"The more you know about who you are and what you want,
the less you let things upset you." -Lost In Translation.
What an interesting thought. Here I have been, focusing on the "who you are" part. Neglecting the what I want part. And I think that's a pretty little gem of wisdom there- when you know what you're working towards, it's easier not to get sidetracked by things that don't factor into it. The general consensus is that your life consists of four parts of YOU: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, and Mental. And I happen to think that there are a few quadrants of our lives that impact us, externally: Work life, Home life, Friendships, and Romantic Relationships. So I think those are good places to start. I could sit here and tell you what I personally want... but I think that would be boring. I aim to be more general in my ideas of what I find to be important goals in each of these areas.
SPIRITUALLY: I think having at least a hint of spirituality is important for everyone. Whether you want to be Buddhist, Christian, Wicca, Catholic, whatever. Believe in something. Let something be your guide. It's a documented fact that people who have some sort of faith in something feel more purpose and feel less depression than people who don't. I also think it is KEY to be tolerant of other faiths. I don't know many spiritual/religious beliefs that preach to judge other people. Keep an open mind and an open heart, and consider the fact that what works for you might not work for everyone else. And that's perfectly fine. Work towards tolerance, faith, and an altruistic love for your world and the people in it.
PHYSICALLY: You all know my stance on this by now. You only have one body, take care of it! Exercise, eat right, and get enough water and rest. For some reason, women get in this competition of "my body is supposed to look like this," which to me is (pardon my French) complete bullshit. Here's a fun fact: We are supposed to look different. People who descend from areas close to the equator tend to be taller, darker, and leaner. People whose relatives hail from closer to the poles tend to be less vertical, lighter in complexion, and heavier. There are reasons for this. God (or evolution, or whathaveyou) didn't intend for us to all look alike. We need to be healthy, not a replica on whoever is on the cover of Vogue that month. And what is healthy for me might not be healthy for someone in Timbuktu. I try not to eat a ton of red meat, not over muffin top but because I don't need the extra insulation the way somebody in Alaska would. I also need more cardio then someone in some rural village in China because I don't walk everywhere I go. Do what works FOR YOU. Work towards your internal health- a healthy heart, lungs, and muscular strength to live your longest life possible.
EMOTIONALLY: This one is tough to be specific on. I will start by saying that I once knew a girl who preached that women are TOO emotional, and ought to be 100% rational. Like being emotional is a flaw. I (respectfully) disagree. Engage in sympathy. Practice compassion. Don't make a basket case of yourself, but allow yourself to feel things. Have you ever seen a dog when it's owner leaves and comes back again? It's in our most primal of instincts to have upset and joy. Emotions are A-Okay. Work towards allowing yourself to feel joy and sadness- not only directed at your own life but at others as well.
MENTALLY: This is one I hold near and dear. So many people get stuck in these ruts where they stop challenging themselves. We get comfortable and plop our lazy arses down at our jobs and with our learning. We reach for the remote control and rather than learn something from the world around us, watch trash television about how some nincompoop moron can dress like a skeeze and make out with everyone in their co-ed house. How are you possibly growing from watching that crap?? I am currently 27 years old. I have all the time in the world to continue learning about the world around me, and I fully intend to do just that. With technology as it is, I can practically teleport to anywhere I want. Turn on the TV, I mean go for it. But don't put on something pointless. Turn on something that will teach you something new, or show you a place you'd never be able to see otherwise. I don't want to sound all Disney here, but there is a great big world of knowledge out there for the taking. Work towards taking it.
WORK LIFE: Everyone is different, and therefore we all have different gifts to contribute to the world. Find yours. Use it. Don't just punch in numbers every day (unless you're a big numbers fan!)... find your passion. If you're stuck at a job that you're not a fan of, I get that. I really do. But there is a difference between trolling through every day and figuring out how you can make it better. Come up with ideas that will allow you to contribute your gifts to your current job. Ideally you should go for your dream job, but in this economy that can get sticky. If you aren't happy, improve the things you have at hand. Work towards making the best of what you've got. And if that's not possible, work towards getting someplace else.
HOME LIFE: I think this is an arena where you really have to examine what your home values are. Your home is your sanctuary, and as with everything else it takes different strokes for different folks. Some people like to be active. Their priorities are to make sure their home is fun and active, and perhaps with less of an emphasis on tidiness or exact order. There is NOTHING wrong with that in my book. But- if you are a person who puts an emphasis on cleanliness and quiet, don't live with these people who don't! And vice-versa, of course. This is their sanctuary too, and arguing over how each person is naturally different is a losing battle for all parties. Once that is figured out, decide the best way to create a home environment that works for you. Clean and quiet, loud and fun... do what makes you happy at the end of each day. This is your HOME. Work towards making it a place you like to be as often as you like.
FRIENDSHIPS: This has always been one of my biggest challenges. Make time for your friends. Organize activities together. Call every so often, just to check in. Send birthday cards, or cards for no reason. Cultivate the friendships in your life. These bonds are more important than you know. One of the most, most, MOST important things I think people neglect in friendships is to listen. To listen and not just wait for your turn to speak. I can't tell you how many people I know who don't fully submerge themselves in their friend's personal dilemmas. Listening is a lost art. Wait until you are asked for advice before you give it. Work towards being the friend you'd like to have, yourself.
ROMANTIC LIFE: Some of us are single. And some of us are in romantic relationships. And ALL of us need to practice being the person we need to be, ourselves, before we can ever fully commit to someone else. I've been in healthy relationships and unhealthy ones, and I can attest to the knowledge that if we forget who WE are, we can never be available for anyone else. I'm not advocating being a selfish person in love, only that it's important that you keep your head on straight. Romantic feelings are literally similar to drug use. We submerge ourselves in it, we crave it, we get withdrawls when it's gone from us. When we are in love with someone, our bodies pulsate with Oxytocin (the feel-good endorphin). And when that happens, it's easy to lose ourselves in it. Sorry to factor out the romance there, but this is important to know. Having said that- I also believe that if you are going to love somebody, do it completely. I think that the knowledge of yourself factors into this. Once you know yourself, and know your limits and aspirations in the old 'Amore,' you can give yourself permission to let yourself fall into love. Because if you're going to fall, it's good know know where you want to land. Work on loving. Work on loving yourself. Work on loving another. And love the BOTH of you with everything you've got.
So there you've got it. That's what I think about what I want. And you're free to think differently on any of this. But I think once you can develop these habits, the little things don't much matter anymore. Because they become insignificant in the big picture.
One bad work day... an unnecessary heartbreak... not being a size zero...
Life is about loving all of it,
And forgetting the things that wont matter once you get to the important stuff.