By Ifedayo Ward

As I turn 23 (Happy birthday to me!), I’d like to share 23 tips and pieces of advice that have kept me going and growing strong. Feel free to pick out one or two from the list to apply to your daily lives, I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me.

1. Work hard and do as much as you can with what you have. You’ll soon realize that you’re not only benefiting the organization you work for but that you’re also growing as a professional.

2. Never stop reading. E-readers help a lot with this.

3. Keep a notebook by your bedside and never let your ideas go without documenting them.

4. Be friendly. Try to meet as many people as possible without acting like a weirdo.

5. Be humble and polite. Pride goes before a fall.

6. Cherish your family and friends – people who give you beautiful memories.

7. Friends come and go. Make new friends and leave the door open for the ones that go. It’s ok to burn bridges but let the light illuminate a better path for you.

8. Be the shoulder everyone cries on but also find stable shoulders to lean on when you are weak.

9. Be a crybaby when you have to. It’s fine if you are a goofy child too.

10. Who says you can’t be a 5 yr old again? Eat all the candy flosses, caramel sticks, candy and sprinkles on your ice cream. Bounce in that rubber castle, build sand ones too.

11. Know when to be a child stuck in adulthood and a professional in the boardroom.

12. Go pro-bono when you can, especially if it’s for someone who needs a service but can’t afford it

13. Don’t set yourself on fire to keep others warm. You’d hate them and they’d hate you for it.

14. Create time for yourself. Rest. Eat Good. Have Fun. Exercise.

16. Love your body. Be your own type of BEAUTIFUL. Set your own style too.

17. Don’t allow yourself to be continually bitched. Wear your crown and let out your inner goddess once in a while.

18. Learn to say “NO”. There are few lessons greater than this.

19. It’s ok to splurge. Occasional shopping and spa treats are a necessity.

20. But don’t forget to save for the rainy days.

21. There’s a joy that comes from helping others. Don’t deprive yourself of it. Try volunteering for one or two good causes you believe in.

22. Integrity is way more important than intelligence. But a combination of both puts a ‘S’ on your chest.

23. Love yourself. LOVE YOURSELF.

BONUS: You’ve not lived till you do a 7-mile run! Wear comfy clothing and lace-up those shoes. I believe in you.