Stay in tune with your spirit.  Be calm and think.  Listen to your inner voice.  Anticipate and plan.  Take 100% responsibility for your life.  Lean into your struggles.  Act with courage.  Maintain an open mind.  Practice kindness and compassion.  Keep your promises.  Forgive, let go, and move forward.  This is how you get from where you are to where you want to be.

I’ve learned these concepts gradually over the last decade.  Together they have helped me live a life of purpose.  Had I understood these things 10 years ago, I could have avoided quite a bit of confusion and grief.  So today I figured I’d share a few more things I wish I had known sooner.  My hope is that they help you hurdle over some of the barriers I stumbled into on the road of life.

  1. Loving someone should not mean losing YOU. – True love empowers you, it doesn’t erase you.  True love allows human beings to build amazing things, by working together through passion, kindness, and good will.  So be strong enough to stand alone, be yourself enough to stand apart, but be wise enough to share your love and stand together when the time comes.  Read The Mastery of Love.

  3. Getting even doesn’t help you get ahead. – You will never get ahead of anyone as long as you try to get even with them.  Sometimes we don’t forgive people because they deserve it.  We forgive them because they need it, because we need it, and because we cannot move forward without it.  To forgive is to rediscover the inner peace and purpose that at first you thought someone took away when they betrayed you.

  5. You attract what you show to the world. – So if you want it, reflect it.  Happiness, freedom, and peace of mind are always attained by givingthem out to others without expectation.  The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are eventually helped.  You have two hands; one to help yourself, the second to help those around you.

  7. Failure is success when you learn from it. – Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.  Obstacles can’t stop you.  Problems can’t stop you.  Other people can’t stop you.  These barriers are temporary – they come and go.  Which is why, over the course of a lifetime, the only barrier that can truly stop you, is YOU.  So don’t give up.  Sometimes you have to journey through hell on Earth to find heaven on Earth.

  9. You are not what you have done, but what you have overcome. – All the hardships.  All the mistakes.  All the rejections.  All the pain.  All the times you questioned why.  All of these things have given birth to the wisdom and strength that will help you shine your light on the world, even in the darkest of hours.  Read Emotional Freedom

  11. Your past can only hurt you today if you let it. – Do not pay any attention to what the past whispers if all it’s doing is bad-mouthing what today has to offer.  There are times when you need to release the bitterness and grab a firm hold of happiness, without permission and without reason.  The only way to get over the past is to leave it behind.  If you spend your time re-living moments that are gone forever, you might miss the special moments that are yet to come.

  13. It’s never too late to become the person you are capable of being. – Repeat after me: “I AM FREE.”  You can fulfill your life purpose by starting here, in this moment.  The purpose of life is not to simply be happy, but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to make some kind of difference that you have lived at all.  Remember, life is constant change, but growth is optional.  Choose wisely, starting now.

  15. Passion is important. – If you are trapped between your dreams and what other people think is right for you, always travel the route that makes you happy – unless you want everybody to be happy, except you.  And whatever you do, don’t chase the money.  Catch up to the ideas and activities that make you come alive.  Go for the things of greater value – the things money can’t buy – and use them to create a relevant profession.  Read Quitter.

  17. The pain is worth it. – You can’t really begin to appreciate life until it has knocked you down a few times.  You can’t really begin to appreciate love until your heart has been broken.  You can’t really begin to appreciate happiness until you’ve known sadness.  You have to struggle up the mountainside to appreciate the breathtaking view at the mountaintop.

  19. Sometimes what you don’t want is what you need. – Sometimes the things you can’t change end up changing you for the better.  Master your responses to external events; don’t always attempt to control them.  You will rarely end up exactly where you wanted to go, but you will always end up exactly where you need to be.