1. Sure, life can be tough and unfair, but don’t take it all so seriously. Think of life as a big prankster. And learn to laugh at your own expense.
2. Be your own BFF. Treat yourself the way you imagine your best friend would treat you. Especially in things you say to yourself.
3. Learn to recognize fear (it can be a tricky devil) and nip it in the bud. Monsters, like weeds, are much easier to eradicate when they’re small.
4. Believe in choice. It’s always there. And if you feel like you’ve made a bad one, make another one and another one until you get it right.
5. Spend the time to really listen to yourself and realize what your passion is. It may be a traditional profession you can pursue, but it may also be as simple as being a parent, or reading books, or traveling. Whatever it is, if it lights you up inside, find a way to make it your priority. And then stick with it, no matter what. It’s not silly or childish. It’s your calling and you were born to do it.
6. Celebrate all your wins, and losses too. Rejection is hard, but remember – you dared to try. You were brave and jumped in. There’s no failure in that.
7. If something bothers you or excites you, speak up. People cannot read your mind, much less your emotions.
8. When you’re stuck in traffic or crammed on a crowded subway or miss your train when you’re already late, remember that the other cars, other passengers and the train conductor are not out to get you. It is not about you. They probably don’t even realize you exist. They’re standing there, focusing on themselves and how this particular situation is unfair to them. It will be ok. You’ll get where you need to be in the end. Breathe.
9. Some things don’t change much from when we’re babies. If you’re cranky, you’re probably either tired, or hungry, or need to poop. So take a nap, grab a bite, or have a seat.
10. Your reality is what you believe it to be. If you think “I can’t, I won’t”, you can’t and you won’t. And if you think “I can, I will”, you can and you will.
11. People die, lovers break your heart, and jobs and money disappear. Take the time to be sad, angry, disappointed and scared, but also remember to let it go when it’s run its course. There is no nobility in angst. Only pain. And it only hurts you in the end.
12. Your ego is like a toddler: sometimes it cries out because something is wrong and sometimes it’s just throwing a tantrum. Learn to recognize the difference to keep it healthy and unspoiled.
13. Laugh! As much and as often as possible.
14. Be kind. To yourself and others. Try not to judge too harshly, for we are all seeking the same thing – love and happiness. What we say, look like, or do as we travel on this journey is much less important than the journey itself. We’re all in it together. Seek commonalities rather than differences. You might be surprised to discover there are many more of those around!