1. You will rarely get what you wish for. Fortunately, life has a funny way of giving you exactly what you need, but didn’t always know you needed.
2. It’s necessary to have a backbone. People will try to walk all over you. It’s your job not to let them. Plus, it’s an exhilarating feeling to stand up for yourself and your beliefs.
3. There’s no cure for a stressful day like a hug from your dog (substitute cat, child, etc. here).
4. There’s no shame in walking away from things that are no longer meant for you, whether they be relationships with your friends, family, or significant other, a job, or anything else in your life that no longer deserves a place in your heart.
5. People are generally good. Don’t assume the worst of people. More often than not, they’ll pleasantly surprise you.
6. It’s always best to open you heart. It’s true that opening your heart means opening it to the possibility of being broken. It’s also equally true that opening your heart means opening it to the possibility of being put back together.
7. Little “sparks of happiness” go a long way in life. Buy that bright colored shirt. Add a flavor to your usual black coffee. Paint your nails an outrageous color. Decorate all of your notebooks. Do anything that puts a genuine smile on your face.
8. Being overly optimistic beats being pessimistic any day. Things might not always work out the way that you want them to, but having a positive attitude sure does make life a hell of a lot easier.
9. It’s your responsibility to make life what you want it to be. Nobody is going to create your dream life for you. In fact, if they did, it probably wouldn’t be worth it.
10. On a related note, your dream life doesn’t exist and perfection isn’t real. Life is full of surprises and it likely won’t go as you planned, but if you’re lucky, you’ll create a life better than the one you imagined.
11. Never turn down a day at the beach. There’s nothing like spending a day covered in sand and salt water. There’s also something remarkably beautiful about the sheer immensity of the ocean.
12. Look to a child for the best advice. They’re smarter than you think and have the most unbiased view of the world. They have an uncanny ability to put life into perspective in a way that most adults have lost long ago.
13. Never underestimate the importance of taking care of yourself. This means eating healthy, exercising and working to reduce unnecessary stress in your life. You will be amazed at how doing this will make you more productive and happy in all areas of your life.
14. Take a picture. A picture will never replace an experience, but it’s a nice way to hold on to a memory.
15. When it rains, sleep with the windows open. There’s truly no sound that will make you feel more at peace as you unwind from the day.
16. Don’t let sorry be the most frequently used word in your vocabulary. Make sure not to go about life hurting others, but also don’t apologize for things you have no reason to apologize for.
17. But, when you do mess up — and you will — make sure that you apologize and gracefully take ownership of your actions.
18. Work tirelessly to make your dreams a reality. There will always be someone there to tell you to choose a different career, that you’re not good enough to go to a certain school, or that you’re with the wrong person. Be smart, but do what you feel is right in your heart. Don’t let anyone convince you that your dreams aren’t valid and worth pursuing.
19. Be grateful. Remember that even amongst your hardships and obstacles, you have so much in life to be thankful for.
20. The most important thing in life is to love and accept love in return. Love your family. Love your friends. Love anyone that makes your days better and worthwhile. Most importantly, never forget to tell those you love that you love them. It’s a privilege to feel that love, and one that should never be taken for granted.
21. It’s a nice life. Don’t forget to enjoy it.