• Walk outside whenever you’re able—without music pounding in your ear or eyes glued to the blacktop—listen to the birds and the swaying trees; notice, fully, what’s right around you.
• Life is a series of takes and miss-takes. It’s baby-stepping, learning as we go, and taking giant leaps of faith that, sometimes, seem so monumental that it seems you’ll either plunge into a dark abyss or find yourself at the start of a beautiful rainbow. Let’s bet on the rainbow.
• Don’t gossip. Hearsay is not reliable.
• Look at the stars nightly if they’re visible. Perspective, which we humans lose regularly, is critical in understanding how small (yet significant) we are in the universe’s grand scheme.
• Read, as often as possible—magazines, newspapers, fiction, tragic literature, books that you don’t yet understand, tomes that broaden your world awareness.
• Honor yourself….always
• Aim high; “shoot for the moon.” That option’s better than settling for “good enough.” And if the people around you don’t support your dream or believe in you, rethink your human circle.
• Reach out to politicians and leaders who influence the management of your sphere of the world. Silence = Acceptance.
• Allow yourself to fall in love (at least once).
• Try something new even if at first you fail. You probably, fell a lot as you learned to walk. John Creasey, the famous English novelist, published over 500 books. But, before he did that, he received over 700 rejection letters. Fear of failure creates defeat.
• Learn a different language; even if you only know a dozen phrases, it opens your world view.
• Practice conscious breathing.
• Sit by the ocean if you have the opportunity. Feel, deep inside your core the vastness of our planet.
• Listen to opera. If this is new to you, start with Puccini’s La Boheme. If you end up not thinking it’s your “cup of tea,” at least you opened a different door.
• Engage in conversations outside the peripheral.
• Consider standing in the rain instead of standing under an umbrella (unless, of course, you just had your hair did).
• When you’re trying to create a “teachable moment” or feel like you’re unheard, lower your voice, don’t raise it. Screaming does not change reality.
• Make decisions, even (especially) the tough ones.
• Even though we live in 2021, there are still times I hear something like, “I’ll leave the information with your girl” or “have your girl reach out to my girl for the details.” You likely wouldn’t say, “Have your boy send me the contract.”
• Photograph a flower fighting its way through a crack in our, sometimes brutal, concrete world. Print it and keep it somewhere you can see it. Remember, there are many times you have to “push through.”
• Knowledge = the power to create change.
• Remember that despite the many issues The United States of America has (because we humans inhabit this land), most of us live in an environment with incredible beauty. And, nearly all of us have freedom, more opportunities than most people could ever even comprehend, and enough food to eat (sometimes to the extreme that’s it’s discarded while others go hungry).
• Don’t be a victim of peer pressure. “Going with the flow” or the “in-crowd” may sound like the effortless route. But, although swimming with the tide may feel less complicated, it may change the direction your spirit wants you to go.
• Cry at sappy movies; let the emotion out.
• Ask yourself, “what is my true potential?” Have you dismissed it and hung out in the “what’s the least I can do to get by lane?” If you don’t believe you can, you won’t. Aim high; you are worth it.
• Quitting is easy; it takes no unique talent. Sometimes other humans may want you to quit, give up or give in. What if Rosa Parks gave that bus seat to the white guy who insisted it was his to have? What if Harry Truman believed his destiny was to lose the election? What is J.K. Rowling trusted all those manuscript rejections instead of trusting her gut?
• Drink the good wine. What are you saving it for?
• Convey what you mean, clearly and succinctly, instead of couching it in lots of extraneous words (unless, of course, you’re a poet or songwriter or composer of fiction 😉).
• Say, “I love you,” whenever you feel it. You never know when that may be your last opportunity.
• Honor Yourself.