THE 11 LESSONS; A MANIFESTO FOR BETTER (HU)MANS
Updated: Jan 5
BE BETTER EACH DAY. Just be better than yesterday. You don’t have to always be the best. You simply have to be better (try harder) than yesterday. Learn from your mistakes. Try not to dwell on them (that will only weigh you down) and simply be better tomorrow. That is the only thing you can control.
BE KIND. Being kind is not outdated. Nor is it a weakness. It takes much more strength to be unselfish, show love, or do something for others, when you are feeling weak, tired or hurting yourself. Never forget that. This separates the savages from the gentlemen; the ability to unselfishly care for others with everything you got. Hold the door. Someone you care about seem down? Give them hug….no need to say a word. The good vibe through the hug is a healing magic in itself. Smile at a stranger as they pass. All little actions that could change the course of another person’s day, and in turn, yours.
FIND YOUR ‘CUP OF TEA.’ Figure out the “simple things” (in life) that make you happy, and use them when you need the pick me up. Great music. Sports. Painting. Art. Working out of any kind. Strong Coffee. Stronger Whiskey. It could be something you do, or something tangible that you truly appreciate. I don’t care what it is, but find the simple things that give you pleasure, and they will help you through those tough days. Or they could give you something to focus on and excel at.
SHED THE EGO. Let the ego go. Ego is a great survival tool, but to evolve as beings, you need to learn to open up to the greater good. Sometimes that means letting go of our own ego and doing what’s best for the larger group, despite how it makes us feel. Sports. Work. Family. Trust me when the ego has been surrendered, the potential outcome for the group is greater. 95% of the adults I know can't do this. Ego will hurt, more than help you, find true happiness. Only the narcissist can say otherwise, and well, we have souls. And I’m personally damn fucking proud of that. Even if it causes me pain at times, having such a big heart, and genuinely caring about people.
PERFECT YOUR TEMPLE. Make a weekly effort to learn, even outside of your school years. Don’t limit yourself. You are better than that. Life should be a constant learning experience. Consistent evolution of mind and body. You can always read up on new trends. Who’s doing what the best. Take notes. New ways to do things. Learn to do things you never knew how. Your body is truly your temple. Find ways to make you both mentally and physically stronger. What foods to fuel you to perform your best. Exercises that could make you faster, stronger, more agile at whatever sport you choose...or simply to feel its best day in and day out. Understand what motivates and inspires you to push harder. What separates the greats from the greatest, is simply, the latter have learned to conquer their thoughts, as well as their sport. If you follow #1 above, this will take little effort. It’s just a matter of being cognizant of it and making the effort.
MOVE FORWARD WITH PURPOSE. You are better than your mistakes, bad judgement and demons. Fight your demons daily (your only other choice is to fuel them which is self-destruction). Put the mistakes in the past. Learn from the bad judgement and be better. Tomorrow is always a new day. Trust me no matter how bad it seems in the present, the one constant in life is that tomorrow you can choose to live differently, and with a new attitude. Time moves on, it’s inevitable. We can’t stop or change that. Don’t let weakness overcome you and make you believe that pain, hurt or depression is anything but temporary. Because. It. Is. I’ve lived through many ups and downs and when you are down the only direction to go... is back up. Believe that shit.
HAVE FAITH. Believe in something bigger. I don’t care which god, faith or religion it is, but ‘taste’ them all and make your own judgement. I don’t care if you go to church on Sundays or simply meditate to find inner peace. Learn the lessons. Religions & philosophies have been around for centuries, so they must be doing something right. There is always truth in anything that teaches and inspires you to love. Love isn’t all you need. Lennon lied. But love is a pivotal key to happiness. Self-love. Unconditional love. True love.
LOVE HARDER. It shows no weakness to love with all your heart…even as a guy. The toughest guys I know, have been to hell and back, full of tattoos, scars and ‘war stories,’ and are the ones that aren’t afraid to tell the world what their wife, kids or friends mean to them. Hug your friends. Tell them you love them…and mean it. Love your family; they won’t be around forever. You never know what will happen tomorrow, so don’t take the chance to love them today for granted. It’s much easier to be selfish, and not care about anyone. That gives you the luxury of being able to focus all your energy on yourself. That’s the easy route. Trust me. It won’t be easy to always care so much, but it will be worth it. People will love you in return, as they will know you are genuine.
LET GO. Remember that anger is the devil. It will weigh you down. Keep you from your potential and destroy relationships with those that truly love you. All by deceiving your perception of their reality in your life. If you give into anger, you cannot love fully. If you cannot love fully, you will never find true happiness.
TALK (BUT WITH PURE INTENTION). Lack of communication is the biggest saboteur in any relationship, workplace or team. We ALL have our own realities. Our paranoias. Feelings of insecurity. Don’t assume. Learn to say "I'm sorry." Talk through your feelings with someone, and I guarantee you, that this one lesson will prevent or resolve 75% of the conflict or interpersonal issues you have in life. Period. If openly talking with a pure heart doesn’t, I can almost guarantee that the other person is the issue. Not you. Remind yourself you can’t control them, or how they perceive the world, and be at peace with that. At least you can sleep at night knowing you tried. And always talk about, and to people, with kindness. If it would hurt you, don’t say it to, or about people. Be weary of those that talk bad about others behind their back, and smile to their face. If they do that to others, what do you think they say about you, when you’re not around? Keep that in mind when discussing other people in their absence. There are times to talk openly, and times you learn to keep silent. Distinguish between the two and be better.
BE TRUE TO THYSELF. One of the most difficult, but critical things in a happy life, is finding who you truly are. You can’t find perfect friends, partners and co-workers if you don’t truly understand who you are and what you need. With all the clutter you are fed in society, school, and through peer pressure by people around you, don’t get swayed to go with the crowd and be what they want you to be. Be. You. And do it aggressively. If you can genuinely find yourself; who you are, what you love, need and want in life, you can control your own happiness. The sheep sleep with the rest of the flock, while the wolves (with ill-intention) watch and stalk alone from the hill. The sheep dog (the protector) may stay among the flock (crowd), but it does it all alone, and with nothing but good intention…to protect and do what’s right. It’s always difficult to go against the crowd, but you’ll sleep better at night if you stay true to yourself. Anyone that doesn’t truly respect you for being you, that my friend is a flaw within themselves. A red flag about them. That is not a flaw in you. Always remember that. It will be a life long struggle, but being true to one’s self is the most pivotal life lesson my own mom taught me. She taught me to fight fiercely for who I am, what I believe in and who I love. And that is what makes me better.