My dear friend Sydney asked me to compile a cheat sheet to the meaning of life. I thought how could I come up with anything to say on the whole meaning of life?! I’m only me, I’ve only lived my own life, I don’t know any universal truths. But I realized that’s not the point. I’m not supposed to pass the exam for her, she asked me to help make a cheat sheet, a study guide of sorts, to reference as she takes the exam herself. I felt this may be helpful to anyone out there really, a study guide to reference as you partake in the exam of life. Here is the list of things I have discovered to be my personal truths on the topic of life an discovering it’s meaning and your purpose in the grand scheme of things. As I said, these are MY truths, not to be adopted for anyone’s personal use unless they happen to resonate with you as well. I do not want to tell you how to live life to the fullest, because I do not know! Life is an experienent and a process of trial and error, I have found the tactics I am trying are working for me, and I hope they inspire the discovery of many other personal truths as well. These are listed in no particular order, just as they come to me.
A Study Guide for Life
1. Do what makes you happy. Figure out the activities that bring you immense pleasure, and do them, often, whole heartedly and passionately. Not trivial things like sleeping, eating, and watching tv, I mean things to excite your inner creator, things to fuel your artistic soul, because we all have one. Go for a walk, paint, read, sculpt, cook, etc. do things to tend the fire of creation that burns inside you.
2. Let go. Everything, just let it all go. Fears, desires, anxieties, responsibilities, let it all go. Don’t let your fears hold you captive, don’t let daunting concepts such as work, debt, and school mentally enslave you. Don’t let your desires dictate your actions. Concepts such as money, and finding worth in material possessions aren’t REAL. Fear is not real. Let these things go!
3. Try to always live in the moment. Stop obsessing over the future to come and past mistakes, the only reality that exists is the one you are presently experiencing, everything else only exists in your mind, and to dwell on them is existing in a reality that is not tangible!
4. Just be. Be YOU. You don’t need to be anything to be happy or feel fulfilled. You don’t need an esteemed profession, or dignified title. You don’t need awards, or distinctions to prove your worth. You don’t need to box and label yourself based on your gender, religion, sexual orientation, race, etc. It does not matter what society chooses to define you as, let go of all those boundaries and simply be you, the best you you can be.
5. Follow your heart. In our hearts we all have a deeply engrained connection to the universe, to life as a whole. We know things, we feel things. The world speaks to us if only we will listen. Go with your first instinct! If you feel inspired to take a leep of faith and try something new, do it! And if you whole heartedly believe in what you’re doing, “the whole universe will conspire to help you achieve it.” (From The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho)
6. Meditate. This doesn’t have to be some serious task only mastered by Tibetan monks, anyone and everyone can and should meditate! Just take some time to yourself. Take time to sit and literally do nothing. Focus inside you, let your thoughts come and go as they please, and as you become more relaxed let your mind quiet itself. Observe the you that exists outside your conscious thoughts, the you that exists in the blank spaces, who you really are. You are not your thoughts. There’s greatness to be discovered inside you.
7. Take things one day at a time. If you have a goal, do what you can to achieve that goal a little bit at a time. If you want to lose weight, don’t obsess over future pounds and inches you’re going to lose, take pride that you worked out today and ate a healthy breakfast. If you want to be a painter, paint a picture today, get involved with the present moment, let it speak to you. As you actively participate daily to achieve your goals, you’re taking small steps towards them, and before you know it you’ll be closer than ever before!
8. Be mindful with how you treat your body. Be conscious of the foods you are ingesting. Do you know what chemicals are on your produce and injected in your meat? Do you know what random ingredients make up that bag of Cheetos you’re eating? Do you know the effects binge drinking has on the delicate structure of your body? Treat your body with love; eat healthy and exercise to care for yourself, not to lose weight. Everyone likes to party, but consume alcohol and partake in smoking sparingly, or not at all if you can help it! (I haven’t gotten there quite yet). Everything should be consumed in moderation to keep your body healthy.
9. Love and be loved. Love yourself, love your family, love your friends, love your enemies. Love the sky, the sun, animals, plants, have love for it all. The basis of life is unwavering unconditional love. Make that the center of your being. Combat negativity with love. Find adoration for all the little details and wonders that exist around you, and you’ll see the world in a whole new light. When you start by loving yourself, that love will be radiated back to you!
10. Forgive. You’re never going to move forward if you let regrets and sadness of the past keep you anchored in the same spot. You have to forgive yourself for any mistakes you made, because if you made a decision, at one time, that was exactly what you wanted to do. We are constantly evolving and changing, nothing is a mistake, only a lesson through experience. Forgive those that have hurt you. Not for their sake, but your own. Any anger your harbor toward them has no impact on them, only on you. Forgive because that feeling of renewal will far outweigh the heaviness of regret and sadness.
11. Have fun! Life is short! You need to laugh and enjoy yourself as much as possible!! Have a genuine good time, connect with friends and family, do fun spontaneous things, enjoy your time here on this earth.
12. Keep an open mind. Don’t think of anything as the end all be all. Never stop asking questions. Don’t accept anything as an ultimate truth, but rather it may have some truthful qualities for now. You change and grow and evolve, and so should your view of the world! Gather as much information on as many topics from as many different sources as possible, and consider them all! It’s only when you can look out into the world with no bias that you really begin to understand anything. And by understanding more, you’re admitting that we truly know so little. And that’s fine!
13. Speak your truth, whatever that truth may be. If you have something to say, say it! Don’t hold in your opinion or your view because you’re afraid of being judged, or you’re worried your idea isn’t good enough. Speak up! If you have bubbling ideas and concepts floating around in your mind, the world could do some good to hear them. That’s how the whole basis of this blog got started! Just the desire to speak and share my truth for the purpose to connect!
14. The last tip I have for now, is to acknowledge the divine nature of who you are. God is not a bully or mean parent figure that sits in the sky watching to see if you’ve been good like Santa Claus. God is the life force that exists within you, within us all. God is the wind that blows from no particular place, and the rain that falls to water the earth. God is that flutter in your stomach when you see your crush, and warmth of a hug from someone you care for. God is love, god is all around us, and god is within us. Access the power of that statement, and use it to fuel your endeavors. You are more powerful than you realize, and the only thing stopping you from greatness is how much YOU think you can achieve. The sky is the limit.
That’s it for now guys. I hope this cheat sheet helps you along your journey!