Life — A few lessons I have gleaned so far

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“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and do it with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Maya Angelou

After series of setbacks, disappointments, pain that cannot be weighed or quantified, loss of loved ones, depression, you name it, I have come to understand that life irrespective of its travails is what we make of it. As a result, I have come up with a list of actions that help me to remain upbeat, positive and generally maintain my sanity. I hope they are useful to you as they have been to me.

“However difficult life may seem, there’s always something you can do to succeed at.” Stephen Hawking

To make the most of life commit to carrying out the following tasks consistently:

Live more

Don’t take yourself too seriously

Don’t take things personal

Reach out to others

“Life is short, and it’s up to you to make it sweet.” Sarah Louise Delany

Express gratitude daily

Believe in yourself

Relax and live in the moment

Don’t over think stuff

Engage in ‘little things’ they go a long way

“I enjoy life when things are happening. I don’t care it it’s good or bad things. That means you’re alive.” Joan Rivers

Be open-minded

Give others the benefit of the doubt

Don’t simply dream. Take action!

Have the ‘Can do it Attitude’

Be careful what you read, watch, say and the people you hang around; they influence you in more ways than you think

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” Oprah Winfrey

Be kind to others but expect nothing in return

Don’t care what others think. It’s their opinion

Look to God for everything

Remember the serenity prayer when things don’t go your way

Exude joy

“Life doesn’t require that we be the best, only that we try our best.” H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Don’t take your family or loved ones for granted

Be in tune with the Almighty

Be optimistic about everything

Leave people to karma; it will get them eventually

Face your fears

“The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed.” Eminem

Never settle for second best. It’s unacceptable.

Bask in the glory of the Lord

Be other-centred but don’t lose yourself in the process

Engage in hobbies and pastimes

See challenges as stepping stones to greater heights

“The most important thing is to enjoy your life - to be happy — it’s all that matters.” Audrey Hepburn

Glean all you can from failures and experiences

Watch your words because once they slip, you’ll never be able to take them back

Watch your thoughts — you’ll never supersede them

Forgive, it’s the road to mental health and wellness

Seize comparing yourself with others and instead strive to be a better you each day

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” Charles R. Swindoll

Listen. It’s a great tool to learning and an avenue for great relationships

Learn something new each day

Watch your habits; they make or break you

Have a set of values, hold on to your convictions

Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability

“Death is not the greatest loss in life. the greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.” Norman Cousins

Allow people to walk out from your life. Some are present for a season, others for reason and a few for a lifetime.

Engage in acts that will benefit someone somewhere

Embrace yourself, your circumstances and your life. It’s the aqueduct to peace and mental health.

Use your ‘value meter’ when making decisions

Watch your actions, they always come with consequences

“Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make choices — today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but to embrace it.” Kevyn Auction

Acknowledge pain and hurt but don’t dwell on them. Move on.

Never be desperate for love; it only leads to anguish.

Place a high value on yourself because no one will value you more than you value yourself.

Engage in laughter lots of it, but never at the expense of others

Leave others better than you met them

“Live life to the fullest and focus on the positive.” Matt Cameron

Be confident. Be courageous. Be a pacesetter.

Learn to say ‘NO’; it’s the vaccine for people pleasing and helps you stay focused on your goals

Always take responsibility for your actions

Choose to respond rather than react to situations

Never have the last word

“Do not take life to seriously. You will never get out of it alive.” Elbert Hubbard

Learn to accept others. Compromise.

Let go of the past and let it remain there

Keep a gratitude journal and make entries daily

Keep an idea journal with you at all times

Be weary of trends. Like time, they’ll slowly fade.

“Do not dwell on the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” Buhdda

Be mindful of time-wasters like entertainment and social media

Don’t pursue happiness through things. Work on having a positive mind set and it will find you

Choose joy over happiness because happiness is based on circumstances and joy exists in spite of it

Ignore naysayers. Heed to those who encourage you to chase your dreams

Live in the moment

“To succeed in life you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.” Reba McEntire

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