1. Work Hard & Challenge Yourself
First of all, believe in the work that you do. Stay up late. Get up early. Push yourself to a higher level. Put your body and your mind to use. Long days of backbreaking, mind-bending work will only make you feel more useful and accomplished. It is worth repeating that believing in what you do is crucial. If you are breaking your back doing something your heart isn’t in, you will only end up feeling resentment. Find what you love and put all you’ve got into it. Then you will never feel as if you didn’t live a fulfilling life.
2. Don’t Take Anything Too Seriously
Whenever I start feeling stressed or nervous about something, I ask myself “In a year from now, will this matter?” Usually the answer is no, it probably won’t even matter in a week from now. Most people spend their time worrying about everyday things that don’t really matter much, if at all. That’s not to say you shouldn’t try, work hard and do everything you can to do things as best as you can. However, everyone is going to make mistakes. Don’t worry. Don’t stress about the little things that don’t go as planned. As blunt as it is, we’re all going to die eventually anyways (that fact is always helpful in reminding me of what matters most). Focus on what is truly important to you and don’t take anything too seriously.
3. Don’t Put Much Value on Material Things
I have never been one to understand why people care so much about material things. I rarely know what is “trendy” at the moment and can’t wrap my head around why anyone else would care either. That being said, rather than putting value on the most stylish new purse, the diamond necklace your friend just got, or the hottest new shoes, put value on people and animals and the earth that we live on. Instead of thinking about how much money that new purse costs, think about where it came from. Did some overworked, underpaid worker have to suffer so that you can look “cool”? Did an animal have to not only die, but also “live” a caged, tortured life so you can be “trendy”? Living things matter. Material things don’t. Your new, fancy things don’t make you any sexier, smarter, or more likeable. And the people you are trying to impress will likely only care to out-do you anyways. You will be much more content when you stop caring about material things.
4. Listen to People
This earth is filled with so many different people. Everyone has got a story to tell and you can learn something from each and every person you talk to, or rather listen to. By listening to people, you will learn that we are all more alike than we realize, despite religion, race, or culture. People all experience the same emotions and can relate to one another no matter where they come from. Realize that everyone you speak with can teach you something. Some people will show you a darker side of human nature, and others will restore your faith in the good of mankind. You will also find that many people tell you seemingly pointless stories, people will try to impress you with things that usually don’t matter, and people will talk just for the sake of hearing themselves talk. But even from the seemingly pointless day-to-day conversations, you can still learn something. The best part about taking the time to listen to people is the fact that you never know who you will meet. Often the people who become your best of friends are one’s you meet on a whim. It is most important to keep an open mind and a positive attitude while listening to people. Listening = Learning.
5. Form Your Own Opinions
Like I said, there are a lot of people out there with a lot of different opinions. Listen to them, but don’t take everything everyone says too seriously. There are a lot of people out there who talk a lot of BS. People tend to think they are right and they fail to even consider the other side. That is why listening is so important. By being a listener, it allows you to see how people are. Listening gives you insight into not only one person’s opinion, but also to human nature. Form your own opinions but ALWAYS keep an open mind. Just because you form an opinion at one point in time, doesn’t mean that opinion won’t change later on. Trust your own intuition and keep on listening, to yourself and to others.
6. Don’t Be So Sure of Yourself
Think about how many people are on this earth. Think about how big the Universe is. Think about how many things are happening at this very moment. Now think about yourself. You don’t really matter too much. You are just one little disposable cell in a body full of other cells. Stop thinking that your thoughts and feelings and opinions are more important than everyone else’s. They aren’t. Put your ego aside.
7. Realize You Have an Ability to Make Changes
While you are seemingly insignificant in the scheme of things, you actually have a great ability to do amazing things. A single person can assist in changing the world. Find something that is important to you and take pride in what you do. Nobody knows anything about where we were before we were born and where we go when we die, so make this life you are living now count. It is easy to lose sight of the meaning in life. However, whether by chance or by intention, you are here living YOUR life now. Always remember that.
8. Be Kind
This is all that matters.
9. Spend Time in Nature
It is way too easy to get separated from the nature that surrounds us. Go outside and look at the stars and the trees and all the living things around you. You will never cease to be amazed. A little lizard scurrying into the bushes will make you think about life in general. The sun and the moon will feel so far away but you will also feel so connected. Being outside makes you wonder about this unbelievable planet that we live on. Nature gives you a sense of what is important. Seriously, go outside- often.
10. Don’t Follow “the Rules”
Society has put a number of “rules” in place that people often blindly follow. As I have gotten older I have realized that there are no set rules to this life that we live. If you want to quit your job and move across the country, you can. If you want to learn how to dance at the age of 60, you can. If you want to devote your life to the study of bugs, you can. If you want to eat chocolate everyday, you can. If you want to live on a boat for 5 years, you can. There is no set way that you should be living your life. As long as what you are doing is not negatively affecting anyone else, go for it. Forget what “they” say you should be doing with your life. Do what you want to do now. Stick with it, or change your direction later. It doesn’t matter. There are no rules.