If you make it to 40 then I believe that you have gained some life experience and therefore some wisdom. In my humble opinion after 4 decades of life, these are some pearls on how to maximize a happy and healthy life. The following are not necessarily original thoughts but things I have learned, adopted, and continue to work on from books, conversations, the experience of travel, and life in general.
No matter what…forgive, forgive, forgive. Forgiveness is the most important medicine for a healing world. Additionally not forgiving someone only hurts you. Radical forgiveness is allowing yourself to forget any past pain and choosing to remember only the good. If peace is the goal then don’t point the finger. It doesn’t matter who is perceived right or wrong. Put your ego aside. Don’t forget to forgive yourself too. Anger and hatred are heavy burdens to carry.
View challenging people and situations as gifts. For this is what allows us to test our capacity for compassion, love, patience, faith, and forgiveness. When we pass challenging situations with grace this is where we grow. Challenging people or situations allow us to become better people. Keep in mind, it is hurt people that hurt people. Those are the ones that need our compassion and forgiveness the most.
However, sometimes, no matter how kind, forgiving, and open hearted we are, there are just some people that will be toxic to you. They might be jealous, desperately unhappy, or even mentally ill. There are times that you will be defenseless. Recognize when that is the case and assess and adjust that person. Keep them at a safe distance so that you cannot be harmed. By assessing the situation and adjusting accordingly with people you can potentially have a harmonious relationship with almost anyone.
The only way that anyone can ever hurt you is if you want/need something from them. You don’t need anything from anyone. The behaviors of other should never be able to disrupt your peace. Why give that person power over you?
You have everything you need inside of you. You have all the love, all the strength, all the wisdom, all the answers. You never have to feel lost, lonely, or unloved. You are equipped with everything you need and you are the only one that determines your happiness.
Because you have everything you need, give to others. Give love, kindness, and compassion. Give without expecting anything in return. Give without an ulterior motive.
The behavior of others is a direct reflection of the relationship that they have with themselves. Once you can truly see and believe in this you can understand the pain that someone is in. On the converse, you can also see who has a self loving, healthy relationship with themselves. This is such an easy give away. In understanding this you never have to take anything personally.
Before you go to bed and when you wake up in the morning do a gratitude practice. By focusing on all the good in your life more good will enter your life. Before I go to bed I reflect on what I am most grateful for from that day. In doing this exercise I am automatically expressing gratitude for my entire day. In the morning I mediate and one component of that is thanking the universe for all the good in my life. Gratitude is magic.
Meditate. It is our mind that controls everything. It is so important to spend time inside of our minds. It allows us to become more responsive and less reactive. It brings peace and a calmness to our soul. It fosters creativity. It makes life better.
If there is something in your life that you want, ask the universe for it. Mediate on it and feel the gratitude in your heart for whatever it is becoming a reality.
Your thoughts do not define you. Learn to become an observer of your thoughts. Instead of engaging in dramatic or unhealthy thoughts, watch them gently float by. If you engage in the drama through gossip it will only harm you.
Do not judge others. It’s toxic and ugly. Instead have your default for others be compassion and kindness. We all have a common goal on this earth and that is to be happy. Everyone human can connect on that level so whether you view someone as a friend or enemy wish them happiness.
Accept your past entirely. It all happened as it was suppose to. Someday it will make sense. Be happy and joyful in the present for we don’t know when we will take our last breath. View the future as opportunity but don’t put your better days there. Some of us want specific things at a certain age or time and if we don’t have those things it creates unhappiness. Don’t put yourself on a fixed timeline. Trust the journey of your life entirely.
Be and live in the present. This is also important with long term relationships. The longer a relationship the more important it is to live in the present otherwise you will continue to relive the past.
Live a truthful and honest life. You can’t be shaken if you are always providing the truth. In providing the truth you are also giving others the best and most accurate information for them to base their decisions off of. Being truthful also does wonders for your karmic path.
Turn your expectations into appreciation.
Be adaptable and embrace chance. We are made up of cells that are constantly changing therefore it is our very nature to change. Getting out of our comfort zones promotes growth.
Focus on the good. When someone does 9 nice things for us we focus on the 1 not nice. Why? Our ego. Why let the 9 nice things be forgotten or become unfocused with the noise of the 1?
It is our ego that is attracted to drama, doesn’t allow us to forgive, and compares ourself to others. It is also our ego that needs an apology. You don’t need an apology, but if you get a sincere one, be gracious. It takes a brave and vulnerable person to admit fault and take responsibility. Defying the ego is a decision to choose love every time.
Anything outside of love isn’t real. This might be a hard one to embrace because we all feel anger and sadness, but this sentiment does provide me with peace. In making decisions, or in my actions or thoughts I ask myself is this coming from a loving place. If the answer is yes, it gives me confidence. We were created in love and outside of that are things, thoughts, emotions we do to protect ourselves.
No matter what good fortune comes your way remain grounded, humble, and grateful.
When good things happen to people share in their triumphs. Be truly happy for them. This is such an appreciated, recognized, and beautiful quality.
Exercise, eat healthy, and drink a ton of water.
Travel. Travel feeds the soul, expands the heart, and humbles the ego.
Really listen to people and yourself.
Don’t have conversations, make decisions, send a text or email when you are emotional. Instead, sleep on it.
When communicating, DON’T be defensive. Defensive behavior breaks down any ability to communicate. Instead self reflect and try to understand the side of the other person. Understand that defensive behavior is coming from a wounded and suffering place. People’s defensives are their attempt at deflecting and protecting themselves.
In viewing death think of this earthly life as a chapter in a never ending story. Our time here is finite and when we go we return to the infinite. When someone we love passes it is our ego that thinks we can’t still communicate with that person. They are there. They are our angels.
If you get lucky enough (which you will if you ask the universe for it) marry the best person you know.
In humility and gratitude thank you for reading.