1. Failing is part of life and it’s going to happen to you many, many times – but failing doesn’t make you a failure. The only way that you become a failure is if you stop trying.
2. Don’t force yourself to like other people’s hobbies. Like what you like, even if it’s different from everyone else.
3. An average person’s lifespan is around 40 million minutes. Think seriously about how many of those minutes you want to spend watching Netflix or scrolling through your phone. We all do it, and that’s okay, as long as we spend our minutes on technology consciously, instead of mindlessly.
4. Stop reliving your mistakes in your mind over and over and over, and stop worrying about what other people think when you screw up. Other people are too busy worrying about their own mistakes to worry about yours. Plus, your screwups are almost never as bad as you think they are.
5. Remember that on their death bed, one of people’s biggest regrets was living the life that was expected of them by others, instead of living a life that was true to themselves. Live a life that’s true to you and what you want.
6. You’re going to be a lot happier in life if you stop convincing yourself that happiness will come when you finally get this job or that brand new kitchen, and instead start finding joy within the things and the people you already have.
7. Keep your medicine cabinet fully stocked, at least with the essentials. You’ll be thanking yourself that you don’t need to run out to Walgreens when you come down with a cold, a bad hangover, or, God forbid, a UTI.
8. Try as hard as you like, but you’re never going to be able to change another person. You can be there for them, you can support them, but when it comes to change, the only control you have is control of yourself.
9. Ask for help now instead of wasting a bunch of your time and then asking for help an hour from now.
10. Regular habits are so much more important than things you do on occasion. A ten-minute run doesn’t seem like anything at all, but if you do it every day (or every other day), it will do so much more for your body than an hour-long run every couple of months.
11. Call your parents – when you don’t need anything – just to say hello.
12. Work hard, but don’t let work become your sole purpose for living.
13. Be fully committed to the moment when you’re having a conversation with someone – don’t look at your phone, don’t look at your computer, don’t look around to see if anything more interesting is happening outside of this one-on-one. They’ll appreciate it, and you’ll often get much more out of the conversation than you might think.
14. When achieving something is important to you (writing a book, applying for grad school, learning a new language), don’t shoot for perfect. You’ll never write a damn word, apply for a single grad program, or speak one sentence in a foreign language. Just shoot for giving it your absolute all. That will take you a lot further than ‘perfect.’
15. When you’re tempted to say something bad about someone, think about it for a few seconds before you say it. Yeah, gossip feels good in the moment, but most of the time, we’re saying something bad about someone else either to make ourselves feel superior, or because we see something reflected in them that we hate in ourselves.
16. Never question someone if they’re not drinking alcohol at a party.
17. Take Vitamin D every day, especially when it’s cold outside. It’s not a cure-all, especially if you have a diagnosed condition like Seasonal Affective Disorder, but it’s definitely helpful (at least, it’s helped me and several of my friends) when it comes to combatting the winter blues.
18. Don’t underestimate how happy it will make you to have a catch-up phone call or dinner with a friend you haven’t heard from in a while.
19. Thank people. Not just when they do you favors. Thank your parents for raising you, if you have a close relationship with them. Thank your friends for being there for you, especially in your dark moments. Thank your coworker for always lending you an ear when you need to vent. Be constantly aware of how lucky you are to have the people you have in your life, and always look for new ways to feel gratitude towards them.