What I would tell my 20-year-old self
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What I would tell my 20-year-old self

When I was working my first full-time job in my early 20s, an older gentleman, who was one of the shareholders of the company, told me that in order for me to be the best at anything I do, I had to “follow my bliss” and “do what I loved.” It was some of the best advice I had ever gotten. Looking deeper, it's about trying to be true to yourself and not letting money or other people get in the way. Of course, it's much easier said than done, but it's a worthwhile goal.

I learned early on that I had to spend my time more wisely

There are only 24 hours in a day, and we spend most of them asleep or at work. This meant to balance your time between being productive and being relaxed. This often meant dividing my time between things that could/would help me make some money and then switching to making myself watch TV for a bit before bedtime so that when I woke up, I felt balanced and ready for the day. You’ve gotta make the most of your limited time. The less time you have, the more important it becomes to use it wisely. When you don't have time to read a book, listen to music or watch TV because you'll want to make sure to spend your limited time on activities that are meaningful. If you’re someone who sits too much, stand up and walk more. If you’re someone who can’t sit and always has to be on the move, learn to sit down more. Take time each day to relax, whether it's lying down, meditating or doing some gentle stretching. The key is balance.

But remember: You can't do everything all at once. Much like how you can't combine months of excersize into one workout and expect to lose 20 pounds in a day. To keep your momentum going, focus on the things that are most important for you. That means picking one or two things to make a commitment to this year and sticking with them until they're done.

When you think you’ve got nothing left to do or nothing else to do with your time, relax. Don’t waste it on worries, especially if there is nothing you can do about them. If you stop worrying, the worries will stop coming at you. We worry so much because we're scared that if we don't, we'll lose out on something that we really want. And it's not just the big things - like making more money, finding a soulmate or having better health - that we're afraid of losing. It's the little moments in life that we spend agonizing over.

The life advice of the Buddha is as relevant today as it was when he first explained it 2500 years ago. It's also cleverly clever, because the majority of us are busy with work, family, friends and other activities that consume our time.

If you’re in a situation where your mind’s too cluttered with thoughts and ideas that you essentially cripple yourself in the process, there’s a chance that your brain is getting overloaded with information flowing in from all directions, causing it to shut down in an attempt to protect itself against having overloads in its system.

I also had to learn and practice the art of not worrying so much whenever possible

It sounds obvious, but worrying about stuff, especially stuff that hasn’t happened yet in your life, isn't going to help solve any problems or improve any circumstances. Why put yourself through unnecessary suffering? Instead of worrying so much about what might happen in the future, focus on what's happening right now and how grateful you should be that you’ve woken up this morning and are still breathing. You can't control what you don't know, so stop worrying about what might happen. Go and have a nice conversation with someone you haven't seen in a while - maybe even talking with your mom or dad - doing this may give you strength and confidence to handle the big stuff that is coming your way.

It's natural to worry about the future, but it's important to remember that there is no such thing as an uncontrollable tomorrow. You can't predict what will happen; you can only plan for what you know will happen. We worry about the future, past regrets and our relationships with others. But those worries aren't going to help you now. If anything, they may affectively block you from enjoying your life right now. So try not to get too worked up about tomorrow, because worrying about it doesn't do anyone any good.

Choose your battles wisely

You can't control everything that happens to you, but you can decide which battles to fight and how long to fight them for. Instead, focus on performing tasks that are within your control - things like paying bills on time or cleaning up clutter in your house - and leave other things alone because they're none of your concern.

Loving life is all about taking time to enjoy the little things.

If you're always stressed out about little stuff, you'll never accomplish anything. Instead, focus on the things that will make a difference for you in life.

Laugh more. Studies show that you'll be happier if you laugh more. And your spirit will benefit. Happy people know how to relax and have a good time. They're not stressed out, and they don't let problems get to them. In fact, they're always looking for ways to make themselves laugh and make others laugh. Laughing more isn't just a good way to relieve stress; it also helps people relax and be more open-minded. When we're relaxed and more open to new experiences, we're more creative and less judgmental - two qualities that can help us solve problems and make new friends. If you take yourself too seriously and have trouble laughing at yourself, learn to view yourself from the 3rd person every once in a while.

Getting a good night's sleep is important for your overall health. I like to think of my heart and body as being not that much different than an electronic device that needs proper recharging each night. If your body is constantly running near 10% all the time, you’re making your body work in overdrive.

Use technology appropriately. Spending hours on social media may be fun now, but it's not the best use of your time. Try giving yourself one hour of reading heaven per day (preferably in bed) or play music that's totally relaxing for half an hour each day; then give yourself 15 minutes of "productive" time (for example, working on your ideas or learning new skills).


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