Birth provides us with a blank canvas. A fresh start. A clean slate. Have you painted your artistic masterpiece? Sure “life happens” but it’s fleeting, so, there truly is no better time than now to start creating your own pièce de résistance.
I suspect that from the very moment of my birth at 12:24pm at Yale New Haven Hospital, I had big aspirations. I dreamed BIG. Not content with mere existence, my path was forged. Never satisfied with mediocrity, I often went far beyond my own personal comfort boundaries.
Incredibly, as I’ve grown older (and perhaps wiser), I find myself pushing even harder.
Throughout my life journey I’ve experienced the full gamut of emotions. I’ve had phenomenal highs… And stunning lows. I’ve won… and I’ve lost. Each experience provided a lesson.
While I don’t claim to know all of the answers, I want to share four key principles that have helped me personally turn my dodgy life sketch into my own personal Picasso.
- Live your truth. Life can really suck if you never act without feeling. This is probably the most important lesson I’ve learned on my journey, however, it’s also the one principle that I’m unable to really help you with because I can’t tell you what it means to live your truth. It’s YOUR truth. Not THE truth. Not MY truth. Not some truth written by self-appointed gurus or “experts” in psychology. The best way I can explain it is this – living your truth is about being yourself 100%… 100% of the time. No filter. No regrets.
- Have an open mind. I strongly believe that this is one of the most important characteristics that we have as human beings. Being open minded means that you have removed all prejudices and personal biases from any and all situations. By taking off your rose-colored glasses, you are able to completely immerse yourself in the experience. This ability is one of the greatest human superpowers achievable – once you have mastered this skill you can truly understand the world. Open mindedness takes time, energy, and patience to learn.
- Seek fulfilling relationships. Let’s get this out of the way right now. A fulfilling relationship does not mean simply finding another person to fill our own inner voids. It’s much, much more than that. A fulfilling relationship is a meaningful connection across many different territories – physical, spiritual, romantic, emotional, and psychological. A truly fulfilling relationship complements and fulfills your already fulfilled life. Behavioral experts generally recognize four key components of a fulfilling relationship:
- You aren’t constantly taking care of the other person.
- Always being honest with each other.
- No excuses to yourself for the other persons behavior.
- Being both available to the person, as well as capable of being independent.
- Imitate happiness (or as I like to say, “fake it till you feel it!”). As crazy as it sounds, happiness can be forced. While this might sound ridiculous, think about it: feelings follow actions. When I’m feeling low, I deliberately try to act cheery. Some of my closest friends can tell when I’m “faking it” but sure enough… after a period of time I find myself actually feeling happier! Try it sometime, it really works!
“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.” ― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged