10 Fierce Life Lessons

Learning from the lessons life teaches you, will keep you moving in the right direction toward your goals and happiness.  Here's 10 life lessons I'm sharing about what I've learned in my 40 or so years via my time as a fitness competitor, an expat living abroad, a writer and traveller! 

Learning from the lessons life teaches you, will keep you moving in the right direction toward your goals and happiness.  Here’s 10 life lessons I’m sharing about what I’ve learned in my 40 or so years via my time as a fitness competitor, an expat living abroad, a writer and traveller!

Life Lessons #1: Don’t Run Away From Your Problems

No matter where you travel on this earth if you’ve never felt happiness or at peace with yourself before you left on your great adventure, you certainly won’t start feeling happy because your location has changed. Don’t run away from your problems. Deal with shit. Living in a big shiny new city won’t bring you happiness.  In fact, it will probably make you more unhappy.  Think about it, you’ll not only be on the other side of the world, completely alone, but you’ll also not be able to go home like being on a vacation when you’ve decided that you feel better!

Fierce Tip: If you’re really unhappy think long and hard about the reason, and why it is that you need to make such a big change to make you happy.  Is it your job, the friends you keep, how much money you think you need to make?  If you really don’t like something, change it, deal with it, make it better, improve yourself!  But don’t run!  Living abroad and being unhappy and unfulfilled when you get there could make you repeat the same mistakes, or worse establish bad habits to escape your unhappiness. No matter if you choose to live abroad or not, take a moment and the time on your own to really get to know yourself, love yourself and decide what you really want. Be by yourself, sit with your thoughts and your emotions. Choose to be happy, work on it, think about it, do it!

Life Lessons #2: You Don’t Need Stuff

I left my so-called life literally in boxes in Canada when I left for Dubai. Now I couldn’t even tell you what’s in those boxes! Living far from home, you soon realize the stuff you thought was so important has less value and meaning in your life than you gave it before.

Detach yourself from the accumulation of shit that doesn’t add value or mean fuck to you.  If it’s been hanging in your closet for the last 3 years chances are you’ve forgotten about it and it will not be making a re-appearance on your runway anytime soon.  Almost everything you have can easily be replaced. I quickly realized, I could accumulate lots more stuff that I don’t need living in a new city.

Fierce Tip: Even if you don’t live abroad, it’s very easy to dismantle the unimportant stuff in your life, and start focusing on the things that actually matter. Get rid of the clutter – think long and hard if you really, really, really need those new shoes, or if you could put that money into the travel jar.  Exchange stuff for experiences and memories – these will become far more important, and will certainly hold more value then the clothes hanging in your closet! Although a nice new pair of funky running shoes can still make me feel pretty damn good!

Life Lessons #3: Enjoy Every Minute

Happiness only exists in the present moment. It’s fleeting. It is important to take in the moment at hand, enjoy your friends and family because your life can change in a single moment like mine. It was literally a phone call that invited me to come and the opportunity for change that was just too great to pass up. I live on the other side of the world far from my family and some of my closest friends, and one day I’m sure I will make my way back. But at this moment I’m taking in this new adventure. Some days I can’t believe this is my life. I travel plenty, I meet new people weekly, I have new opportunities daily. Routine of my former life has become a thing of the past.

Fierce Tip: Live for the now and the present, let go of the past, and stop stressing over the future! Enjoy the time you spend with your family, your friends, your lover.  Enjoy the moments you spend abroad, cause they will pass in a flash!  Take time to watch the sunset, enjoy the music, dance, feel the wind blow through your hair, or the sun on your face.  Enjoy life! Because sooner than later you’ll be on to the next chapter.

Life Lessons #4: You Become A Fierce Bitch

Sometimes I still find it hard to believe that I was once a shy little girl who came from a small little town in the cold of Canada.  Now, here I am living the ‘dream’ in the luxurious city of Dubai. Getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks and chances like moving across the world where you don’t know a soul, have any idea about the culture or what to expect makes you fierce, or as my ex likes to tell me, ‘you got big balls bitch’! The funny thing I don’t see it this way, I simply had to go where my heart was leading me, I had no other choice then to try something new, to take the jump and the leap of faith. Once you do something drastic and fearful that change is inevitable you automatically become capable of anything, once you see it really isn’t that hard.

Fierce Tip: Take risks everyday, get out of your comfort zone and learn to say yes to situations that you might shy away from previously. Growth doesn’t come from comfort zones but from new exciting experiences.  I certainly have!  I’ve jumped jobs, quit jobs when I was no longer satisfied, moved cities for love, and travelled the world on my own.  Every risk I took, I learned I changed, I grew, it shaped me and made me the fierce bitch I am today!

Life Lessons #5: You Re-Invent Yourself

If you decide to move abroad, make a conscious decision to shed the thoughts and actions that don’t serve you. Go in a new direction. Living abroad gives you an opportunity to make new choices, don’t let your past mistakes dictate your future. Choose something new. Travel can give you clarity and peace of mind, it can make you grow, if you allow it to. Invest time in yourself to start doing the things that will make you move ahead with your life.

