A How to Manual on Living Better: 7 Tips for the Still Young

If time travel was a thing and we could be reborn at age 18

By the time we arrive at a “certain” age, we can’t help but contemplate how life and the choices we’ve made have impacted the content and quality of our life. How our life could have been, possibly, different — better — if only we had known this or known that, so we could’ve done this instead of that.

For most of us of a “certain” age, it’s hasn’t been an easy journey to this point in our life, somewhere between the beginning and a little too close to oblivion. And it is harder still to to stop and ponder this question:

What advice would we share from our heart with our younger self?”

It does takes guts to face our failures, disappointments, and heartbreaks. But if there’s to be a better future for humanity, we must do so and we must share.

Regrets

Who doesn’t want to live a life without regrets?! And many of us will do our damnedest to do everything right. But you will fail. You will have regrets. Because it seems that regrets are part and parcel of being a human being who isn’t perfect or able to know and perceive all things.

And some of your regrets will haunt you into the grave. How you feel about your regrets probably depends on where you end up and how you feel about where you land.

Job, Neighborhood, Man/Woman, Ideology

Tell me whom you love and I’ll tell you who you are.

~Louisiana Creole Proverb

For better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, our choices reveal who we are in the moment. And arguably, the four most important choices any human being can make are the the following:

  • the job we’re lucky enough to choose or cursed to tolerate;
  • the neighborhood we choose to live in or can’t escape;
  • the men or women we choose to have sex with, love, marry, and /or reproduce with; and
  • the political ideology we choose to support.

These choices will determine the quality of the lives you and others live. So, it’s wise that you deliberate on each one–as if the quality and the length of your life depends on it. Because, it does.

It’s a fact that for too many of us the the deck is stacked against us before birth. Society is conspiring to crush our spirits and hopes by limiting our choices and our ability to escape history, dead end jobs, and bad neighborhoods. This is unjust!

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

~ Victor Frankl, an Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, philosopher, author, and Holocaust survivor

But even when you’re cursed by history; limited choices; jobs that lead to nowhere; neighborhoods you can’t escape; or political ideologies that actively encourage the human version of cockfighting, you always get to choose your attitude. Don’t volunteer your soul over to Society.

You’re allowed to get weary and wish away your cursed lot–Jesus did. But you can never give up the good fight. Never.

Love Hurts

Beware of arseclowns who pretend to be harmless as sheep but are inwardly vile, heartless, extremely narcissistic wolves. They are everywhere. They will deceive you. They will break your heart. They will try to murder your soul. Afterwards, they will walk away casually as if nothing happened. You’ve been warned.

And please, don’t allow “passion” or the obsession with sex that “flings one into the heavens” to take hold of your good sense. Yes, attraction has its place and shouldn’t be completely disregarded. But don’t use “passion” to choose a partner. Because one day–sooner than you think–that sh*t won’t matter.

Always choose the man or woman who has proven themselves to be good and worthy of your admiration and respect. In other words, choose who is good for you and to you–and not just the one who gives you a fever down there.

Finally, we crave love. We need love. Love can make everything better. And the brutal truth is: Romantic love may never find you.

Now, let’s move on. There are lots of good people in the world, and still the following is true…

People Suck

You can depend on this: Other people will hurt you more than you deserve. Maybe it’s personal; maybe it isn’t. Either way, for the sake of your sanity and your way to be, don’t take it personally. Don’t!

Humanity is at a critical junction in our existence. It has always had an evil streak. But thanks to technology, the Internet, the spread of disinformation, and sophisticated weapons of warfare, we’re equipped to self-destruct on a massive level. And political ideology that is selfishly designed to only benefit the one or the few is driving most of these “suicidal” ventures.

Don’t be stupid. You don’t live in a vacuum. Your needs matter, but so does the next person, equally. And if anyone of us fails to grow and thrive, ALL humanity fails. Don’t be a member of the People Who Suck group. And don’t stand by and do nothing, say nothing when you see evil being done to others. Because that just sucks.

True Love and Friendship

True love and true friendship have at least three things in common:

  • they show up and stay;
  • they keep their word; and
  • they make you a priority, not an option.

And, no, it isn’t about perfection. It’s about a person’s consistency of behavior over time.

Don’t accept lame-arse excuses from people who have shown themselves selfish and unworthy! Don’t you deserve better relationships?!

This Is the Answer

Yes, love is the answer to every question. But, regrettably, there isn’t enough love in the world yet. How else do we explain systemic racism, systemic sexism, systemic sexual biases, elitism, and all the other social viruses of humanity?!

With that said, love is still the answer. We need more of it.

Move It

Starting now, push, pull, squat, lunge, hinge, and carry every day. Because at 50, your body will thank you for it.

And here are a few other things you may want to consider NOT doing: smoking, taking recreational drugs, drinking alcohol and soft drinks to excess, and eating fast/processed foods too often. These choices may save your life.

Final Thoughts

Five hundred years before the birth of Christ, Socrates lived and said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Frankly, if we’re examining our lives at a “certain” age, it’s not primarily for our benefit. In many ways, it’s too late for us. But by examining the life we’ve lived and sharing our experiences, it can be of immense value to the young who still have the length of their lives to put it too good use.

So I encourage you to make peace with regret; choose wisely; beware of bogus “love” and arseclowns; don’t suck; love more; and don’t’ forget to move it.

6 thoughts on “A How to Manual on Living Better: 7 Tips for the Still Young”

  1. Love is all we need. If only we could all abide by this seemingly simple thing!!! I would like a do over from around 14 years of age when my parents divorced. Then again when I was 33 plunged into a divorce of my own. I made really unwise and regrettable decisions. Thankfully I have learned from my mistakes. Thank you for your inspirational words.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing your regrets–life is a bitch. But at least we’ve learned a thing or two. And yes, we need more love. Too bad we can’t make it in a lab and vaccinate everyone on the planet by putting it into the air we breathe.

      Reply
  2. Profound advise, Janine. Socrates quote is very powerful “the unexamined life is not worth living.” You introduced me to those words years ago.

    Reply

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