May 24 marks my 44th year of life. In reflection, I thought about the top 44  lessons I’ve gained from my journey so far. Here they are. Enjoy! 

  1. No one does better by being made to feel worse, yourself included.
  2. Generous people have more.
  3. Life is painful when we’re just trying to get there. Life is in each moment, and not every moment is blissful.
  4. Distract fears long enough to get started. Once you’ve started, give yourself fifteen to thirty minutes for fear to relax, and bliss to begin.
  5. Your firm decision to do or not do is the most important factor in success.  
  6. Regardless of other people’s options of your capabilities, and of your own, remain an underdog.
  7. “Expert” does not mean all-knowing.
  8. When people show you who they are, believe them. Thank you, Maya Angelou!
  9. Take the advice you keep giving.
  10. There is no more important voice to get right than the one inside your head. Tell yourself that you love yourself, that you’ve got yourself, and “thank you” every day.
  11. We are all looking for safety, and the only place it can be found is within.
  12. We do not lack capacity, but rather belief in our capacities.
  13. There isn’t a single person you need to love more than yourself.
  14. Difficulties are chalk full of opportunities for spiritual growth.
  15. Everything in life is here for us… live into the possibility of discovering how it is for you.
  16. Not everyone belongs sharing time with the evolving you.
  17. The people, places, and things that we depend on change over a lifetime.
  18. Gods’ rejection is God’s protection… every time.
  19. Your body is your ally.
  20. God’s plan is better than the limits of your imagination.
  21. We stagnate when we stop learning, trying, and experimenting.
  22. Imperfection creates connection.

There is no real bond with others until we share the evidence of who we are and not just our conclusions. — Mark Nepo 

  1. Hustling never leads to becoming worthy; we were born worthy.
  2. We don’t learn by knowing, we learn by doing. We have to experience life’s lessons to get them.  
  3. Knowing makes learning difficult.
  4. Depth in connection with others gives us courage to step into our capabilities/potential.
  5. Mystery is the birthplace of emotional freedom.
  6. Shame comes from thinking we should have already mastered everything. When we don’t think we should already know, we’re free to let our experiences teach us.
  7. Other people’s stuff is theirs, not ours, and not ours to fix.
  8. The best way to help other people is to believe in them, and trust in their higher power.
  9. Anxiety is contagious, and so is calm. Choose wisely.
  10. The truth is always true; fear is just that, fear.
  11. We are meaning making machines, and the stories we create are often nowhere near as good as reality.
  12. Fear needs love, not more fear.
  13. What’s meant for us, comes to us.
  14. Anxiety, rushing, fretting, and pushing impede success.
  15. Working harder is not smarter; resting well is.
  16. Self-care (i.e. caring for yourself) is not a luxury, it is a necessity for living.
  17. Small steps in the direction of your dreams is enough.
  18. Running from grief causes more grief.
  19. Self-talk is the most important talk.
  20. Everyone is doing the best they can with what they have and what they know. Be kind.
  21. Forgiveness does not mean condoning.
  22. We cannot feel everything we need to feel all at once… there’s plenty of time. 

In 2019, I accidently ended up hiking fifteen miles of The Roller Coaster, one of the hardest stretches of the Appalachian Trail. During that hike, I got lost, hurt my knee, and contended with rain all day. About three miles from my destination, I saw dark clouds rolling in and started praying—please, God, let me just get this tent set up before dark. That’s when I heard a whisper in my ear—It’s not about the destination, Misti. It’s about the journey. Can you hear the thunder? Can you feel the rain? 

Hearing that clear message, changed my life. In addition to helping pause when I hear myself trying to get somewhere other than where I am, it helped me know that I am always guided to exactly the situations I need to help me grow closer to myself, and to a power greater than me. 

How about you—what have your experiences taught you about the fundamental truths of life? What is life trying to teach you right now? 

Here’s to your greatness, 

Misti Burmeister

Misti Burmeister helps leaders and their team have conversations they keep avoiding but need to have. For nearly 20 years, she has facilitated communication that results in trust, increasing engagement and productivity across generations. Make sure your communication is coming across the way you intend, visit