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20 Things I Wish I Had Known When Starting Out in Life

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by Leo Babauta, Zen Habits

“Everything has been figured out, except how to live.” - Jean-Paul Sartre
I’m nearly 35 years old, and I’ve made my share of mistakes in my life. I’m not a big believer in regrets … and I have learned tremendously from every single mistake … and my life is pretty great.
However, there are a few things I wish I had known when I was graduating from high school and starting out as an adult in life.

Would I change things? I’m not so sure. I might never have gotten into a mountain of debt, but then I wouldn’t have learned the amazing satisfaction of getting out of it. I might have made better career choices, but then I wouldn’t have all the work experience that makes me the blogger and writer that I am today.

I might not have gotten married that first time, so that I would never have gotten divorced … but then I wouldn’t have my first two beautiful wonderful incredible children from that first marriage.

I don’t think I would change any of that. However, looking back, there are some lessons I’ve learned that I would probably tell my 18-year-old self. Do I share them now to share my regrets? No, I share them in hopes that younger men and women, just starting out in life, can benefit from my mistakes and my lessons.

What follows isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s one that I hope proves useful to at least a few people.
“I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it.” - Jack Handey
How to control impulse spending. If there’s anything that got me in trouble financially, it’s impulse spending. Buying clothes when I don’t need them. Buying gadgets because I gotta have them. Ordering stuff online because it’s so easy. Buying that new shiny SUV because … well, because it was going to help me with women. I’m not proud of any of that. I’ve learned to control my impulses, at least a little better. Now, I give myself some time to breathe. I think over my purchases, see if I’ve got the money, think about whether it’s a need or a want. That would have been a useful tool 15 years ago.

You gotta stay active. I was in track, cross country and basketball in high school, but once I started college, the running and basketball began to slowly fade away. Not right away — I played pick-up basketball for years after high school. But even that went away, until I became sedentary. Playing with my kids outdoors winded me. And I began to get fat. I’ve reversed that trend, and am very active now, but I’m still trying to burn the fat I gained in those inactive years.

How to plan finances. I always knew that I was supposed to budget and track my spending, when I became an adult. I just was too lazy to do it. And I didn’t have a good idea of how to actually do it. Now, I’ve learned how to plan, and how to stick to that plan. Sure, I deviate from my plan, but I’ve learned how to handle that too. Maybe that’s not a skill you can learn from book reading. You just gotta practice. Well, I hope to teach it to my children before they go out on their own.

Junk food will come back to bite you in the butt. Yeah, it wasn’t just the sedentary lifestyle that got me fat. It was all the damn junk food too. I would eat pizza and burgers and Twinkies and sugar cereal and desserts and donuts and … well, you get the picture. As someone used to being able to eat whatever I wanted, it never seemed like it would be a problem. Bad health was something to worry about when you got old. Well, my jeans began to get way too tight, and to my horror, I climbed several pants sizes and developed a gut that only now is going away. I wish someone had shown me an “after” picture when I was young and downing the Big Gulp sodas.

Smoking is just dumb. I didn’t start smoking until I was well into my adult years. I won’t go into why I started, but it didn’t seem like a problem, because I knew I could quit anytime I wanted. Or I thought I could, at least, until several years later I gave it a go and couldn’t do it. Five failed quits later and I realized with horror that my addiction was stronger than I was. Sure, I eventually beat the habit (quit date: Nov. 18, 2005) but it took a piece of my soul to do it.

Fund your retirement, son. And don’t withdraw it. This piece of wisdom, and probably all the ones above, might seem blisteringly obvious. And they are. Don’t think I didn’t know this when I was 18. I did. I just didn’t pay it serious attention. Retirement was something I could worry about when I was in my 30s. Well, I’m in my 30s now and I wish I could slap that little 18-year-old Leo around a bit. What money I could have invested by now! I had a retirement plan, but on the 3 occasions when I changed jobs, I withdrew that and spent it frivolously.

