New Year has been rife with new life agendas, which are great, but can also be a flapping, restless albatross around your neck. Bad habits are usually to blame for not seeing most of them through. You get older, you get wiser and you start thinking, "God, I wish I thought like this 10 years ago." Best thing you can do I find is not punish yourself too much. It's never worth it and it starts an endless cycle of negativity which you never get out of. My friend Christian Taylor posted a link to Marc and Angel Hack Life on Facebook at Christmas featuring numerous inspiring posts to lead a better life, all of which boil down to a few simple action points I try to remember each day. My 'unofficial' god-daughter was one years-old this week, so I thought I should write these life lessons out for her and anyone else interested in how I approach life:
'LIVE' each day:
L for LOVE.
Be open to it and never be afraid to love back. Of course it can rock your world and break your heart and soul, but as my friend Julia said "That's when you know you're alive". Never assume it will be the same experience either, so being afraid to take a risk because you were hurt before is rather pointless and prevents you from finding something true and real. Optimism is really important to keep with you when a relationship ends, and friends and family are usually there to remind you of that - so listen to them.
I for INTERESTING
Be fascinating. Be unpredictable. Everyday. Go out of your comfort zone and there will never be a dull moment. Fear is just the result of something you've not experienced yet and I really don't care what anyone thinks most of the time (apart from the odd wobbly moment I usually regret). People are worried and embarrassed for themselves rather than for you - despite their apparent concern. No one ever becomes stronger or more popular by being generic and afraid of failure. Take risks. Sing loudly in supermarkets, go skydiving, ask that person out for a drink, and burn those bridges (which is the most overrated life precaution I've ever had doled out to me. Period.)
V for VALUE
Find purpose in your work and believe in your principles and you will find the meaning and respect most people struggle to find in life. I wish I discovered this earlier and been more confident with my ideas and beliefs, and not listened to all the objections I encountered when I was younger. I do believe you have to shape these through experience first before you can live by them, so be open to every idea and opinion and try to not let peer pressure and arrogance sway you. Also, be the best friend you can be: the rewards for loyalty are truly amazing and worth more than any financial gain or material items you could ever gain, people will be drawn to you and offer their friendship and loyalty back as a result. Remember most of all, if the right thing to do in life was the easiest thing to do, we'd all be wearing halos.
E for ENTERTAINING.
I try to find the fun in everything I do - in work and play. Life is a one-off show, so I go through life with an imaginary camera on me (much like Miranda). This encourages me to be continuously entertaining and remind myself not to be insufferably dull and depressing. Laughter is never to be underrated in any situation and doesn't make you less sincere, it just makes the harder moments in life easier to digest. Finding things to stimulate you, whether it be: hobbies, coffee, drugs, sex, or a game of Twister, is the fuel you need to travel down life's road. Again, people are drawn to those who know how to enjoy themselves and not content to suffer with their lot in life. So dazzle, laugh and sparkle at every opportunity.
So now it's your turn, what life lessons you try to live by? Go on, I'm sure you have some.