You only live once, and life is tragically short. It’s easy to look at people who are happy and assume they don’t understand your pain. The older you get, the more you realize that happiness takes work. People who smile in public have been through every bit as much as people who cry, frown, scream, etc. They just have the courage and strength to smile through it anyway. So how do you ensure you’re living life to the fullest? Here are some tips to help you out:
- Decide what’s important to you. It doesn’t matter what it is. Don’t do what you think people want you to do. Your parents, friends, community, and society in general all have their opinions, but at the end of the day, you’re the only person who will be around for every moment of your life. Do what makes you happy. Everything else will fall into place.
- Take risks… a lot of them. Sometimes there’s danger involved in life, but every reward carries risk with it. If you never take risks, you’ll never get anywhere in life. When people look back on their lives, they regret the chances they didn’t take more than the ones they did.
- Tell people you love them. Family will always appreciate hearing you love them. It will brighten a stranger’s day. If you have a romantic interest in someone, just go for it. There are a lot of ways it may end, and only one of them keeps them in your life forever. Just go for it. You have nothing to lose.
- Live in the present. Your past is important to learn from. Your future is important to work towards. At the end of the day, though, the only thing that exists outside of your head is the present. So think about your past and future, but only dwell on the present.
- Ignore the haters. No matter what you decide to do with your life, there will always be someone around to point out the many ways you’ll fail. Know that every winner loses, but not every loser wins. Successful people don’t start out successful. What makes them successful is that they keep pushing through failure.
- Don’t compromise your values. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Don’t compromise on your internal code of ethics. Life doesn’t work like a movie. It’s filled with gray areas. Trust your instincts. Do whatever you want so long as you can look yourself in the mirror.
- Do charitable acts for others. Every day, you’ll see someone who could use help. It’s easy to look at a homeless person on the street and think, “I wish I could help him.” What will happen if you do? If you gave $1 to that homeless person every day, you’d be out $365 a year if you worked every day. It doesn’t take much.
- Keep your mind open. Just because you’re right about something doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to look at it. Listening to ideas you don’t agree with or understand keeps your brain active and healthy.
- Speak through your actions. You’ll hear people say, “I had that idea,” every time you see someone create something great. Everyone had the idea for Facebook first. The reason Mark Zuckerberg got rich off of it is because he went out and did it while everyone else was talking about it. Ideas are useless if you don’t act on them.