All the stuff you’re doing that seems hard — it will be of use. This is the first one that might not be as obvious. There were times in my life when work was hard, and I did it anyway, but hated it. I did it because I had to, but boy did it stress me out and leave me exhausted. Hard work isn’t as easy as I wanted it to be. But you know what? Every bit of hard work I did without knowing why I was doing it … it’s paid off for me in the long run. Maybe not right away, but I’m using skills and habits I learned during those times of high stress and long hours and tedious work — I use them all the time, and they’ve made me into the person I am today. Thank you, younger Leo!

Don’t buy that used van without checking it out closely. I thought I was being smart by buying used, but I didn’t check it out carefully enough. That dang van had loads of engine problems, a door that nearly fell off when I was driving, a door handle that snapped off, a side mirror that fell off, no spare tire despite three tires that were ready to blow (and did), windows that didn’t roll up, rattling noises, an eventual blown radiator … I could go on and on, but let’s just say that it wasn’t my best purchase. I still think buying used is smart, but check things out closely first.

That guy you’re going to sell your car to? On a gentleman’s agreement? He’s not gonna pay you. I sold another car to a friend of a friend, who I was sure would pay me even if I had nothing in writing. That was smart. I still see the guy once in awhile on the road, but I don’t have the energy to do a U-turn and chase after him.

Make time to pursue your passion, no matter how busy you are. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and get a book published. I just never had time to write. With a family and school and a full-time job, there just weren’t enough hours in the day. Well, I’ve learned that you have to make those hours. Set aside a block of time to do what you love, cut out other stuff from your life that take up your time, and don’t let anything interfere with that work. If I had done that 15 years ago, I could have 15 books written by now. Not all would be great, but still.

All that stuff that’s stressing you out — it won’t matter in 5 years, let alone 15. When things are happening to you right now, they mean all the world. I had deadlines and projects and people breathing down my neck, and my stress levels went through the roof. I don’t regret the hard work (see above) but I think I would have been less stressed if I could have just realized that it wouldn’t matter a single bit just a few years down the road. Perspective is a good thing to learn.

The people you make friends with are so much more important than your job or the things you buy. I’ve had a few jobs, I’ve bought a lot of things, and I’ve made a few friends over these last 15 years. Of those, the only thing that still matter to me are the friends. And I wish I could have spent more time with friends (and family) than on the other things.

All that time you spend watching TV is a huge, huge waste of time. I don’t know how much TV I’ve watched over the years, but it’s a crapload. Hours and days and weeks I’ll never have back. Who cares what happens on reality TV, when reality is slipping by outside? Time is something you’ll never get back — don’t waste it on TV.

Your kids are going to grow up way faster than you think. Don’t waste a minute. I just had an Oh My God moment recently. My oldest daughter, Chloe, is 14 going on 15 next month. I have 3 years left with her before she leaves my house and becomes an adult. Three years! I am floored by that single fact, because it really doesn’t seem anywhere near enough time. I want to go back to my younger self and whack that younger Leo on the head and say Stop working so hard! Stop watching TV! Spend more time with your kids! These last 15 years with Chloe (and my other wonderful kids) have gone by much, much too fast.

Forget the drama. Focus on being happy. There have been many things that have happened to me, professionally and personally, that seem like the end of the world. And while these things were bad, they get blown up in our heads so that they become major drama. They caused me to be depressed from time to time. What a waste of time. If I realized that it was all in my head, and that I could be happy instead if I focused on the positive, on what I did have, and what I could be doing … I could have skipped all the moping about.

Pay more attention to blogs when you first hear about them. They’re more than just journals. I first read about blogs 7-8 years ago, but when I took a look at them they didn’t seem like anything of interest. Just some people’s journals about stuff they read on the web. Why would I want to read those? I have my own thoughts about the web, but I don’t need to share them with the world. I spent a lot of time on the Internet, on various sites and forums, but every time I happened upon a blog I would brush past it without interest. It wasn’t until a couple years ago that I discovered what wonderful things they could be (I mentioned some of my early favorites in my list of influences). If I had gotten into blogging years ago … well, I wouldn’t have been wasting all that time.

Speaking of which, keep a journal. Seriously. Your memory is extremely faulty. I forget things really easily. Not short-term stuff, but long-term. I don’t remember things about my kids’ early years, because I didn’t record any of it. I don’t remember things about my life. It’s like a lot of foggy memories that I’ll never have access to. I wish I had kept a journal.

