No two journeys are the same, but the takeaways from growth and experiences are generally universal. We asked 26 of our Ambassadors to answer this question:
What's the #1 lesson you've learned over the last 5 years of your journey?
We're blown away at these responses, and regardless of what path you're on or what goals you're working towards, you'll be able to pull a few nuggets of inspiration out of this post.
Over the past five years of my journey I have learned so many lessons, every lesson molding me into the person I am today, and every day I strive to be a better person than the person I was the day before. The most important lesson I've learned by far is to trust. Not just to trust in others or trust in myself, but to trust that life has a journey for each and every one of us, trust that I am right where I need to be, and to trust that I have everything I need. I've learned to trust that this journey of mine is full of so many blessings and so much love, and even when there are dark days, trusting that there is always light ahead.
On my journey I've learned to trust the process. When I've wanted something to happen but it didn't right away, it has always come back in some form at the perfect time.
The last five years of my journey have taken me from being a senior in college to having four years of post-graduate work experience. To say the last five years have been filled with change would be an understatement. On this journey, I have learned that work-life balance is crucial and a constant struggle. I have also learned that exercise and healthy eating has helped me maintain that balance and self-love. We are all on this journey to find our passion, happiness and fulfillment, so do what feels right and trust your gut.
The most important lesson I've learned over the past 5 years of my life is to trust in the beauty and power of change. No matter how intimidating it may be and how scary the future may seem everything will work out exactly as it should. Be patient and appreciative of the greatness of your own life.
The most important lesson I've learned in the last few years is to surround yourself with people who lift you up and support your goals. For me, this is particularly important in romantic relationships. If your S/O doesn't support your goals and dreams, maybe it's time to trim the fat to manifest and chase after what you really need.
The most important lesson I have learned from the last 5 years of my journey is not to compete with other people, but to compete with whom I was yesterday. If you focus on everyone else you will find yourself constantly failing, so focus on your self and be the best YOU that you can be.
My journey has had me living in many different cities over the last five years pursuing my education. One lesson that I've learned and held dear is that prioritizing self-care is necessary. Take time to do things that make you happy, whether it be an extra long bubble bath or a hike or reading a new book for fun in between study breaks. Be unapologetic. Invest in yourself. Be kind to yourself.
I don't like to feel like I'm bragging- it's not in my nature! I've discovered that social media doesn't really have to be about that. Sharing my active lifestyle with my friends and family on social media has made me feel like I'm sharing more of myself with the word rather than just "promoting" myself. I love talking about racing and I'm proud that I do it, so why not post about it? I've also had a couple of friends, particularly ones that don't live near me, tell me they were "inspired by me" and signed up for a race or bought a bike and stared riding. Other athletes have had the same effect on me- I love seeing my friends beautiful pictures from their rides or runs, it makes me feel more motivated and I love that I can have that same affect on others.
Life's too short to be dishonest. When you're being your true self you might not make as many friends, but the ones you make will be there for the long haul. Same with romantic relationships.. there's no reason to play games when you could just be honest about your feelings and spend your time enjoying your time together. And, definitely, being honest with yourself about the choices you need to make in order to be truly happy. No one knows what is best for you but you, so no one can push you down the right path but yourself.
The most important lesson I've learned in my past 5 years of my journey is that in order to get better, you must put in the work. From my personal yoga journey to dealing with my depression, I've learned that in order to grow you have to put in consistent effort. It's hard to make changes, but you always have people to help you out along the way. So go for it, make your dreams come true.
The biggest lesson I've learned on my journey is... I don't know everything. And when I think I do know something, reality hits hard and gives me another lesson. I've learned to think before reacting and that I'll always be learning.
Make more time for the things that make you feel better and less time for the things that make you feel worse. Invest your energy in things/relationships that make you proud. Letting go of what you've outgrown is scary but worth it!
The most important thing I have learned on my journey is each practice will be different. Be true to yourself and listen to your body.
Katie Guiffre Menz
My yoga journey has taught me that growth happens outside of my comfort zone. I'm terrified of public speaking but I finished my 200 hours in 2011 and promised a friend I would take over her class. I went to bed stressed every Saturday night and woke up sick with anxiety every Sunday, but stuck with it because I knew it was making me a better person and I was able to serve others through my practice. To this day, I still get nervous before every class, but all of the good that has come from teaching makes it so worth it! :)
The most important thing I've learned in my journey is balance. I got into fitness for all of the wrong reasons, but through self discovery & beginning yoga at a critical point in my life, I've found all of the right reasons. Balance keeps me going back to the gym. Balance helps me get back on my mat. I'm still learning how to center myself & continuing to grow, but that's the fun in the journey right? 😁
The most important thing I've taken away from my yoga journey is to celebrate the little accomplishments. Sometimes the steps you take are small, while during other times, they tend to be jumps. I've learned to appreciate everything, even the smallest things, such as an adjustment to a handstand. Because while it may seem small at first, it contributes to the whole picture. Just like in life, every accomplishment deserves to be celebrated
The most important lesson that I have learned in the last 5 years is that no matter how hard you try you will never make everyone around you happy, so focus on making yourself happy and letting everything and everyone else fall into place right behind you. I have learned that you also won't make yourself happy every minute of the day, but you can't look at these as negative things they will only tear you down, you have to try as hard as you can to find a little bit of good in everything that surrounds you.
