Tuesday, June 16, 2009

40 Tips to a better life email

I was emailing today with one of my best friends who I hadn't talked to in awhile. Upon catching up, she seemed to think I sounded "down", and said she wanted to send me something she reads every day. I said ok, thinking it was another typical forward. Upon reading it, it was actually one of the most profound emails I have read in as long as I can remember. Here it is...

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to.

3. Buy a DVR and tape your late night shows and get more sleep.

4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to __________ today.'

5. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.

6. Play more games and read more books than you did in 2008.

7. Make time to practice meditation and prayer . They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.

8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.

9. Dream more while you are awake.

10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

11. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.

12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

13. Clear clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.

14. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away.

18. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
20. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

21. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

22. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

23. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'

26. Forgive everyone for everything.

27. What other people think of you is none of your business.

28. GOD heals everything.

29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

30. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

31. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

32. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

33. The best is yet to come.

34. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

35. Do the right thing!

36. Call your family often. (Or email them to death!!!) Hey, I'm thinking of ya!

37. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________.
Today I accomplished _________.

38. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

39. Enjoy the ride. Remember this is not Disney World and you certainly don't want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.

40. Please forward this to everyone you care about.

May your troubles be less, May your blessings be more!

There are several points on here that resonate more than others. In fact, I would almost go as far as to say some are "life changing"...at least in the moment. This may be a lengthy blog, as I am going to give my take on the ones I find especially relevant..

1. Take a 30 min walk every day. While you walk smile, as that is the ultimate anti-depressent.

I walk my dog every day that I have him (I share him with my mom)...and I can honestly say there is no better point in my day that when I walk Bailey. We have no agenda, no time limit, no schedule. I let him stop and sniff anything and everything he wants and we just walk until he gets tired and wants to turn around. My biggest concern for that 45 min to an hour is if he is too hot or too tired...I really don't think about much else, but enjoy the environment, enjoy the outdoors, and enjoy my dog. To me, the time with him is the high point of my day.

5. Live with the 3 E's...Energy, Enthusiasm, Empathy...

Unfortunately, due to sleep issues I have a lot of days that I just dont have any energy. But I am trying. Some days its all I can do to just get through the day so I can go back and try again at some sleep. But more importantly than that is to have empathy. I do think I am very empathetic towards others, but I have a hard time showing it. I can feel so much for someones situation or where they are in their life, but I just haven't gotten to the point I can let them know. Thats something to work on, and something that I think I would definately grow as a person from learning how to do. Feeling empathy towards others is only half of it....showing it is the other half, and I have yet to get there. I hope someday I do.

8. Spend more time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.

I love the memories I have with my grandpas. I love the stories my grandpa Burbage used to tell me, and how he always called me "Ms. America" whenever I entered a room. I love how my Grandpa Yri always says "well golly gee, is that right?" as if we were watching an old family sitcom from the 60's. I love my nephews-all 5 of them, and how all 5 have their own distinct personalities, senses of humor, and interests. I can find something uniquely in common with each one of them that only he and I share.

9. Try and make at least 3 people smile a each day

I love to make people laugh. I tell jokes, I MAY exaggerate a story or two, but only because I love to hear people laugh (sometimes that takes embellishing the story a little), and usually I have some story about something that happened recently that can make people guffaw like crazy. Sometimes the best therapy for me when I am having a rough time is hearing some one laugh at something I said.

14. Dont waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

Probably one of my biggest pitfalls. I have a tendancy to fear the unknown, and want a "plan"...even when it is out of my control. I have had some rough relationships in the past, and unfortunately have carried much of that into other relationships which ended up playing a huge role in their demise. I need to learn to let go, know it is what it is, and whats done is done...and move on as a lesson learned. Control the controllables, and what I cant control, just let happen. I need to learn that everything that is going to happen in the future is not going to be the way something happened in the past, and stop fearing things out of my control, and just live in the "now". No one knows what is going to happen in an hour, let alone days, weeks or years from now. Just enjoy each moment as it comes and make the most of it, without fearing what happens after that moment is over. I know all to well how quickly something can change and I need to stop fearing that next phone call that something happened to someone, and just live like we've only got one chance to make the most of what we have.

17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away.

I used to smile and laugh all the time. I don't think I deal with heavy stress as well as I used to, and I let it get to me more now whereas before I just let it roll off my back. When I am bogged down with school, work, relationships, I have a tendancy to let it effect me a lot more than it should. I need to learn to let things go that I cannot control, take one thing at a time, and just do the best I can at everything else and know thats all I can do.

18. Life isnt fair, but its still good.

I have a hard time even admitting it, but sometimes I feel like life isnt fair TO ME, which is ludicrous. I have lost several close friends, and have had some less than ideal relationships, but I am about as lucky as they come over all. I have a family that loves me, friends that would do anything for me, and I have a great job and can travel all the time, spend a month out west every winter, and snuggle with my dog at night. I have never wanted for anything (but worked a lot of what I have), I have a great house, a great job, and haven't really ever struggled...and it KILLS me to see other people struggle, which I have come to think may be a downfall. I think I spend too much money on people that don't appreciate it, and should donate that money to a good cause instead of wasting it on people looking for a hand out. Lesson learned. Someone I met randomly once said "you only get one shot as this thing called life, you may as well give it all you've got". At the time I just laughed it off, but its so true.

19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

I need to learn to forgive more. Or maybe forgive, but not forget. I have a tendency when I forgive I ALSO forget, and then get screwed over all over again. I just need to be smarter when it comes to this area...I need to stop holding grudges towards people that have wronged me in the past, but upon forgiveness, know they are capable of doing it all over again.

