Last week I wrote a post called 8 Things I Wish I Knew Then That I Know Now. Here are 7 more…
1. Today is What’s Important.
It’s so easy to live stuck in the past or perpetually in the future. Pay attention to what is happening now, to the people around you, to the task at hand and to all of the choices you make today, big and small. What you do today, determines what tomorrow will bring. Our future is set by what we decide and act on today.
2. Money is Not the Most Important Thing.
Money is important. We all have bills to pay, I understand that completely. But in the end, or even in the middle, maybe especially in the middle, money is not the end goal. Satisfaction in a job well done, contributing to something worthwhile and finding something you enjoy doing (or figuring out how to enjoy what you do) are more motivating goals and certainly lend themselves to a happier and less stressful life. Contrary to what you have been sold by the “lifestyles of the wealthy and happy” fallacy, money does not equate to happiness. Nor does it insulate you from pain, suffering and conflict or improve your relationships with those around you. Money is simply a currency that allows you to eat, dress and live. It is not a magic wand.
3 . Don’t Be Afraid to Stand Up and Stand Out.
So often when we are younger we are afraid to speak out, but I say take a stand! Speak up! Stand out from the crowd. If something is important to you, then stand up for it, even if it is unpopular. Never compromise your integrity. One person can make a difference and shed light on injustice or unfairness. If it’s not right, say so.
4. Believe the Best of People
It’s so easy for us to expect the worst of people. We expect politicians to be corrupt, we expect people to be selfish. And we might often be right. But keep on believing the best in people anyway – simply put, it’s a better way to live. This does not mean put on Pollyanna glasses and ignore the bad. Dishonesty, disrespect, unhappiness and evil exist and you will have to deal with them. But don’t let those difficulties colour your experience. If you view the world around you and life’s challenges through the lens of goodness, then you will find life much more enjoyable.
5. Keep Doing the Hard Stuff
This is the first one that might not be as obvious. There were times in my life when work was hard, and I did it anyway, but hated it. I did it because I had to, but boy did it stress me out and leave me exhausted. But you know what? Every bit of hard work I did has paid off for me in the long run. Maybe not right away, but I’m using skills and habits I learned during those times of high stress and long hours and tedious work — I use them all the time, and they’ve made me into the person I am today. So keep going and don’t give up so easily!
6. Don’t Stress Too Much
All that stuff that’s stressing you out – I hate to say it, but it won’t matter in 5 years, let alone 15. When things are happening to you right now, it feels like it means the world, and that this reality will never change. But it will. Things always change. And perspective is a good thing to learn.
7. Stop Watching So Much TV
All that time you spend watching TV is a huge, huge waste of time. I don’t know how much TV I’ve watched over the years, but it’s a crapload. Hours and days and weeks I’ll never have back. Who cares what happens on reality TV, when reality is slipping by outside? Time is something you’ll never get back – don’t waste it on TV.