In no particular order:
1) Love a person.
Avoid the urge to shape another’s personality and behavior. The moment you control the slightest bit of them, they are no longer themselves. They are a sad copy of what you expect. Love a person for their inherent beauty. Admit it, you need the mystery.
2) Have an animal friend.
…or two. Pets can be family to you. Look beyond the notion that they aren’t thinking creatures. It’s just not true. Sure, they think differently, but you can learn to understand their language. The bond you’ll form is pure and innocent. Let them help you!
3) Find beauty.
Who cares what they think is beautiful? You’re the one who feels it! Follow your heart and disregard what others demand as a standard of beauty. Would you let them tell you you’re heart and mind are wrong? I didn’t think so. Your definition of beauty is written by your life’s experiences. That’s who you are. Embrace it. Enjoy a rose or a rosy cheek.
4) Be honest.
To yourself and others. Honesty is the thing that makes communication understandable. You don’t like that thing? Say so. You love it? Say so. With communication, the intent behind words matters. If you dishonestly use them, don’t be surprised when you’re misunderstood.
As for yourself… don’t lie. Just accept that the way you feel is who you are. Denying truth to ourselves is harmful. That said, learn yourself. Address your needs. Find truthful understanding.
5) Have adventure.
The world is enormous. The amount of experiences you can have can’t be quantified. Think of adventure like food. When you were a child, you likely only ate a few things. As you matured, you learned about other foods and willingly explored your options. Deliciousness followed. That’s the world, too. Do it in whatever increments you feel comfortable with, but push out of your comfort zone. Meet people unlike you. Learn them. Understand them. After some time, you’ll start to realize how amazing, diverse, and wondrous our world is.
6) Be who you are.
Connected to the above. Once you find you, you will know. Be that awesome person, unflinchly. But, be aware, that person may change, so be ready.
7) Understand people around you.
They aren’t like you. If they all are, maybe meet some new people. We can’t truly grow without exposure to new things. If you don’t understand those things, you haven’t really learned them. Comfort zones are limiting, so try and expand yours.
8) Understand the world around you.
It’s easy to think “we’ve done this right.” I’m an American and I’ve seen many of my countrymen fall victim to the illusion that “we’ve done it right.” The history of my country barely compares to the more ancient civilizations on Earth. China? We’re barely a coffee break in comparison. In any case, the world around you is a classroom. Learn from it. Don’t assume your way is the right one. After all, your neighbor might be fulfilling traditions as old as the pyramids.
9) Ditch your ego.
You weren’t born special. It’s up to you to become special. It’s unlikely, especially if you’re reading my blog, that you’re the top dog of something. Humility is universal. Be humble and grow.
10) Educate yourself.
It’s not even possible to know all things. But, you can know more things. The more you know about the things you encounter, the easier it is to navigate life. Determine what you need to know and learn it. During that process, you will learn all manner of other things and redefine what you need to know. Grow through knowledge.
Here’s to a happier soul!