Life can be pretty simple sometimes.
First, take care of yourself.
Make your living arrangement more than a space. Make it a place. A place where you feel comfortable and relaxed.
Get to know your hobbies. Things that you love to spend time on for no reason except you love to spend time on them. Then spend time on them.
Find where your interests and strengths overlap. Spend more time there.
Sing and dance and play more.
Say “could” more often. Say “should” less often.
Live full days. Not busy days.
Learn something new every week.
Forgive your own mistakes. Tell yourself, “I am sorry I screwed up. I know I can do better next time.” Respond to yourself, “It’s ok you screwed up. Everyone screws up from time to time. Even the best of us. I know you can do better next time.” Then do better next time.
We are all a perpetual work in progress. Be a better prototype of yourself than you were yesterday.
Learn how to be alone. It’s a skill not taught in school, but should be. It frees you up to enjoy life more fully more often, because you’re no longer dependent on other people to enjoy it.
Everything starts with your relationship with yourself.
Second, take care of your community.
Identify people who provoke negative emotions in you. Who drain energy from you. Spend less time with these people.
Identify people you have mutual love and appreciation for. Who jointly create a magnetic field of positive energy around you when you spend time together. Spend more time with these people.
Find more people like them.
Tell them you appreciate them.
Be there for them.
Surround yourself daily with them.
This extends to who you work with. Who you live with. Who you study with. Who you play board games with. Who you go to the movies with. You can control who you spend time with. Exercise that control.
Third, take care of your world.
Every day, leave this world a little bit better than you found it.
Assume good intentions.
Know that we are all different. Just because you don’t relate to it, doesn’t mean it’s less than.
Know that we are all more similar than we are different. We are all trying to make it in this world. We are all trying to take care of ourselves. Our communities. Our worlds. We want to feel worthy. We want to protect the things we value. We want the best for the people we love. We want to feel there was purpose to our existence on this earth.
We go about this in different ways. But at the core we all have pretty similar goals.
Treat people with respect. You have no idea where they came from. Or what they are going through. A smile, a compliment, a heartfelt hug, a kind deed — these can mean the world.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt someone. Tell them, “I am sorry I screwed up. I know I can do better next time.” Then do better next time.
Forgive others for their mistakes. Tell them, “It’s ok you screwed up. Everyone screws up from time to time. Even the best of us. I know you can do better next time.” Then help them do better next time.
It’s a chain reaction. Kindness begets kindness. Hatred begets hatred. You cannot make the world a more equitable place through judgment and hate. You can either continue or break the cycle.
It starts with us.
Be kind to yourself.
Be kind to your community.
Surround yourself with people who are kind to you, and to others.
Be kind to your world.
Be kind to strangers.
Speak up for kindness.
Be the voice for kindness.
Be the embodiment of kindness.
Fight for kindness.
Fight for people, policies, and things that encourage kindness.
It’s sometimes just that simple.