All of these will seem stupid and many of you will insist that you do these things already, but we often need reminders of how exactly to embody the best versions of ourselves. These choices will change your life in small ways and the world in ways even smaller, but to discredit these choices is how each one of us forfeits our power. Seize your power, change your life, set an example, change the world.
1. If you see someone you know, say 'hi.' If you're meeting someone you don't know, say 'hi' first.
This is my number one qualification to being an outstanding human being. However backwards it sounds, jumping into vulnerability will make you confident. And, new people are only given the chance to like you if you show them who you are. Remember, every friend began as a stranger.
2. Pick up the trash you pass.
I feel like we always see litter and think to ourselves, "wow, f*ck whatever apathetic person it was who threw that on the ground" as we proceed to step over it. Bystander effect, anyone? Be better by doing better.
3. STOP COMPLAINING.
Your reality is dependent upon your perspective. Help yourself out and choose a good one.
4. Take a different route on your commute.
Avoid living in auto-pilot; there are plenty of small ways to create freedom within your routine. This one may seem meaningless, but you may be surprised what you find— a friend, some new construction, who knows! A world of opportunity!
5. Walk with your head up.
While I'm on the subject: keep your heads up, folks. Put your phone away when you're walking to class or (I shouldn't even have to say it but I will) driving to work. Look up. Look around. Look at the people, places, and things that actually physically exist in front of you— things that exist to be noticed and interacted with. Plus, you look dumb with your face in your phone. And you'll probably run into something. And then you'll look really dumb.
6. Drink only water. Or coffee. Or tea.
You'll feel better, you'll look better, you'll feel better because you look better.
7. Don't say 'sorry' unless you actually mean it.
I know women (are trained to) do this a lot. Somehow, some time ago, we all normalized the word "sorry" as some sort of throwaway expression and actually meaningless filler word that is, per se, repeated as you make your way through a crowded room—"sorry, excuse me, sorry, sorry, excuse me, sorry"— or is promptly whispered after accidentally but altogether unnoticeably nudging someone else's foot as you readjust your seating position in class— "oops, sorry!"— or instantaneously blurted once you open the door to a room as someone else was about to exit through it—"HAHA, SORRY!!!!" Why? Are? We? Sorry? For? Being? Caught? Existing? Let yourself live, lady.
A clear mind is an open heart.
9. Bring a reusable coffee cup and grocery bag with you EVERYWHERE.
An easy way to reduce waste. Plus, (speaking from experience) baristas tend to respect this move: some places discount for bringing your own cup and most places will only charge you for a small no matter the size.
10. Say 'yes.'Again, we cling to our routines and our comfort zones— often without even realizing it. Obviously be reasonable here, but the next time you're inclined to say 'no' think about why you're really saying it— if that answer turns out to be any iteration of baseless fear, say 'yes.'
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