Essential Life Lessons for a Meaningful Life: 4 Important Life Lessons to Learn Early

Let's discuss the valuable life lessons I’ve learned from traveling the world and how you can implement them into your daily life to find more contentment, freedom and fulfillment without having to even book a flight.

You can start to implement these 4 top life lessons while sitting on the couch in your living room.

These life lessons came from me making mistakes and then growing and evolving.

So this is why I say these are life lessons you need to learn and start to embody in your life today as you grow older.

I'm so glad you're here so you can learn how to become the version of yourself you're wanting to show up as in this life.


Meaningful Life Lesson #1: Being Vs. Doing

Being Versus Doing.

When I was in Chicago, I had a mentor who always told me, “Nicole, you’re a human being, not a human doing.”

I was so in my logical mind all the time making lists and structuring out my days and trying to juggle 101 things all of the time.

I was trying to produce high quality work, manage a healthy balanced diet, work out and get stronger, volunteer with the local community, have hobbies, maintain a social life and connect with friends.

I was always so busy and rushing into things.

Racing only to fall flat on my face and end up regretting how I didn't take in the present moment while I had the chance.

Can anyone else relate?

I thought I knew the idea of rest, but my mind was racing for the 16 hours I was awake and the only thing that kind of quieted it was the hour of yoga I was doing and if I got a seat on the train home from work - but even then I was trying to read a book.

Other than that, it was constantly in “go go go” doing mode.

I felt that if I didn’t work hard and “do” all the things, then everything would be stagnant and nothing would get done.

That I wouldn’t get to my dream ideal happiness and contentment if I didn’t jam pack my schedule.

Relaxing on Diamond Beach in Nusa Penida

When I traveled to Bali, I instantly noticed that “being” was the natural state and doing actually took way more effort.  

People simply sat and enjoyed life without seemingly a care in the world. It seemed to me that they were in fact living life to the fullest.

When I tried to simply be and do nothing, my mind would take over.

I would force myself to write newsletters or do yoga or anything to occupy my time.

When I didn’t have something to do, I felt anxious to just sit with myself.

It felt like one of the hardest things to do - simply chill and do nothing.

The difference with being energy is that nothing is forced.

It’s simply in flow. It feels natural, blissful, joyful.

There’s a lightness to life.

Being to me is radiating your own natural light and zest.

You magnetize opportunities and people to you.

It’s a flow state where you naturally just are.

A being state doesn’t mean that you’re sitting on the couch all day doing absolutely nothing.

It’s taking the pressure off, aligning with what you truly want, letting the heart speak, and exuding your own joy by simply existing.

You don’t need to do anything because you can relish in the joy of being a human on this earth.

Doing to me is an energy that feels denser. Forced. Swimming upstream.

Where in your life have you been in a being energy or a doing energy?

Which kind of energy would you say you’re more in a majority of the time?

What would it feel like to consciously shift yourself to a being energy to be more in flow a little more of the time?

In Bali, being and flow looked like people going a little slower, on their own time, at their own pace.

In Sidemen, Bali, taking in slow days with the locals.

Laughing with friends and family, not stressing about having to be anywhere at any time, smiling, greeting strangers, praying, sitting, taking the pressure off to accomplish anything, simply enjoying life’s simple pleasures without forcing it.

The idea with being is that without excess pressure and slowing down, life becomes more joyful in all of the moments.

You start to get what you want out of life because you're in flow.

So my question to you is: how can you slow down, take the pressure off and trust in your being-ness it will all come to you?

And I know you might be questioning, okay but if I’m not doing anything then, how will anything actually come to me?

Imagine kicking and thrashing around in a lazy river, it’s much more enjoyable when you let go and just enjoy the water taking you around.

The energetics of it is that when you are aligned and in your power of what you truly want, you can easily transform your life and attract in what it is you want.

If you’re trying to find your life partner, sure you can go on 50 dates if that lights you up and is exciting to you, or you can simply be and tap into the energy of the person you want to be and trust that that will draw in the person while you’re doing what feels exciting and aligned to you.

If you’re needing help on finding your flow and the delicate balance of being and doing, I have a free mini course for all of my readers.

My Propel to Your Path mini course goes in depth to give you self-awareness to align your goals with your values and gives you an intuitive action plan to help you stay true to yourself and be in your flow to attract in what you’re wanting.

To get access to the Propel to Your Path mini course and take action today, click the link to get started today.

Scuba diving in Gili Air, Indonesia

Valuable Life Lesson #2: Place Emphasis on Community

The second lesson I’ve learned while living abroad for 4 years in 4 different countries around the world is the emphasis on community and connection versus money.

While living in Chicago, I was immersed in the capitalistic culture of society.

My life was centered around my job and making money. I would wake up, get ready, go to work, go to the gym, come home, cook dinner, perhaps chat with a friend, and then go to bed.

In other cultures, connection and community is first and the job and making money feels secondary.

People walk in the streets saying hi to everyone.

