I live my life believing in one golden rule: Your life is YOUR responsibility.
Blame it on childhood trauma, or the hyper-reflective nature of debilitating social anxiety, but I have come to acknowledge this universal truth: Most misgivings in life are due to personal choices, or lack thereof. In this case, choices pertaining to our actions, the information we internalize, the perspectives we maintain, and virtually anything else we do to navigate through life.
While I could write a whole book discussing the aforementioned "truth", today's food for thought is centered around perspectives gained by living within that truth.
Now, these perspectives are my own and while I wholeheartedly trust them, I do not expect everyone to have had the same experiences as me. As such, I expect readers to put on their critical thinking hats and avoid interpretations of these as concrete "have to's", but rather adaptable concepts someone has used to (somewhat successfully) cope with the world we live in.
1) Self- Love Will Solve 99% Of Your Problems: No, I do not mean the type of self assurance that leads to denial ("this is who I am, take it or leave it" but who you are is rooted in unhealthy behaviors). I am talking about authentic self-love; the kind of self-love that can only be forged out of deep introspection and subsequent changed behavior. Self-love won't make the job you hate any less dreadful, but it can offer you the confidence you need to courageously seek a new one.
2) People Who Lack Emotional Maturity Are Usually Toxic: Don't understand this as suggesting everyone who is not at the apex of emotional maturity is toxic or that toxic is synonymous with "bad person". There are levels to emotional maturity and no one is perfect. Nonetheless, people who are unable to appropriately understand and cope with their emotions typically act out in ways that are harmful to them and the people in their life. If you, or someone you know, regularly make statements such as "they pushed me to do it" or "this was all their fault" than it is time to reflect on the foundation of that mentality. Emotional maturity demands recognition that no one else but YOU are in control of your actions, words, etc.
3) You Are Responsible For Your Well-Being: Being mad at at person, or situation, that has a history of hurting you is like getting mad at the rain for getting wet after you checked the weather but still didn't bring an umbrella. I always say "anything that happens from the moment someone shows you who they are and the moment you decide to do something about it is on you". Rain is rain and it is going to keep being rain- it is up to you prepare yourself for it.
4) When Dating, Most People Tell You Who They Want To Be- Not Who They Are: When they say, "I value communication" but get defensive during conversations about their behavior- they do not value communication, they value the idea of communication. When they say, "I value honesty" but regularly tell white lies to avoid confrontation- they do not value honesty, they value the idea of honesty. Most people won't even realize they are operating this way so it is important that you stay aware of these behaviors and manage your expectations accordingly.
5) The Widely Accepted Notion of "Closure" Doesn't Exist: At the end of the day, most people who are seeking "closure" don't realize that the answer they are seeking is never going to be good enough. Closure is acceptance that stuff happens to us that sucks or doesn't make sense- but that's okay. If someone wants to offer you an explanation for why they did something than fanfreakinstatic. But, if they don't- you have to find peace in knowing that their actions are not about you and you were likely collateral damage in their journey. You don't have to like it or understand it- but you have to be comfortable moving forward despite it.
6) Judging People For Not Changing Is Ignorant: Those who have put in the hard work it takes to actually change do not waste their time judging where other people are at in their journeys. Only non-addicts think addiction is a choice, you feel me? Most judgement comes from lack of understanding, so watch out for those who pass judgement without experience- including yourself.
7) You Owe It To The People You Love To Bring Up Honest Concerns At least Once : At the end of the day, being a good friend is hard. It isn't just showing up when it is easy and being there for only the good times. Being a good friend sometimes requires you to have hard conversations with the people you love. This DOES NOT mean constantly bombarding your friends with your opinion on their life whenever you feel like it. But, it can mean stepping up and saying "hey, we need to talk about the way you're treating your girlfriend" or "hey sis, I know you struggle with using alcohol to cope and I noticed you're drinking a bit more- do we need to talk about it?". Be the friend that at least tried, not the bystander.
8) If Someone You Trust And Respect Approaches You With A Concern- Listen: As mentioned, being a good friend isn't easy. So, when someone you trust approaches you with a concern it's important for you to listen. Most people won't say anything and if/when they do, it probably took a lot of courage on their part and their intentions are pure. If you shut them out, you are discouraging a good friend from being there for you in the future and it is not fair to either one of you.
9) It's Not About What You Say, It's How You Say It (Another Oldie But Goodie): I cannot stress this enough: effective communication will solve more problems than it can ever cause in every. single. facet. of your life. Take this for example: "Bro, you always bring up the same sh*t- let it go" is likely to elicit a much different response than "Hey, you've brought this up a couple times- do we need to discuss this more so we can move forward?" will. 9/10 times you can avoid a drawn out, overly emotional exchange by simply choosing your words wisely.
10) If You Think It Is A Problem, It Is: When it comes to your personal life, you should never require external validation to determine whether or not you need to make a change. Just because no one has told you that you're a dick when you're drinking, doesn't mean you aren't (and you know it).
Stay tuned for my new book- The Ten Perspectives (justkidding)
Again, these are my truths- but they have helped me build a life I am in control of and ultimately proud of. Plus, I value my opinion (I'm a Gemini, there's no modesty here)