Advice for living your best life – don’t we all just crave advice? And why would anyone want to read “my” advice? I don’t know but something has prompted me today to share what I have learned in my lengthy time on Planet Earth. If you don’t want advice from me simply skip this post. But if you do – read on and let me know what you would add to my list.
First up – be you. Just be who you are. No excuses. No pretenses. Just be the authentic you that you were born to be. If you are like me that you can be quirky, weird and funny all at that same time. You can be unique and fortunately today’s world embraces uniqueness much more than when I was a teenager. Bottom line – just be who you are. And for goodness sakes– don’t change for anyone else.
Surround yourself with good people. I have learned what a true friend is time and time again and the ones that stick with you through thick and thin are the ones who are truly good individuals. I don’t have time for drama anymore so I tend to shy away from those who ooze drama out of their pores. It’s a good thing to have friends but I also have learned that I don’t need a million friends just for the sake of saying I have that many friends. Give me a few really good friends who are truly good people and I am living my best life.
Treat everyone with respect. I would like to think we are making some headway in the world with being a bit more respectful towards all. We have a long ways to go but when you treat others with respect you receive the same respect back. Just being kind to others is a form of respect and one that is returned a hundred fold many times. Why? Because deep down all humans need to know that they are a person of worth and showing a simple gesture of respect is critical to reinforcing that feeling. Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you is a very good rule to follow.
Forgive freely. This one is a tough one for me. If I feel that I have been wronged or if someone has done something to someone I love that I believe is wrong it is pretty difficult for me to offer that forgiveness. But there is this feeling that comes when I do — a freedom that allows me to move on. There is no better feeling than being able to put something in the past and leave it there. As my sweet brother in law Carlton used to say “the past is the past”. Those were words of wisdom that I have tried to incorporate into my life. Forgiveness comes more naturally when it is continually offered. It gets easier as time goes on. Maybe it is a case of practice makes perfect?
Do things that you love and don’t make excuses for doing them. One of the things that I love the most is reading. I have always been a reader but the past 3 or 4 years I have really rekindled that love and read every chance I get. Sometimes people comment on how much I read and I admit that there are many times that I have let things go by the wayside so that I could read a great book but I have also decided that I am not going to apologize for doing something that I love. Everything gets done eventually and if reading brings me pleasure why should I not enjoy what I love? The same applies to anything that you love to do. Just do it. Enjoy it and embrace it. Life is too short to not do the things that you love.
Listen – truly listen. I don’t care who you listen to –your spouse, your children, your friends, your waitress or your cashier. Just listen. Everyone you encounter has something to say and sometimes just listening to someone changes their day and your day as well. It all fits in with the “be kind” attitude.
Practice gratitude. Recognizing the things that give us joy is a simple way to infect your day with happiness. A gratitude journal is a great tool to visually see what things are true gifts in your day. From seeing a beautiful sunset, to a hot shower to the perfect cup of coffee — each little thing that brings joy is something that is worthy of gratitude. Listing them puts them into perspective when the less than perfect times roll around.
Tell me – what would you add to my list? I would love to hear your thoughts so please Comment for a Cause for AAUW Scholarships for Young Women.