Tequila is seriously evil. I won’t go into details, but it should suffice to say that I had some bad experiences, and I’m not sure I learned very much from them or benefited in any way except to learn that tequila is the drink of the Devil.

Yes, you can do a marathon. Don’t put this goal off — it’s extremely rewarding. Running a marathon had always been a dream of mine, since high school … something I wanted to do but thought was out of reach. Or if I ever did it, it would be years and years later. Well, I learned that it’s not only achievable, it’s incredibly rewarding. I wish I had started training when I was young and light and fit … I could have had some good finishing times!

All these mistakes you’re going to make, despite this advice? They’re worth it. My 18-year-old self would probably have read this post and said, “Good advice!” And then he would have proceeded to make the same mistakes, despite good intentions. I was a good kid, but I wasn’t good at following advice. I had to make my own mistakes, and live my own life. And that’s what I did, and I don’t regret a minute of it. Every experience I’ve had (even the tequila ones) have led me down the path of life to where I am today. I love where I am today, and wouldn’t trade it for another life for all the world. The pain, the stress, the drama, the hard work, the mistakes, the depression, the hangovers, the debt, the fat … it was all worth it.
“Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” - Mark Twain

Stop Planning & Start Discovering Your Self


Another quality post of Kent Thune, Author of The Financial Philosopher

You labor to fill the day with activities; you create more tasks for tomorrow than the ones you have completed today; you hyper-intentionally force productivity (yet you have not defined what it is that you are trying to produce); you make plans to make more money; you make career plans; you make retirement plans; and you make plans to make more plans….
But where are you going and what are you becoming?  Are you merely surviving the day or are you living it?

“It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a sick society.” ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

If you are normal (and normal is not healthy), you are struggling with the tension between who you are and the silent pressures of social conventions. As a Chinese Proverb says, “Tension is who you think you should be.  Relaxation is who you are.”  This may not be a conscious struggle but it is certainly one that is being fought; all at the expense of your self.

“The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss — an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. — is sure to be noticed.” ~ Soren Kierkegaard

Your authentic self is slowly and quietly being covered by outside influences. Social conventions tell you to study business (not the arts), find a career that pays well, buy things, make more money, buy more things, save for retirement, stop working, and die at age 74. Sounds depressing and deterministic doesn’t it?
But this is not you… Or is it? Surely this is not a description of The Change Blog reader, or the blogger who writes about personal development, or the person who lives and breathes the habits of Zen… Or is it?
Social conventions need not be those of your parents!
There are plenty of modern behaviors and distractions, including social media, for example, taking you farther away from your self every day:  You seek to be inspired — you seek to make some kind of change — or perhaps you seek to inspire others to change. Do blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn help you to find yourself or do they provide short bursts of inspiration that are consumed quickly, leaving you hungry for more?  They may help you to harness the power of now, but do they carry you forward to the next moment?
There is an ever-present deluge of information and messages telling you to “be somebody;” but is this somebody you?  Are you perpetuating this message by telling others to be somebody?

“Happiness is your nature. It is not wrong to desire it. What is wrong is seeking it outside when it is inside.” ~ Ramana Maharishi

We are all told (and often believe) that happiness is manufactured and productivity is created; but happiness and productivity are not creations — they are results:  Like happiness, productivity “happens” and each is a natural byproduct of being and becoming the authentic self.  If, for example, you enjoy what you do, you are naturally willing to spend more time and energy on the particular activity… and be quite good at it! You therefore become self-fulfilled and contented; thus you spend even more time and energy on the activity.  This is true, radiating and self-feeding happiness and productivity… and it all begins with self-knowledge and self-awareness — not from the study of others’ habits.

“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.” ~ Ayn Rand

Another silent and distracting message coming from social conventions occurs and recurs in the world of personal finance.  For example, the ultimate financial illusion (I mean objective!) is financial freedom. The abstract meaning of financial freedom is the acquisition of a sum of money large enough to replace income earned during your working years. This idea of freedom is that your accumulated money will enable you to stop working and begin acting as your self.  But why must you stop working?  Why must you wait decades to become your self?  Why not be your self and work?  Is this not true freedom, being the self?
Conflicted, myself, between the financial and the philosopher, I began to ask myself questions: Can freedom be procured by financial means? Are there not people who consider themselves rich and free, yet they are in financial poverty? In contrast, are there not those who are financially wealthy but enslaved by physical world pursuits? Why must one sacrifice two-thirds of their life working in a career they do not love to reach a monetary goal, then discover that money is not the answer to life’s questions?  I stopped using financial planning software for clients and prospective clients last year because all it did was generate dozens of pages of reports that implicitly stated that the client must use their life as a tool for a money plan.  This is backwards!  Money is a tool for a life plan!

“A human being is a deciding being.” ~ Viktor Frankl

I discovered that all planning, whether it is financial, retirement, career or even for a vacation or holiday, is not about planning or plans — it is about being, knowing, acting as, and becoming the authentic self…
Here are a few other discoveries to help you form your own path (actually these are not really discoveries — they are truths that already existed — truths that I uncovered once I removed the covers of social conventions, media noise and language):

There is no such thing as Financial Freedom
Money is a tool, not a goal. Too many people make their life a tool for a money plan, whereas money should be made a tool for a life plan. How many of your goals are money-centered? If you want to stop surviving and begin living, you must never make any goal centered upon money. This is what makes the conventional idea of financial freedom such the paradox: People think that money buys freedom. Actually, the pursuit of money creates a form of slavery; and once this financial goal is reached, if it ever is reached, the tragic realization that freedom has not been obtained drains (and slowly kills) the authentic self.
Freedom, if properly defined, cannot be procured by financial means. Form your own definition of freedom without any reference to money.

Define Words for Yourself 
What is success? What is wealth? What is happiness? If the meanings of words are not defined by you, then you are following the paved road of social conventions. If the path already exists, it is not yours. A few years ago, I followed my own advice to define words for myself: I defined retirement, for example, as “doing what I want, when I want, within reason.” At that moment, at age 37, I realized I was already retired by my definition! Of course, the key phrase is “within reason;” but the realization that I was already retired, that my freedom was not defined by monetary means, was extremely liberating. I discovered I was free, but not by monetary means!

Stop Planning and Start Discovering Yourself 
If you spend your time and energy on aligning who you are with what you do, you will be on your way to true freedom. The path to self-discovery never really ends but it is the producer of meaning and purpose; therefore the persistent effort and long duration of the journey is actually welcomed, rather than disdained. There is no hurry or proper entry point, just jump in! Like career planning and financial planning, prudent self-discovery is a process of “get rich slow.” In this case, however, “rich” is not a financial term — it is the state and trait of being and becoming the authentic self.
There is no career planning; there is no retirement planning; there is only life planning.  If there is something you would do for little or no money, what would it be?  Do this thing as much as possible and be the best you can be at it.  Your honesty and self-feeding fulfillment will enable opportunities you can’t see at this moment.  There is no secret formula to life, and often the discovery of who you are is a process of discovering who you are not.
This is all the plan you need:  Make a slow and deliberate effort to find a career that is YOU. 

“I hope that posterity will judge me kindly, not only as to the things which I have explained, but also to those which I have intentionally omitted so as to leave to others the pleasure of discovery.” ~ Rene Descartes

I could go on but I do not want to distract you any further from beginning (or continuing) your own path to a meaningful existence — of discovering, being and becoming your authentic self.
I also would love to hear about your path.  Who are you, where are you now and where are you going?  Are you surviving or are you living each day?

How To Enjoy Your Life: Live In Your “Now”!

