- Find something you are passionate about and master it.
- Learn how to mamba. Or bake bread. Or fly a plane. Or play chess, or play the saxophone, or knit, or paint, or write, or speak French. Keep learning things, and whether you make a living from these things or not, they will be your dear friends throughout life.
- Do something a little scary every day. Step out of your comfort zone. Paint a room magenta. Introduce yourself to someone you admire. Sing in your car. Apply for a job that’s a little out of your league. Write a screenplay.
- Keep a few friends who are your friends because they like you, not because they want something from you.
- Buy a garment you can’t really afford and wear it when you need a little boost. Whether it’s a leather jacket, a killer pair of boots, or a fancy hat – putting it on will change your perspective.
- Be generous and honest with compliments.
- Think with your head and feel with your heart, and make decisions accordingly. Had I learned this ten years earlier than I did, I could have saved myself an endless amount of pain.
- Make friends with people who are better than you are at something or other and learn from them.
- Look people in the eye when you talk with them.
- Laugh out loud at least once every day.
And keep these few lines I’ve borrowed from ee cummings in your mind:
may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old
may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it's sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young
Monday, June 16, 2008
My apologies if I sound like a tacky chain email, but upon turning 40, I’ve realized a few things that have helped me over the years and I thought I’d share. My unsolicited advice on getting on in life: