Today is my twenty-fifth birthday. To commemorate the occasion, I'd like to share some unsolicited advice that I have gathered in my quarter century on earth. This is not to say that I have mastered the tips below, but rather that I have recognized the truth in each word. Give me another twenty-five years and maybe I will be able to follow my own advice.
As adults, we choose happiness. Oftentimes, the happiest people are the ones that have been dealt the toughest hand. This is not a coincidence, but a conscious choice. No matter what happens today, I choose to be happy. One of my favorite reminders of this is a quote that reads, "Please take responsibility for the energy that you bring into this space." Regardless of how others may have treated you, you alone control your reaction and behavior.
(if you know the original source of the above quote please let me know.)
Living in the moment is the only way to reach true contentment. When our minds are always thinking about where we have to be next - or stuck mulling over the past, we miss out on the right now. I especially try to focus on this when I am with my family and close friends. Be here now.
It is worth it to slow down and take the time to really see others. Every person wants to feel validated. You can be the person that does this for someone else.
We teach people how to treat us. As adults, we have the power to remove people from our lives that do not value us as individuals. If you are in an unhealthy relationship (romantic or otherwise), or can see behavior starting to form that is not okay with you, take a step back and reevaluate the relationship. If it can be repaired, then seek change. If it can't, walk away.
Nurture relationships that are important to you. As much as it is important to walk away from unhealthy relationships, it is equally important to Invest in family and friends that are supportive. Sometimes this might feel like an inconvenience, but I have come to realize that we can make time when we really want to.
Give back. All that it takes is thinking of others to distract us from our own struggles.
Be kind to yourself. Sometimes I will beat myself up to no end over something trivial. Then, I ask myself if I would be this hard on someone else. Give yourself the same amount of slack that you would allow others.
In addition to being kind to yourself, take time to do what you enjoy and what makes you happy. If you don't make time for yourself, no one will make it for you. The laundry can (and will) wait until tomorrow. Furthermore, sometimes this means saying, "No" and setting boundaries.
Do you have any advice to share that you have found to be invaluable?
I look forward to starting my twenty-sixth year on earth with you.