1. Design your life. Make your life the way you want it to look, and work on making it happen the way you want it to! Set goals, write them down, and then work on steps to really make them happen. Don’t just dream, act! Sometimes you have to take a leap in faith also to get where you want. If you don’t take the first steps, it will never happen for you.
Here’s a small example of something I have done: I like to design my birthday, and give myself the birthday present I want. Mine usually involves traveling to somewhere I love, and being with people I love, admire and who inspire me. And then life always throws in some extra gifts that I’m not expecting. Try it on your next birthday – give yourself the present you REALLY want, make it happen. And make your whole life happen the way you want. Sometimes it is a process, but it is one you have created, instead of just letting life happen to you.
2. Do a life review. You’ll be amazed at who you are, and what you’ve done. Acknowledge yourself, it is empowering. I’ve recently started a life review journal, and it is quite amazing to see the roads I’ve traveled and the blessings that I have had. (And they didn’t always seem like blessings at the time.) When you start writing down your experiences, your abilities, your education and experience, you’ll be amazed at the large “toolbox” you have, with some really amazing “tools” you possess, and the amazing person you are.
3. Blessings in disguise. “You can’t connect the dots going forward; you can only connect them looking backward.” Steve Jobs was so right about this. There have been so many times when I was crushed about an event, and then saw later that it made perfect sense. Thankfulness came later for the experience, and how it changed my life. A lot of the times, I was secretly praying for a change because I knew the situation wasn’t “right.”
4. Own your story. Step into the greatness of who YOU are. Authenticity feels so right. Be yourself, embrace your authentic self. Your uniqueness is what makes you beautiful and sets you apart. The world needs your voice, your insights, and your passion. Many of us grow up feeling dislike or shame related to our uniqueness, and some of us carry that “shame” or lack of confidence to be who we really are, most of our lives.
Embrace your story – it makes you who you are. When you own your beautiful, sometimes fractured story and truly embrace your authentic self, you become more clear and free to live and own your purpose and potential. The world needs you to play your unique role, to express your voice. And don’t feel ashamed, all of it makes you who you are!
5. Relationships are very important. Love, loyalty, and genuine care for ourselves and others are what gives life so much joy and meaning. It’s not more material stuff. What would matter if we didn’t have someone special to share it with? Give everyone that matters to you more than they expect: a smile, genuine care, just listening, validation. Or when relationships have been injured, forgiveness for ourselves or them is priceless, or a daily prayer for reconciliation, sending loving thoughts.
6. Love – it is rare and precious. Never miss the chance to tell someone you love, that you love them. Again, love is rare and precious. It is unspeakable, really, what love is and what it does in our lives. It is a mystery and a beautiful blessing. Life is precious and people we love can be with us one moment and gone the next, so don’t miss the opportunity to tell them you love them.
True love, is very rare and precious. Love can leave, and come back, but true love is rather rare. In a recent study among those who have never known true love or have experienced it but lost it, 55% of them have little to no hope of living love in again, while only 45% of the study grouped maintained confidence and hope for love’s return. Sad statistics, but it is how we feel. So grasp your love and hold on tight.
7. Don’t sweat the small things. Don’t worry about things that haven’t happened or may not happen. And you can’t control every thing like your mind thinks you can. Breathe and surrender to life sometimes. Beautiful things can happen when we trust.
8. No one is perfect. This especially holds true for people we put on pedestals. No matter how great or enlightened people seem to be, they’re still human. Everyone make mistakes and no one is perfect. We’re all doing the best we can, and we all bring different gifts to the world. I love the word “Namaste,” which means, “I bow to you,” and I love the thought of appreciating your soul, the essence of you that God loves.
9. Practice being happy with this moment. Right now is all you have. Living in the past, and wishing it back is useless and makes us incredibly unhappy with our life. Or telling ourselves repeatedly that we will only be happy in the future when this or that happens, is also wrong. Be happy with who you are, and what you have right now. Stop, close your eyes and breathe. You are whole and complete right now, nothing is missing. Love yourself and this moment that God has given you.
10. Not knowing is okay. Sometimes you have to put things you can’t figure out in the “I don’t have a clue” box on the shelf. We can’t always figure everything out, but trusting and surrendering to what is helps. Life isn’t fair a lot of the time, but get back up and go on. How you think about it can change the situation a lot.
11. What you give out, comes back to you. What you think, largely becomes your reality. Give people more than they expect, and you will be rewarded with love and abundance. Treat others with unkindness, greed and selfishness, and you will get negativity back. It is a principle that works. An example of this is a company with great customer service – they have an excess of business. If you give more, you’ll get more.
12. Balance and boundaries are important. Make your life, your schedule that way that works for you. Work has a way of taking over our lives. Say “no” when you need to, to carve out that important time for self care, your love life, your family, vacation. Fill up your self and the important areas of your life that feed you – you’ll have a lot more to give others if you fill your cups first.
13. Listen to that “small voice” inside of you. Sometimes it isn’t so small or quiet, especially if we don’t listen. Look at what makes you smile. Let go of what makes you frown or get tense. If it makes you feel free and happy, go for it more. Gently steer your life in the directions that make you smile inside. And listen to your gut, your intuition.
14. Be happy with yourself. If you’re not happy with yourself, you’ll never be happy in a relationship. Be happy first, or you won’t be successful with someone else. No one else can make you happy either. Every successful relationship starts with you. Finding a great spouse or partner is the sweet “frosting on the cake”, but you’re responsible for being “the cake.”
15. The future of medicine is a blend of Eastern and Western. You must be in charge of your own health, you can’t just get “pills” to fix everything. It doesn’t work. I know, I tried practicing medicine that way for 16 years. You need a beautiful combination of both, and you have to step up to the plate and do your share! The human body needs your daily love: water, sleep, healthy fresh foods, sleep, and positive emotions to thrive. I can help you with this, it is my passion!
16. People come and go in our life. We change and so do others. Relationships change. Some people we choose to let go out of our lives, forever or for a while. Some people are toxic to us and our happiness. Others stay for many years and enhance our lives. Just because you were close with someone for 20 years doesn’t mean you’re going to be close to them in the future. Sometimes people come into your lives at very specific times for specific reasons and then they somehow fade away. And we and they both changed or met our purpose for the relationship. That’s the magic of life and relationships: they’re always evolving and changing, just like us.
17. Fresh fruit and vegetables are very good for you. I’ve never ever read any research that has found that natural, pure food is bad for you. Cut out the processed, preservative-filled food, and go for the green! And research has shown that 6 or more servings a day helps prevent diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and more!
18. Gratitude is the key to happiness. Gratitude and thankfulness bring us more joy in our lives. Always be grateful for what you have; no matter how bad things seem, there’s always someone who has it worse. One time I heard, “The boy with no shoes cried until he met the boy with no feet.” Thankfulness brings us more joy and grace into our lives. And makes us smile.