since so many people on tumblr tell me i have a plethora of good advice for them, i thought i would compile a list of advice and tips that have PERSONALLY been the key to my happiness. this list is not exhaustive, but i hope it gives you something to think about.
1. the best thing you can do for yourself in the quest for happiness is understand that it is a choice. it is not a gift wrapped up in cellophane with a gift receipt from Target. it is not something thrown in your face. it is your decision, completely within your hands. there are barriers you will overcome, and must overcome, to be happy. these are your choices. very few people cannot be happy with the right tools.
2. be selective, picky, and open. a CEO told me this over coffee one day. think you deserve the best in life, pick it wisely, but open your mind to as many possibilities as possible.
3. never make decisions in haste. never rush to come to a conclusion, unless the decision is life-threatening and urgent. take your time, sleep on it, wait till you are not mad or upset. make decisions you can STAND BEHIND for years to come, not just today.
4. passion is not derived, never derived, from domestic abuse. your relationship will never be happier if you fight or abuse each other. despite what songs like Love the Way You Lie tell you, abuse is never glamorous. holding a knife to someone’s throat and then fucking them is not going to add spice or joy to your relationship.
5. walk everywhere. if you can walk and you have time, do it. walking adds up quickly. make it your preferred method of exercise. you do not need to go to an expensive gym 2x a week to get your exercise in. consistent, constant exercise like walking is more beneficial than jogging occasionally.
6. date someone who makes you feel like a dog — happy upon their arrival, excited to just be around them doing absolutely anything, and completely at ease. savour that relationship and build it to the best it can be.
7. keep your living area clean. clean your house/apartment every few days or weeks. remove clutter, junk, debris, and general shit. you do not need to own thousands of possessions to be happy. declutter your life and your mind, and keep things clean of dust/crap.
8. be intolerant. never tolerate things you see as ‘red flags.’ i wish i could go back in time to react to red flags i chose to ignore. when you are faced with a red flag in a person, you MUST resolve it immediately or walk away. confront them, deal with it, figure it out — but never, never, ever ignore it.
9. cut people out of your life. be ruthless. if you tolerate garbage, you will get garbage. be picky as shit when it comes to who is in your life. that is NOT to say you should cut people out for minor misunderstandings, but upon the first possible fundamental disrespect of you as a person/human, you need to walk the fuck away if they do not change their behaviour immediately.
10. the quality of your life will be determined by things like money, where you live, what your economic opportunities are, etc. many things you cannot control. the #1 thing you CAN control is who is in your life. bad people will ruin the happiest millionaire. bad people are cancer in your life that are parasitic. you will never be happy. i cannot emphasize enough how important GOOD people are.
11. clean your makeup brushes every day, if you wear makeup. nothing is more luxurious than applying clean makeup to a clean face with clean tools. it will take 5 minutes. you have 5 minutes. don’t lie to me.
12. avoid facebook and other mindless social media. don’t read so much about what other people are doing with their time. what is important is what you are doing and where you are going. avoid the online gossip and endless newsfeeds.
13. kiss your partner as often as you can. it will bring you closer. smile at them. poke their nose. surprise them with bursts of affection. you will be surprised the effect a few smiles and kisses will have on their mood and your relationship. be generous, stupidly generous, with your affection. lay it on with words, actions, gifts, surprises. it is great for your mood and happiness.
14. long term memory is infinite, from what we understand. if you want to remember things, you have to find a way to encode them. if you write them down and rehearse them every now and then, you will remember your life pretty well.
15. it is always better to be alone than in poor company. there is no shame in loneliness; the biggest shame comes from selling your integrity to bad people. if you are alone, be alone and walk alone knowing you are doing something good for yourself. never settle for less than you are worth. you will be happier alone than in bad friendships/relationships. you will find someone.
16. jealousy is a pointless feeling. if someone loves you, they will not do things that are supposed to make you jealous/angry. if they do these things, this is a good thing — it means you know you should cut them out. consider someone who makes you justifiably jealous all the time as doing you a favour.
17. if someone cheats on you, it is also a favour. their true colors have come out. when you see who they really are, you have no choice but to do something about it. thank them gracefully and be happy you know the truth. i would much rather have my partner cheat on me TODAY than live with him for 50 years, never knowing he is capable of it.
18. consider the principle of the matter — the truth, in other words. when things are possibilities, they are EQUALLY VALID to things that have NEVER HAPPENED. don’t compromise on your principles. don’t let people tell you it’s okay because it hasn’t happened.
19. if someone is bad to other people and good to you, consider them a terrible person. they can treat you like gold, but it will never change the fact they are a scumbag.
20. eat good food. there’s at least millions of recipes online to help you eat well. if you can find some you like, there should be no excuse as to why you pack back 5 bags of chips a week.
21. … but also treat yourself.
22. who do you want to date? what are they like? who do you want as friends? how do they treat people? BE that person yourself, and you will attract people like that.
23. opposites may briefly attract, but they rarely stay together. date and marry and befriend people who are like you in fundamental ways. find people equally intelligent, interested in at least some of the same things as yourself, and with similar life goals. you will feel frustrated if you find people too dissimilar. you won’t be going in the same life direction.
24. put lip balm on before bed every night. it will keep your lips effortlessly smooth and soft in the day and protect them from wind/sun.
25. spend time alone doing what it is you like. take yourself out to dinner. have sex with yourself (masturbate). buy yourself a gift. say “i love you” to yourself. it is good for you to be alone in happy, sad, intimate, joyful, depressed states. learn how to handle yourself at all stages. don’t always feel the need to lean on another person to share every emotion.
26. have frequent orgasms. all the time.
27. never stoop to the level of bad people who hurt you. say “please” and “thank you” to your enemies. interact with bad people as little as possible. be courteous. give everyone basic human respect, and choose not to engage with people who make you feel bad.
28. listen to 80s music. like, seriously. if you need some feel good, happy, excited, off the wall music, the 80s are your friend. there’s a reason i listen to nothing but 80s music for hours a day.
29. be patient. if you examine your life problems, i bet you will find impatience has caused dozens in the past. realize that waiting for things to be OK is hard, but dealing with disastrous aftermath after the fact is much harder.
30. recognize that life is ending one minute at a time. tomorrow, you will be 1 day closer to dying. some of us have 50 years left. some of us have 50 days left. but no one knows. don’t die on a bad note. plan to die tomorrow every day, and ask if there’s a piece of happiness you can extract from today that will make it that much better. feel gratitude that you exist in 2014, a day and age with technology and healthcare and good things — NOT perfect, never perfect, but better than humans have ever had it. your life will end, and when it does, you will be utterly insignificant to the universe — your problems today will not matter, so why should they matter today. extract the best you can. no one is stopping you, only you.
how to navigate suffering:
- blast Robyn’s Body Talk and bask in the spring sunlight
- blast Beyonce’s 4 and walk for an hour by the water (make sure to smile at all the puppies)
- blast Little Mix’s Salute and drag yourself out of bed
- acknowledge waves of emotion and then let them go