Hello from a small writing nook in Kalamazoo where all the walls are wood and there is a small beam of light shining through the windows. This is an introduction to the rest of your life. This is for you – the dreamer, artist, old soul, entrepreneur, creative who wants to do more with their life. And not because someone else is telling you to be better but because there is something inside of you keeping you up at night and resurfacing every single morning when you wake.
I have such a good feeling about your life. I completely believe that this year you will do something incredible. I believe in you. I believe that right now, in this moment, you have infinite amounts of potential. I think we are all so much more powerful than we realize. All change starts with an idea, a thought, and the determination and passion to keep the spirit alive. It won’t ever be without self-doubt, complications, failure, and heartache, but that’s okay – those are all things that make us grow into better, stronger people. We don’t have to do this alone. E-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org. We can face our fears together.
1. The hardest part is always getting started but we have to start somewhere. It begins with a simple step, a sentence, a brush stroke, an email, a phone call. Life moves at you fast, so give yourself the chance to start something new. That’s all any of us need – a chance to shine.
2. Get rid of the things that fail to bring any value or meaning in your life. Minimize old possessions that mean nothing, rid yourself of one-sided relationships. Create room for space to grow in every area.
3. Concentrate on what you want. Visualize it. Consider the steps needed to take to get there. Accept the fact that things take time.
4. Connect with someone you’ve always admired. Send an e-mail to an author that gave you a new perspective or made you feel so completely understood in a way you never experienced before. Send gratitude to the people who have inspired you. Every connection you make can come up later in surprising ways.
5. Get out of your head. Take a walk, visit a museum, watch a movie, strike up a conversation. Let the world inspire you in the different formats that surround us every day.
6. Take note of the things that help you recover – meditation, comfort foods, best friends, live music. Take care of yourself when the time comes. Self-care is critical in the process of becoming.
7. Stop waiting for things to happen to you. So many people spend their entire lives waiting – waiting for the right person, the right job, the right time to do whatever it is they want to do. Stop waiting for other people to take notice. Find your voice and use it to get what you want.
8. Dedicate yourself to the things that move you. Give yourself a time frame for working on something – six months, one year, 14 months. Every single day remind yourself you have a purpose.
9. Give yourself the permission to say “no thank you.” Remember you don’t have to say yes to everything. This is your life, right? Stop saying yes to the things that don’t excite you, to the things you don’t want to do.
10. Focus on the things you love about your life. Think about how you can take small steps to make each of those things flourish in their own way.
11. If you’re in a dead-end relationship – leave. If you have a job you can’t stand – quit. If you hate your roommate – move out. It’s not that easy, you say, and trust me, I know. There are always reasons to stay a little bit longer, to prolong the inevitable. Find a way out. If you don’t fight for your own life, who will?
12. What’s your dream job? What do you hope to do some day? Find someone in the field and connect with them. Ask them if they need an assistant or if they could use a volunteer or intern in their office. Create opportunities for yourself.
13. Don’t worry too much about what other people think. Other people being your parents, your peers, your friends, randoms on the internet. Don’t get caught up in hive mind. Abandon other people’s expectations for your life. Forget what other people your age or in your profession are doing. It doesn’t matter what other people are doing. It only matters what you are doing.
14. Rid yourself of other people’s negativity. It’s so easy to succumb to other people’s bad moods, to get caught up in the negative emotions we each face every day. Don’t let it. Help your friends when they need a pick me up but don’t let them bring you down to the sadness well they can’t escape from.
15. Give compliments freely and without the expectation of return. Love people for who they are now, in this moment, flaws and all. Practice unconditional love.
16. Get lost. In busy city streets, on abandoned country roads, in the vibrations of your favorite songs, in the warmth of someone’s lips. Become unnerved once in awhile.
17. Be proactive in managing your moods. Take note of the things that piss you off, of the sadness you can’t come back from, of moments that make you deliriously happy. Figure out how to weave your way in and out of your emotions to overcome the thoughts that self-sabotage you.
18. You will never be as young as you are right now. You will not be the same person tomorrow that you were today. Lose yourself in enthusiasm and passion and the drive to make your life exactly the way you want it.