35 little pieces of advice

From someone who just turned 35!

  1. Laugh. Surround yourself with people who don’t take you too seriously. It’s important to have friends who’ll make fun of things you consider important, even sacred.
  2. Work hard. Harder than anyone else you know. Wake up earlier and sleep later. Over years, these hours add up to an almost insurmountable lead over your competitors. Don’t speak of how hard you work, work hard for yourself, not to tell others about it.
  3. Be ambitious. Greatness never comes to those who convince themselves that they’re happy where they are. Some people are destined for happiness, some for greatness, rarely both.
  4. Call your parents. Everyday. You need it more than they do.
  5. Hug more. And none of those nonsense sideways, non-touching hugs. Hug well, linger. Apologising, saying you love someone, saying you missed someone, a lot can be said with a hug that can’t be said with words.
  6. Be alone. A lot. Take time off from everyone, your family and your friends. An hour everyday, listen to music you like, dance, draw, read, daydream. It heals the little rents in your soul, takes you back to your 6 year old self, untouched and uncorrupted.
  7. Experiment. With everything. A moral prison is a death sentence. Try new foods, learn about wine, about cheese. Smoking a cigarette to see what it feels like doesn’t make you an addict. Travel to places outside your comfort zone. Try different sex positions, even the weird ones, it’s hard to try them once you have arthritis.
  8. Set a ridiculously unachievable target. You’ll be surprised at how close you got.
  9. Practice. There’s no God given gift for anything. If you want to be the best at anything, you need to be the best at practicing more than anyone else. This applies to surgery, sport, art, writing, everything.
  10. Practice gratitude. For everything. For everyone. Just saying to yourself “I’m grateful for having this person in my life” can alter how you behave, how you react.
  11. Give up guilt. Don’t kill yourself over mistakes. Begin redemption immediately and there won’t be any time for crippling guilt.
  12. Cut off sugar. And by sugar, I mean processed sugar. Sugar is evil.
  13. Be late. Sometimes. And don’t kill yourself over it. This whole “good people are always punctual” business is a bunch of crock. People will wait if you’re important.
  14. Cry. Sob. Noisily. It makes you stronger.
  15. Do. Don’t build your reputation on what you’re planning on doing. Talk is cheap. Shut up and start doing.
  16. Wait. Patience is an underrated virtue.
  17. Exercise. More for your mind and heart than for your body. Push your body till its sore. That stitch in your side, those aching calves the next morning, that’s your body thanking you.
  18. Watch lousy movies. Sometimes the most highly acclaimed ones are really depressing. And it’s fun to watch stupidity on screen with a bunch of friends.
  19. Surround yourself with the right people. Cut out negative, jealous, narrow minded idiots from your inner circle. Surround yourself with people who are more intelligent, more talented and more culturally evolved than you. If you surround yourself with people who are smaller than you, you’ll always be in the company of dwarves. If you surround yourself with people who are greater than you, you’ll walk with giants.
  20. Be arrogant. Don’t be fake nice. Don’t play small. Don’t care about fitting in. If you worry constantly about how others feel or try to make them feel like equals, you’re demeaning the person you really are. Unashamedly embrace your superiority.
  21. Banish complacency. Complacency is a communicable disease.
  22. Kiss like you mean it. Close your eyes. Open your mouth. Loosen your lips. Taste.
  23. Make your own breakfast. Brew your coffee, make your omelette. It’s the best way to start your day.
  24. Cherish scars. Especially the ones on your heart.
  25. Buy good shoes. Learn how to polish them old school. With wax.
  26. Hoard stationery. Especially notebooks. Pick one up from every city you visit.
  27. Preserve handwritten notes and letters. As years go by and you grow as a person, you’ll unravel layers of emotions in that little piece of paper.
  28. Take long walks. You think best on your feet.
  29. Give in to cravings. Occasionally. Extensive scientific studies have proven that icecream eaten straight from the tub has no calories.
  30. Tie up loose ends. With relationships and projects.
  31. Gift meaningful things. They don’t have to be expensive. Put some thought in it, spend time finding something special. The best gifts have stories.
  32. Never give a store bought card. Make one. Always. You don’t have to be an artist to convey love.
  33. Tip well. Be kind to waiters and valets. Don’t be an asshole.
  34. Pray in the shower. With water pounding your face. If you’re not religious, express gratitude, thank the universe.
  35. Don’t let friendships die. It’s easy to lose touch. Days turn to weeks, weeks to months and months to years. We learn to live without them. Don’t. All it takes is a phone call. Swallow your pride and make that call.
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