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At 39, here are 16 things I'd tell my 19-year-old self about making the most of every day
As I teeter on the edge of what many consider a major life milestone (40 years), I feel reflective.
I'm people-watching at a Warsaw cafe.
I see people of different styles, shapes and compositions stroll past, rushing to work. Many are lost in thought.
It's difficult to gauge what's going on in their lives. But these people likely experience life entirely differently from one another.
We can have the same job, but one is miserable, and the other is happy.
Knowing why this is comes from philosophy.
Here are sixteen succinct life philosophies I'd tell my younger self so he'd make the most of his day:
The quickest way to misery is to overestimate your thoughts and underestimate your actions.
An imbalanced body contributes to unnecessary anxiety, which steals from your most energised, authentic you.
To maintain harmony in your body, the best thing you can do is avoid stimulants like smoking, alcohol, drugs, porn and processed food.
It's better to hurt someone's feelings by being true to yourself than to be nice while smothering your own self-expression.
Many people - at any given moment - will be doing seemingly ‘better’ than you.
It’s easy to fall into comparing yourself to others and to feel low as a result. But we’re all on our own path.
What they are doing has nothing to do with you. We’re all facing our own unique obstacles.
Have others be a source of inspiration, but if you feel worse through comparison, you must put blinders on and get back to doing it your way.
It may strike you that thinking deeply about yourself puts you in control of your life, but it only makes you more insecure.
Instead, focus on doing things that improve other people's lives significantly.
Your life will become much easier when you stop expecting it to be easy.
You will separate yourself from the pack by doing one thing at a time and not overthinking those actions.
Action will do the required 'thinking' for you.
Stop worrying about the 'ideal career.'
Just get really, really good at finishing the things you start.
Form a career around being dependable.
Don't be concerned about whether you are doing the 'right' work.
Nothing is right for you.
‘Who cares what's 'right?'
All that's right is you honour every commitment you make.
Commitments are all we have anyway.
You are not 'different.'
You are not less than anyone else.
We're all human, we're all weird, we're all capable of evil, and we're all nervous about what others think.
We are all connected in our uniqueness.
Even if you feel awkward or nervous, you must own every decision.
Why? Because there is no right way, and no one else knows what they are doing, so why do you allow yourself to limit yourself when it's your turn to shine?
The more afraid you are to lose a piece of your made-up self-worth (it's not a thing), the more life will kick your ass.
Don't forget the power of slowing down physically.
Our thoughts are connected very closely to our physical being.
If we rush our words and actions, our thoughts too slow down.
When our thoughts have decreased, our minds are more settled, and we are far more effective and happy. If in doubt, slow down.
Fear might seem like a negative force, but it is actually incredibly positive.
We misunderstand fear.
We dislike the feeling and label it harmful.
But if a wolf is running towards you with teeth snarling, the sense of dread is saving you from standing still and dying.
In the same way, when you feel fear in your everyday life, it signals to you the presence of something highly significant.
If you're scared to get on a stage to talk, that fear shows you what's worth doing, not what to avoid.
There is opportunity here. What you fear is always a doorway to a better life.
Have faith that you will know what to do in the moment.
It's easy to think we need others to hold our hands.
It's also easy to fall for the lie that we're inadequate.
But you have more than you believe hidden deep inside.
Your instincts are correct. Your inner wisdom knows the way.
Do not fall for the modern tripe of needing to 'look inward,' 'find yourself,' or 'focus on you,' if you're anxious or depressed.
The reason you're depressed in the first place is because you're focused on you. The solution?
Help others. Stop whining. Stand up tall. Own your choices.
Take action, and don't stop.
You 'find yourself' by challenging yourself through doing things that aren't always easy.
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