No more excuses. To hell with the procrastination. No one cares how old you are, no one.
Write that book. Tell the story. Start exercising. Visit that place. Hell, get up and move if you need to. Forget the competition. Solve the problem. Build your project. Blog. Splurge. Finish the bucket list. Realize your dreams.
Now. Or later, that’s fine. But do it. If it really matters, it doesn’t matter when. Truly meaningful things are not bound to a timeline. Don’t disappoint yourself. It’s never too late until the end.
If you lose control of your situation or time, do what you can to live in the moment and make the situation fun. Look at the bright side, drink a glass half full and turn it into something you can appreciate and enjoy. At the very least, every moment in life has an embedded learning opportunity – it should not be too difficult to make everything that happens to you count. Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of mindfulness and optimism. Crack jokes, puns or witty comments. Make faces if that’s your thing. Whatever it takes to polish a dull moment and give it to some shine. Those who cite you as unprofessional do not deserve your time.
Of all the seven deadly sins, gluttony is my favorite. We have no excuse to abuse our bodies with regular exorbitant consumption of any kind – but minor infractions cannot hurt every once in awhile. To celebrate, I do not mind eating five meals in a day or downing a hefty dose of alcohol. Mark the occasion as you please. You should not do it every night and you should not do it to pass time. But feel free to do it to bookmark a moment in your life as memorable. Gluttony all the time is not memorable. Gluttony on a rare occasion sticks with you for life. Make it count.
Seems like such a silly little tool, but do not underestimate the power of pros & cons lists in helping you navigate difficult decisions. Simply getting your thoughts down on paper can help you better-objectify the situation. If you take the list seriously and generate genuine pros and cons in your brainstorming session, the visual key to how many thoughts land in each column can really help you clear the air and see the right choice. If you take your time and add to the list over a longer period, you will be surprised how objective the tool can be. I use pros & cons lists to assess almost all of life’s big decisions. As far as I can tell, none of them have failed me yet.
Tomorrow marks my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary. Not many people have had the fortune of being raised by parents who have stayed together that long. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for picking each other wisely and teaching me the value of a strong partnership. Thank you for making my brother and me a reality and putting up with our shenanigans. We all love you dearly and wish you many more years to come!
Money isn’t everything. Time, knowledge, happiness, autonomy, geography and output are all currencies that can be measured and prioritized in different ways. When job hunting, you look at more than just the salary – how much time you’ll get to spend with your kids, how far away it is, how much you’ll be able to learn and grow, what autonomy you’ll have and what you’ll be able to build. Sometimes, money is the most important and necessary thing to you. Other times, you might be willing to make a salary sacrifice to learn something specific or work closer to a place you call home. What matters most to you now? How does that affect your decisions? I find it useful to rank the currencies that matter at this moment. Do you need time more than money now? Do you want social outings more than the number of books read? Do you want a job that constantly teaches you new things or do you want an easy commute? Write it all out. Prioritize your life and make important decisions accordingly.
Plan things to look forward to.
Live in the moment, not just the past.
Celebrate often. Don’t complain.
Find something creative to do.
Get up, dress up and show up.
Get outside everyday.
Take care of your body.
Accept that doctors are not perfect.
Do not seek sympathy for being old.
Love and forgive everyone.
It is difficult to face every situation with a smile. I’ve discovered one trick that helps make even the toughest moments in life acceptable: approach every situation – good or bad – as an opportunity to learn. It may not turn coal into cheesecake, but at least you can walk away with the most important spoil of war: a life lesson. Few people will help you navigate life this way. It’s up to you to step back from the situation, take notes and review. The more you reflect on life’s lessons, the more prepared you will be to tackle any problem. With the poise and experience to tackle any problem, you may yet find yourself less unhappy and more excited by all that life has to offer.
As much as it pains me to quote a Quentin Tarantino film on my blog, awkward silences always make me think of Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction: “Why do we feel it’s necessary to yak about bullshit in order to be comfortable?” You don’t need to flap your gums all the time. There are other ways to communicate and experience relationships. Sometimes it’s just nice to sit there with someone. Enjoy the company. Feel the breeze. Live life – and remember you’re living it together. I will never bash good conversation. But some of the best moments in life go unspoken.
Every day is a new day. Put yesterday behind you and start out fresh. No grudges, no lingering stress, no bad memories – only the positive energy to move forward and seize the day. Ignore the past if you need to – whatever it takes to move forward with confidence and peace of mind. A fresh attitude and perspective can make a big difference in tackling life’s persisting problems. Get a good night sleep, forgive your past and face the day with the determination to make it a good one.