16 Things Everybody “Ought” To Know

The following is a list of ideas.  Some are super obvious. Perhaps they will serve as useful reminders to help you find balance in life … on and off the dance floor.

1. Appreciate life’s little treasures. If you’re walking around, breathing and capable of putting two sentences together, you’re ok. Appreciate the small stuff, which is really the big stuff.

2. Purge. De-clutter and simplify your physical environment. Clear out what you don’t need so you can make room for what you really want. Eliminate the unnecessary.

3. Take intelligent risks and take action. This is a tough one, I’ll admit. But sometimes you have to act in spite of your fears. Consider this quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” 

4. Create some quiet time.  To know yourself requires ignoring some societal pressures and listening to your inner voice. To hear that voice, you need a smidgen of stillness every now and again.

Consider turning off the TV, giving your thumbs a rest, removing your fingers from the keyboard, silencing your phone and closing the magazine. Creating quiet isn’t always easy but it is necessary.

5. Take care of your body. Parts of your mental, spiritual and emotional well-being emanate from your physical well-being. As a kid I always heard adults say, “If you have your health, you have everything.”  I never really considered the truth of this statement until I experienced my own physical challenges. Respect your body temple.

6. Bask in optimism. Appreciate what's working. Consider what's good right now and let that be that. Some days an optimistic spirit is enough to get you through a tough time.

7. Ignore outside influences that dictate what you should be, do or say. Letting others dictate your actions is the ultimate worst thing you can do. You either feel superior (which is of no value) or you feel defeated – depending on whom you chose to compare yourself to.

If you must compare yourself to anything or anyone, compare yourself to an earlier version of yourself.

8.  Consider the collective well-being. – it’s not enough to only create happiness for yourself – it’s also important to help others create and achieve happiness for themselves.  Make it a goal to be helpful to those in need.

Then when the time comes, join in and celebrate the success of others.

9.  Practice forgiveness. You’ve heard this one before and there’s a reason it continues to show up: it’s that important. We’ve all been hurt.

To move on with your life you must let go of the past.

Forgiveness is something you do for yourself. It has nothing to do with those who have caused you pain.

10.  Connect with Nature… Climb a Tree. As humans we have a natural affinity for nature. As a society we are more sedentary than ever. Many of us have alienated ourselves from nature. Studies confirm that depression, anxiety and stress can be relieved by getting outdoors.

Nature relaxes us and helps us to gain clarity about our lives and ourselves.  So, go climb a tree.

11.  Spend less than you earn. There’s nothing noble about being broke. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need. Before making a purchase ask yourself, “Do I need it or do I want it?” It’s nice to buy what you want, just be clear about your spending. Live within your means.

12.  Develop your character, not your personality. “Persona” means “mask.” Many of us put on masks to develop our social roles. We put on airs to impress others and we go along to get along. Sometimes we develop a pleasing personality at the cost of our character.

Personality has to do with how we present ourselves to others. Some of these behaviors are self-defeating.

Character refers to deeper qualities of the mind. Qualities like ethics, courage, and integrity. Behavior is an indication of character.

Character is what you do when no one is watching.

13.  Pro-actively manage your social media presence. Someone once told me that happiness is the absence of regret. A few years from now you don’t want to regret having posted a pic that should have never been taken.

Think twice. Just because everything can be broadcast and videoed doesn’t mean it needs to be.

If what you’re posting doesn’t uplift or enhance your life or someone else’s life, press the delete key.

14.  Limit your interaction with toxic, negative, battery-draining, bottom-feeder people. You know the type. I'm talking about the cynical individuals who don’t have a good thing to say about anyone or anything. It’s tough to be around them. Talk about unhappy!

Nurture your healthy relationships. Limit your interactions with toxic people.

15.  Develop coping skills. We all experience hurt and pain at some point in our lives. Depression, stress, anxiety, death, loss, broken hearts, divorce, loneliness, anger can make it difficult to cope with day-to-day life. Life isn’t perfect.

16.  Say, “Thank You”.  Gratitude goes a long way. If you have only one breath left use it to say, “Thank you.” Happiness begins with gratitude and gratitude begins within.

Each of these 16 suggestions requires practice and practice makes better. Think about the impact you have on people. Do you want to leave them with a good example?

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