1. Money isn’t everything
Sure we need money to survive, but what if we started teaching kids that money isn’t everything? That traveling, reading, tasting, listening, and seeing can all enrich the soul more than money ever will. That bigger houses and fancier cars don’t necessarily mean happier lives.That more expenses equals more bills, more bills equals more headaches, more headaches equals more stress, more stress equals more anxiety. And the cycle continues.
2. Slow down, not everything needs to be done yesterday
Did you ever notice when you’re rushing around to get things done, your anxiety and stress levels ramp up? We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to finish things yesterday. When did our society get thrown into overdrive? We’re always facing deadlines, even from an early age. What happens when we don’t meet that deadline? Oddly, the sun continues to rise the following day. I’m not saying go all Office Space here (movie reference), but I ask you, what’s the rush?
3. Self-love is critical
My definition of self love may differ from yours, but anything that nourishes your mind, body, heart and soul would define it for me. We look up to our elders and peers when we are younger, but do we have the conscious ability at such an impressionable age to recognize when we need to take a step back and ask ourselves, is this really working for me? What makes me feel good, what makes me feel bad? Some of us try so hard to fit in, that we’ll sacrifice our true self just to be recognized. Add in the fact that we are taught that love can only be found from the source of another human being, and any early inklings of self love are quickly erased.
4. Heartbreak sucks
We learn about marriage, the white picket fence and the happily ever after when we are younger, but why didn’t anyone teach us about the uglier side of love? The deception and betrayal that can occur. The lies that are spoken, as if they’re the truth. The moment you feel your heart drop from your chest into your stomach. The empty feeling of being left alone. The tears you’ll shed over someone who moved on so quickly, you are left to wonder what just happened.
5. Life is what you make of it
Think of life’s timeline: birth, school, graduate, workforce, marriage, kids, retirement, death. Our lives are mapped out before us, before we ever set foot on this planet. This may sound pleasant to a lot of people, but I’d venture to say many have set foot down this path only to ask at some point, is this really what I wanted? Is this all that life has to offer? It is at this critical juncture, we get to choose how we’d like to live the remainder of our lives. We can follow the map already written, or we can begin to create our own.