Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Eight Things I Wish I'd Known When I was 18

I've had many spiritual and philosophical moments on the road.  I've had the time to reflect back upon my entire life.  Here are eight things I wish I'd known 10 years ago:

1.  Men (and women) will treat you the way you allow them to treat you.  If you demand respect, they will either respect you, or they will ditch you.  If they ditch you, you are better off without them.  I promise.

2.  There are absolutely no rules to the game of life.  Contrary to what anyone tells you, you do not have to get married in your 20's.  You do not have to have children...ever.  You do not have to own a house, a car, or a dog.  You do not have to work for corporate America.  You do not have to become a doctor, a lawyer or a politician.  These things make some people happy, but the real question is do they make you happy?  Live life by your own rules and never look back.

3.  Love is the ultimate freedom, the ultimate liberty.  Love is not dependency. There is no reason to cling.  Clinging does not manifest love.  If a person wants to leave you, let them go.  The greatest way you can love another person is to let them be free.

4.  It's not all about you.  Even if it feels that way in your head.  Other people spend about 10% of the time thinking about you as you spend thinking about yourself.  Always remember that you are your own harshest critic.        

5.  Beauty and confidence are inextricably linked.  If you manifest confidence, other people will find you more attractive.  Love your body and treat it gently.  It is much, much more than someone's arm candy or wall trophy.  No matter what it looks like, how old it is, or the shape it is in, it is your most powerful tool.

6.  Popularity in high school has no relation to success in later life.  Drinking, sex, and relationships can wait until later.  Life extends far, far beyond the teenage years.

7.  Most people change radically between the ages of 20 and 30, far more so than during adolescence.  Your opinions, perspective, life experiences, and taste in men or women may undergo a revolution.  Keep that in mind when making major decisions.  And enjoy the journey.

8.  Have an (educated) opinion and do not keep it bottled up inside.  Be truthful. Be authentic.  Speak your mind.  The old adage is true:  the people who mind don't matter, and the people who matter don't mind.  Pretending to be someone you're not by being a silent doormat is a travesty.

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