1. Embrace an ever-changing notion of self
Remember that you don’t figure out who you are in a day. Self-realization is a life-long process and it takes practice to learn about who you are at your core.
2. Find a mentor
Mentors come in all shapes and sizes. They may be a parent, or they may not, but having a mentor is invaluable if only for the timely reassurance that “you will make it.” A true mentor embraces your ever-changing notion of self and helps you on the road to self-actualization.
3. Silence your inner critic
Your inner critic jackhammers potholes onto the road to self-actualization and it’s your job to pour the cement in and smooth those bad boys over. The inner critic says, “You can’t do x.” Fuck that guy! You know who you are and you know what you love and you will not be stopped.
4. Don’t try to please everyone
Taking this advice may be like taking one of those giant woodchip-tasting multivitamins, but it is every bit as effective. Trying to please people by cultivating a persona will only lead you away from your true self. Temper your expectations and realize that being your genuine self will help you cultivate relationships with genuine people.
5. Identify genuine people
Most people only try to manipulate you into becoming something useful to them, but certain people will help you become more yourself. For God’s sake, hold on with everything you have to these people; they’ll be at your side through thick and thin.
6. Put your head in a book
Great literature endures because it has great truth. For every question you’ve wanted answered, sorrow you’ve felt, and victory you’ve tasted, there’s a writer who has captured your emotion with immaculate grace. Become a bibliophile and watch your happiness grow exponentially.
7. Be a good person
And I stress the word “good.” Not “nice.” Good. Also, kind. Nice people get taken advantage of where good people draw the line. Nice people go about their business when good people stand up for what’s right. One is passive, the other active. Stake a claim in this life and be a power for good.