1. You are and will always be on your own.
A husband, a wife, a sibling, a family, a group of friends, and all relationships you have will be temporary. They are blessings, so enjoy them and protect them while they are around. The relationship you have with yourself is always the most important. If you cannot have a good time on a Friday night alone in your room, then change yourself. Learn to allow unique musical remedies to crescendo through the hollow areas of your soul, fill yourself up with knowledge, watch movies that you would not have otherwise, or exercise. Learn to become better- learn to have a relationship with yourself that is sacred and content. Learn to be your own best friend.
2. Stop living for society.
Stop faking smiles and laughs. Making promises that you only plan to break later. Find what makes you passionate and wear it on your chest proudly- because someplace, somewhere, someone is watching and wants to be with you. They will only inch out of their shadows and darkness when they realize that you are two of the same. Even if society sneers and laughs, walk proudly onwards. Because chances are, within twenty years, no one will give a shit and may even wish they had been truer to themselves.
3. Learn discipline and learn sacrifice.
It is a struggle to say ‘no’ to your temptations and others. However, it is an important skill. Every minute is important. Every minute brings you closer to your dreams and success. So, actually study when you must. Exercise hard when at the gym. Have deep and intellectually stimulating conversations when you do. They are all small points in time, less than a certain percentage of your whole life. However, they make all the difference when accumulated. Therefore, make every second so fulfilling- that your life brims over.
4. Everything in the world is cyclic.
Everything is feedback. You get the grades you deserve. You get the life partner you deserve. If you work hard and play nice, the world will work for you.
5. Question everything.
Questions are like taking a shovel to your gray matter, planting seeds, and forcing growth. Questions are taking material and actually comprehending, changing, making it your own. Questions will make you stronger, more definite, and concrete. Questions will force you to understand and learn material, better verbalize your own viewpoints. Don’t stop there, though. Question yourself. Question why you accept the faith you do, why you choose the friends you did, why you have the habits you do. Question, find answers, and change accordingly.
6. Control occasionally just falls under acceptance.
Chances are you were raised to believe that you have all control and that the Ctrl+Z command is just a click away. However, sometimes you have zero control and that is alright. Sometimes you will have lots of regrets and make mistakes, things that cannot be removed. Things that if you scratch at will change from a wound to a scar. So, just let it serve as a reminder, a lesson, but move on. Blot out the past with a present so violently beautiful- no one will give a shit about your mistakes. Not even you.
7. Let people be.
Let them do their thing. If they really, really need to change- tell them. Otherwise, let them be. Mind your business. The only area you are in control around is the small circumference of earth you are on.
8. Tragedy changes you.
As much as pain, loss, and suffering hurts and leaves you bruised and battered on the sides of the roads that once led to your dreams. It is beyond necessary. A person without nociceptors (pain receptors) tends to die young due to an unawareness of their body. Similarly, without pain in our lives- we would not cultivate self-awareness, character, and necessary survival techniques.
9. Do not forget the marginalized.
Enter a room and say ‘hello’ to everyone, including those that slip into the crevices of a room, those that fall into the shadows, those who sync their breath to the rhythm of the music, those who hide in camouflage. Most likely, they are scared, lonely, or have some anxiety- be a friend and do not forget where you came from. If you cannot empathize- look for someone you know in their pain. Make it personal, make it real.
10. The world is so much bigger than you.
Your tiny mishap is nothing to the people who are suffering an addiction, those who cannot feed their kids, those who lost their parents, and so on. You are privileged, your mistakes are nothing; however, what you do afterwards is everything. How you choose to rise from rock bottom (or simply bottom) is everything. Continue to smile at others and be kind. Because maybe, they too, are trying to rise. Be good, be kind, be poised, and be forgiving.