1. Let your emotions be your guide, but not your name. Acknowledge feelings, but don’t label yourself as “sad” or “happy” or “angry.” You are a multi-dimensional, ever-changing being that deserves more than shallow and inaccurate labels like those.
2. Trust your instincts, and be confident in them. At the end of the day, who is going to trust and believe in you if you don’t first trust and believe in yourself?
3. Rule borrowed from Hannah Brencher: “Find joy apart from the need for others’ approval. Joy wrapped up in the validation of others isn’t really joy at all. It won’t last. It won’t stand firm when life knocks you down.”
4. Let the universe, not your expectations of people, dictate their role in your life. People will come, and people will go, and you should let them, but the people who are meant to be will stay. And hopefully, so will you. Don’t force anyone into a specific role in your life. Life hands us people to be what we need, not always what we want.
5. Redefine certain terms. Swap out failure for a victory in trying something new, or learning just how not to do something. Take out the “should’s” in your vocabulary; either do it or forget about it, no need to hold onto any preconceived notions of how you should live your life. X out hate, pity, and envy; there’s no room for those on the path to your goals.
6. If there’s even a tiny part of your entire being quietly whispering, “go,” then do not hesitate. Go for it. Climb your mountains. Slay your dragons. Try something you’ve always wanted. Say yes to the date. Say yes to the adventure. Say yes to yourself. The leftover fear of the risk will always be greater than the fear of failure.
7. The best moments of your life will be undocumented and priceless. These will be the laugh-till-you-can’t-breathe moments at 2 am that won’t make sense to anyone who wasn’t there, or the times you let go of any idea of how you should act. No pictures or videos or price tags will ever capture these. “The best things in life aren’t things.”
8. “This too shall pass.” Keep your head up, don’t let your crown slip, princess.
9. Change is constant, but also slow. Get used to your life being in a flux, and coming together at snail speed. Keep going. Don’t give up in your process of evolution; it’s what you’re built for.
10. Keep your early morning schedule, because magical things happen before the majority of the world has even turned their coffee pots on.
11. Make sure everyone in your circle knows that they never for a second have to work for their goals alone. Support each other in your conquest to do what makes you feel on top of the world. Fill each other with so much love and support that there is no room for envy.
12. Acknowledge that even when you have the deepest understanding of yourself, there is still so many parts of your soul that you have yet to discover. At this very moment, you may know yourself more than you ever have in your life, but that doesn’t mean you are done. At 30, you’ll know more, and still be learning. At 60, you’ll know more, and still have an ocean of being that you haven’t found yet. Remain open. Remain searching yourself.
13. Fight in love. The love we all carry is so much greater than any fear or doubt hardships have deposited in your life. So, let’s all take each other’s hands and walk straight into this thing. Together, we are unbeatable.
14. Take care of yourself before you take care of other people. A crippled nurse isn’t much help in a warzone.
15. Self-conscious limitation stops now. Wear the bikini. Wear the outfit that makes you feel beautiful. Do the things that make you feel alive.
16. Time doesn’t define quality friendships.
17. Emotional actions are never a good idea. Today’s digital world barely gives us time to think. Write it down, let it sit before you send. See how you feel tomorrow.
18. Comparison is the thief chief of joy. You either let someone be a measuring stick or motivation for you. Build each other up. Don’t compare your first try to someone’s hundredth try. We all have our own journey to focus on here.
19. Remember that your ambition is a gift, but don’t let it ruin you. Having goals and being self-motivated is going to get you to some great places in life, but don’t see these places as pit stops. Live in these places, celebrate in these places. If you keep being all “go go go,” eventually, nothing will ever be enough. Slow down. Take a break to celebrate and acknowledge your accomplishments. It’s great to always want to improve, but don’t get into the toxic cycle of thinking you’re never enough.
20. Watch your intake, and this doesn’t just apply to food. Watch what you take in on social media, television, and in life. Food is either medicine or poison. Take in things that leave you feeling full. And remember, gossip is always poison, but gratitude is the best medicine.