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Andrew Schrage

1. Life is far too short to hold grudges. I’ve seen too many people lose precious time that could have been used to become closer to family members, all because of a petty disagreement. You should either come to a resolution, or simply agree to disagree. No grudge is worth holding on to.

2. It is also important to remember that in life, there are two main questions you must ask yourself: Were you able to bring joy to others? And, were you able to find joy yourself? If you can positively answer those two questions, then you can deem your life a success. It’s that simple. These are the two things you should strive for every day.

3. Furthermore, those of us who have the courage to chase our dreams are also more likely to achieve happiness and success. Pick something you are passionate about to pursue – and if you can’t find it in the corporate world, then start your own business. Any successful small business owner will tell you that the most exciting (and frightening) part of their venture was taking that first step. It takes courage and bravery, but it’s worth the effort to follow your dreams.

4. If you are fortunate enough to achieve success or monetary wealth, be sure to give back to your community. There are people out there who genuinely need your support. Being charitable can also improve your sense of self-esteem.

5. You should also strive to leave the world a better place than when you entered it. Become involved in environmental causes, and consider implementing green practices in your own personal life. The sustainability of the world at this point in time faces many challenges – but there are plenty of things you can do to help.

6. I also highly recommend that you say “I love you” to all the people in your life who you care deeply about, and to do it often. I came from a family that didn’t do this much, and it really left a sense of emptiness when some of those family members left this Earth. You might assume that people know you love them, but this is much different than speaking the words. No one knows how much more time he or she has left on this Earth, so it’s important to express this emotion emphatically and often to all those it applies to.

7. Most importantly, laugh loud and laugh often. It truly is the best medicine, and it’s a contagious medicine as well. You’ll surround yourself with other happy people, which can make for a more rewarding life.

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Andrew Schrage graduated from Brown University with a degree in economics and a strong interest in personal finance. After cutting his teeth in the investment world, he and a business partner began working on Money Crashers, a consumer finance website, starting in 2009. The site works to help people better manage their money and make difficult decisions when it comes to areas like retirement planning, choosing from the best bank account promotions, finding the best places to travel on a budget, and implementing some of the top strategies to raise a family on a small income. The site has a strong readership and social media following; it has built a great atmosphere where readers can come to learn about and discuss money.

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