1. Don’t worry so much.
About the little things. About the big things. These too shall pass. Worrying helps nothing, and makes things seem a lot worse than they are in reality. I’ve found deep breaths, going for a run, and (occasionally) a few glasses of pinot to be helpful.
2. Put your happiness above material stuff.
Make sure that whatever you choose to do with your life, it makes you happy, and it makes you proud. Money helps with a lot of things and offers a sense of freedom, but it’s certainly not everything.
3. Follow your heart.
But always listen to what your head has to say too. I’ve found both of these to be important. Don’t jump into anything without giving it the full once over. But when it comes down to it, you should always follow what your heart is telling you. It is the path to your soul, and it holds the true purpose for your existence in the world.
4. Never stop learning.
Go to school, read books, watch documentaries, take extra classes, talk to people who have different views than you do, talk to people who are older and wiser, spend the money you earn on bettering your mind. Each new day brings with it the opportunity to learn something new, something that you didn’t know yesterday. Don’t waste it.
5. Be kind, be trustworthy and have integrity.
I don’t believe that anyone is born kind or un-kind. It’s what we learn as we grow up, from others and our own experiences, and what we choose to allow to shape us. It takes work, and practice, and the promise to make good choices today, and even better ones the next. You’ll also be amazed how rare it is to find these qualities as you grow up. And when people like this come into your life, hold onto them with both hands.
6. Don’t ever feel pressured to do anything that you don’t want to do.
Those around you will forget about you and that stupid thing you decided to do/not do real quick, but you won’t as easily forget how you betrayed your own moral compass. You will know when something doesn’t sit right with you. Don’t ignore those feelings, you feel for a reason.
7. Become the person that you hope to meet.
Whatever you are searching for in a friend or a partner, you need to become that person first. Is it generosity? Is it kindness? Is it intelligence? Is it fearlessness? Whatever it is, work on those qualities within yourself. That’s how you’ll attract who you’re looking for. Like always attracts like.
8. Wait for love.
Try to wait until you’re in love before you have sex for the first time. It’ll be worth it, I promise. In fact, it’s always worth waiting for love. It magnifies every other feeling that there is. Your older self will never be able to thank your younger self enough for being patient.
9. But before you try and love, you need to make sure you love yourself.
I will teach you this from day one, and I will continue to do so; but ultimately it will be up to you to take the torch and carry on ahead. Self-love is the prevalent and purest way to honour and cherish your mind, body & soul. Without this, your love for others will be hollow, toxic, and unfulfilling. Always try to practice self-love.
10. If you ever find yourself lost and unsure, do not be hesitant to take a different path.
Most people in this world will not be lucky enough to have a crystal clear path mapped out ahead of them. Some of us will have to wander a little, and explore farther. Fortune favours the brave. And you must always choose to be brave, especially when you are most fearful, because fear is nothing but an illusion dreamt up in your darkest imagination.
11. Be sure to treat everyone how you hope to be treated.
You will have been told this countless times by now I’m sure. But it’s very important, so listen carefully. People will always remember how you make them feel. Even when you are mistreated, try to look past this, and never lower yourself to someone else’s standards.
12. Carbs are not the enemy.
If you feel like a doughnut, have a doughnut, and don’t punish yourself for it afterwards. Never deprive yourself of what your body is craving. Listen to it and you will not be steered wrong. A little of everything in moderation is okay. Focus on being healthy, not skinny. Measure yourself in strength and smiles, not in pounds.
13. Expect nothing to ever fall from the sky into your lap.
You have to work very hard in order to be successful. Nothing will happen overnight. It takes perseverance and determination, and the strong mind of a fighter. Keep on relentlessly pushing forward and you will get there one day. Good things will always come to those who work their arses off, and never ever give up.
14. Be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons.
It might be difficult to begin with, but each time you choose to do your own thing instead of following the crowd, it will get easier. Be true to who you are, and always stand up for what you believe in. Don’t be afraid of using your voice to cut through receptions of silence. The world has enough pigeons already.