I’m a lifelong learner. I don’t claim to be that wise; I think I’d need about 997 years on the planet to become a true sage.
But, I’ve definitely done some living. I have experienced moments of utter bliss, events of tremendous loss, true love, profound emptiness. Indeed, haven’t we all?
In the past year, I’ve done a lot of writing and reflecting. I thought it might be good to make a list:
Some of those things I’ve learned -
- Life is short and you never know when it’s your time. Don’t put things off that you want to do. Write a book when the kids are grown? Do it now: little by little. Jump out of an airplane? Mark a date on your calendar and just do it.
- People will always gossip, and those who gossip to you surely gossip of you. It’s really none of your business what they say: go right on doing your thing because people will talk regardless.
- Take time for silence. Meditate. It will give you clarity.
- Your possessions can and will possess you. Especially in our materialistic society. Learn to let them go.
- Learn to be happy with what you have. There are people with far less.
- Face your fears. When you do, you’ll be stronger and you’ll be able to live a fuller life.
- Everyone lives in their own reality. There’s nothing you can do about that. So make your own reality the best you possibly can.
- If you don’t have enough money to survive, make some changes. Get a side job, mow some lawns, whatever. Reduce your overhead expenses, get a smaller house. It’s not worth it to be stressed out over not making ends meet.
- Watch less TV. No one ever said they wished they watched more television. You’ll have a lot more time and you’ll feel better about yourself instead of being bombarded with shows and commercials to buy stuff you don’t need.
- Treat the planet with care. In turn,she’ll take care of, you, too.
- Be kind to others. It’s cliche, I know. But the things you do reflect back on yourself. If you are unkind, so, too, will you feel the effects of your unkindness.
- Remember that we all have our own journey and struggles. Just because someone “has it all together” doesn’t mean that they really “have it all together.”
- Take time to do things you love. You’ll love yourself more for it. It’ll also be a great reprieve from life’s daily routines.
- Once a year, go somewhere you haven’t gone before. It’ll give you great perspective and insights about yourself.
- Do your best in whatever you do. Your best will look different when you’re tired or when you’re well-rested. But if we ask ourselves to just do the best we can, then we don’t have to feel guilty that we didn’t try harder.
- Get outside for a little while each day. Listen to the birds, the wind, even passing cars. Just take a few moments to listen and get some fresh air.
- Have a conversation with a loved one with NO interruptions. Turn off the TV, the radio, cell phones – all distractions. Each person gets to talk for ten minutes without interruption and then the other person can speak.
- Related to the one above: be a good listener. Stop what you’re doing, put everything down, and be present.
- If you’re worried, it’s because you’re thinking about the future too much. If you’re depressed, you’re thinking about the past too much. If you are at peace, you’re living in the present – in the moment.
- All the money in the world won’t buy an ounce of happiness. You have to be happy with yourself and your life before you can be happy with money. (Though having enough to live on is important – see above.)
- Never stop learning. Learn about other people, cultures, customs, religions, perspectives. It’s not a threat to your well-being; it’s a way to learn about yourself.
- Reach out to other people. Even if it’s out of your comfort zone. Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a long time. Give a flower to an acquaintance. It feels good. You’ll make someone else happy, too.
- Don’t forget to give. Maybe you can’t always give monetarily, but maybe you can give something you made, your time, your love, or even your thoughts. Take time to think of others.
- You know your own truth. It lies deep inside you. You already have the answers you need, if you just know how to look within and listen.
- Find balance in your life. You already know what’s out of balance. Brainstorm on ways to fix it.