20. Don't take yourself seriously. No one else does.

I actually pride myself on this one. I used to never take myself seriously, and pretty much laugh at myself at any and every chance I got. I still do to a great degree, but I've gotten more serious over the years. I want to get back to the carefree person I used to be, where I could laugh at anything, and make people laugh at everything. I miss that girl, and I know a lot of people do, too.

21. You dont have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

Not a good one for me. I've always been opinionated. I used to want to be a lawyer. I don't feel very strongly about a lot of subjects, but the ones I do, I wont back down if someone challenges my point of view. I will fight to the death, and I need to learn to just accept people have different view points and move on. It doesnt lesson my arguement to have someone that sees things differently...it just means we are different, which, if anything, makes things that much better. Sometimes I forget that.

22. Make peace with your past so it doesnt spoil your present.

Like I mentioned above, I carry a lot from past relationships to current ones, and its definiately hurt me. I am always on the defensive in relationships from being hurt pretty bad in the past, and always ready to run to avoid getting hurt again. I often wonder how certain relationships would have played out differently had I not been through some experiences I have been through in my life. I also think the type of relationship I seek has a lot to do with what I've been through, and certain fears I still carry with me day to day. I think there is a comfort level is dating people that I know won't work out....I need to get over that.

23. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

For this one, the first thing that comes to mind is me being on the OTHER end. People see me with a nice house, some disposable income, parents that have done well for themselves, and assume that I havent had a care in the world my entire life, and everything has been handed to me. I get pretty upset at this assumption, as I would be willing to bet I have been on as rough a road as anyone throughout my life, in dealing with loss and tragedy, but because I dont "fit the mold", people don't think I have been anything but privledged. I am VERY privledged, but I still worked throughout high school and college, and have paid my way since I graduated....but the financial side isn't even my issue. I have lived through a lot, and dealt with a lot, and am still trying to find my way. Sometimes I stumble, sometimes I fall, but so far I've always gotten back up. I can only hope that continues.

24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

I think I realized this for the first time TODAY. I would say I've been pretty unhappy for the last three months, waiting on someone to change their mind...then it hit me when I was talking to someone else about their relationship...you cant wait for someone else to make YOU happy. You have to make YOURSELF happy. No one can do that for you. You decide what you will and will not put up with, what does and doesn't work for you...no one else does. So if you aren't happy, get out of your situation, and search until you find another one where you are happy again. I cant force someone to decide the time is right to be together, or to be willing to give it another shot...so why waste more time sitting around waiting? It sounds so stupid to me today, when yesterday that is exactly what I was doing.

25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"

Easy. The answer? NO. Neither will HE. 5 years ago I lost a ton of weight over a guy that I couldnt even talk to for more than 10 minutes. He was nice to look at, but thats about it. No personality. 3 years ago I spent my birthday crying to my mom about a stupid boy that hurt me on my birthday. Do I care today? NO. I've been "sad" for the last 3 months over a guy because I felt like I ruined things, and it was all my fault we split up...do I think in 5 years I'll even remember his name? Nope. And finally, that is okay with me.

26. Forgive everyone for everything.

I HATE feeling like somewhere, someone is mad at me in the world. So I agree if someone offers an authentic apology, you should accept it. But like I said above, that doesnt mean forget. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Forgive, but stay on high alert.

29.However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

It goes both ways...as long as you remember its only temporary. In the good times it as important, if not more so, to remember "this too shall pass" than it is in the bad times. Dont spend all your money in times of prosperity, because there will be day that they money isnt coming in like it was before. In the times you feel like you just cant face the day, take comfort in knowing there will be a day you will smile again, you will laugh again, you will love again.

30. You're job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

I think I am pretty good at staying in touch with my friends and my close friends know who they are at all times. They know I will always be here no matter what, and that will never change. I'd be there in a heartbeat for any of my girls, and my guys.

32. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

Sometimes I see my friends with families and wish I was that 'settled'...but then think how I can pack a bag and be in Napa the next day, or at the beach, or spend a month in Park City, and know I couldn't do that if I was married with kids...so when I have that passing feeling of wishing I was at a different point in my life, I think of all the things I can do right now, and all the places I can go, or the things I can buy without any guilt (because its only me I am responsible for, and not a household), and I realize I am right where I need to be. My time will come.

33. The best is yet to come.

I believe that. I think I am being given lessons I need to learn every day to prep me for what is to come my way some day. I feel like I am collecting all the tools in my tool belt so when I get to where I'm going I have everything I need to be successful. I am going to be the best wife and mom there ever was, but I need to find my own way first.

35. Do the right thing!

Sometimes the easiest thing isnt the "right" thing...but I was raised better than to take short cuts. I always think to myself "if my mom or dad found out I did (....) , would they be okay with it?" I am 31, and if the answer is no, I still don't do it.

37. Each night before you go to bed, complete the following statements: I am thankful for......... Today I accomplished.......

I think a key to being happy is finding self worth and value in yourself and what you do. Which is why I know I will have a non profit one day. I will work with kids, encourage girls to get involved with sports, something to that effect. If you arent making a difference, or arent in coming across things to be thankful for, then you arent living your life to the fullest extent. Probably the single greatest feeling of accomplishment I have ever had was finishing my first half marathon. When Stephanie and I crossed the finish line we both started crying, because we had trained every day, we worked towards a goal, and we accomplished it. Setting goals and being able to check them off one at a time creates more value in your life than just living day to day, without direction. One year of working my tail off in grad school has already given me more of a feeling of accomplishment than 4 years of undergrad, because I didnt have to work that hard in undergrad. In the last year, I've learned more than ever, the more you put into something, the more you get out of it, and the prouder you are of your acheivements.

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