Once you have reached that stage in your life where you realize that everything is relative; that happiness matters most, and that contentment is the ultimate reward one can get from anything, that’s when these 10 principles turn into a way of living:
1) Know what your deepest desire is: If it’s achievable (and what is not if you really want it?), work out a plan toward systematically fulfilling it. No dream should go unrealized.
2) Remain focused: Always distinguish the things you can change from the ones you can’t. Think of Steven Covey’s circle of concern and circle of influence. The basic message is; if you can’t do anything about it, it’s not worth wasting energy or emotions on.
3) Prioritize: Your children, life-partner, parents, and other loved ones are invaluable in your life. Give them the time and place they deserve…before you find yourself having ended up isolated. Loneliness is too high a price to pay, if you can do anything at all to prevent it.
4) Be flexible. Know your direction, but be agile enough to adapt to change. Surprises are a natural part of life. Don’t get knocked out by unexpected events. Limberness is a key-element in the maintenance of your peace of mind, or even, your sanity!
5) Take a break. Go for what you want; but realize that time-outs are as important as the journey itself. If you allow yourself to take some rest in between, your spirit will get the chance to refocus and revitalize: Your mirror gets polished; your saw gets sharpened.
6) Pamper yourself regularly. Don’t overspend, but a few “playful” steps along a predominantly serious pathway may ignite an energy boost that will bring back all lost vibrancy in your tread. It will keep the child within you alive.
7) Dare! Succumb to your spirit of adventure now and then. Don’t let plans just remain plans. Realize them! Travel! Go out! Dance, if you can! Just do it all!
8) Smile. If you don’t have anyone to smile to, try your mirror. If there’s anyone who deserves your brightest smile, it’s yourself anyway! Besides, you know that a good laugh doesn’t only activate all muscles in your face, but keeps you young and healthy as well, right? So why not practice it frequently!
9) Keep your cool: Unpleasant surprises are also part of the game. Understand that, whenever they arise, panicking is not a viable option. Take a step back, try to obtain the broad picture- and then decide on your tackling strategy. A well-considered approach can be a lifesaver.
10) Feel! Long after thinking has lost its effect, feeling lasts. If you base your choices, decisions, and values on feelings rather than calculations; if you lend your inner-voice an empathetic ear, you will end up being pleasantly surprised by the positive effects this will have on yourself and others.
Life is beautiful. Smell the roses while-and as often as-you can.
by Joan Marques