1. The only way to live is to be present.
o This is hard for me to do, so I got a tattoo to remind myself to embrace the here and now
o By extension, FOMO is your biggest enemy
2. The quality of longing (nostalgia) is bittersweet. It is a light and deep ache that dives in and out of your aura, touching recesses of your memory just enough to madden you, but not enough for the picture to become clear in your head, not enough to relive the memory. All our experience is ephemeral, there is nothing but this very moment, and look, there it goes, whizzing past your bemused face.
o If you were happy in your now, you wouldn’t bother with memories of college. Save it.
3. Your job should enable you to learn, create, maintain yourself, socialize and follow your passion, fulfil your purpose
4. The way to find this job is to stop being a risk averse coward, to trust yourself, figure out your talents, skill set and marry it with your career goals, what you would like to be remembered for
5. Don’t let your routine trick you. You might have a schedule and things you do at a set time on most days, but no two moments are alike and most of them are worth paying attention to. Or would be if you paid attention to them.
6. Life is a step in the evolution of your soul. There is no ultimate purpose to life, because there is no way to answer the why of existence. If you say life is an elaborate test designed to identify super souls that resemble god, well, you still don’t know why these super souls need to exist at all
7. Kids haven’t understood mortality and aren’t jaded enough to question the meaning of existence. They are good people to learn from
8. Boredom (no internet helps), alone-ness and deadlines are the biggest drivers of creativity. Humans will do anything to give direction to the voices in our heads
9. Moments of unity, oblivion, mindlessness are rare, and worth pursuing. You might chance upon them dancing a club, sitting on a rock facing the ocean, in the arms of a partner, on the back of a bike. When they come, they’re worth holding onto. But the hunt for oblivion shouldn’t turn into escapism
10. Most intelligent beings suffer from existential angst. Not enough recognize or acknowledge this. It’s easier to blindly live from day to day, consuming but not creating, smoking cigarettes to mark the passage of time. We do not know how to be idle, and its killing us.
11. The way to be idle is to calm down and meditate (four deep breaths or a look around with a real sense of wonder is all it takes), then do something productive with your time and energy. There is no excuse to be bored – there’s too much to learn, do, see, observe, eat, experience
12. Alone is okay
13. And the only way to be happy is to be self sufficient. Test yourself. Can you handle being alone in a distant village without Facebook and dinner plans? Will you find yourself running around like a headless chicken, looking for stimuli and someone to share every stray thought with, or will you take the time to look at the stars and breathe in the cleaner air?
14. This is not to say that loving or needing another person makes you weak. It takes strength to allow another person in and give them the chance to break your heart to smithereens. But making another person the centre of your universe and being dependent on them is a recipe for disaster. Ditto trying to fix someone else or their problems. Co-dependence is a nightmare and the biggest cause of insane phone bills. You are not worthy because you are great at helping people. You are worthy. Full stop.
15. Being in love and loving someone is a decision and continuous work
16. Everything that life throws you is a lesson in disguise. You could look at it that way and try to learn the lesson, or you could feel sorry for yourself and blame everyone and everything but yourself. Act like things will work out, and they will
17. You are extraordinarily powerful in shaping the course of your life. Think something, manifest it, and it will happen. If it doesn’t, it is for a good reason. It’s up to you to figure out what that is.
o The universe sends all the answers, stay on the ride.
18. There is no way to prove any of this. Belief systems, like M-theory, are ways of understanding the world and making the most of it. Believing that I am in control of my life, that it has a purpose and that sometimes it’s okay to surrender to what the universe is trying to do for me keeps me sane, even happy
19. When you abuse your body in any way, you’re abusing yourself. Your body is not under-nourished or overfed, you are. Look in the mirror and say sorry, not to your body, to yourself. Why are you disrespecting yourself? How do you expect to be respected and loved when you can’t do the same for yourself? How do you expect to respect and love someone else when you can’t respect and love yourself?
20. Sometimes, it’s good to let conflict happen. There would be very little if we could find some way to contain alterity or conflate identities, or make them irrelevant
21. In the end, what matters is what you experienced, what you created, and the relationships you growed