1. When you’re scared or sad, do not act mad.
Children do this. Perhaps we think subconsciously that our anger will be more productive than our sadness or fear. Truth is, there is nothing to be productive about with emotions. Most of them do not require action, just acceptance. Basic cognitive-behavior psychology: Thoughts –> Feelings –> Actions. Which leads to the next best practice.
2. Try to realize as early as possible that you’re on a spiral of irrational thinking.
This is one of the first best practices I wrote down because I get caught in it so often. My brain is hard-wired to make assumptions that lead to panic. Example: a silence from someone in my life could be interpreted in many ways. What does silence mean 90% of the time, though? Nothing. An unanswered email?
They must have been offended by what I said. Maybe they were asleep. Maybe they’re busy. Maybe they’re self conscious too and don’t know what to say. Maybe they forgot. Enter logic. Interrogate your emotions with logic. Give them no mercy. Kick yourself off that spiral of irrational thinking before you wreck yourself!
3. Do not take anything personally. ANYTHING.
This sounds scary but it’s not. I don’t care the situation, I won’t allow any exceptions. Do not take things personally. Just don’t. Ever. Nothing bad will come of it. Grandma didn’t like your cooking. The person you want most to please and impress (do you see their face?) criticizes your sense of humor. So what. Refuse to take it personally.
4. Remember to show your fun side.
I constantly forget to have fun.
5. Learn about everything. You are smart enough.
I see myself, no joke, as an agent of truth and justice. I see myself as in training. Constantly. My mind likes to be on a constant loop of “You can’t learn all this stuff” but if you get off that loop, under the consciousness (see David Lynch on Transcendental Meditation), you’ll find limitless potential of what we can know and understand. Every fact may be needed someday. I want to learn about everything.
6. Don’t let negative thoughts and guilt bring you down.
It’s so easy to give into negativity. Ther is so much to be negative about in this world. Good God. My husband’s six year old brother died. Humans are still sold as slaves. In year 2013. We have every reason to be angry and upset and depressed but we have no right. For all the innocents that have suffered–they don’t need angst from the rest of us. They don’t need helplessness. They need your gardens. They don’t need your dwelling on your past mistakes. What you did was terrible! Now shut up about it! The world doesn’t care, it still moves without you though it needs you. Badly. They need your stupid ideas, your business startups, your adhoc baseball games, your screenplays, your art. The dying need you, you are designated to live right now, in this world, not in the realms of shame and fear.
7. Further humanity.
Who am I to say what furthering humanity looks like? My husband coined this mantra that I have shamelessly adopted. It’s written on my computer at work. I do marketing. How does that further humanity? I don’t know yet. I start by being a better human. By treating other humans as humans. I think of Mr. Rogers making a lifelong friend of a one-time limo driver. I push away the self doubt and the anger and all the inevitable shit that inhabits our brains daily, and I focus on furthering humanity.
It’s 2013, for duck’s sake.
Just as I am out of patience for my teenage mind, still self conscious and angry, at age 26, the world is out of patience with this pattern humanity is still clinging onto. We think the only way to move forward is by electronic technology but don’t you think we could evolve spiritually, psychologically, mentally too?
We’re nostalgic for simpler times and it’s idiotic. I reject nostalgia. It’s time to grow.
8. You are able and good enough.
Grant yourself this. Constantly. I weep and pray for every person who cannot embrace this truth, including me. I’m not a startup business person in Detroit. I’m not making lifechanging films in Japan. I’m not the ground breaking urban planner in Portland that will get America off its addiction to oil and onto sustainability. I’m some nobody in West Michigan. WHO CARES. FUCK THESE COMPARISONS. I AM ABLE AND GOOD ENOUGH.
We are able and good enough. Never apologize for who you are. We are worthy. We are worthy. We are worthy.