To Ryan, Tyler, and Alexa (because I love you so much):
Believe in yourself because if you don’t believe in yourself, first and foremost, nobody else will either.
Live in the moment. There is nothing like the present, it’s what life is all about. If you live in the past, you’ll never truly be happy, and if you live in the future, the here and now will pass you by.
Hold your head up: literally. Good posture makes you look better and feel better, too.
Always be truthful to yourself and others. Honesty is sometimes difficult, but if you’re honest, you’ll never be led or lead others astray.
Believe in something bigger than yourself whether it’s God, or fate, or simply the good in people. When you are down, whether it’s on a small scale or a grand scale, and you will be on several occasions throughout your lives, it’s the thing that you’ll need to rely on to pick you back up in order to help you see the beauty in the world because it’s always there.
Realize there is only ONE YOU. Others may have something you desire (physical features, emotional characteristics, experiences, successes, material things), but your unique individuality is what you’ve been given in this life to offer to the world.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but learn from them. Your character is determined by the way we pick ourselves back up and carry on.
Set out to accomplish something every single day. Goals are what keep you moving forward. Make short term goals because details matter and long term goals, never losing sight of the big picture.
Dream BIG: ALWAYS! You are capable of anything you set your mind to and continue to pursue. Once you stop making forward progress on your dreams, you allow them to fade or die.
Embrace change. We are creatures of habit and change is uncomfortable, but I’ve learned through the biggest changes in my life, and the scariest ones, I’ve made the most growth, for they are what I look back on as a source of pride.
Love with your whole heart. People are the most important part of your life. You won’t look back and say I wish I’d worked more or acquired more in my life; you’ll look back and say I wish I’d spent more quality time with the people I love.
Be thankful every single day, even on the tough ones. Keeping your life in perspective– cherishing what you have been given or earned is what keeps you in the right frame of mind. And on those days when it seems like you have nothing to be thankful for, remember there are always those who have it worse than you (and pray for them or send them good energy).
Always see the glass half full. Perspective is everything!
Choose to spend your life with a partner who will love you equally, compromise often, and support you always. Think about not only what you want in a partner, but what you need. If he/she doesn’t bring out the best in you, than there is someone else out there for you. At the end of each day, you need to love who you are when you are with that person.
Work hard. Give it everything you’ve got. When you do, the rewards will be plentiful, especially the ones that make you feel good about yourself.
Always be kind. Treat others as you would have them treat you or someone you love. Kindness comes back to you tenfold when it’s what you put out there.
Take care of yourself. Take pride in yourself. It makes you feel better about yourself and, if you think others won’t notice, they do.
Face your fears; because when you do, it’s when you feel most alive.
Challenge yourself often; you’ll be amazed by what you are capable of.
Me time is important; always take time to nurture yourself whether it’s working on a hobby, spending time with friends or by yourself. It’s the fuel and the balance we need to combat the inevitable stresses in this life.
Communicate. To yourself. To your family. To your friends. To your colleagues. Always keep the lines of communication open and clear; it will help you alleviate confusion, misinterpretation, self-doubt… all the things that will weight you down.
Allow your inner voice to mediate you heart and mind. Think before you act. Weigh the pros and cons. Usually, your inner voice knows what’s right for you.
Stand up for what you believe in, even when it isn’t popular or easy.
Elevate others. Be benevolent. Pay it forward. In helping others, you really are helping to fill yourself w/ a sense of joy.
Learn to forgive: yourself and others. It really is a gift you give to yourself.
Look for the open doors in life. Realize that just because you’ve hit a dead end when you thought you were on the path to something, it’s life’s way of telling you a different path will serve you better.
Realize you are the culmination of all of your life experiences— the good and the bad. You can’t undo a choice you’ve made or a situation you’ve been faced with, but it’s these building blocks who make you uniquely you.
Embrace all that life has to offer and know there is a purpose in it.
Be silly. Laugh a lot. Find the funny. Enable yourself to never let go of that inner, unabandoned you.
Live life without regret. Think to yourself… if I don’t do this, will it be something I’ll look back on and wish I had? If the answer is yes, you must force yourself to do it even when it’s scary. You only get to live this life once.
All my <3, Mom