Friday, October 12, 2018

12 Life Changing Lessons to Remember

A few of the life lessons/thoughts/revelations that have been on my mind as of late...

1.  One person can make a massive, huge difference, and can absolutely elicit major change, or spark something significant.  I didn't used to think this way.  Instead, I thought more the opposite.  As in, what difference can one person make?  Maybe something small, but probably not anything major.  Wow.  Has the last few weeks alone taught me otherwise.  One person can be a game changer.  And when you pair that one person with just a couple other like minded and similarly goaled individuals?  An avalanche can be started.

2.  There is SO much possibility in the world, beyond the narrow known of that which is your current life.  This is not to say that your current life isnt great.  It is to say that there is an endless amount beyond that you have yet to know or experience.  Jobs, more friends, potential career paths, social connections, love, places you could live and flourish, passions and hobbies you haven't yet discovered, knowledge you dont yet know, foods you haven't sampled or maybe even heard of, books you haven't heard of or read, places you've never seen.  The list going on and on and on.

There is a wealth of riches and possibility beyond whatever your life is right now.  Never forget this.  All that still exists to be discovered and experienced.  Its never ending.  The world is much, much, much wider than it may seem to be from each of our very limited vantage points.

3.  There are a lot of bad, deeply hurt, dangerous people out there.  Be on guard, aware, and on the lookout for these people so that when they do cross your path, you can adequately protect yourself.
Conversely, there are just as many kind hearted, generous, trustworthy, incredible people out there too.  When you find, befriend, and even come to love these individuals, cherish them deeply and put in the effort.

4.  There are many nuanced types of love, caring, feelings of affection, and attraction.  There are far more indescribable, unnamable nuances and layers than the simplistic words we have of "friend," "acquaintance," "romantic," "platonic," "attraction for."  Complexities and layers we may not even have words for.  For example, there is most certainly something between platonic and romantic.  Its not romantic or sexual, though its deeper, more sparked and nuanced than platonic.

We have many varying depths of feeling and connection with different friends, even if we might experience similar levels of caring for them.  There aren't labels or words for all the different, numerous levels of emotions, types of connection, and ways of feeling for others that exist in the human soul.

An article I wrote a couple weeks ago that compliments and expands on this is the link.

5.  Books can, do, and will change your life.  If you are open to such and invite/allow them to.  That choice is yours.  Within books, there are endless powers and riches.  You can learn about any topics, about different cultures, places, varying life experiences, hobbies, all sorts of things.  You name it, you can learn more about it via reading.  Through books, fiction and non, we learn how to be human.  Reading through experiences based on real human dilemma, triumph, challenge, and greatness.  It can all be found in books.  We can learn new ideas, different ways of thinking and being, how to navigate relationships in novel ways we might not have considered prior.  Books change lives.  The single most thing you can do to both live a richer life and to change your life?  Read.  And often.  Make time for it every day.

For a list of some of the books which changed my own life (and can certainly do the same for you), here you go.

6.  Fear is generally one big illusion.  Imagine all the worst case scenarios that have filled your heart over the years.  Worries.  Anxieties.  Scared over what might happen, how such and such might play out, or what if this or that happens?  And now, ask yourself, how often did your worst fears actualize and truly play out as you imagined?  How often did these fears really come to life?  Likely not often, if ever.  Fear is, for the most part, an illusion.  A trick of the mind designed to keep you from leaping where, more likely than not, you should.

7.  Relationships are top.  They are the greatest source of life happiness, contentment, and joy.  The sense of connection and love you feel with someone, thats priceless and immensely special.  This is more important than work (jobs are replaceable).  More important than computers or your cell phone.  More important than social media.  More important than even hobbies.  Relationships are the fuel by which your heart runs.  Having at least a couple of people in your life to whom you are incredibly close, love, spend regular time with, and who are truly good/healthy for you.  Do not take these people for granted or lightly.  Treat them like they are your everything, because they are.

8.  Fun is underrated, and should be searched out purposefully, often, daily.  Life is short, and incredibly fast.  So much of it is spent slogging between daily routine, "must dos" if you will, and being stressed out.  Our time on this earth is so full of riches and beauty, if only you stop to notice.  The sound of rain on the roof.  The taste of a decadent dessert.  A kiss and loving embrace from someone you cherish.  Cuddling under the covers.  Being gripping between the pages of a thrilling book.  Knowing you did a wonderful thing and made someones day.  Completing an exciting and fulfilling personal project.  The list goes on.  Life is an AWESOME thing, and its going to end.  Sooner than you think.  Cultivate and seek fun, every single day.  In more than one moment.  In any chance you have.

9.  Friendship is just as important as your romantic relationship.  One of the top five regrets of the dying was letting their friendships fade away (as well as, not putting enough care and effort into their relationships with the people they love, as they wish they had).  Put in the effort.  Truly great friends do not come along every day.  These connections are just as important, fulfilling, and beautiful as romantic ones.  The love you feel for a friend can be just as deep, in different ways, as love you feel for your romantic partner.  These are not less important than your romance.  Treat them with similar level of effort and care.  The payoff is so worth it.

10.  Conversely, learn and have the bravery to let go of friendships that are no longer healthy, or maybe dont fit any longer.  Most friendships do not last forever.  A small handful do.  Many do not.  Both of these outcomes are ok, healthy, and normal.  Thats not to say sometimes they aren't painful, such as when a loss or necessary letting go comes into play.  The point though is, history and longevity are not reason enough alone to keep someone in your life who otherwise is no longer a fit.  The people in your life should be there because they enrich and uplift your life.  Because they add joy and inspiration.  Because you love their company.  Because you have similar interests, as well as learn from them.  If you have a friend who doesnt do much of any of this for you, it might be time to consider moving on.  And thats ok, it doesnt mean anything is necesarrily wrong with you or them.  It could just mean that you two aren't a good match for one another.  Our lives are short and our time is limited, and thus, should be spent on the richest and most worthwhile conections with others.

Here is an article I wrote on the topic of necessary leavings in life.  Referring both to relationships (romantic and non) but also jobs, life situations, etc.  How do you know when its time to go?

11.  You define your lifes meaning.  And this is different for everyone.  If you neglect to define meaning, then you wont experience it.  Since you wont have a benchmark for what this even is.  Decide what are the top few things that make life worth living for you, and then design your life around them.  Crucial to living a life of greatest fulfillment, clearest direction, and ultimate joy.

12.  Risk expands you, and helps you grow, big time.  To make positive changes in your life, this often entails risk.  Sometimes smaller ones, other times, major ones.  You must be able to tolerate some level of certainty in life anyway, because life in general, is laden with unknown.  Taking thoughtful, though sometimes scary risks helps you grow, and changes your life.

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