1. Allowing the negative to trump the positive. Most of us have a tendency to overlook all the positive reactions we get in anything while we let the negative sit with us. Take some advice from Louis Armstrong, “Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.”
2. Seriously taking into consideration the opinions of people who don’t know you and/or love you. Listen to me: They. Do. Not. Matter.
3. Believing that you’re always right or have the answers to everything. There is a lot of humility (and happiness) in admitting that you’re wrong and in saying, “I don’t know.”
4. Not taking the time to really discern the type of person you want to be. Reflection is one of the best habits you can pick up. It will always keep you centered.
5. Trying to keep up with the impossible expectations for how you “should look.” We were all created differently for a reason. Be the best you and always remember that timeless beauty is often not in what meets the eye.
6. Putting effort into relationships and people who take you for granted. Look, love until it hurts but sometimes that means loving from a distance.
7. Being cruel to other people. Here’s the truth and it’s a truth I’ve realized through writing: Hurt people hurt people. That’s why more than anything else, I feel pity for people who are cruel.
8. Allowing your past, especially your past mistakes to define you. You have got to stop basing who you are and what you do on who you were and what you did.
9. Thinking you have to live up to society’s standards for anything. Writing your own rules is so much better.
10. Believing that being vulnerable will make you weaker. As someone who personally struggles with this (but who is getting better at it), the truth is the alternative doesn’t make you strong, it makes you numb.
11. Letting other people make you feel inferior. The world is filled with people who get a twisted satisfaction from thinking that intimidating other people makes them worthy of respect. Don’t let anyone intimidate you.
12. Not taking care of your body, mind, and soul. If all you put into these things is junk, junk will be the outcome.
13. Getting into pointless arguments or disagreements with people. If you know what you know, sometimes it’s best to leave people to their own devices.
14. Holding on tightly to things when you know it’s time to let go. Letting go is hard but it’s often necessary. You can’t make room for better things if you’re still holding onto things that aren’t serving you anymore.
15. Not saying what you feel because you’re afraid of what people will think. One of the regrets of the dying is not having the courage to say how they felt especially when it counted. Don’t let this happen to you.
16. Thinking everything is about you. It’s not. And the sooner you realize it, the sooner you can free yourself from a whole lot of stress and disillusionment.
17. Taking yourself and others too seriously. I read once somewhere that you have to be proportional in how you react to things. You really do need to know when to just brush things off.
18. Not making an effort to connect with people. The best piece of advice about communication wasn’t from an academic book but from a David Cain piece that stated, “The secret to connecting with people is this: Always try to understand what people really mean when they speak.”
19. Playing it safe. Whether it’s dating or a job or where you live, take some risks. It doesn’t mean you’ll always win. In fact many times you’ll probably lose. But sometimes losing ends up being a good thing and those few wins you do get are usually spectacular. And if you ever need an extra push, always remember, “Heartbreak is transient but regret is eternal.”
20. Not laughing at yourself more. Laugh at yourself often, and laugh loudly. A lot of things can be seen in a new light if we’d all just laugh more.
21. Reading comments sections about contentious issues. (LOL. But seriously.)