve to live a positive, fulfilled life on your terms!

6. Coffee makes life so much easier.

Maybe this is just me, but I’m not myself if I haven’t had my morning coffee. My entire routine feels off and I’m far less productive. Anyone else? Shoutout to my fellow coffee addicts!Coffee cup - A Daynna Life


7. Everything happens for a reason.

“Omg Daynna, that’s so cliche”. I know, I know. Just stay with me for a second! There have been so many situations in my life where I didn’t understand why something was happening in the moment, but with a lot of reflection afterwards was able to see reasons that were beneficial for me. Is it a stretch to say that EVERYTHING happens for a reason? Maybe so, but in my own experience I’ve come to really believe this to be true.

8. Confidence is the key to success in every area of life.

How many articles have you read with headlines like “confidence is sexy” or “confidence is powerful”? There’s a reason for this. People like people who are confident and comfortable in their own skin. It shows that someone has it together and can hold their own in life. Whether you’re going into a job interview or a first date, demonstrating confidence (note: NOT cockiness) will take you far in your endeavours. Ever since I developed some confidence in myself, I’ve come across so many more amazing opportunities! Confidence is key!

Whether you're going into a job interview or a first date, confidence is absolutely key! Click To Tweet

9. Passions in life change, and that’s okay.

If you’ve been around for a while, you know I had a full-on identity crisis when I realized that music was no longer a passion for me. I had been singing since I was nine years old and it was heavily ingrained into my identity. Through that process, I came to realize that it’s absolutely okay to change your interests, and you don’t owe it to anyone to explain yourself. Sometimes you find newfound passions that you want to explore (like I did with blogging, for instance). There’s nothing wrong with that! Who knows, maybe I’ll enjoy making music again one day, but either way I know that I’m doing what’s right for me right now.

10. If something isn’t working, you have the power to change it.

“If it’s not working, fix it”. This may be one of the most powerful things someone has ever said to me. If you don’t feel in control of your life, how are you ever supposed to get to where you want to be? This goes back to the “mindset is everything” lesson. If you believe you can change what you don’t like about a certain situation, you’re more likely to do so, which will bring you so much more fulfillment. And if you can’t change the situation, you can change your reaction to it. Again, mindset is everything.

If you can't change the situation, you can at least change your reaction to it. MINDSET. IS. EVERYTHING. Click To Tweet

11. The freedom to travel is the greatest gift.

I went on a few trips growing up, but nothing huge or crazy or anything. The first time I left North America was last year when I went to Bahamas. It was hands down the best thing I’ve ever experienced. I want to work hard so that I can travel. I have tons of aspirations, but being able to freely travel with my loved ones whenever I want is the end game for me. That is the absolute dream, and it’s my main motivation to make lots of money. Travel is the only thing you spend money on that makes you richer, and nothing is more valuable than making beautiful memories with loved ones!

Daynna Hartjes and boyfriend at Atlantis Resort in Bahamas - A Daynna Life


12. You don’t need to be an expert, you just need to know enough to help others with a problem their facing and the expert knowledge will come with practice.

I actually just had this realization quite recently. I was reading a Facebook post by Sam Ovens, a consulting coach who has managed to make millions in his consulting business in his 20s. The post talked about the fact that you don’t need to be an expert in order to help someone. You just need to know enough to solve their problems. While I have knowledge through my own experiences and education, I find it hard to define myself as an “expert”. In fact, it feels weird to label myself that way, because I’m just sharing things that I’ve learned along the way. This post made me realize that there’s nothing wrong with that, and you don’t need to know all the answers to everything in order to change someone’s life for the better. You just need to be willing and able to help them solve their problem somehow.

You don't need to be an expert, you just need to know enough to help your client/reader/customer solve the problem their facing. Expertise comes with experience! Click To Tweet

13. The education system is kind of bullshit.

You guys, I’m 24 years old and I still struggle with how to do taxes. Now that I’m an entrepreneur, it becomes even more complicated. They didn’t teach us a single thing about this in school. Yet somehow I still remember the quadratic formula because one of my math teachers wrote a catchy song about it (shoutout to my grade 10 math teacher Mr. Sanderson, seriously genius way of teaching!). But do I remember what it’s for? Have I used it since then? Nope. Was learning about Shakespeare at all helpful to my adult life? Absolutely not. High school taught me nothing. Everything I know I’ve learned through real life experiences.

14. Make big problems small, not the other way around.

You might find this hard to believe, but I was a pretty dramatic child growing up. I know, right? Daynna, dramatic? Never! Lol. Truth be told though, I’ve always had a tendency to make problems bigger in my head than they needed to be. Anxiety has always been a problem for me. Recently, I’ve been doing everything in my power to make problems as small as possible and deal with them with logic rather than emotion. While it’s still a work in progress, I’ve seen major improvements in my own quality of life now that I’m not worrying about what I said to that one person five years ago!

15. You can take care of yourself without being selfish.

Another fun fact about my life growing up, I was extremely selfish. Sometimes people in my life just assume I still am because that’s how they’ve known me. It’s sad, really. Because through getting to know some wonderfully selfless people over the past couple of years, I’ve been inspired to change my ways. Their lives are incredible, and they’re incredible because they give without expecting anything in return (to the people who are close to them). I’ve learned that I don’t need to be selfish in order to get what I want. Giving to those you love is the greatest gift and good karma absolutely exists! If you treat the people closest to you well, they’ll have your back too.

