On this day, the thirty-eighth anniversary of my birth, I wanted to take a moment to share with you, 38 lessons I've learned while balancing on this big, spinning ball of dirt we call, earth.
Now, I may or may not be extremely hard-headed, so some of these may or may not have taken me a loooooong time to learn. Nevertheless, here they are:
1. Don't take it personal. Seriously. Just don't.
2. Don't expect. If people don't know what your expectations are, they're never, ever, ever, going to live up to them. So, either tell them what you expect, or get rid of your expectations.
3. You can't "fix" people. All you can do is love them, outfit them with the proper tools, and teach them how to fix themselves.
4. Have a drink, eat some cake, stay up late. Live a healthy life, but never let your life become so regimented that you don't have room for a glass of wine, a piece of cake, or a late night of fun. Live a little!
5. Be happy by yourself. Happiness comes from within, so don't depend on someone else to make you happy. Find your happiness first, then find people who inspire you.
6. If you want to be in control, control your emotions. When you learn to control your emotions, you become powerful.
7. Trust your gut. Or whatever you want to call it -- trust it.
8. Always look on the bright side. Just do it. I promise there is always someone, somewhere who has it a lot worse than you do.
9. Don't be afraid of spontaneity. It's hugely underrated. HUGELY....
10. Find your passion and follow it. It's your passion for a reason.
11. If you can't change something, either accept it, walk away from it, or shut up about it. That's all.
12. If you spend your time worrying about the future, you waste the present.
You never really know what tomorrow holds, so enjoy today. Be present, live in the moment, and suck up every bit of happiness, love, and joy that you can.
13. Talk to your kids. Talk to them about everything: God, life, love, sex, money, drugs, alcohol -- whatever. Answer their questions (age appropriately, of course). If you don't, someone else will, and they may not give them the right answers.
14. Think before you speak. (Or text.) There will be times you wish you could cram your words back down your own throat (or phone). But you can't. This is why it's so important to really think about what you say before you let it spill out of your mouth (or phone). Words have the power to create or destroy, inspire or depress, attract or repel, reveal or conceal. Choose them wisely.
15. People are going to judge you and it SOOOO doesn't matter. People's opinions are a dime a dozen, and have no bearing on who you really are. 99 times out of a 100, people's judgements are based on erroneous thoughts, and come from the fact that they're either too lazy, too proud, too jealous, or too scared to get to know the real you, and the reasons why you do what you do.
16. You're stronger than you think you are. Just when you think you're going to break, you bend a little more.
17. What goes around, comes around. Instead of using your energy to try to prove a point or get revenge, use that same energy to fuel positive changes in your life. The rest will take care of itself.
18. Just because you're an incurable romantic, doesn't mean everyone else is. Everyone is wired differently. (Refer to #2.)
19. Men are more simple and women are more crazy than any of us like to admit.
That's all I'm going to say about that.
20. Remind yourself what it feels like to be a kid. Try doing something while pretending you're a kid. You may be surprised at how much fun you have!
21. Sail the seven seas. Just don't forget where the shore is.
22. Always dance. By yourself, with people you love, with strangers. Just dance.
23. Accept people as they are; inspire them to be better. The key words here: accept & inspire.
24. Lead by example. People will do as you do, faster than they'll do as you say.
25. Be real. Be authentic. Be you. There are too many people who will love the real you to worry about the ones who don't.
26. Love anyway. Love people in spite of themselves.
27. Be a good student. Remember the lessons you learn, so you don't have to learn them again.
28. Laugh at yourself. This is quite freeing.
29. Be the first to say I'm sorry. Holding a grudge makes you old and bitter.
30. Wear whatever you feel good in. As long as you're happy, go with it.
31. Smile at and compliment people. It means more to them than you think.
32. Sing. It's good for your soul.
33. Step outside your comfort zone. It's the only way you'll grow.
34. Talk to strangers. They may end up being some of your closest friends.
35. Make something happen. Don't wait for something to happen.
36. Deliberately make good memories. When you consciously go into something with the intention of making a great memory, it suddenly becomes easy to let all the stress go and give it all you've got.
37. Don't change who you are to please somebody else. What 1 person doesn't appreciate about you, 25 others will.
38. Never stop dreaming, reaching, believing. It's like drinking from the fountain of youth.