1. Knowing when it’s time to close yourself off and exit a conversation or a room or a relationship. Being able to grapple with the temptation to let yourself become enraged, and to know that that feeling isn’t the only thing that can give you a sense of duty and purpose.
2. That we learn to live within our means.
3. Having the understanding that we’ll only go as far as we let ourselves not be afraid to. Most of life is a mind-game.
4. That people can and should learn to be their own counsel, and can actually root themselves in their religion or spirituality or world-view or what-have-you enough to create for themselves a sounding board and a landing platform for when things really go awry.
5. That you come home at the end of the day without feeling genuine remorse or self-loathing for what you do: that when it comes to work, passions are followed at the times they can be, and necessities are taken care of when they need to be, and that we create windows where both can take place as often as possible.
6. That pride is never put before a relationship, nor is someone else’s opinion if it’s not something worth considering or valuing. In short: that we love who we actually, strangely, genuinely love.
7. That we learn to be selfless, even if it takes years of conscious practice.
8. Learning to see our lives from a third person’s perspective, or to imagine talking to ourselves as children. They are two of the most mind-opening things we can do.
9. Harboring the feeling we get when we wake up and the sun is shining in on our beds and we drink coffee while sitting there and in those few moments of quiet, sunlit peace, we don’t need anything more than just to be.
10. That we create for tomorrow, and we leave things for it as well. Journals and books and thoughts and songs and archival anecdotes of the times, especially the ones we would never want repeated.
11. Learning the difference between when it’s time to stand up for something and when it’s time to let things go. It’s a fine line, and it makes such an incredible difference.
12. That we thank our parents, regardless of what they’ve done.
13. Having the unfailing understanding that things are fleeting and passing, and that nothing lasts, not even our issues or sadness.
14. Being able to apologize when apologies are due.
15. Learning to give love even when we don’t receive it, and how that should make us bigger, not bitter.
16. Noting the negative patterns that appear: in history, in our personal lives, in our feelings, in our thoughts, etc. and figuring out where they stem from. That’s what needs fixing. Not the feelings themselves. Those we have to stop crucifying.
17. Loving the little, pointless parts of everyday life. Not letting logic talk us out of the daydreams that lift our hearts and get us through. Not sabotaging emotions because our cruel brains think they put us in dangerous terrain.
What do some of the world’s most influential and interesting contributors think about subjects important to you? Find out by visiting The Opinionator from The New York Times
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