I’m of the school of thought that life is pretty awesome, which might seem a bit counterintuitive for someone who’s nervous system has been set to HIGH ANXIETY since day one, but I genuinely believe there’s so much to gain when we choose to look at the positive side of life. Or, as I like to call it, operating with an attitude of gratitude.
But I also know that life can be hard sometimes; and when it is, it’s easy to misinterpret “hard” for “bad.” If I’m having a rough day, I can easily slip into the mindset of “This is a terrible day. Life isn’t on my side. Why me?!” If I’m riding the crazy train that day and really let loose, I can expand that thinking into “I have a bad life.” I can zero in on one or two shitty things and generalize them to my entire existence, which is so bogus and I know it. But I’m talking about it because confident you’ve had moments or days or weeks like that, too.
Which is totally fine, and normal, and not as crazy as it seems. (It’s only not fine and not normal if you stay there.)
Not too long ago, I was having a funky day. I was super anxious and I couldn’t pinpoint the cause of it. I was in my office and I just felt pulled to the bookcase; I was standing there, like I often do in front of the fridge, just hoping something good would appear.
And then I saw it. It was the present my mom gave to me for my 18th birthday; a book compiled of letters from the most important and influential people in my life, full of experiences, and helpful advice to help ease me into the transition of adulthood.
She had sent out a letter to these family and friends asking them to write me a letter, and she prompted them with three questions:
- What is something you wish you knew at 18 that you know now?
- What is something you wish you had done as a young adult but never did?
- What thing(s) are you glad you did as a young adult and never regretted?
The outcome was phenomenal, and it’s truly the most treasured gift I’ve ever received. Until recently, I hadn’t opened the book for a few years, but when I did, the tears started flowing almost immediately. How did my mom know that one day I’d need so many perfect words of wisdom and advice? (Because she’s a mom, duh.)
The book is filled with over 20 meaningful letters written to me, and it’s better than any self-help book on the market. (As you can see, I started keeping other important letters in this book as a result.)
I’m not currently having a hard time, but maybe someone reading this blog is, or maybe someone reading this blog needs an extra dose of good vibes, so I wanted to share the top ten pieces of advice that I always find to be helpful every single time I open this book.
Go to college.
There are only two kinds of problems in life: yours and someone else’s. You just have to figure out the difference.
If I could have learned to relax and not enjoy the moment better and to have not worried about the tomorrows, I think it would have been way more fun!
There will be some tremendous highs in your life, and no matter how hard you try, there will also be some devastating lows. Don’t let let the highs make you think you are something you’re not, and don’t let the lows keep you down. Do not let the lows define who you are, use them as a learning tool and then forget about them. As the miles of your life go by, you will realize that highs become less high and the lows aren’t as low as they once were.
To the brave and faithful, nothing is difficult.
As far as your character goes: be kind, be fair, be honest, be patient, do the right thing, don’t hold grudges, go to church.
No matter how much you get paid, pay yourself first. That means, take a portion of your income each pay period (let me repeat, each pay period!) and place it into a savings account.
There are truly no limits to what you can accomplish. As a young adult, I limited my dreams and aspirations to things that I knew. You really need to develop a thirst for the unknown, and this will lead you to the impossible.
Travel, travel, travel.
Blood is thicker than water. You are so blessed to have the family you have. Family means helping one another no matter what. Family does not judge, family does not criticize, and family always forgives. Family means accepting each other for who they are, and not what you want them to be.
I hope you have a fantastic Monday, friends!