Life is about giving. Your talents, your knowledge, your love, your support. We all possess unique gifts to share and no gift is too small. Your time, too, is your gift. To share that time with someone you care about means something both to you and that person. Giving doesn't have to be an expensive gift or experience...giving can come in much simpler foods: a nod, a smile, a handshake, a hug, an ear to listen.
Be Good to Others
The golden rule is so ancient it's nearly forgotten: treat others the way you would like to be treated. Be warm, open and trusting, even when it's easier to be cold, hard or guarded. The energy you put out in this world will come back to you. To treat others with kindness and respect, even if you're not fond of them. Before doing so, though, it's impertinent to remember the next lesson...
Be Good to Yourself
Even when we're doing for others, we often forget to do for ourselves. To love ourselves; to find balance amongst our mind, body and soul. To treat ourselves - as we do others - with love and respect. Our external relationships are simply mirrors of our internal relationships with ourselves. Build a solid foundation for the relationship with yourself. It is, after all, one of the few, if only, relationships that will last throughout your entire lifetime!
Be Good to the Planet
Politics aside, there is no argument against the hard facts that we are rapidly depleting the Earth's beautiful and divine natural resources. Do your part, no matter how small, in making the world a better and safer place for future generations - like your children. Consume less, give more, become as green as possible. The closer you get to the Earth - and the more appreciation you have for it - the more grounded you'll become, mind, body and soul.
Accept that You Won't Please Everyone
No matter how much good you do in this world, let's face it: you won't please everyone. In fact, the more good you do, the more adversity you might find. Embrace these challenges, including external criticism, as growing points for your own personal development and success. Never let the negativity of others affect the way you feel about yourself.
Treat Your Body Like Your Temple
Your body is the only house you have to live in. Would you rather live in a rotting house, set on a rocky foundation, or in a beautiful one, that is securely grounded? This isn't about the exterior; it's about the interior. Feed your body through clean, natural and organic foods. Feed your mind through thoughtful information. Feed your soul through meditation, gratitude and ongoing harmony with the world around you.
Don't Waste Time or Energy on Negative People
Life is too short to spend time fretting over others' criticism or overall negative states. There are only two states of mind to reside in: one of happiness, or one of suffering. While we all experience suffering in many different capacity, suffering is a gift because it enables us to relate. But that doesn't mean we should harp on it! Instead, we should support one another to overcome it. Find a comfortable and peaceful state of mind that will enable you to achieve balance through life's challenges.
Never See Your Mistakes As Failures
Mistakes aren't failures; through learning, understanding and self-realization, they're simply opportunities to grow. In fact, they could be your best jumping off point for success! Do you feel you've made a lot of mistakes? Are you still holding yourself accountable for what you perceive to be past failures? Stop torturing yourself. Through your missteps, you will continue to grow. Through time, you will begin to understand that all of these missteps and mistakes became important lessons that lead to necessary changes in your life.
Gratitude precedes happiness, but sadly, so many people believe it's the other way around. They believe they will be grateful when they are happy. Happiness is simply a state of mind. Learn to be grateful for all of the positive things in your life, even the harder things that lead to something better. Through that gratitude, it will become much easier to achieve long-term, sustainable happiness.
Remember the Bigger Picture
Keep things in perspective. It's so easy to get caught up in our schedules, daily frustrations and the intricate fabric of our own minds. But don't overanalyze everything. It will only lead you to further disillusionment and likely cause you to compare your life to someone else's. See the bigger picture and remember that you are a small element in it...but that even a small element can make a big change.
See the Beauty in Everything
Everything has a divine sense of beauty - including you! Nature is comprised of incredible, symmetrical patterns. Think about the work your body does every day just to keep your machine alive and moving. See the beauty in yourself and the beauty in others. Focus on their beauty, rather than what you perceive to be their shortcomings. Appreciating beauty is expressing gratitude. As we're beginning to unravel, gratitude leads to happiness, which is nothing more than a solid state of mind.
Don't Compare Your Journey to Anyone Else's
Run your own race. If you're cycling and you look in someone else's lane, guess what? You may crash! The wise man, Mark Twain, once said, "Comparison is the death of joy." Isn't that so true? Your life is unique because you are unique. Someone else's journey is not and will not be your own. Run your own race, at your own pace, and thank yourself and the universe for how far you've come.
We all have fear. It's built into the human mind as a survival mechanism, and it's as old as our ancestors. But as we've evolved and certain civilizations have surpassed the basic needs for true survival, we've created "perceived fear" about what we think it means to survive. But too much perceived fear can actually lead to your demise. Perceived fear can be crippling, causing us to constantly worry about the past, the present and future, instead of focusing on the beauty of the only moment we truly possess: which is now! To release perceived fear, you must be able to: identify what you are afraid of, look it in the face, and then conquer it.
Take Time for Yourself
In-line with loving yourself, you need to take time for yourself. I mean time completely alone: away from everyone and larger distractions. It can be several minutes a day, and I know that no matter how busy you are, if you value your well-being you can find time for that. If you don't meditate, simply sit quietly. Reflect. Write down what your grateful for. Or simply remind yourself of not who you are, but what you are: a beautiful being on the incredible and exciting journey we call life.
Don't settle for mediocrity. Not in your relationships, in your career, in your passions, in your state of mind. Don't settle because societal paradigms convince you that you "should" be doing something. You make around 60,000 decisions a day. Make those conscious decisions about what you want to create, to give, to become. Write your story, and repeat it to yourself. The story you tell yourself will become your life's story. Make it a good one.