There is a question and answer site called Quora.com that I rather enjoy. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a site where people ask questions about life and the world, and anyone can answer them. And anyone does. Anyone such as writers, teachers, experts in the field or just people with opinions. So I was reading one of my weekly Quora emails, and the question “how can one make the most of one’s youth?” was posed. One of the answers I read was from a man named Stan Hayward who is a film, TV, and book writer. Stan said he was using the ages 18-25 as his reference point. Since I have (throat clearing) passed this time frame, it made me reflect, and I decided to weigh in. Not on Quora, but here on Live Love. And for our discussion, I think I’ll expand his starting age down to zero.
So let’s look at Stan’s list, and ponder the points:
1) Take every opportunity that comes your way. I agree with this concept. Of course it might not always be physically possible to take every opportunity. But the idea of having an open mind and heart, as well as a general fearlessness is one I subscribe to. This feeling has increased in me as I’ve gotten older, and I wish I’d had it earlier.
2) Find out something about every person you meet. I’ve grown, with age, to believe this one as well. Now this doesn’t mean you can’t pick and choose (obviously not everyone is worth your precious time), but to me this means have a basic desire to connect with, and spread the love of humanity.
3) Get a record of every interesting event you participate in. Yes yes yes! Not only with your camera, but pick up mementos from time to time to help you remember the passage of your life. And don’t stop after your “youth.”
4) Keep a diary and plan ahead. The diary part has come to mean as much to me as number 1. I tried to keep a diary when I was a kid, but it never held my interest. That changed when I decided to keep track of my spiritual journey that started about four years ago (and continues today), and I’m so glad I did. If you’re like I was, and can’t write down the details of your daily life, try chronicling a significant event. I’m positive you’ll appreciate being able to not only look back on the event, but also at how you’ve grown as a person. The “plan ahead” bit is quite useful as well, when you can manage it, but don’t forget to stay flexible.
5) Don’t play games with people. Yeah…just…don’t.
6) Don’t get involved with people who play games with you. Yep. See number 5.
7) Don’t waste time with anger and revenge. This is such good advice. With the help of my journal from number 4, I have had major breakthroughs in the release of anger. I promise you, dwelling on anger and revenge will only yield you more anger. Release release release.
8) Don’t waste money assuming more will come. I have mixed feelings about this one. While it is wise not to waste money, I feel like the second half of this statement is a little fearful. You don’t want to waste money, sure, but you also don’t want to be so afraid of not getting more that you never take a leap of faith or a risk. I think this applies to everything, not just money. Fear of not having enough of something stifles creativity, and blocks abundance from flowing into your life.
9) Don’t spend time trying to prove things to people who don’t matter. I cannot stress enough the importance of this. Not being able to sit at Becky’s table may seem like the end of the world in tenth grade, but by the time you’re twenty five, you won’t give a rat’s ass about Becky. That’s a reflection on her, not you. Spend your time trying to impress yourself by being a kind and amazing person.
10) Don’t try to be clever. People will notice if you are. So true. The more you live, learn and experience, the less you will have to “try.” You will just BE clever, and people will be dying to talk to you.
So there it is. I think Stan’s list is pretty much spot on. And I think the obvious moral of this story is start these practices early, and carry them on to the very end.