Today, today, TODAY!
I am forty years old today. BOOM. 40.
I feel as if I’ve been forty years old forever. I don’t dread it, but I’m not all “YAY! Forty! WOOHOO!” So here I am. Forty. I can dig it.
In honor of my forty years of being blessed with this gift of life, I’m sharing 40 Ways to Live Your Bliss. I know, I know, I’m getting all rainbow unicorn fluffy kitten “be the tree” on you, but this is honestly the good sh*t that I live by each and every day. Hand to God, these are the life guidelines that I try to live up to that have helped me learn to LOVE this life.
And I do love my life. It’s not perfect, but it’s mine, all mine.
I made five of the 40 into printable posters. You can purchase these in my Urban Bliss shop online, should you care to support this little OLD woman and her crazy dream business. Print these out and post them on your walls for inspiration (I would be oh so honored if you did!) or, print and frame and give as gifts.
40 Ways to Live Your Bliss
1. Live Loudly. Love Fiercely. My life motto and I’m sticking to it. I wake up and live it, love it, breathe it.
2. Lift people up without putting other people down.
3. If you don’t feel confident, then find your courage. I don’t always have the confidence, but I know that somewhere, I have the courage. And THAT –the courage– is what makes all things possible.
4. Say yes to anything that makes your heart sing, without hesitation. You’ll figure out the details along the way. Trust me.
5. Learn when to say no, and learn how to do it quickly. The sooner you eliminate potential negative or unnecessary from your life, the sooner you can continue living your bliss.
6. Challenge yourself everyday. Sometimes you have to punch fear in the face and hurdle over it to get to the other side. But at the same time. . .
7. Be kind with yourself. Be gentle. At the end of each day, be satisfied knowing you have done all you can, and that tomorrow is a new day.
8. Know who your true friends are. Give them everything you have and are capable of, and don’t let go. I couldn’t live this life of bliss as I do without the miracles I call Alain, Heather, Amy, Andrea, Andrea, Michelle, Kelly, Megan, Becca, Brian, Jeff, Alisa, Robyn, and so many more who keep my feet on the ground but support my head in the clouds.
9. Innovate, instead of imitate. You will never stand out, if you are always trying to fit in. Entrepreneurs and bloggers: it’s hard, but stick to doing your own thing. Do you know why I don’t do 15 Best Valentine Crafts or 25 Meals to Make for Fuzzy Slipper Day? Because it’s not me. I don’t like seeing the same crap recycled on a zillion different sites; I prefer original content. But that’s me. Other bloggers are AWESOME at it and do well because of it. I applaud them. But I won’t imitate them.
10. Done is better than perfect. I truly believe you cannot be a successful entrepreneur (or mom, for that matter) until you have learned to LIVE this lesson daily.
11. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.
12. Don’t forget to play each day.
13. Eat GOOD food. Don’t settle for crap — in your food, in your life.
14. Surround yourself with inspiration. Books, magazines, fashion, music, television, film, architecture, science, math, lectures . . . let go and drown yourself in inspiration.
15. Turn up the music. Turn it up and DANCE.
16. Give hugs freely. Lots of hugs, every single day of your life, to as many people as possible.
17. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. When you expose the world to your naked truths, the world can do you no harm, and you can move forward with full and honest bliss.
18. Get out and explore a world outside of your own.
19. We learn the most from those who are not like us. Make friends with people of different religions, cultures, sexual orientations, political parties, races, industries, cities, countries, socioeconomic standings.
20. Be the tree.
BAH. Just kidding. Thought I’d see if you were still with me at this halfway mark or if you’ve already dozed off. :)
Ok, the real #20: Learn to embrace nature, not fight it.
21. Learn to know when it is time to ask “what’s next?” and when it is time to stay in the now.
22. Ask questions. Lots of them. Question authority, question your friends, question me. Definitely question me because I’m quite questionable. Don’t be afraid to keep asking and learn from all of the different answers you will get.
23. Share what you know and help others grow. As much as I love designing and writing and strategy, my happiness grows a million times more when I get to teach others how to do the same.
24. Make beautiful things just because. The world needs the kind of beauty that only you can see. So write, build, create, engineer, imagine as only you can.
25. Realize the true value of money: it’s worthless, in the end, on its own. Now: how are you going to spend your time?
26. Listen carefully to the advice of those who have walked the same path before you, but know where to follow and where to venture off in your own direction.
27. Smile at strangers. Especially at the post office, the DMV, the grocery store, the hospital . . . places where people are waiting with potentially heavy thoughts on their minds and time to overanalyze their lives. Never underestimate the power of a smile.
28. Never be afraid to show your enthusiasm for anything or anyone. If you’re happy and you know it, SHOUT IT OUT, people! Make your excitement so infectious that even the devil can’t help but drop his pitchfork and hug a unicorn.
29. Don’t be afraid to give yourself everything you’ve ever wanted in life. It’s your life, your ONE life. You deserve it.
30. Own your mistakes. Learn from them, apologize if necessary, and let your mistakes be your motivation to do better, be better.
31. Embrace the sunrise and the sunset, and no matter what happens between the two, let each day have its place. Appreciate the day for what it was, then let go, and prepare to begin again.
32. Learn to see the good in everyone and everything. It exists. Even in the darkest places, it’s there.
33. Make decisions based on the most important voice: yours. All other opinions are there for your consideration, but do not let them control what you do.
34. Ditch the map and learn to navigate from the heart. As long as you keep your eyes open and watch for the signs, you’ll land in the right spot.
35. Nike was right: JUST DO IT. Stop talking about it, stop planning, stop saving until “someday,” stop dreaming about it and Just. Freaking. Do. It. Already.
36. Realize that YOU have the power to change your life and the lives of those around you. You can’t change other people, but you can influence their lives.
37. Take frequent breaks. Your brain needs downtime, your body needs rest, your soul needs space to breathe.
38. Take responsibility for the energy you bring with you everywhere you go, online and offline. Negativity breeds negativity, positivity breeds positivity. I truly believe that whatever you put out there comes back to you in spades.
39. Spend less time analyzing the lives of other people and more time focused on living YOUR life.
40. At the beginning, in the middle, and at the end, there is always and only love. Love freely, fiercely, with every fiber of your being, without expectation. Love those who speak ill against you and love those whose voices are silent echoes in the mist crying for you to speak for them. Love is what frees us and sets the path to living our bliss.
And when in doubt, if you’re feeling a little less kumbaya, listen to Frank Underwood. Don’t DO as Frank does, but between his conspiring and murdering, the lead character in Netflix’s House of Cards has smart, cutting words of ruthless wisdom.
Thank you all for letting me share my 40th birthday with you, and for letting me babble on. It’s been a really amazing ride so far, and I can’t wait to see what the next 40 will hold!
PS: #BirthdayBlissWeek continues tomorrow with another fun birthday party post!
Which of these 40 things speak to you the most? Do you share some of my 40 Ways to Live Your Bliss already, and if so, which ones? Any to add?