If you treat the people closest to you well and give without expecting anything in return, good karma exists and those people will remember that! Click To Tweet

16. Networking is the most powerful business tool.

There’s no arguing the fact that it’s all about who you know. Having connections is the most powerful tool you can have, and that applies to pretty much anything. The best part about these days is that networking can occur anywhere! Online, at an event, in a coffee shop, the possibilities are endless! Heck, I met a couple of the best mentors I could possibly know through Tinder (well, I met their son, now my boyfriend Mike, on Tinder… it’s Mike’s parents LOL). Networking is everywhere, you just need to keep your eyes open to those opportunities (also worth noting is that Mike’s parents are more than just mentors, they’re family, but the philosophy still applies)!Daynna Hartjes selfie with boyfriend's mom - A Daynna Life


17. Success takes hard work, there’s no way around that.

Alright, here’s the thing. I feel like sometimes we as a society can get lazy and think we can just wish for success and it’ll fall into our laps. I know that sounds crazy to you, right? Yes, because it is. Success doesn’t just happen. It’s not luck. It’s hard work and determination and working through endless obstacles to get there. Mindset is the key to starting the process, but you need to put in the work if you want to succeed. The easy way out doesn’t exist.

Mindset is the key to starting the process, but you need to put in the hard work if you want to succeed. The easy way out doesn't exist! #HustleHard Click To Tweet

18. Taking fear out of situations gives you so much more control over your life.

Oh my god, if there’s anything you get out of this article, it needs to be this. Fear has held me back from so many great opportunities for so long. And unless your life is in danger, fear really doesn’t need to be there. So why be fearful of conflict, or the unknown? Once I truly realized this, life became so much simpler. Now I’m able to go into situations that would have been impossibly anxiety provoking in the past feeling calm as a cucumber (or at least appearing like I am). It has given me so much more confidence in my ability to control my life!

19. There is no greater feeling on earth than a happy, healthy, mutually-loving relationship.

I used to want a boyfriend solely for the sake of having a boyfriend. That’s exactly how I ended up in an emotionally abusive relationship in high school. Having learned from that experience, I was much more wary before getting into another one, and it took me four years before I got into another one. Mike and I clicked right away and became super comfortable with each other super quickly. The way I feel with him is so much different than I’ve felt with anyone else I’ve dated. He’s my rock and my support system while challenging me to be the best version of myself. He makes me want to be a better person, and I’m told I do the same for him! We make each other laugh and genuinely enjoy each other’s company, even if we’re not doing anything particularly interesting. It’s simple, authentic love, and it’s the most beautiful experience and feeling I’ve ever felt!

Find someone who makes you want to be a better version of yourself. Click To Tweet


Daynna Hartjes and boyfriend - A Daynna Life

20. Appreciate your current season of life.

Life is never going to be perfect. It doesn’t matter if you live in a mansion with five Lamborghinis, there will always be something that you want to change. As human beings, we’re always searching for self-improvement. We’re also incredibly nostalgic. Here’s the thing, in three years you’ll look back on this season of life with nostalgia, so why not appreciate it while you’re still living it? Appreciate the positives that you have and make that your focus.

21. Having mentors will give you infinitely greater insight.

You don’t know everything. You’re a young, fresh mind with tons of great ideas, but you can’t possibly know everything there is to know about what you’re doing without the life experience. That’s where mentors come in. I wrote a post about why having a mentor is important and how to find one over on Sweet Success Society. Having mentors has helped me infinitely in my business and my life!

22. Everything can be turned into a learning opportunity.

Essentially just make the most of every situation. Did you have a bad breakup? Are you struggling with your work performance? Did you just get a promotion? Every situation, good and bad, can be turned into a learning opportunity. Let’s go back to the lesson on failure for a second. What can you do when you fail to turn it into a success? LEARN FROM IT.

Every situation, good and bad, can be turned into a learning opportunity. Click To Tweet

23. Always have a backup plan, and a backup plan for the backup plan.

This might not hold true for everyone, but I’m a very structured person. I like to know what the plan is. While I understand that some situations require some level of spontaneity, I do tend to like having a general plan for most instances. Take my business for example. I’m taking a risk going full-time as an entrepreneur. If this fails, I have a backup plan. And if that fails, I have a back up plan for that. It just helps me to feel more secure and in turn stops me from worrying about the “what ifs” and in turn helps me actually focus on running my business.

24. Deal with things as they come.

I promise you I’m not contradicting the last statement! What I mean by this is that I don’t allow myself to get caught up in thinking about what will happen next. As things come up, I know how I’ll deal with them, but I don’t think about it further than that until it pops up. This has been incredibly freeing for my mindset.

The Takeaway…

What a crazy 24 years it has been! I honestly can’t believe I’m 24. Like I said, sometimes I still think I’m 16, but then I think about how far I’ve come since then and the lessons I’ve learned and it makes me proud to have become the person I am today. Here’s to another wonderful 24 years of self-growth, love, happiness, and success!

What’s the most valuable life lesson you’ve learned during your time on this earth? Share in the comments below!

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4 Comments on 24 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in 24 Years

  1. I loved #20! There’s a lot of great tips in here that I think we all forget about until we hit milestones where we reflect on them (in this case, your birthday). So reading through this helped to reinforce the tips in my mind!

    Happy Birthday again!

    • Thanks Vanessa! 🙂 I totally agree, milestones are a great time to reflect on the lessons we’ve learned and it can be so valuable to make an effort to do that type of reflection!

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