They cook for their neighbors and make sure the people close to them are supported and healthy.

It’s a very community focused lifestyle instead of individualistic.

In the states, a lot of people live alone and leave their families after high school.

Yes, sure perhaps they have roommates or significant others. But in other countries, specifically Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico, and Guatemala, the 4 countries I have extensively traveled, people live with their families for longer and the whole family lives together - siblings, spouses, children, grandparents, everyone.

There’s the idea of taking care of each other.

By seeing this community focused lifestyle, I adopted more of it in my life.

I stopped putting the emphasis on making money and I put more energy into building connections that filled me up.

This was one of the most important lessons in cultivating more abundance.

You'll be amazed at how much abundance comes into your life - not only financial abundance but abundance of love, joy, pleasure, and connection.

This is definitely a lesson I wish I knew earlier.

By filling myself up with deep connections, I was more able give to others and was more creative, excited, passionate and blissful.

These simple pleasures became highlights of my days and what life is truly about.

If there's anything life teaches you, it's that it's always important to take in the present moment before life passes you by.

So how can you make an effort to connect a little bit more to the people around you?

Whether it’s people already in your life - your family, coworkers, friends or even the strangers you meet in passing, the taxi or uber drivers, waiters and waitresses.

Notice how it feels to consciously make more connections in your every day life.

This relates to the third life lesson I learned while traveling.

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Valuable Life Lesson #3: Mindset = Happiness

I used to think that when I was making a certain amount of money, had a loving spouse, and a family of my own with a nice house then I would be happy.

Traveling showed me that that’s just a narrative.

We create these narratives in our heads of what it takes to be happy, when in reality, we get to decide to be happy.

It’s an inside job, and yes, external things can feed the happiness.

And of course, it’s important to have your basic needs met in order to stabilize your mood.

Having intimate connection, nourishing meals and a roof over your head can be a recipe for happiness.

However, I had beautiful friends and family connections, healthy meals and a beautiful apartment, yet I was miserable.

It wasn’t until I was traveling and saw people with very little, a small wooden shack with minimal space, not sure where their next meal was going to come from, and yet they were still smiling and excited to connect and live their lives.

I remember a lovely local Indonesian friend of mine was worried about her financial situation and she told me that she was going to choose joy, abundance and happiness and for the next week she did meditations and opened her heart to friends and trusted her path and then after 7 days she came back to me to tell me that 3 job opportunities had come her way.

Sometimes we think that we have to have all of our checklist - the nice house, the family, the kids, the money, the boat, the whatever it is to be happy…. When in reality, it’s the opposite.

You get to choose your happiness.

When you’re happy - where you’re happy.

It all comes back to presence and gratitude and appreciating everything you have when you have it.  

We are so used to HAVE DO BE.

First we have the money and items that we want, then we do the things we want with these material things, then we are the person we want to be.

Whereas it’s backwards.

By traveling, I realized it’s BE DO HAVE.

First, you get into the state you want to be in - joy, gratitude, love, peace.

Then from that state, you DO, you take aligned action of whatever feels good, and then you HAVE whatever things you want because you attract in those things from that high vibrational state.

Valuable Life Lesson #4: The Joy is in the Journey

This of course leads into the 4th and final point of this blog post….

Our final point is the cliche of how the joy is in the journey.

It’s funny because in my peak misery, everyone would always tell me this “happiness is an inside job, you choose happiness, the joy is in the journey.” but it never sunk in.

I logically understood these things, but I didn’t embody them or put them into practice.

So I want to talk about this in a way that resonates with you and then give you some tangible tips to actually feel this and put it into practice.

We can get so caught up in the trap of the idea of “I’ll be happy when.”

I’ll be happy when I have more money, when I get that promotion, when I move cities, when I have a loving partner, when I have a baby, etc.

And the fact of the matter is that if we keep putting our happiness off, then we let our whole life pass us by and we look back and think “oh shit, I should’ve just been happy and taken it all in while I could’ve.”

So I don’t want this to happen to you.

To feel this way and regret it later.

The joy truly is in the journey.

A hike with my local Indonesian guide in Munduk, Bali, Indonesia.

Sometimes we get to the top of the mountain and say “oh that’s it?”

The ups and downs have so much beauty in them as long as we take a second to stop and soak them in.

The joy is in your present moment, right here right now listening to this.

Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, think about what you currently have in your life, think about how there is beauty in feeling the spectrum of emotions, there is resilience in the struggle, there is fight in you, how you continuously pick yourself up after falling down 9 times.

In order to appreciate the journey, we have to come back to this present moment.

Finding gratitude for what it is you already have.

For how much you have already accomplished.

For what you have drawn into your life.

From this place you can find more joy.

If you’re interested in cultivating more joy, I have a free Attitude of Gratitude Masterclass for my community.

In this masterclass, I walk you through a meditation as well as teach you more techniques to cultivate more gratitude and joy in your life.

