6. Smile more and laugh more. You don’t have to smile all the time — because that’s called “When I Was on Lithium” — but you should always seek more opportunities for humor and laughter in your life. Be aware of the joy that’s already around you, and if all you see is pain, transform it into laughter. Transcend it.
7. Do something you didn’t think you could or always wanted to do. When I was a kid, I always wanted to be an artist, but I found out the hard way I couldn’t paint or draw. (My human hands look like mashed potato flowers.) But over the grad school break, I found something art-related I could do with my downtime: cut stuff out. I decorated my house in crossword puzzle collages, dirty Mad Libs and made pages from a beat-up John Updike book into wallpaper. It wasn’t the greatest art that’s ever been art-ed, but it was fun and my DIY saved me a whole lot on decoration.
8. Learn how to apologize. I think there’s nothing that makes us more beautifully human than making mistakes and owning up to them, whether it’s not being the best friend you can be or accidentally bumping into someone on the train. But we should be more aware of our effects on other people and hold ourselves more accountable to being a force for good in the world.