1. Be grateful. Always. A thank you can go a long, long way, may it be the bus driver or your colleague or your boss – never ever forget the people who lend a hand and helped you be who you are right now. Keep in touch, ask them how they are, how’s life, how they’re holding up – never forget. Never. Sometimes great things happen to us because of the people who never think twice about helping us. They are a part of us, of our success, let’s not forget that.
2. God is always faithful. If you ever feel like God is no longer hearing your prayers and your wishful desires, He is, so do not be discouraged. He knows exactly what you need and when you need it. Life is a lot longer than what we think, we need to exert patience and trust all the way through. The things we desire, the things we pray for will absolutely show up when it’s time, when we’re most ready. We need to learn to STOP rushing everything.
3. You’re on your way. Contrary to what you think, you are not lost. Detours and more detours are certainly a part of life in order for you to find your way. It’s okay to make unexpected wrong turns, trust your guts. You are just on your way and no matter how dark it has been, how confusing it gets or how uncertain everything is right now… you’ll find your way.
4. Don’t rush love. Stop forcing love, stop fighting and stop looking. If it’s meant to find you, it will find you. Stop trying to make it work with everyone who greets you hello, or sends you a message, or to everyone who smiled at you across the street. Stop insisting love with all the wrong people, in all the wrong places. A love that’s meant for you will blossom and will bear fruits of kindness, passion and concern in due time. Stop waiting for that reply, for that call, for the date offer, just stop. Stop wasting your time waiting. Remember, love raised out of the need to feel worthy or beautiful will never last. Let go and delight in the assurance that love will find you at the right time, in the right place with the right person.
5. Everyone is struggling, be compassionate. Everyone you meet is fighting their own battles. If there’s anything I’ve learned the most, it’s this, as human beings with hearts, we need to put ourselves in their shoes before we can jump on the bandwagon. Before we start judging them, or their life choices, or their behaviors – we need to fully comprehend the amount of struggles they are going through. We aren’t the only one with battles, we are all conquering and overcoming. We need to be more sensitive and sympathetic.
6. Hustle and hustle hard. The truth is, your future will never be fruitful if you just sit around right now. Your future is something you have to work hard for right now. I know sometimes it gets exhausting and that’s a valid reason to take a pause. But you have to continue grinding, your energy right now will never be the same when you turn 45. Right now is the perfect time to invest in your career.
7. Be kind and let the assholes be assholes. Just imagine how fragile your heart is, imagine it filled with hatred and evil thoughts – not pleasant huh? Fill it with kindness. No matter how rude and mean people are to you, you are not obliged to reciprocate their behavior. Do good to those who do you wrong. Always exchange love with hatred, you’ll be so much better off. At the end of the day, you’ll sleep better.
8. Choose your battles. Not every battle is worth fighting for. Learn to let go, sometimes peace is more important than proving you’re right. You don’t have to be right all the time, surrendering doesn’t equate losing, sometimes it’s winning.
9. Your family is your greatest connection. As you grow up, bear in mind that your parents also grow older. Often times we lose track of our family, we are so caught up in the midst of pursuing grander things for ourselves, for our career, love life, self – that we forget to even send our sister or our father a simple how are you message. Connections are important, we need to remember that they are the same people who stood by us before and who stand by us now and in the future.
10. You are your passion, so feed it. Whether it is acting, food styling, traveling, writing, singing – do it. You have to feed it with actions, these are the desires of your heart that defines your identity. Don’t you ever compromise it. If ever you haven’t found yours, keep looking. Keep looking.
11. Be polite, always. Even in the smallest of things, hold the door for someone, bring your mother some flowers, send your best friend a sweet note, buy a random beggar a meal, smile at random strangers, say sorry, say good morning – do it, trust me, it helps the heart.
12. Take good care of yourself. You are young yes, but you need to look our for your health too. It doesn’t matter if you’re healthy or you’re not sick, still, take care of your health. Exercise. Eat healthy, sleep, drink water, put some sunscreen, anything for your health and wellness. Spend money for yourself. You need it and trust me, when you turn 40, you’ll thank your 22-year old self for it.
13. Go out on adventures. Even the cheap, small ones – your soul needs it. This is the perfect time to do it, don’t reason out work or money, you will never stop working and you’ll never have enough money, so do it now. Don’t tell yourself that you’re tired, you aren’t physically tired. Your body isn’t tired. Your soul is. These cheap adventures can surely help you out.
14. Listen. Listening just to respond is different than listening to actually understand and comprehend other people. Look at them right in the eyes and listen. Just listen. Be there to listen, not to respond. We have to remember that not all things revolve around us.
15. If you ever find your soul mates, don’t let them go. If you ever find people you can sit down with for hours just talking about life, dreams, politics, movies, coffee shops, don’t let them go. They’re one of a kind.
16. Always be open for new things, take risks. Learn new insights. New people. New culture. New places. Grow in all aspects of your life possible. Connect with the people who can contribute new learnings to your being, let everyone you meet be a vessel of such. And always be resilient enough to take risks – your choices don’t have to be definite all the time. You are allowed to make some wrong moves, some wrong turns. You are young and right now you can benefit from all the experiences you can get. You are capable and strong, more than you’ll ever know.
17. Learn to love being alone. As enchanted as we all are with the idea of having someone special, I hope you also learn to delight in the fact of being alone. Take yourself out on a coffee date with your diary and thoughts. Go out alone, pray alone, laugh alone, cry alone.
18. At times, do things to please yourself. Not others. Stop doing things for other people’s opinion. Do it for yourself. Dress up. Look good. Feel good. For yourself not for other people’s validation. You don’t need to force yourself on everyone you meet. You don’t have to change for others too.
19. Be an inspiration. Always try your best to encourage everyone you encounter in this lifetime. May it be through a simple Facebook status or a plain piece of advice – do it. Offer your shoulder, send a tight hug or a sweet kiss – anything that can be a way for someone to feel extra lighter, extra better about life.
20. Learn vulnerability. Learn to feel and feel deeply. Cry if you must; shout, if you must; talk, if you must – just feel it. Let every kind of vulnerability surface, because contrary to what they tell us, it’s okay not to be strong always. It’s okay to be lonely, to be sad over failed relationships, broken friendships and tragedies.
21. Stop overlooking every mundane moment and start appreciating each one. We feel empty most of the time because we dedicate ourselves so much in pursuing more amazing things, experiences when in fact they’re all right in front of us.
22. You are the only one responsible for your own happiness. You can be the sea or the star, you can be the wind or the fire, it’s entirely up to you.