As a full-time college student, I often get so wrapped up in my busy, bustling life that I forget to fulfill the key ingredients necessary to live my happiest life. Happiness looks different to everyone, and varies in difficulty to attain—it’s something most people struggle with every day. In an attempt to help others while also forcing myself to confront my own advice, here is a (minimal) guide on how to live your best life.
However existential it may seem, everything in life is temporary. Pain, stress, sadness, exhaustion. These are only phases of life that we must all live through. It is during these difficult phases that we must take pause and just breathe; evaluate what matters most to you.
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Embrace your limitations.
Humans are so, so tiny. We will never be able to truly understand everything. We will never be able to master everything. We will never be able to change everything—or everyone. And that is okay.
Lower your expectations.
Author Jodi Picoult once wrote that there is a mathematical formula for happiness: reality divided by expectations. According to Picoult, there were two ways to be happy—improve your reality or lower your expectations. This has really stuck with me as a nagging thorn in my side (why do I have to be realistic?) but also a humble reminder to come back down to Earth when I have my head stuck in the clouds.
Spend time with friends.
Allow yourself to build relationships that build you up, not break you down. My greatest piece of advice that I’ve ever gotten, that I still keep close to me today, is this: surround yourself with people that make you want to be a better person. You’ll be surprised at the results.
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Spend time alone.
Do things for you and you alone. Write a book. Eat some cake. Lounge in the bath. Take a drive. Clear your brain; allow all negative energies, thoughts, and ideas to slip from your mind every once in a while. It’s therapeutic.
Fall in love.
And I don’t mean with another person. Fall in love with yourself. Fall in love with a hobby. Fall in love with an idea. With a concept. With the universe. Fall in love with your present. With your future. Fall in love for a living. Fall in love for a lifetime.