By Bo Sanchez

One evening, a man was walking in a dark jungle.
Suddenly, he saw what seemed like a tiger running towards him. Horrified, the man ran away as fast as he could.
But alas, he didn’t know, he was running towards the edge of a high cliff. Below him was a thousand meter drop—and sure death.
He was able to stop and turn around. In the darkness, he saw the tiger moving towards him.
Instantly, he made a decision. He said to himself, “I’d rather die by falling than by a hungry tiger!”
So he closed his eyes and jumped off the cliff.
But instead of falling a thousand meters, he landed just a few meters down on a hanging vine! It was actually a root of an old tree that was jutting out of the cliff.
He was saved!
But suddenly, from out of nowhere, he saw a big rat crawl out of a little hole. It ran to the base of the vine he was holding—and it began to eat through it! At anytime, the vine will snap.
He was a dead man for sure.
From the corner of his eye, he saw something red. It was a strawberry. A little strawberry plant was growing in the side of the cliff.
What should he do?
He plucked the red fruit.
Placed it in his mouth.
Closed his eyes.
Chewed it.
Licked his lips.
It was the most delicious meal he ever had in his life!

God Gives Strawberries Every Moment
I can hear you now.
       “Bo, what happened to the guy? How did the story end?”
       That’s the point. There is no end.
       We don’t know what happened to the man.
       But this we know: He enjoyed his strawberry.
       You and I are like that man.
       We hang onto life by a vine.
       Actually, our life hangs by a thread.
       At any moment, that thread can snap.
You can die anytime. (My 31-year old cousin died this way. A vein burst in his brain and boom, he was gone. Last night, he slept strong. The next morning, he was dead.)
       The rat eating the thread you hang on is time.
       Every single day that passes is one day closer to your death.
       Every single step you take is one step closer to your tomb.
Our lives are short. Very short.
I love what Fulton Oursler said: We crucify ourselves between two thieves: Regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow.
       Friend, protect yourself from these two thieves.
       Surrender your regrets and fears to God.
Live in your “Now”.
       There are three kinds of people.
       First are people who focus on tomorrow—waiting and waiting and waiting. (More on this later.)
       Second are people who focus on yesterday—on how bad or how good it was. Some people are fixated to the past, they pine for the “good ol’ days.” They don’t see the blessings of today.
       Be the third kind of person who lives in their “Now”.

Enjoy God’s Blessings Now
Right this moment, you’re swimming in an ocean of blessings!
Miracles surround you.
Supernatural provision.
Divine appointments.
God’s presence.
God’s peace.
God’s joy.
God’s love!
They’re everywhere.
But here’s the problem: Sometimes, you can’t even see the blessings. So we end missing them. (What a waste.) And we even end up complaining, “God doesn’t love me.”
Why are we blind to our blessings? 
Because we’re not awake.
We’re not mindful.
We’re not aware.
We’re not grateful.
Because we don’t live in the “Now”.
My big message for you: If you want to be happy, you must live in your “Now”.
Live in the present moment.
Be awake.
Be aware.
Be mindful.
Be conscious.
Embrace what’s happening now.
Enjoy your blessings now.
Embrace God’s love today!

You Can’t Live On Yesterday’s Manna
       One day, Jack and Poy met on the road.
       Jack noticed that Poy looked very sad, almost weepy.
       He asked him, “What’s wrong, Poy?”
       Poy cried, “Three weeks ago, my aunt died and left me an inheritance of P100,000.”
       Jack was surprised. “Well, that isn’t too bad.”
       Poy shook his head. “That’s not the end of the story. Two weeks ago, my uncle died and left me an inheritance of P500,000.”
       “My gosh, I’d like that,” Jack said.
       Poy wailed and said, “That’s not all. Last week, my grandfather died and left me an inheritance of P2 Million.”
       Jack was blown away. He said, “That’s fantastic! Why are you so sad?”
       Poy cried and said, “Because this week, nothing! No one died!”
       What’s the problem of Poy? He got fixated with his past blessings. But you can’t live on yesterday’s manna. God gives different blessings each day. Learn to appreciate what God is giving you today that may be different from what He gave yesterday.
       But there’s a third group of people who live in their “Now”.
       These people enjoy each moment that God gives to them.
These people enjoy the strawberries of God.
Strawberries are found only in your “Now”.
In your present moment.
Make a choice today to enjoy the strawberries of life!