If you have been stuck in the past in a relationship that gave you pain, let it go and choose not to look for what’s missing in you in someone else. If you have sucked your time away in the gym working on your exterior instead of working on your interior – make the choice to spend less time on it.

Fierce Tip: Use new experiences and new opportunities to live differently. Being stuck in the fitness bubble I lived in prior to living abroad has shown me the fine line between being fit and being vain and self absorbed. Re-invent yourself into a better version; surround yourself with people who have similar goals and visions to what you want to accomplish.

Life Lessons #6: Fitness Gives You Focus

Since the age of 16, working out has been a stable part of my life and for good reason. Although the goals may have changed over the years, it has always given me focus. From building my confidence from a shy and skinny teen to standing tall, muscular and trim in a bikini on the world’s stage to now helping me stay motivated and healthy as I move into a new chapter of my life.

Fitness provides not only a way to relieve stress from the daily grind, but it also gives balance. Regular exercise releases feel good endorphins when life can seem all too much! Fitness has kept me from giving into bad habits that the crazy city of Dubai can offer – like eating from the countless amazing restaurant or enjoying the nightlife a little too much!

Fierce Tip: Join a new gym, explore the city, try a something new.  Don’t limit yourself to just throwing around the iron in the gym.  I live in a warm climate 24/7, 365 days of the year – outdoor workouts are a must.  From going for a run on the beach, swimming in my pool or the sea.  There’s always a different class to try, or some new activity to do in Dubai.  Going to the gym, doesn’t just keep you fit, it also allows you to meet new people, and get out there!

Life Lessons #7: Eating Clean Keeps You Sexy, Strong, Fit

Food is vital to life, and good nutrition from fresh food provides us with all the essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and everything else we need to support a healthy immune system. Moving abroad can be stressful at first and more than likely you will get sick! I certainly did. The heat was tough – dehydration was inevitable. I got sick multiple times. However, eating right, and working in nutrition allowed me access to lots of fresh healthy food. Loading up on even more fresh and hydrating vegetables and fruits was a huge help to my immune system, and eventually I adjusted. Relying on take-out or going out because you’re busy from work or responsibilities is not the answer.

Fierce Tip: When moving to somewhere new, the healthy lifestyle you had before shouldn’t change just cause your location did. Take care of yourself – explore the fresh food markets, healthy restaurants, try new vegetables and fruit you’ve never experienced before. Avoid common weight gain that many expats can experience living abroad by sticking to a regular healthy eating plan.

Life Lessons #8: Good Relationships Are Necessary

Go out meet new people, and sooner or later you will find that you’ve established a new set of friends with new experiences. But be careful who you choose, the friends you make will shape your time in your new city. So take your time to establish relationships. You’ll find that living in transient cities like Dubai, most people are more concerned with appearances and what they can gain from you, whether it’s a business connection, or a sex one! Remember everyone working abroad is there for a purpose – to better their life, to make more money and get out fast; most are less concerned with making new friends or establishing real connections.

Fierce Tip: Be choosy, because the friends you establish abroad will become your network away from home.  Evaluate them, can you trust them, what are their real intentions? You’ll soon realize that loving yourself and trusting yourself is the most important thing and that those who really care and are interested in getting to know you better will appear time and time again.

Life Lessons #9: You Learn How to Let Go – Fast!

After living abroad for one year, I have certainly learned how to let go!  The first 3-months were a bit torturous, but I certainly got to know myself and let go of the shit that was no longer serving me!  You soon realize that the people and experiences you have are fleeting. They come and go. They pass through, they arrive teach you a lesson and quickly disappear. Overtime you will be able to quickly make decisions on those you can bond with for life and those that will disappear like they have never been there. You also get what you put out, if you’re constantly looking, searching for something in the past, it will be hard to attract something new.

Fierce Tip: Instead of constantly thinking, overthinking situations, start living through your heart. Make a conscious decision to let go, be free and attract the positive experiences you want to share and experience. Instead of attracting the wrong, you will start to attract the right ones and the right things will start to happen!

Life Lessons #10:  Change is Inevitable – You’ll See Life Differently

It didn’t take me long to break the bubble of my comfortable former life to see a new world and have new experiences. It’s inevitable, when you leave the comforts of home, make new friends, have a new job, live in a new culture – change happens. You’ll change the values you thought were important, you will face your fears, and because of this you will want to continue to have new experiences and new adventures.

In one year, I have travelled to 4 countries, met countless new people, learned from entrepreneurs, developed awesome healthy menus, helped talented pro-athletes improve their nutrition, made life long friends, met my soul sister, seen remarkable sunrises with some beautiful people, tried new foods, raced through the desert sand dunes, ridden on camels, partied my butt off to amazing DJs until the sun came up, worked out on some incredible beaches and dived into crystal blue waters.

Do I want to stop here – nah! Absolutely not! Living abroad evolves you, teaches you, gives you scars and makes you fierce!

Fierce Tip: Just go out there and do it.  No matter if you live abroad or not, you can see life differently by going out and experiencing new adventures, and from this, change will happen!  Live a Sexy, Strong and Fit Life!

Until Next Time…

Be Fierce & Rule the World,

Lauren Jacobsen

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