1. First off, remember that some days you will simply survive, and not thrive. This is okay. If just eating three meals is all that you accomplish today, you’re still a champ. If just waking up is all you do, then so be it. Wear your comfiest clothes, listen to music, and breathe. You’re doing the best you can.
2. Learn to love yourself – your heart, your brain, and your body. Flawed and scarred, beautiful and terrifying. Quirky and insecure, hard and soft. Let your thoughts be unique and raw, honest and open. Care for your heart and feelings. Appreciate and respect your body: your body is the vessel that carries your heart and mind. Your body is your home.
3. It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks about you. Their opinion of you doesn’t change who you are. So be you, and be you to the max. Some people will love you, and some people simply won’t – and that’s life. Remember, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches” (Dita Von Teese), so don’t be afraid to be that peach. Be a juicy peach with confidence.
4. To thrive sometimes means to reject conformity, to go against the norms. You’re not always going to want what you think you “should” want. To thrive means to be yourself – to be raw and open in this messy world. To put your impression on the world without worrying what the world will think of you.
5. Don’t be like the rest of them – just be like you. Drop the comparisons. Don’t compare yourself to your friends or siblings. Don’t compare yourself to celebrities, or to the social media lives of your peers. You are neither inferior nor superior to anyone else in this world…you are simply you. And this is powerful. You aren’t supposed to be like anyone else – you are meant to have your own path. So why do you resist this? Why do you fight this?
There’s no need to try to be like someone else. Living this life is truly about growing in ways that you yourself wish to grow, while simultaneously hoping for the best for those around you.
6. Celebrate other people’s victories, and while you’re at it, celebrate other people. When you can truly be happy for others, you will be more secure within your own body. You will learn to rejoice for others, while not diminishing your own self-worth. You will learn that you can cheer on other people without bringing yourself down. And in the long run, when you look for the good in others, the good in you will come out.
7. Optimism can literally change your life. This world can be as beautiful a place as you allow it to be; as good of a place as you make it tout to be. So shift your mind set such that you see the good in situations. Shift your thoughts such that you come to expect goodness, search for goodness, and find goodness.
8. Remind yourself that everyone is flawed. Flaws are simply a sign that you are beautifully human. And sometimes flaws are not really flaws. They are mere differences that may end up being your greatest assets.
9. Remember: you are a miracle. A living and breathing miracle. According to Webster dictionary, a miracle is “a very amazing or unusual event.” You are unusual. You are one of a kind. You are the only one out there with your specific thoughts, minds, and talents. You have been given your own special gifts which will influence this world. No one can replace you. So you, my friend, are a miracle. Treat yourself accordingly.
10. Show up for others. Be there. Love them. Love is perfection, and loving anything and anyone is the best thing you can do.
11. Laugh. Laugh at every chance you get. Laughter heals wounds. Laughter creates connections. Laughter starts friendships. So look at the world with playful, happy eyes. Laughter is innocence having fun.
12. Embrace change. Transformation can be scary, and transformation can be hard. But in the end, through transformation, you are simply falling into another different phase of your life; a new and different type of beauty. In the words of Rumi: “Do not worry that your life is turning upside-down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?”
13. Take that little step into the darkness, even if the odds of getting what you wish for are unknown. What may seem terrifying now may be the beginning of something wonderful. Maybe one chapter of your life is over, but now it’s simply time for the rest of your story to take place. And who’s to say that a miracle is not waiting for you right around the corner?
14. If you just allow yourself to feel – the good, the bad, the pain, the sweetness of life – you will suddenly be free. Free to embrace life for all that it has to offer. Free to experiment…to try new things, and to live life to its fullest, without shutting out the good or the bad. In the harder times, you will learn how to have faith and strength; how to push forward. And at the best and most exhilarating times, you will learn how to celebrate, how to love, and how to truly appreciate this wonderful life.
15. In the words of Kurt Vonnegut, “There is only one rule I know of – God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”