30 Truths I’ve Learned In 30 Years

30 Things I Can Say With Certainty At 30

Since today is my 30th birthday I thought it fitting to share 30 things I understand now that were complete mysteries to me just a few short years ago.  These are simple lessons about life in general that I picked up while traveling, living in different cities, working for different companies (and myself), and meeting remarkable and unusual people everywhere in between.

  1. There comes a point in life when you get tired of chasing everyone and trying to fix everything, but it’s not giving up.  It’s realizing you don’t need certain people and things and the drama they bring.
  2. If a person wants to be a part of your life they will make an obvious effort to do so.  Don’t bother reserving a space in your heart for people who do not make an effort to stay.
  3. If you want to fly, you have to give up the things that weigh you down – which is not always as obvious and easy as it sounds.
  4. Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.
  5. Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.  You don’t fail by falling down.  You fail by never getting back up.  Sometimes you just have to forget how you feel, remember what you deserve, and keep pushing forward.
  6. When you get to know people with different ethnic backgrounds, from different cities and countries, who live at various socioeconomic levels, you begin to realize that everyone basically wants the same things.  They [Read more…]

27 Healthy Habits of Happiness

27 Habits of Happiness

How do we heighten our happiness?  There are many ways and one size does not fit all.  Below I discuss what has worked for me and those closest to me – how a small group of us went from downbeat and drained to a happy and hopeful in a few short years.

  1. Look for happiness in the right places. – When we’re young we look for happiness in drugs, sex, alcohol, parties, fast cars, extreme sports, etc.  Then when we get a little older, we look for happiness in more ‘mature’ ways – a stable partner, romantic getaways, walks along the beach, jazz music, a night at the bar with some friends.  Do they work?  Do these things make us happy?  Sure they do.  They raise our happiness temporarily.  But people have a baseline of inner happiness.  Certain events and possessions, like an unexpected windfall, might raise or lower our happiness momentarily, but soon we return to our inner baseline.  The key is to gradually raise this baseline.  Enjoy the moment, but don’t completely ignore long-term goals.  What will you be proud to have accomplished, or disappointed that you didn’t do, five years from now?  Read The Happiness Project.
  2. Acknowledge the lesson is every situation. – Everything is a life lesson.  Everyone you meet, everything you encounter, etc.  They’re all part of the learning experience we call ‘life.’  Never forget to acknowledge the lesson, especially when things don’t go your way.  If you don’t get a job that you wanted or a relationship doesn’t work, it only means something better is out there waiting.  And the lesson you just learned is the first step towards it.
  3. Be authentic.  Be true to yourself. – Judy Garland once said, “Always be a first rate version of yourself instead of a second rate version of somebody else.”  Live by this statement.  There is no such thing as living in someone else’s shoes.  The only shoes you can occupy are your own.  If you [Read more…]

50 Natural Ways To Boost Your Energy

50 Natural Ways To Boost Your Energy

Conquering drowsiness before it overwhelms your mind can be quite a challenge without the help of caffeine, taurine and drugs.  With the prevalence of energy drinks and coffee shops conveniently located all around us, finding an unnatural, unhealthy energy boost is easy.  You’ll certainly be wide awake and wired, but your health will pay the price too.

So the question is:  What are some healthy, natural ways to boost your energy and stay awake and alert when you must.  Let’s take a look at 50 possibilities:

  1. Turn on all the lights. – Darkness promotes fatigue and laziness.  Turn on every light in the room.
  2. Go outdoors. – Getting some fresh air outdoors is always a good way to rouse your senses.
  3. Pull down on your earlobes. – This may sound strange, but pulling down on your earlobes can help you stay awake and alert when you’re feeling drowsy.
  4. Rub the roof of your mouth with your tongue. – Rub your tongue against the top front area of your mouth cavity.  It feels a little weird, but it does give you a quick nerve jolt that’s bound to make you a bit more alert.
  5. Call a close friend. – Sometimes a quick conversation with someone you care about is just what you need to boost your mood.
  6. Eat nutritious low carb snacks. – Low carb fruits such as raspberries, apples, oranges, and grapefruits are great energy boosters.  Heaping scoops of spicy salsa on a few small crackers is another goodie.  Stay away from meats, breads and dairy products.
  7. Listen to some fast beat music. – If it’s not too much of a distraction, listening to fast beat music can be a great way to keep your mind awake.
  8. Roll up and down on your toes. – This stimulates your circulatory system, which will deliver much-needed oxygen and fuel (glucose) throughout your body.
  9. Watch or read something that inspires you. – Sometimes all you need is a little pep talk.  Watch a motivational video or read something that inspires you.
  10. Have a good laugh. – Watch a funny video clip or read your favorite comic strip.  A good chuckle will stimulate your mind, giving you a renewed level on energy.
  11. Crank up the AC. – Warm, stuffy environments accelerate mental fatigue.  If you need to stay awake and energized in a lecture hall or meeting room find an open seat under an AC vent.
  12. Apply pressure to the top of the back of your neck. – Use your fingertips to apply pressure and lightly massage the top part of the back of [Read more…]

140 Ways to Change the World

140 Ways to Change the World

Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.
-William James

Doing something nice for someone can change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.

Start small.  Start now.

  1. Smile when you make eye contact with someone.
  2. Hold the door open for the person behind you.
  3. Send a hand-written thank you card to someone who assisted you with something.
  4. Clean out all your old clothes and donate them to someone in need.
  5. Give a compliment about a waiter, waitress, sales clerk, etc. to his or her manager.  Or write a nice note to or about your waiter or waitress on the back of your bill.
  6. Compliment a stranger’s appearance.  Flatter them.
  7. Leave encouraging post-it notes in a library books and other random places.  (Read Operation Beautiful.)
  8. Connect like minds.  Introduce two friends or colleagues who you feel have something to gain from each other.
  9. Send flowers to someone.
  10. Be a courteous driver.  Let people merge in front of you.
  11. Volunteer at a children’s hospital or nursing home.
  12. Donate blood.
  13. Live each moment with enthusiasm.
  14. Spend time with children and greet the world with wide-eyed wonder. [Read more…]