1. Go to the most crowded place in your city and stay there for a while by yourself.
I’ve been doing this “challenge” a lot through the years; it helps to be at ease with yourself by yourself, which is not as simple as it sounds when there are groups of people everywhere, couples holding hands and people having fun, and you are alone. I felt lonely, I felt like an idiot at times, but in the end, I realized how important to find yourself as the best company, the best person to do things with. It is crucial for one obvious reason – YOU are the person you’re gonna spend the rest of your life with, hopefully someone special joins you at some point, but YOU are the one who is always there and will definitely be – till death do you part. :)
2. Stay still.
No activity whatsoever, be still for 20 minutes – easier said than done, especially for me. I can’t sit still without rushing somewhere EVER. It is the most difficult thing to tackle. I tried to do it for just couple minutes at first and it has its perks. Would be even better not to think about anything and let go of all the problems and ideas in your head, but that is IMPOSSIBLE! Well, for me, now, I hope I’ll be able to do it someday. I suppose this one comes close to meditation, but we don’t need that word to sit still for a minute or two and enjoy whatever benefits you can sow from it. Mine was – a blink of bliss, really short one, but sensational.
3. Write a list, draw a picture, or take photos of the things you want to have.
But let’s not focus only on material things, let’s take it a step further and think about life in a philosophical way. What would you be grateful for on your deathbed? You wouldn’t think about gadgets and how awesome they were and how amazing were the products/designs/videos you made with the help of it. You’d be thinking about something big, influential in a meaningful way.
4. Make a list, like a previous one, but with the things you want to feel.
For example: I want to be loved; I want to feel joy and admiration; I want to be surprised by my significant other; I want to cry when I’m happy, because that would mean the most authentic happiness for me; I want to feel validated within myself; I want to feel confident; I want to feel that sense of success and achievement in my career; I even want to feel sad once in a while, because the world isn’t perfect and nothing goes like you plan it in your head, but in the end it all works anyway; I want to be appreciated, etc. Try it and who knows, maybe you’ll get a more clear view of what you want and get it all faster.
5. Send a handwritten letter to yourself.
If this sounds weird and like too much effort, that’s because you know the contents of it already, but bear with me. Write all that is wrong with your life in your opinion; write down all the regrets, misunderstandings and people who hurt you deeply; write down the best moments you’ve had for the past year or take it a step further, dig deep and find something that made you exultant, flying high on the clouds; write the expectations you have for the future; write how you see yourself as an adult, as a fully-grown human who has to be called an adult at some point; write what you see is in your “cards”; what surprises you’d like to await you; what grievances you’d have to go through; WRITE.
The choice to send it or not is yours. You can keep it somewhere and read it a year later and see what it that you thought in the past was.
6. Tell yourself to keep going.
Think about what mistakes have you made this year, this month, this week, today. Would you change it if you could? What lessons have you learned? Did you learn anything at all? Or do you go through life without noticing things?
7. Collect your mementos.
Maybe for some people it is hoarding, but for me and might be for you too, little things that remind you of some event or people are important. Doesn’t mean you have to save every little thing. Just one. I usually save it all, then when I’m in the comfort of my home, I sort it out and the little things I leave, I glue in the scrapbook I have for every year. Once in a while, when I come back to the roots, where all my books and scrapbooks are, I open one of those and remember how my life used to be, who I dated back then and what movie we saw.
8. Ask yourself what matters.
What are the most important things in your life? Will it matter in 20 years? What matters the most? What won’t be devalued by time?
9. Discover your greatest fear.
What is your greatest fear? What do you think lies behind it? Do you think you can challenge it? Has there ever been a time when you didn’t fear that? What changed? My greatest fear is death.
Since I was a little girl I was afraid of my parents dying and that I’d have no one, that the heartbreak of their death would destroy me. I used to cry myself to sleep thinking of that. I still fear that, but I’m not in denial anymore, I know it’ll happen sooner or later. And I hope I’ll find time and opportunity to spend as much time with them as possible.
10. Think about one thing you wished you could master but haven’t mastered yet – and jumpstart it. NOW.
You might not be able to later if you keep putting it off much longer. I have so many things I wanna master: playing a piano, guitar, do cool tricks on the snowboard, wakeboard, longboard (I’m obsessed with boards). Whatever you want to master, take a little step toward it TODAY.
11. Ask yourself the deep questions you want answers to.
IS there God? Where all the people come from? Does my girlfriend love me? Why haven’t she said it yet? When am I gonna get that job opportunity? Is there any future with this person? What are 10 most relevant questions you’d like the Universe (God), someone else to answer?
Think if there is a way to answer them by yourself.