Start where you’re without worrying too much about how far you have to go.

Today, I tell young people who ask for professional advice to be best at the worst. Take whatever weird little opportunity you have and get the best out of it..

In a best-case scenario, someone cool will notice. In a worst-case scenario, you’ll notice and feel pride knowing you’re doing a good job, even if the task sucks.

 

Exercise is as much for your brain as it’s for your body.

No matter what you choose, make sure you can actually do it regularly. Please do not go from ‘never working out’ to ‘I signed up for a marathon’. That rarely, if ever, works and ultimately leaves you disappointed. Instead, choose something small you can do consistently, whether it’s taking a walk in your neighborhood three times a week or doing ten-minute Internet workout videos at home every day.

If you work out regularly, you’ll be happier. Trust me, it’ll work.

 

Life is not always a list of problems to be solved.

You can tell yourself you’re worthless and ugly because some guy or girl ignores you. You can tell yourself because you were passed over for some promotion, you’re falling behind in your corporate ladder. Or instead, you can tell yourself you’re grateful for the love of your colleagues. You can tell yourself you’re happy for a steady income. 

Sometimes, life is made up of fun and ease and beauty and laughter. By keeping a gratitude list, you’re looking at just that.

 

Seven-dollar lilies won’t make you poorer, they’ll make you stronger. 

The small attainable luxury of lilies is not something to think about, it’s not something to deny yourself, it’s something to make plans for and embrace. Small things that make you happy are a part of taking care of yourself.

If you can’t put your money where your mouth is and say ‘I’m worth six-dollar beef jerky”, then why are you working so hard at your job anyway?

You’re worth the lilies. You’re stronger when you take good care of yourself, physically and psychologically.

 

It’s easy to give in to the needs of other people. It’s difficult not to be busy.

It’s easy to say yes to your coworkers, boss, parents, friends and things that sound cool or important. But it’s too hard to say “No, I need time to myself.” If you’re feeling at all guilty about taking time off, remember Mahatma Gandhi took one day off a week for prayer and meditation. 

Tara Brach is one of my favorite thinkers of self-care, and she tells the story of how even though good old Gandhi was actually busy fighting for Indian Independence and literally changing the world, he recognized that he needed alone time to make sure his actions came from the deepest, most awake part of his being.

 

Living the life you want to live is just about the least selfish thing you can do.

You know in those airplane safety videos where there are a mom and daughter sitting as oxygen masks deploy? And the mom puts the mask on herself first before her child? Did that ever strike you as strange?

Living your life to the fullest is just like that. You can’t help anybody, not even your own blood, unless you’re in good shape, unless you’re breathing.

 

What I’ve learned is you’re stronger when you give yourself incredible kindness. There’s no better time to do this than in the mornings. This day is yours. Sure, you might have to strategize around a boss who’s undermining you. You might have to finally break up with someone. You might even get the worst news of your life today. You never know. But! While you’re alone in your kingdom, while you have a moment of solitude, you can honor yourself. You have a potent base level to start your day.

When you begin your morning recognizing you’re a goddess, you’ll notice the whole world will start to treat you that way. I’m not talking about narcissism. It’s about acknowledging, first thing in the morning that you’re powerful and worth taking care of.

 

Little by little, it’ll channel through your mind, body and become second nature.

Take that hike you’re curious about that seems a little out of the way, wrap up your hands and get in the ring for your first boxing lesson, take a ballet class at your gym that sounds fun even though you worry you won’t be any good. Be prepared to be jubilant when you do something you didn’t think was possible. See the power that was always there in your body. You may not do it perfectly. Your pirouette may be severely lacking and you may look more like a toddler who is just learning how to use her legs than a trained ballerina, but that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how you perform, just that you show up and try.

Please do not put a limit on who you think you can be and what you’re capable of achieving. Shrug off that cloak of doubts that weighs you down and keeps climbing.

 

Pronoia has been an incredible tool for creating a more joyful life.

It works. If you take for granted the fact you’re awesome and liked, you become a magnet, pulling people who’re happy with themselves into your orbit. The best part is it takes so much less energy than paranoia. And it’s not about being egoistic either. Remember you’re no better than anyone else, and you’re no worse.

There’s something so attractive about a person who not only believes they’re worthy but also sends that energy back out into the world.

 

We go through life thinking other people’s behavior toward us is deeply personal.

Act as if everyone likes you this week. When you walk into a room, think to yourself ‘each person here values me’. Even try it on someone you believe doesn’t like you. Have a conversation with a coworker you think isn’t a fan of your work and tell yourself ‘This person does like me, anything they show me that suggests otherwise is more reflective of them than of me.” Maybe they’re insecure, maybe they haven’t learned to like themselves yet. But you choose to wish them well.

The way a person treats you has more to do with them and their limitations than with it has to do with you. You can’t control how others treat you or say to you, but you can 100% decide what you’ll do with that. That is where you have all the power in the world – letting go of the notion that everyone is mistreating you on purpose, and stand back as you watch that anger float away.”


Liked what you read? Support the author by purchasing the copy here.


Kyaw Wai Yan Tun

Hi, I'm Wai Yan. I love designing visuals and writing insightful articles online. I see it as my way of making the world a more beautiful and insightful place.