The lovely Chelsea Fagan outlined some rules for ladies and gentlemen to reach their best selves in 2014, and in light of that, I’d like to chime in, to generally blanket over everyone inclusively, as the art of being a good person begins with, first and foremost, recognizing yourself as a human being before anything else.
1. Learn to be okay with not being okay.
2. Learn to have conversations that do not consist of lambasting someone else, especially when that someone is you.
3. Give the most kindness to those who seem like they least deserve it.
4. Learn to define and describe people without initially reaching for their sex or appearance as key adjectives.
5. Realize that perspective determines everything.
6. Understand that when something upsets you, it’s striking a nerve of truth.
7. Understand that when someone upsets you, the best thing to do is understand where they’re coming from.
8. Know that no matter how far you’ve come, there’s no point at which it’s appropriate to remain sedentary.
9. Be radically, sincerely honest. Be shocked at how deeply you can connect with people when you are.
10. Know that if you want to have a conversation about something that upsets you, insulting someone is only the by-product of your own defenses, and will ultimately raise theirs as well, not open lines of understanding and communication.
11. Realize that selflessness is one of the most predominantly wonderful qualities a person can have.
12. Learn to actually feel happy for other people.
13. Go into everything with the knowing that you don’t know it all, and that every experience is valid.
14. Invest in extra linens, donate what you don’t use, and keep extra Tylenol on you because people tend to need it and be without it rather frequently.
15. Call your siblings more.
16. Be present in what’s at hand. You owe it to the people in your life and to the things you’ve built for yourself.
17. Understand that letting go and moving on means very humbly and slowly gesturing in the direction of which you’d like to reach.
18. Get dressed everyday, just for yourself.
19. Give better goodbyes.
20. Carve out time to do nothing but be with yourself.
21. Boldly make yourself your first priority. You’ll do everything better when you do.
22. Stop shaming yourself for doing things that are perfectly, normally human, but happen to be deemed imperfect in society.
23. Read. A lot.
24. Reach out to people, open your heart, and watch how eagerly they jump in and do the same.