15 Tips: Revisited

In my tender fifteenth year, I found an identity as a prolific writer. Nick, a close friend of mine, and I began an epic, and certainly angst filled, journey to keep and maintain a blog. We wrote about all things pertaining to our lives as young teens. Nick, at the time, was grappling with his sexual identity while I searched for my own personal sense of meaning. While on a nostalgic trip last weekend I found myself reading this little piece: “15 Tips To Live Happier.” We may have been fifteen, but we knew our stuff. I present this simple wisdom, with a few amendments.

Number One: Accept ourselves more fully. Everyone is unique, and we as a society should not force people to quell their strengths. Be who you truly are and accept that there is beauty in every action you make.

This was particularly important for Nick, as he was experiencing a monumental change in a time and place which was not friendly to the idea of such. However, everyone deserves to believe they are accepted. The simplest way to do this is to start with yourself.


Number Two: Engage in no relationships until you fully love yourself. One cannot truthfully and honestly commit themselves to another person if they’re not fully committed to themselves. Treat yourself well. You’re worth it.

Yes, this advice is most key when you’re fifteen and unsure of yourself overall. However, this is a heavy truth in every relationship. How can you commit to someone else when you cannot commit to the love of yourself? Sure, it’s probably something we pulled off of a cheesy advertisement, but we were right on with this one. I still find this one applicable. I remind myself daily that I need to be confident in myself in order to deliver for the other people in my life.


Number Three: Understand that our bodies themselves are unnoticed blessings. Each and every one of us is a functioning organism capable of wonderful things. Be kind to your body.

Nick ended up becoming a dancer, which adds some silly weight to this tip. More importantly, though, we both blossomed into confident, beautiful people, and I think this early level of self-love was crucial in that.


Number Four: Read and write more. By reading you can expose yourself to opinions of the world; in essence you become well rounded and enlightened. Write more to become the enlightener. Spread your knowledge and opinion far beyond the boundaries of your mind.

While the idea of ‘enlightened’ and ‘enlightener’ may have been a bit extreme, this is capstone advice. Reading more helps you become a better writer and doing both more often gives you access to lots of new and awesome world-views.


Number Five: Apply yourself at school and work. School, and education itself, is a blessing. You have the chance to better grasp the magnificent universe we dwell in. Apply yourself so maybe one day you can be the person students are studying. Once your school days are over, apply yourself at work. Fulfill the job you are in and go above that.

I feel like we probably snatched this one from a Hallmark movie, but we were still right. This tip becomes more and more applicable with each passing year. Hard work becomes difficult sometimes, and other priorities pile on. It’s important to remind yourself to go above and beyond in everything you’ve agreed to do.


Number Six: Care less about popularity and social status. Happiness doesn’t rely on one’s ability to please the social requirements put on them. Be yourself and be proud of it.


Number Seven: Stay true to your morals or beliefs, no matter how hard it may be. If you believe in something, then stay true to that value. Don’t stray from your path because others tell you to. Being comfortable with your life choices is what matters. There’s no need to worry what others believe is right. If you think it’s the correct choice, then it is most likely the best choice for you. Only you can tell you what you need.


Number Eight: Gain muscle. There’s no need to say ‘gain’ or ‘lose’ weight. Saying you need to lose weight is a negative way to go about your goals. Always find things in a positive light. Be healthy, active and self-loving. Don’t worry about anything else.

This tip is still hugely important to me. I focus too much on ‘gaining’ or ‘losing’ weight, and I often have to force myself to shift my mindset in order to stay sane. It’s not about gaining or losing weight. It’s about converting to muscle. Also, I’m gonna say it again: be healthy, active, and self-loving. Don’t worry about anything else.


Number Nine: Understand others but avoid buying their affection or forcing a friendship. In other words: Be kind to others, but you don’t have to be best friends with everyone. Find a tight group of stable friends. Humans are social animals and we require healthy social interaction. Do not allow yourself to be swallowed by drama. Stay carefree.


Number Ten: Realize that friendship is much like love, a greater good for the other person, and forgiveness can only be given so many times before it becomes expected. Do not allow yourself to be taken advantage of. If someone assumes they will always be forgiven they will continue to do wrong. This isn’t the greater good for you.

I could never have known how important this tip was. Forgiveness was something I gave too much of, and people did start to expect it. We were right about that. It wouldn’t become relevant for years, but I re-learned this one the hard way. Perhaps I should have just come back to read our old blog instead.


Number Eleven: Be less paranoid, less shy and less nervous. One of the most important attributes to human personality is courage. Without it you are virtually stuck in the shadows of shyness. Be bold, noisy and out there. Sometimes being crazy is more fun than being dull. Don’t worry about others’ opinions, be happy and live without worries.


Number Twelve: Don’t chase after people, let people find you. If you spend more time running after people searching for their acceptance than you do spending time with people who matter, you have a problem. Chasing after people isn’t good. Sometimes it happens, but it should never be a constant thing. Stay with people who won’t leave you behind. Be strong and independent.

Staying with people who won’t leave you behind is wonderful advice. Also, I greatly appreciate that this tip was the seed of all my future self-confidence.


Number Thirteen: Gossip less. Transcend general pop culture. These things require no mental facility. When you gossip you only aid in spreading rumors, false truths and hurtful images of people. If you don’t want it happening to you why would you do it to other people?


Number Fourteen: Stop judging people, especially based on looks. If you do it to other people, who’s to say they aren’t also doing it to you? Be friendly and accepting. Don’t make assumptions based off people’s appearances.


Number Fifteen: Be open about the things you like. Be grateful for the chances you have. I know most people in their lives have complained about one thing or another but try to focus on what you’re gaining from this. Be happy about the stuff you like. If you enjoy writing poetry, then tell the world. If you like dancing, or singing, or playing basketball or collecting bottle caps, share that with people. Maybe people you know like it too! You’ll have a new chance to make friends. Be open, share yourself in all your glory with the world. Be a proud individual and share your happiness with the world

We hit the nail on the head with this. I have a mentor who says that “vibe creates tribe”. Ergo, by sharing yourself in all your glory, you attract people who resonate with that glory. You find your tribe. We also touched earlier on staying with people who won’t leave you behind. Being open about who you are and being loud and alive are the pathways to finding these people. Be vocal about the things you like because we’re blessed with the chances to enjoy them.