From sex, to internal dialogue, to how to survive several near death experiences, here’s my list of important life lessons. I recently posted this response on Quora which garnered a lot of attention, so I think it's worth adding this list to www.the-inspired.com with a added context and ideas from the original for EACH rule. So here we go....
What important lessons has life taught you?
1. Sex is not love. And lust is not love. It takes years to get to really know someone. If you are starting a new relationship understand these points. Know that sex will fade, but if you marry someone who you feel is your emotional and intellectual peer, you'll have a better chance of a fulfilling and meaningful marriage.
2. Have a healthy internal dialogue. When negative thoughts enter, do not let them rule you. Studies suggest us humans have thousands of negative thoughts entering our minds daily. There are plenty of tools we can use to help stop them from ruling over our ideas, self worth and lives and I highly recommend Jack Canfield's Success Principles
3. Do not be a victim in life. Yes, many things will be stacked against you - but only YOU have the power to change your path. This is a big mantra of Tony Robbins be sure to watch some of his videos on Youtube. I also recommend these short videos by Alan Watts
4. Never say NO to a great opportunity. Even if you’re not sure how to make it happen, if there is a will there will always be a way. In my life experience, amazing opportunities present themselves ONCE every 3-5 years. When they arrive be sure to find a way to take them on.
5. Never stop learning something new. Our brains were designed for constant learning. Some of the happiest people I know are constant learners. Be it reading new books, learning a trade, travelling to explore new worlds, or whatever learning means to you.
6. Creating is one of the most beautiful things in this world. From a drawing, to planting a garden, to giving birth. Creating new things is something that comes natural for some and is much harder for others, but it is within all of us to create. Find time to try creating something new.
7. Always have a dream. Then create GOALS that can be broken down into weekly tasks that will slowly help you realize your dream. If it doesn't come true you'll always know that you gave it 100% and that you enjoyed the process.
8. Sleep 7–8 hrs per night. If you only sleep 4–5 its the equivalent of being intoxicated for your brain. Ok, if you are in your 70's you may need less sleep. But if you are part of the rat race as most of us are, and you are not getting a full night sleep know that it is bad for your health and for your ability to make the right decisions in your day.
9. Be patient and grateful. Everyone is going through their own hardships. They just may not be showing it. And be grateful of the life you have and the blessings around you. Living otherwise will be wasteful.
10. Surround yourself with AMAZING friends and family. Remove the rest. This will be difficult at first, but over time the right friends and family will greatly enrich your life and reduce the amount of energy you spend on those trying to drag you down.
11. Be your genuine authentic self. You’ll be loved & respected for it. This means be the REAL you. This means being aware of who you are, what makes you tick and understanding what integrity is.
12. Do something that makes you sweat every day. Exercise or Sex. Your choice. Ok so you probably won't be having sex every single day. That's why god invented the bicycle. Interestingly enough, according to wikipedia the word "bicycle" first appeared in English print in The Daily News in 1868. But it appeared much earlier in French print in 1847 so we can thank the french for this invention.
13. Understand how Compound Interest works. Start saving your money now. Basically the principle is this - compound interest is the addition of interest to the principal sum of a loan or deposit, or in other words, interest on interest. It is the result of reinvesting on the interest you earned.
14. Understand Real Estate, over time, is one of the best investments you can make. Buy a house, or apartment soon. God stopped making land a long time ago, and the longer you wait, the less likely it may be that you ever buy land or property. I'll follow this one up soon with some recommended books on the topic.
15. Community Matters - get to know your neighbours. It will give you happiness, laughter, joy and security. And you’ll live longer. I have a post and recommended ted talk on this topic here.
16. Take time to talk to strangers. They might tell you an amazing story in the process. I wrote a post on such experience and included a few incredible stories all from complete strangers.
17. Smile at strangers. Hold doors open for others. The world IS what we make it.
18. Own a pet and love it. It’s proven you’ll live a longer healthier life with that cat or dog, or perhaps even a turtle. Years longer. Us humans need companionship it's as simple as that.
19. Learn to express your feelings in healthy ways. Communication is the most important element to any relationship. I highly recommend Nonviolent Communication by Marshal Rosenberg, PhD. Get the audio version, not the book.
20. Understand that marriage is whatever you make it. Good, bad, ugly. It has no predefined rules but rather the myths we tell ourselves about it. Checkout my 3 Part series on Why do we get married? Part 3 is still in the works.
21. Do a random act of kindness each day. You’ll feel great, and it will cause a ripple effect that you won’t be able to imagine. Remember you don't have to be Bill Gates to change the world. We can each do our part every day with even the smallest of gestures.
22. Bonus - if you almost die in a near death experience, stay calm to survive. This experience will give you more reason to live, if you were lacking any before. Life is short, and life can be gone in an instant. More on my near death experiences coming soon.
Thanks for your time! And I hope that my rules above helped someone out there. If you’d like to learn more, I cover many of these life lesson topics within the every growing posts of www.the-inspired.com.