It’s super simple to get access, all you have to do is click here to sign up.

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Want to Change? Try This Neuro Nugget:

2 psychology professors from Indiana University conducted a study involving 300 students seeking mental health counseling.

These students were assigned to 3 groups.

All groups received counseling, but one group practiced gratitude by writing letters of each week for three weeks, while another wrote about their negative experiences, and the third didn’t do any type of writing activity.

The results were fascinating.

They revealed that the group of students who practiced gratitude reported significantly better mental health with more joy and less anxiety at four weeks and 12 weeks post-writing exercise compared to those in the other groups.

This suggests that practicing gratitude can enhance mental well-being, even for individuals struggling with their mental health.

Brain Hack of the Day - Gratitude & Daily Meditation

So of course, the brain hack of the day will be slowing down, taking a big deep inhale, and slowly exhaling and then coming back to the present moment.

What are some beautiful things you see in front of you?

What do you hear?

What can you feel?

Ground yourself in the present moment and then take some time to think about all of the things you are grateful for in your life.

It can be small things, like being able to take a breath at this moment, having time to listen to this podcast, specific friendships you have, the money you have in your bank account, certain freedoms you have, the smile a stranger gave you, anything.

Write it down.

And if you’re on a kick, you can even write a letter of gratitude to yourself or someone special in your life.

You don’t have to share it with them if you don’t want to.
Before you start writing, track how you’re feeling as a baseline, and then tune into how you’re feeling afterward.

This is an activity that I walk you through during my Attitude of Gratitude Masterclass, if you’re wanting more guidance with gratitude, definitely sign up for my masterclass here.

Life Lessons Learned Summary:

These pieces of advice and lessons in life made all the difference in living my most joyous, freedom-filled life.

Of course, it is always a process of learning and adapting to change, but these lessons can go a long way in changing your mindset and making the most out of your life.

A big thing to remember is not to be so hard on yourself and learn from your mistakes.

This is a part of life and the sooner you accept the full spectrum of what life has to offer, the quicker you can pick yourself up and find your joy again.

1. Being Versus Doing:

Recognize the balance between being and doing in your life.

Being is a natural, joyous, and unforced state, while doing can be dense, and filled with stress and anxiety. Do more from an aligned, peaceful, excited place.

Shift consciously to a being energy, allowing life to flow naturally.

2. Connection and Community Over the Individualistic Lifestyle:

Cultivate deep connections for abundance in love, joy, and fulfillment.

Consciously make more connections in your everyday life.

3. Mindset Equals Happiness:

Challenge the narrative that external achievements guarantee happiness.

Choose happiness as an inside job, appreciating the present and finding joy.

Shift from the "have-do-be" mindset to "be-do-have" for a high-vibrational state.

4. The Joy in the Journey:

Avoid the trap of "I'll be happy when..." and appreciate the present.

Find beauty in the ups and downs of life, embracing the journey.

Cultivate gratitude for what you have, leading to more joy in the present moment.

5. The Power of Gratitude

Practicing gratitude can significantly improve your mental well-being no matter what mental state you are in.

Ground yourself in the present moment by taking a deep breath, observing your surroundings, and focusing on gratitude.

Write down things you're grateful for and observe the positive shift in your feelings.

Live Your Life & Set Goals

To live your best life, I have some freebies for you to help you achieve your most aligned goals and learn how to deal with the highs and lows of life.

Try out my Attitude of Gratitude Masterclass.

In this masterclass, you'll learn how to practice gratitude in a way that will shift aspects of your life to finding more joy.

You'll start to find gratitude in more areas of your life and put things in perspective to feel more connected to yourself.

Additionally, I have a Propel to Your Path mini course that will help you align your goals and values to enhance your sense of purpose and achieve your goals.

Time to take action and take your goals and dreams off the back burner and create a life that makes you feel alive.

My mission is to help you create a life where you have meaningful work and a life you're excited about.

This mini course will also help you take action and create better habits to live your dream life - which is worth its weight in gold!

It's been such a pleasure to have you on the blog today!

As you start to implement these life lessons, the person you are today will grow, change and shift.

There is so much you can accomplish when you allow life to flow and take in all of the moments!

You never know what tomorrow will bring which always keeps us on our toes.

All we know is that we can only show up as the best version of ourselves today and take in all of the beautiful moments life gives us in the present moment.

To continue this beautiful journey of exploration and self discovery with me, sign up for my newsletter to get notified about my newest blog posts.

If you enjoyed this blog post, I’d be so appreciative if you could share it with a friend.

Your kind words, and shares help create a positive ripple effect in the word to expand the amount of people who will have the opportunity to take these words and lessons and connect deeper to themselves and share their light.  

I’m sooo grateful that you’re here taking another step toward living a life that feels extraordinary.

I can’t wait to see you on the blog again soon.



Hi! I'm Nikki. A brain hacking mentor on a mission to help you optimize your mindset to achieve your goals and live a fulfilling and joyous life.

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