In defense of one of my absolute favorite shows of all time, I took quite a bit of good advice away from the incredible cast of characters and wanted to share it. Though it's hard to narrow it down, here's my list of the top ten things I learned from 'How I Met Your Mother':
1. Never settle for less than you deserve
Ted spent a long time searching for his soulmate (9 seasons worth of time, to be exact), and ultimately wasn't willing to settle for less than he deserved. (News flash, neither should you!)
Sure, no one is absolutely perfect and we should not, by any means, search for the perfect complement to ourselves, however in partners and in life in general we should have enough love for ourselves not to accept anything other than what we deserve.
You're incredible, so don't settle on someone or something that isn't as lovely as you!
2. Take a deep breath and slow down
Season 1 Ted and Season 2 Ted are seemingly completely different people (now that's what we call character development!). That's because he goes from overly zealous about fulfilling his idea of the perfect life within his set timeline to realizing that the best way to live is to stop, smell the roses, and content ourselves with the knowledge that we can't force life to happen - sometimes it has to happen in its own time.
Lily nailed it when she said; "You can't design your life like a building. It doesn't work that way. You just have to live it . . . and it'll design itself."
3. Let that sh*t go
Ted's great advice once was; "You may think your only choices are to swallow your anger or throw it in someone's face, but there's a third option: You can just let it go, and only when you do that is it really gone and you can move forward."
It is so easy to harbor exhausting feelings of anger, vengefulness, and frustration over certain situations and it ends up draining the absolute life out of you when you allow it to take over your thoughts and feelings. When we learn how to let go of that anger, we can start to live our lives more fully by focusing our energy on better things.
4. It's okay to feel lost sometimes
Barney came to a point in the show where he felt like he was in a hedge maze of confusion and frustration over not knowing what he wanted out of life, and if I've learned anything from this, it's that sometimes it can be nice to be lost. Sure, it may seem scary and daunting, but ultimately we have to buckle up and keep searching for our path. It can be fun trying to discover yourself and what you want out of life, taking time to take risks and experiment with yourself until you find what you're looking for. Don't sweat it if you don't have it all figured out.
5. Change isn't as scary as it sounds
As human beings, I think most of us love the feeling of familiarity, which is why when life arounds us begins to change, we start to feel a little overwhelmed and uncomfortable. Robin was a major conveyor of the necessity of being fearless in the face of the change that comes with the passing of time; sometimes change is for the best whether we recognize that fact or not, and we shouldn't let the fear of unfamiliarity scare us into running away from it.
6. Mistakes are scary; make them anyway
Lily so often made decisions that made many of us want to cover our eyes and scream at her, but if she hadn't made some of those decisions, she never would have known whether or not they were mistakes at all. That's how we have to look at our own lives: if we allow ourselves to be scared out of doing certain things for fear that they will be mistakes, how are we to know whether we would regret it? Wouldn't you regret more not knowing how it would have turned out at all? After all, mistakes are just life lessons. So educate yourself and make them!
7. Finding your people Is pure magic
Perhaps one of the most iconic pieces of HIMYM is the incredible friend group that the show focuses around; they go through so much together in the 9 seasons the show ran for, and it makes you realize how special it can be when you find people that help make your life exciting, fulfilled, and beautiful like these beloved characters made each other's lives. Sometimes it can take a while, but if we have patience, are true to ourselves, and remain open to what life throws at us, our people will find us and when they do, they'll make us so much better.
8. The ripple effect is real af
It can be hard to see how small actions and choices we make have a large scale effect on our lives, but after watching HIMYM, it becomes sort of hard not to at least think about how possible it is for the butterfly effect to be real. I made the decision to study abroad in London instead of the other 3 places I was considering this semester, and because of that small decision, I ended up making some of the best friends I could have asked for along the way. If I hadn't made that decision, these people never would have been in my life today. Our decisions now have the power to change our lives later on, which is both terrifying and thrilling all at once.
9. Love is hard work, but so worth the effort
Relationships are anything but easy. They take compromise, communication, honesty, and empathy to make them work, and that's only a few of the requirements. But if HIMYM has taught me anything, it's that when you find the right person, all of that effort is completely worth it. It's not always rainbows and butterflies, but the rainy skies are worthwhile to see all those pretty colors at the end of it all.
10. Nothing good happens after 2 am
Perhaps one of the most major life lessons HIMYM taught me was that no good decisions happen at such a late hour. If you're thinking about sending that risky text, meeting someone after a late night invite, being out that early in the morning, or whatever the case may be, maybe you should reconsider. Sure, we're promoting making mistakes for the sake of the learning experience, but sometimes you have to pick your battles and know these kinds of mistakes might not be worth the risk.