1. Have faith in yourself and others, even when you have reasons not to, actually, especially when you have reasons not to. Sure, that new friend you met may remind you of someone that has hurt you in the past, but give them your faith and don’t project who you think they are based on your past experiences.
2. Give the people in your life the benefit of the doubt. We all have a nasty habit of expecting the worst, curling into our protective layer when we think someone is about ready to strike. Assume the people in your life are not out to hurt you and, even if they do hurt you, do your best to understand where they are coming from.
3. Let down your walls. What are we so afraid of? What are we desperately protecting ourselves from? The people in our lives need to break down barrier upon barrier just to get to us, and for what reason? We undertake such fragility that we have no idea how to be strong.
4. Wear your heart on your sleeve. What’s the worst that will happen? Someone will break your heart? Okay. You best believe that when you’re taking stock on your life, you will never, ever be excited about all the potential heartbreaks you avoided. Instead, you’ll recall upon the pain, the resilience you never knew you had, and the memories you collected due to the risks you took.
5. Assume the good. Since when did it become foolish to see the good in people? We’ve become frenzied trying to find the crack in someone’s life, to see them as anything less than the perfect, coiffed version of themselves. Humans are not infallible, they are not without weakness, yet why must we shine the light on their “downfalls” when we can shine the light on their goodness? This kind of sensationalized part of our culture only sells and is pervasive because we keep buying it.
6. Access the love. Most people operate and live their lives dictated by fear. The part of you that gossips, judges, hates, envies, is the part of you that gets swallowed by fear. Fear that we are not enough. Fear that we are less than. Fear that we cannot have that which we desire. Fear that we do not know ourselves. Yet, by accessing love and making love a priority, not just romantic love, but pervasive, open-hearted love to all, then we can begin to see that when we are IN LOVE, we are far less of the other things that separate us from love.
7. Believe in the process. Anywhere you look, you are inundated with people who have strayed so far from their process. They are disappointed, dejected, and disillusioned, three things they mask with funny quips about their bleak life. They hate trying, because they tried and, in their mind, failed. They hate the process because the process did not go their way. They belittle people who believe that things really do happen for a reason, that there is a larger plan, that not every disappointment is a reason to backtrack and stop believing in an unfolding that is bigger than one perceived setback. They think self-improvement is navel-gazing. They think that those of us who believe in a larger blueprint, who trust in the sometimes murky, blind-inducing process, are fools to hope. They mock meditation and they have a quip about “intentions” and “affirmations,” all the while ignoring that miracles are happening around them.
8. Make compassion a priority. Take one look at celebrity culture and you can see how far we are from true compassion. And that same kind of behavior trickles down into our relationships. While it might not be “cool” to disengage from being a part of this culture, it’s decidedly uncool to be a person who holds no compassion for the people in their life.
9. Just because you don’t understand something does not mean it’s wrong. It’s as simple as this: you don’t need to understand why people like what they like or believe what they believe. You can accept that others are different from you and not have an opinion of that either way. A true understanding of the diversity of people in our world (and a vehement stance to uphold that understanding) can actually change the world we live in.
10. Be a celebrator, not a criticizer. Celebrate successes of others. If you judge and let jealousy overcome you, then you are judging that which you want, meaning that you are judging your own desire. Happiness is not a finite source and there is plenty to go around. Give celebration more than you receive it. Celebrate a success or a milestone and you, in turn, celebrate that which you desire, which only attracts more abundance to you. It’s a win-win!