The most important lesson that I have learned throughout my journey is to love and trust yourself unconditionally. No matter what kind of journey you are embarking on, you will not have a successful journey unless you have the best travel companion; yourself. In fitness, you need to love yourself and appreciate yourself for the journey and realize that the change you wish to see will not happen overnight. You have to put the work in, love yourself, and trust yourself enough to finish the journey in the way that you set out to. It all starts with love.
Trust in the process. Keep doing the little things consistently each day, and have faith that they will eventually get you to achieving your goal. Be patient with it. For the past 3 years of my track and field career, I had this big-picture vision of becoming an All-American. Although, each day, I had to focus on the small things I could control - my warm-ups, recovery, mental approach, giving my all in each repetition day in and day out. I had so many races where I just wasn't quite there yet or wasn't mentally ready. I learned to trust that my training and the lessons I learned on my journey would get me to where I needed to be, without knowing if it actually would. It did. The last race of my college career, I raced in the finals at nationals as 5th place going in, and everything came together. Not only did I become an All-American, but I finished 2nd in the country.
During the last 5 years of my journey I have learned the importance of a good attitude. After graduating college in New Hampshire, moving to Florida for graduate school (I'm not a Florida person... I like the snow...) I struggled to have a good attitude in a place that I didn't see as being as great as New England. I came back from winter break up north one year and realized I was missing out on any wonderful things Tampa, FL had to offer due to my attitude. Three years later, with a masters and a job... I'm still here. That attitude change allowed me to fall in love with a place, my life, my job and truly find happiness in what I was doing and who I was.
For me over the past 5 years, I've truly learned patience. Patience is Everything. I was the kind of person who ate fast, talked fast and walked fast and when things weren't fast enough I grew anxious and irritable at how slowly people were moving , processes took, or progress to be noticed. Then my practice brought me a great sense of awareness to where all my irritations seemed to be stemming from....MYSELF! I was creating this pressure of needing to rush through everything, rush through life. And for what? To be irritable, Maybe get to someplace 2 minutes earlier. Was it really worth it? No. That's when I began my journey more with patience in my heart and practice. Finding my Patience has helped to bring me a greater sense of inner peace and happiness.
The biggest lesson I learned was that it is okay to lose people in the process and be selfish every once and a while. It wasn’t until I truly put myself first and let go of my fear of change or judgement that everything started to take shape for me. I lost friends and made major shifts in my life that were definitely hard, but I am so much happier and healthier now. Editing your life is necessary, you should never feel guilty for trying to make yourself happy!
I think the most important lesson I'm learning is patience. Patience with myself, with others, with my own journey.Whether it be work, teacher training, or getting into a pose I've been only dreaming of. Just understanding that this life isn't a race and I'm not competing with anyone. That's been a hard lesson for me, and I have a feeling I'll be learning it for a long time. But it is a journey (see what I did there?). :)
The greatest lesson I've learned in my yoga journey is the importance of approaching my practice with gratitude. Injury and illness have reminded me this year that I can't take anything for granted—not even "basic" poses like Child's. What's amazing is that even in spite of misfortune, gratitude makes my practice feel so much more enriched than ever before. And, as with most things in yoga, this feeling of enrichment spills off the mat and permeates every aspect of my life.
I would say the most important lesson I learned from the last 5 years of my journey was..... wow. I honestly don't know one specific one because the last 5 years of my journey was totally different each year. Back to 2012, I was a senior at Penn State, in a relationship (which I was miserable) and trying to figure out where I was about to go after graduation... so my mindset was in a different place. I knew I was extremely interested in human trafficking but I just didn't know where to go with it. I graduated and moved back home at the end of the summer ready to start a fresh knew "adult" life which I thought. Fast forward to 2013 through 2015 roughly I had entered into another relationship. This time it was unhealthy and I "lost" myself in a guy, which if I could go back I would've handled things differently. But who has time for shoulda, coulda, wouldas? lol not me. I had gotten into Bikram yoga and was finally coming back to my true love and one thing that kept me sane and whole, yoga. But I learned so much about myself in august of 2015. That is where I really began my fitness journey. I exited that relationship and focused on me. Up until now, I've lost about 30 pounds and gained something back I was missing most. Myself.