Accept Things and People for What They Are
We tend to try to change everything to fit our expectations. We try to make our spouses change the things we don’t like about them, we tell our kids that music isn’t a career and they should get a “real” degree, and we want to change every situation around us.
Try accepting things for what they are for a change. I’m not talking about settling for less or to give up. I’m talking about acknowledging that different people are different, and we’re all unique and amazing the way we are.
Plan the Beginning and The End, But Not the Middle
I know where I am in life. And I know where I want to go. But I don’t know exactly how to get there. I have a few ideas, but nothing concrete. But that’s OK. In fact, it’s the only way it can be. We can’t predict and plan everything. Spend a few minutes (or hours) thinking about your ideal life. Toss around some ideas that will help you get closer to there, but don’t plan every step of the way. Life has different plans for you anyway.
Follow Your Heart
Every time I did what my brain told me, it turned out to be the wrong decision. Every time I listed to my heart, it was the right thing for me. I think this is because the people in our lives (parents, spouses, kids, friends) have so many expectations about what we’re supposed to do, that we don’t want to let them down so we end up living a life that isn’t ours. Your heart knows what you want; just listen to it.
Reward Yourself Often
Scientists who study happiness agree: small, frequent rewards make us happier than bigger, less frequent rewards. In other words, eating out at nice restaurants twice a week will make you happier than buying a luxury home every 10 years.
Invest in Experiences, Not Stuff
These same experts agree that spending money on experiences (like great meals and travel) is much more rewarding than buying stuff.
Do Nice Things for Others
Last year I’ve started a really cool experiment: every day I do something nice for a complete stranger. It’s been the most amazing experience of my life. Try it for yourself. Help others. Don’t expect anything in return. This is much more fulfilling than anything you do for yourself or people you expect to return the favor.