Gretchen Ruben’s Happiness Project has inspired me to put some little frameworks in place to keep me on the straight and narrow. I really liked her Secrets of Adulthood where you acknowledge all the tit bits of wisdom you’ve gleaned over the years and have stuck with you. Truths about life I suppose you could say.
Here are the secrets I’d tell my 16 year old self.
1) It’s OK to ask for help. You don’t have to do everything yourself. There’s a difference between stubbornness and independence.
2) Medicine and pills were invented for a reason – to make us feel better and relieve pain – it’s OK to use them.
3) Routine breeds boredom and laziness (in me).
4) Genuine love is unconditional.
5) Your job does not should not define you.
6) No matter how much you earn, it’s never enough. So best not fixate on this as a cause of job satisfaction. Oh and if you don’t have job satisfaction – change jobs.
7) “Things” and “stuff” do not make you happy. OK they do for a couple of days but it’s a just a temporary high until you find the next thing you want. “Things” and “stuff” generally just add complication.
8) Keep things simple.
9) Think about food and drink as fuel and your body as a machine. If you fill a machine with crap, sooner or later things will start going wrong.
10) Return on investment is a good and solid rule to apply across all aspects of your life e.g. relationships, friendships, work and calculating the cost per wear of that dress in that shop you keep looking at.
11) Acceptance is the most precious gift you can give yourself.
12) Take a lesson out of every disappointment
13) Accept compliments.
14) Dramatic people attract dramatic situations. More often than not, neither need to be in your life.
15) You get out of life what you put in.
16) You create your own luck.
17) Everything happens for a reason.
18) Your gut feel is right roughly 80% of the time.
19) You cannot change people, their feelings or their behaviour. Don’t waste time and energy trying.