What advice can help us grow so that we feel great, not only right now, but also as we age? The first thing I want to touch on is the fact that we must not lie to ourselves and think that we will always feel amazing. This is an illusion we sometimes strive for through personal development work but can never attain because it is not only impossible but, quite frankly, not all that helpful. Allow me to explain.
The challenges we face and the lows we experience are great feedback mechanisms for us to learn and grow. Avoiding them or pretending they are not there is not only unhealthy, but also keeps us bypassing what our lives and experience are trying to show us. The key is learning how to experience a ‘down point’ and not dwell or get stuck in it for long periods of time — simply allowing the feedback of the experience to be what it is so we can observe it, learn from it, and move forward.
This is perhaps one of the most powerful lessons we can learn in our own personal journeys. Below are 20 more pieces of advice and wisdom that have been gathered from around the internet from multiple people to help you pave the way for a happy and healthy future. I believe there is something for everyone here.
Comparing yourself to others – Whether it’s an iconic figure or even a friend or co-worker, many of us have a natural tendency to compare ourselves or our circumstance to that of another. Think of how many times you may have said, either vocally or under your breath, “must be nice” when looking at a facet of another person’s life. But just as the famous saying goes: the grass will always seem greener on the other side. Whether or not the grass actually is greener has no true bearing on the only grass we should be focused on — the one right below our feet. The moment we stop comparing and instead focus on our own experience is the moment we are most likely to both find peace in things being the way that they are and motivation to change them should we feel the need to.
Start listening to your own inner voice. Whether you want to call it your inner voice, your heart, gut feelings, intuition, soul, higher self, higher perspective, or any other name you give to the real YOU that is beyond your mind, listening to that voice a little more often makes a big difference in your life. It’s YOU! It’s there to guide you, to show you your passions and what paths make the most sense for you at any given moment. The more you listen to it, the less you will listen to the mind, which can often over analyze or bring emotional patterns into your decisions. Listening to your inner voice is following your heart.
Letting the fear of making a mistake stop you from doing something – Mistakes certainly can be a frustrating experience, but never are they worth holding yourself back from doing something you feel pulled to do. We all know we learn from our mistakes, but we need to also remember that we learn even more from stepping outside of our comfort zone and doing something different or new.
Maintain (or repair) relationships with parents and siblings. Even if you have very complicated relationships with them, you still need to find a way to get along. Family ties are extremely important. Sooner or later you’ll understand that your family is the most valuable thing you’ll ever have.
Collect memories instead of things. You are the sum of your experiences. Don’t wake up when you’re 50 and realize that you’ve wasted your life gathering possessions. Memories won’t depreciate and can’t be burned in a fire.
Give something back. Give to others so you feel the goodness that service brings. However you give, do it with your full heart, soul, and effort. Expect nothing in return.
Take up sport. Get into an active lifestyle right now, so you’ll be a lot healthier by 50. Exercise regularly and keep your weight within normal levels. Look after yourself.
Learn to be content with what you have. Happiness matters far more than worldly success. If you are content with what you have then you may be a bit less likely to end up a millionaire, but you will have a happier life. And if you do become a wealthy person in the process, you’ll be a more happy, fulfilled, and productive wealthy person.
Don’t delay pursuing your life goals. Want to buy a house? Have kids? Write a book? Get a second degree or advanced degree? Change your career? Learn to play a new musical instrument? Learn to cook gourmet meals? Try scuba diving? Run for public office? Start a business and be self-employed? Then start today. It’s easy to put things off and tell yourself, “I’ll get to that someday.” But it’s really true that time starts accelerating as you enter your 30s, and it just keeps accelerating. The time that you’ll get around to those dreams should be now.
Get some sleep. A dark room or sleep shades will block out light. No bright screens before bedtime. Go to sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time.
Take care of your teeth. Go to the dentist already! Get your little cavities fixed as they come up. Unlike many bodily health issues, dental problems only get worse — and things like crowns and implants are uncomfortable, time-consuming, and expensive. If you have a good savings and income, the bills won’t be the painful thing — but there’s no getting around the pain and the time suck.
Be curious. Get out of the house and have an adventure right now. Make it as big as you can possibly manage, take lots of pictures, throw caution to the wind, take on the risk. If possible, include someone you’re close to — make a BIG memory. It needs to be measured in days, not hours or minutes. You’ll still be smiling about it when you’re old.
Stop eating crap. You can make a lot of money in your 20s, 30s, and 40s to buy the whole world when you are at age 50 or beyond. But you cannot buy your health. Give up on fast food, right now.
Trying to re-live/make up for your past — As I previously mentioned, your past does not define you, and that applies whether you look upon it favorably or as something you wish you could forget. As fun or torturous as reminiscing can be at times, in the end nothing truly matters outside of this moment. Rather than preoccupy yourself with a comparison to another point in time, why not try giving all of your energy and attention to the one that is right in front of you?
Learn to meditate. The list of benefits is endless, and while it only costs you a small portion of each day to practice, the change it effects in your life and the people you love will be enormous. And, these days, there is no shortage of scientific data to back up the value of incorporating meditation into your life.
Travel. As much as possible, whenever you can. — Traveling will change you like little else can. It will put you in places that will force you to care for issues that are bigger than yourself. It’s about experiencing true risk and adventure so you don’t have to live in fear for the rest of your life, and inspiring others to step out of that fear, too.
Just reading & not doing — As amazing as books, quotes, and even articles such as this one can be to help remind us of what we already know, we must also begin putting these things into action. Allow these resources to become a starting point rather than a regularly needed reminder.
Journal each day. You will definitely forget more of your precious memories than you’ll remember. Your written records will entertain and endear you in your future. Your computer should make this archiving all the easier to implement and retain/recall. Put files on memory sticks with photos. Your kids (or surviving spouse) may someday love you for it.
Take care of your friends. Choose people who make you feel like you already are your best self, who challenge you by their example, and who you genuinely enjoy. Nurture them. Laugh with them. Be silly, too. Contribute to their survival and enjoyment of life. Take the time every week to be in touch.
Start being fully honest with yourself. Being fully honest with yourself is so important, as we can get caught up in convincing ourselves that various things don’t bother us or aren’t a challenge for us. We might even be guilty of ignoring certain characteristics about the current version of ourselves. Honesty is needed in every aspect of our lives, whether it’s with other people, ourselves, our work, and so on. The more honest we are, the more we can grow from our experiences and keep things simple. You learn a lot about yourself when you are honest.