1. Family really is everything. And if you don’t have a great family, friends who feel like family are just as good. Or better.
2. Some friendships don’t last forever. It doesn’t make them any less valid. There are wide and varied reasons for this and that’s okay.
3. Old friends who know the “you” before life happened and still embrace the “new you” now– are a beautiful treasure on your life map. Cherish them.
4. Everybody’s hurting. Everybody’s fighting their own demons. Stop thinking other people’s lives are so much better than yours.
5. Much of life will be hard and difficult. Painful unexpected things will happen. Stop acting so shocked and surprised.
6. “This too shall pass” applies to the good times AND the bad times. Learn to ride the waves like a champ.
7. Stop taking everything so seriously. Seriously.
8. When people show you who they are, believe them.
9. People can love God and still be a jerk. They’re not always mutually exclusive.
10. Happiness is a choice every single day. So is misery. But depression is a whole separate problem. If you truly have depression, get help.
11. You can keep going long after you think you can’t.
12. If your kids have 100 problems but aren’t mean-spirited, relax. They’re gonna turn out just fine.
13. Learn to love yourself and be unapologetically authentic. It gives the people around you permission to do the same.
14. 10,000 things can be wrong in your life, but only a few need to be right for all to be well.
15. Love. True, deep, authentic, romantic love is priceless. And magic. If you have it, be wiling to go to the rails for it.
16. People always say life is short- but it’s also long- so if you don’t like your life, change it.
17. This life is 100% your responsibility. Stop blaming your parents and your past and get out there and make things happen.
18. Some of the sweetest moments in life are the smallest. Keep this in mind when you think you don’t have what it takes (money or creativity or whatever) to keep the people in your life happy.
19. Nice matters. Kindness counts. They cost nothing. Be that person.
20. Don’t hold your kids to a standard you have yet to meet. It’s not fair.
21. Give people way more grace and second chances than they deserve, but know when it’s time to move on.
22. There are some things you simply have no control over, including other people. Decide to be thankful for this instead of frustrated.
23. Teach yourself to laugh and find humor in everything. And then teach this to your kids– because, you know…LIFE.
24. Happiness or success rarely happens in a straight line. It’s ok to zig zag and back track as long as you’re generally stumbling forward.
25. Hug and love on your parents every chance you get. They won’t always be around.
26. If you don’t like the person you’ve become, it’s never too late to change.
27. You may not have just one true calling that will make you happy and completely satisfied. And if you do, it may never be your day job. Pursue it all with passion anyway.
28. Few things will serve you as well and as lasting as self-awareness. Seek it, develop it, cultivate it. High Emotional Intelligence is always in style.
29. Therapy is your friend. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help and guidance from a trustworthy, skilled and loving person who can help you process life.
30. Sometimes at the end of a really rough day, if the only thing left to say is that you have your health, then you’ve just about got everything you need .
31. There’s no way to be a perfect parent, but there are tons of ways to be a great one. Aim to be great.
32. There isn’t always an answer or an explanation for why things happen the way they do. There is peace in accepting the mystery of life.
33. Read. A lot. It makes you smarter, it develops your vocabulary, and it expands your world view. And smarter is always sexy.
34. Music has incredible power to influence your mood. Use it wisely. Enjoy it immensely.
35. Learn to love spending time by yourself. It gives you room to grow and reflect and change.
36. Stop pretending to like wine if you love beer.
37. Adopt the phrase, “I’m willing to be wrong on this” and mean it.
38. Say “I love you” easily and often. It doesn’t diminish the value of love. It helps it grow exponentially.
39. You’re not always right. Period. Apologize. And if necessary, follow-up with, “How can I make it up to you?”
40. Stop judging other people. People act in a way that makes sense to them and more than likely you have no idea what their life is like in private.
41. Find God and know Him. This will be a messy, muddy, heart-wrenching journey, but it’s worth it.