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Goethe famously wrote “One lives in this world but once…”

If that is the case, ask yourself, “What do I want my life to look like?” Then make it look that way. In making that journey, here are some provisions for your psychological backpack:

  1. Do not invite regret into your life. Instead, take chances, try new things, and take the path less traveled. Regret never dissipates, and second chances are rare.
  2. Beware of scripting your life…. Storytelling can trap us in other people’s scripts. Let life happen rather than forcing it to fit someone else’s idea of what a life should look like.
  3. Everything is temporary, good feelings, bad feelings, and feelings in between. Don’t like how you feel today? Hang tough, it will change.
  4. Failure is good, because it kicks us into new routines, keep setting the bar a little higher, and keep learning from those mistakes.
  5. Sleep. It’s the only miracle cure we have. Everything is a little easier with some rest under your belt.
  6. Stop saving for a rainy day. So many people spend so much time preparing for the future that they miss the miracle that is unfolding in front of them. Don’t be fiscally irresponsible but don’t let opportunities pass. Imagine waiting 10 years to take a trip, but then that day arrives and you are too ill to make the journey? Do it today.
  7. Do what you love and the rewards will come. They may not be financial, but it’s easy to live in a small house if you are living a life full of meaning and purpose.
  8. Spend a little time outdoors each day, it was what we were meant to do as a species.
  9. Pay attention to the cycles of nature – moonrises, sunsets, tides, and seasons. They matter.
  10. Put the smartphone down and lift your head up. Spend time with people. Look into their eyes when they talk, listen to their stories. Every person has within them a library of knowledge and fables, and if you listen, you will get a hell of an education. I have learned more from broken conversations with women around the world than I have from some of my professors at university.
  11. State your dreams out loud, once you do, you have made a promise to the universe and will be more likely to enact it. Dreams, like music, must be shared, but only with those ready to hear them.
  12. Don’t throw bad money after good. When something is done, walk away. Pointless persistence is lazy.
  13. Surround yourself with people who are advocates, who help your dreams take flight, who watch you make mistakes quietly, and who love you afterwards. Quietly split off from those who silence your dreams, clip your wings, and keep you on the ground.
  14. Travel. Each time you do, you open a chamber in your heart you did not know existed.
  15. Watch children play. Every baby is an existential scholar, more mindful and present than any Buddha.
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Dr. Ramani Durvasula is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Santa Monica, CA and Professor of Psychology at California State University, Los Angeles, where she was named Outstanding Professor in 2012.  She is the author of the new relationship survival manual Should I Stay or Should I Go: Surviving a Relationship With a Narcissist (Post Hill Press) She is also the author of You Are WHY You Eat: Change Your Food Attitude, Change Your Life, as well as the author of numerous peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters and conference papers. She brings expertise in relationships, sexuality, health and wellness. Dr. Durvasula was the co-host of Oxygen’s series My Shopping Addiction, and has also been featured on series on Bravo, the Lifetime Movie Network, National Geographic, the History Channel, Discovery Science, and Investigation Discovery as well as in documentary films (Someone You Love) on health. She has been a featured commentator on nearly every major television network, as well as radio, print, and internet media. Muses and Visionaries magazine features her opinions and guidance in their regular column “On the Couch with Dr. Ramani.” and she is an expert on wellness on Living Healthy. Dr. Durvasula recognizes that narcissism and technology have changed the landscape of love and relationships and provides keen insights on how to survive in this challenging territory of love and commitment. Dr. Durvasula brings a unique expertise as a professor, clinician, researcher, author, media commentator, and mother.


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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Loved it – I thought it may be a list of a lot I’d heard before and even though some was – the style that it was written was descriptive and poetic and got to my heart. I’ll keep it for when its needed again! Thank you

    1. They say there are a finite number of stories in the world, and perhaps a finite number of “inspirations” – so that said – i am glad that my words did impact you. Warmest wishes – RD

    1. Thanks for that – we are such a culture of pursuing goals without even thinking about it (because often if we did, we may change course). Persistence can be good – but not always. Again – thanks and hope that some of the tips are motivating for you!

  2. What an end year motivation jolt…–so inspirational. For me an Incredibly difficult year losing my Mom. I will cherish your inspiration and motivation into the New Year! I really needed this today. Thank you~Love reading your words of wisdom, inspirations tips for motivation and guidance. A winner for 2016! Come see us in SW Florida. Sarasota, you would love it here:) Happy New Year to you and yours!

    1. My deepest condolences on the loss of your mother. I hope you are able to celebrate her memory as you move forward and that the new year graces you with peace, love, health and joy. Thank you for your kind words! Happy New Year. – RD

  3. Items 3,4, 11, 13, and 14 are my favorites. I also like the tip to take care with script writing and story-telling. I get outside daily and revel in nature – especially walking among groves of trees. Thanks for these good reminders.

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