Updated: Apr 28, 2020
1. Learn to love yourself exactly as you are. Sounds cliche and is much easier said then done. However it is the most important step. When you truly do the inner work to love and appreciate all of you, your life will change. Understand that we are human, and all have flaws. But the flaws make us unique, give us character and build our strength. There is a profound peace and joy when you develop true love and compassion for yourself.
2. Give back. You may say huh? Why would I give to others when I am unhappy. Well studies have actually shown that being involved in charity work activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection and trust. Other studies have shown the correlation between giving back, increased self esteem and a more positive mood. On top of that charity work also provides perspective. In giving to others we are reminded of how blessed we are, and when we can focus on what we do have versus what we are missing, we can stay in a happier place. Whether it's volunteering at your local animal shelter, reaching out to a friend that's going through a tough time or buying a sandwich for a homeless man on the street, it matters. These small acts of kindness connect us on a soul level and that's what life is really about.
3. Be healthy. Healthy is not a number on the scale or the size of your pants. Of course there is a physical aspect to healthy but it is so much deeper than the superficial. It has nothing to do with societies version of beauty. It is about being the best, most physically fit version of yourself possible. You want to live a long healthy life with as little medication as possible. You want a mind that's clear and free. You want to be emotionally stable and spiritually aligned. To be as happy as possible we should aim to be healthy in mind, body and spirit.
4. Take responsibility. Recognize that life doesn't happen to you, you happen to it. You can't control everything that happens but you can always control how you respond. At all times you can prepare, make the best possible choices and can have a positive outlook. Let's say someone cuts you off in traffic. You could get angry or you could realize maybe they are in a rush and it's not personal. Let's say you get fired from a job. You could be depressed and angry for weeks or you could use the opportunity to enjoy a little time to off, to spend more time with loved ones and to find an even better job. We can only control ourselves and quite honestly that's enough.
5. Live the life of your dreams. That doesn't mean cruising on a yacht in the french alps, although that is most certainly possible. It is more about living a life with no regrets. It's a life where you follow your passions, explore, love deeply, take risks and create a life you're excited to wake up to. It's not about what's expected of you. It doesn't matter what your parents, friends or even spouse want to do or be. It is your life, the only one we have and we must make the decision to make it amazing.