21 Lessons in 21 Years: A Project in Procrastination.
I'm going to post 1-21 all here, so you can read through them in the order in which they were intended. If you've read the rest and are only interested in 18-21, I would just skip to the bottom now where it says 12-26-2011.
2. Want to live a happier life? Try this: don't hate. Just don't do it. I know, I know, easier said than done, but hear me out. The two strongest, most powerful and passionate feelings are Love and Hate. When you Love someone, that person consumes you. You spend so much time and energy on them. With any of your actions, you consider their reactions. The same is true when you hate. It's so much time, so much energy, so much conscious thought put towards something that leaves you feeling depressed and heavy. When you love someone you feel brighter, not depressed. Your life is uplifted, not heavy. Do you see what I'm getting at? The time and energy you would put towards hating someone, put it towards something that makes you happy instead.
3. Want to help small business boom in America? Stop at every lemonade stand. The emphasis was on small business. It usually takes less than a minute and less than a dollar to teach a child that they can succeed. This was an idea that was taught to me, by example, since I was really little. My Dad has always made a point of stopping at every lemonade stand and every bake sale. In a world of drive-thru's, online shopping, and ATMs, it's crucial that we stress the importance of face-to-face contact. The traditional salesperson is out there, they're just seven years-old.
5. When you're around a new group of people, don't worry about people not liking you. As people, we instinctively look to make connections with other people. No one approaches a new group looking to form enemies.
6. Jealousy is a sin, but admiration is a virtue. It takes a certain amount of maturity to take that step. You can either be jealous of your friend's straight As, or you can admire their discipline, and her study habits. Jealousy leads to anger and bitterness, but admiration leads to change.
7. "If it ain't broke," it can still be improved. Think of your favorite gadget; your iPod, TV, mechanical pencil... whatever. Fo me, it's my cell phone. That little device is what keeps me connected to the people I love. However, in 1876, when Bell created the first "phone" I'm betting he had no idea that phones would one day look like they do today. And after a few attempts, he created a phone that worked well enough. They could have just stopped there. I mean, it did what it was supposed to do, but inventors found that they could make it better. Your life is the exact same way! If your life is going well, I applaud you. However, I bet you could make it even better. Every day is a chance to improve yourself. To not take advantage of that is a waste of a day.
8. Life is too short to not be yourself everyday. If you live to be 85, you only get 31,025 days to be yourself. The world only gets to benefit from your existence for 31,025 days.
Scenario 2. Say there's a certain someone whom you're trying to attract. You find out this person is into ICP, while your radio is always tuned to country music. In order to get this person to like you, you download (legally, of course) all the ICP you can find, and even though it makes you want to vomit, you become familiar with their music, just so you'll have something in common with this person. All is well and you two end up together (Awww, how sweet), but down the road, it comes out that you can't stand ICP. Your entire relationship was basically formed on a lie. What does that say about your honesty? Be honest. Believe me, it's not easy, but in the long run, you'll be glad you were.
10. Always make a first impression. Bonus points if it's not what they expected :)
11. It can't rain forever. Let's be real, bad things happen. To some people, they happen often. Sometimes, even, it seems like things will never get better. Believe me, I've been there. Yes, for the most part, I've had an incredibly great life. I've been Blessed with people who love and care about me, but I've dealt with my fare share of...stuff. The important thing to remember during those times is; it can't rain forever.
12. Find comedy in everyday life! It makes Mondays so much more enjoyable.
13. If you enjoy doing something, don't let the fact that you're not the best at it keep you from doing it. I love to sing. However, from taking part in choir at high school, I'm very aware I'm not the world's greatest singer. That doesn't stop my from singing along to the radio, no matter who's in the car.
14. A lot of times, someone's favorite song will tell more about them than their words ever will.
15. Some days suck. But, if you put up with it... you'll get the chance to try again.
16. Potatoes don't belong in the vegetable drawer in the refrigerator.
17. Not everyone is going to like you. Think about it. Do you like every single person you meet? Probably not.
19. Learn a fun uncommon word and use it often. Let me tell you why. First; it makes you sound intelligent, second; you can help others expand their vocabulary. (note: for reasons one and two to be accurate, you have to actually use the word correctly.) My word is Superfluous; which basically just means unnecessary and/or excessive. Some people like to do a word of the day/week/month. More power to them, I don't have the discipline. Ok, so this isn't a lesson I've learned, so much as it's just something I've done.
20. There's an appropriate way to talk to everyone, but it's not the same way. With being really involved in church when I was really young, I had to learn to talk to different people, and in front of different people in different ways. You wouldn't use the same language with your boss as you would your football buddies. Every contact is an audience, make sure you're addressing your audience appropriately.
Since I've taken over a year to complete this project, I decided to add a 21st to the list. I'm sure in the 16 months since I've turned 20 that I've learned at least one new thing.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for waiting!
You're more beautiful than you now,
More talented than you think,
And more loved than you can possibly imagine.
Peace and Love,