1. Take pride in what you do and make sacrifices where you must.
Most people want to contribute to the world in some way. Some people work so hard at this that they exhaust all of their energy and risk their health as a result. You can’t be everywhere at once and there is only so much time available in a day. Burning the candle at both ends is no way to live a life. If that is how you are making ends meet, then hopefully it only a temporary setback. One of the things I would like to avoid is working myself into an early grave. However, I still want to make valuable contributions to the world and to society. I have an ever-growing to-do list. Sometimes I make the mistake of getting overwhelmed by said list and end up not making any progress. Other times I get quite a bit done but still feel like I accomplished nothing because there is so much stuff left on the list to do. This applies to both my work life and my home life. Lately I have been trying to look at it a bit differently and take pride in the things that I do manage to accomplish. The other things on the list are still there, but they will get accomplished in time. If somehow I managed to get everything done, what would I do then? I probably wouldn’t know what to do with myself. It is inevitable in life that a sacrifice will have to be made at some point. Perhaps it is that you want a thing and can’t afford a thing because you have to make sure to cover the bills for the month. Perhaps it is sacrificing some time with your family in order to get a big job done at work or vice versa maybe you need to spend a little less time at work and more with the family. Life is a form of give or take. If you are able to wake up every day, get dressed, take a deep breath, accomplish something, and take deep breaths when necessary then be proud of yourself.
2. If you think you are the smartest person in the room, think again.
There is nothing wrong with being proud of being intelligent. However, if you are an egomaniac and think that you are so smart that you can’t learn anything from anyone then you are an idiot. I have learned things from people that I would have never expected to learn anything from and my hope is that people have learned something from me as well. There is always something that we know that we can teach to someone else and there is always something that someone else knows that they can teach us. Strive to be proud and to be humble at the same time.
3. Sometimes people fuck up, including you.
Look at the person closest to you; have they ever done anything to hurt you? Have you ever hurt them? If you don’t have that kind of relationship with the person, then maybe you know of a mistake they made at one time or another. Take some time to think about the mistakes you have made in the past. Now take the time to let it go, since they are in the past they cannot be changed. All that we can do with the mistakes that we have already made is seek forgiveness from the party that the mistake was made against and most importantly seek forgiveness from ourselves. More often than not, we are our own worst critics. If someone is legitimately seeking forgiveness from you consider their position, if you have been at the end of a similar rope then who are you to hang them? Likewise, if you are being overly harsh on yourself then lighten up. Learn from the mistake and then move forward. You can’t spend your life looking at the past behind you and expect to notice what good things may lay ahead in front of you.
4. Chase your story.
You are the author of your own story. Only you know what you want out of life and only you can take the kinds of steps necessary to achieve the things you want. No one else is going to write your story for you. You might find someone to share it with, but you aren’t going to find someone that will do everything for you or hand you everything. One of my favorite quotes from Fullmetal Alchemist is by Edward Elric when he says, “You’ve got two good legs. So get up and use them.” I understand that not everyone is fortunate enough to have the means to do everything that they want or everything that they want right now. The point is to figure out what you want to chase and chase it. You’re not going to get where you want by letting everyone else walk for you.
5. Check your sources.
The staff of the Newsroom does not air any stories without first having some reputable sources. Who do you get your information from? Who do you trust to not tell you false stories? Try to surround yourself with honest people and eliminate the dishonest people in your life. Also to look at it a different way, what are the things that you consider sources of happiness and what would you consider sources of despair? Perhaps you need to focus more on the sources of happiness and get rid of the sources of despair.