1. Quit chasing - There's a difference between pursuing your goals and being in a constant state of chase. You’ve been doing this most of your life and it causes nothing but anxiety and insecurity. You know this. Stop fighting or forcing the current. Instead, let it take you. Things will happen when they’re meant to. Do the best you can each day and be OK with it, knowing that as long as you're moving, your path will unfold.
2. Don’t be concerned with what others think - Care versus concern. Big difference. You’re going to care. You’re human. Not everyone will like you. Some will even say it. It will hurt. You will heal. But if you hold on to it, you'll make other people’s opinion of you a concern. By doing this, you'll be allowing other people to write your story. Don’t be consumed with what other people think. Remember, it’s only their version of your story.
3. Dream big, often, and awake. (The way you did most of 6th period in high school.) - But it’s OK to do it now. The more, the better. What you dream is where you'll go. Don’t be afraid to dream, no matter how big or ridiculous you may think your aspirations are. You're painting your life. Never do it by numbers. Splash. Color outside the lines.
4. If you’re rich, remember that man makes the money. Money doesn’t make the man - If you’re poor, remember that man makes the money. Money doesn’t make the man.
5. Know that you're a special blend - Everything that’s happened to you is what makes you rare and unique and no one can take that away. Except you. You are a gift, not a curse. Know the value of yourself. Your story makes you rare, not defective. Stop trying to rip out chapters. Just focus on writing new ones.
6. Breathe - If you don’t, you'll die.
7. Be kind - Life is too short to be an a$%hole. Treat everyone as if they are your brother or sister. If you don’t like someone, always look inward first. Hate is wasted energy that will only poison you. Banish it from your life.
8. Practice forgiveness and gratitude - These are two big words many people overuse but rarely practice. Make a conscious effort to forgive all the people who have hurt you. Do it in pieces if you have to. People think forgiving is one act, but it’s an ongoing process, like the choice to love. Forgiveness and gratitude, both muscles. Exercise them. Every. Single. Day.
9. Live with No fear! - Do everything you’ve always wanted to do! Explore all parts of yourself, especially your fears. Know that the more you invest in yourself now, the more you'll bring to the table when you find someone who deserves the way you love.
10. Love hard or not at all. - There’s no other way. And do it with passion, respect, and with every tool you’ve ever earned.
11. Practice transparency - It's the birthplace of the best version of you.