Are You A Human Being
Or Human Doing?
            Do you want to be happy?
       One key to happiness is mastering the Art of Being.
       We’re supposed to be Human Beings. But we’re so busy, we’ve become Human Doings.
       We’re not present in the here and now.
       So let me give you now the golden rule of living in the present moment: Wherever you are, be there.
       Even during the difficult moments of your life.
       Do you get annoyed when…
o   …you get stuck in traffic?
o   …you wait in the doctor’s clinic for a long time?
o   …you’re rushing and then receive a phone call?
o   …you stand in a long line in the grocery?
o   …your kid asks you for something while you’re resting?
o   …your friend drops by when you’re busy?
Instead of being annoyed, I suggest you receive these interruptions as a gift from Heaven. 
I also call these the “Gift of Pause”. 
I repeat: Wherever you are, be there.
This may sound strange, but I’ve come to enjoy traffic. 
When I’m in traffic, I’m forced to do nothing.
So I focus on God.
I reflect on my blessings.
I become deeply grateful.
Every time I’m stuck in traffic, I’m given a wonderful opportunity to practice the art of being.
To live in the present moment.
I can hear you now.
“Bo, you’re nuts.”
Then the next story may change your mind.

Where You Are Now Is Exactly
Where God Wants You To Be
One day, survivors from the 9/11 tragedy had a small gathering. On that day, they shared the reasons why they were still alive. They were alive because of small, insignificant interruptions.
One man was late for work because his son started kindergarten that morning.
For another guy, it was his turn to bring donuts for the staff. 
Another guy put on a new pair of shoes that morning. But along the way to work, he developed a blister. So he stopped by a drugstore to buy a band-aid.
And that’s why he was still alive.
Interruptions are not so bad after all.
Friend, next time you’re annoyed because you’re stuck in traffic. Or you have to answer a phone call. Or you have to repair your car. Or any other little thing that may annoy you…
Thank God for that Gift of Peace, the Gift of Pause.
Remember: Where you are now is exactly where God wants you to be.

Enjoy Life Wherever You Are
One day, I was in the airport for a 12noon flight for Cebu.
And then I heard the dreaded announcement come. “There will be a delay for our flight to Cebu. Projected time of departure is at 7pm.”
You should have heard the uproar.
People went wild.
Everyone rushed to the counter. 
I pitied the airline staff. They faced an angry mob that was ready to lynch them. 
Hey, I totally understand them. Some of them had meetings, appointments, etc.
One guy in that mob broke the Guiness of World Records for the number of curse words a human can say in one minute. 
The other guy beside him was multi-lingual. He cursed in 7 different languages. English, Tagalog, Cebuano, Waray,…
I waited on my seat until everyone was gone.
I stood up and approached the hapless, frazzled young woman behind the desk.
“I’m happy the flight is delayed,” I smiled.
The girl couldn’t quite understand me. “Excuse me?” she asked.
I smiled again, “I said I’m happy the flight is delayed. I’m sure there’s a good reason for it. And thank you very much for doing a good job despite what happened.”
She smiled back, “Thank you, sir.” I thought she wanted to hug me.
I went back to my seat and I felt like a little boy on Christmas Eve. Because I had this giant gift in front of me: 7 hours of doing nothing. I felt so happy. 
I prayed. I read. I wrote. I talked to the people beside me. I walked for my exercise. I ate. I had a mini-vacation right there in the airport!
Sure, I had a talk in Cebu—and I might come late.
But I told myself, I am where I am because God wants me to be here. 
My talk in Cebu was supposed to be 7pm. 
I arrived at 9pm. I was two hours late.
But when I arrived, the church was still full. People didn’t leave. While I wasn’t there, our local leaders preached to them. And I gave my talk. So people told me, “We didn’t have a prayer meeting. We had a recollection!”
They were blessed.
I was blessed.

Slow Down!
Get rid of hurry from your life.
John Ortberg said, “Hurry isn’t just a disordered schedule but a disordered heart.” I agree. Because of this, he says that our society is rich in things but extremely poor in time.
We don’t have time for family, for people, for relationships.
We don’t have time for ourselves—to reflect, to pray, to breathe, to rest, to enjoy God’s blessings now.
       The solution? Learn to slow down.
       Here are tips (some from me and some from John Ortberg) on how to remove hurry from our lives.
1. Deliberately drive in the slow lane on the expressway. 
If you do this, you’ll arrive home perhaps ten minutes later. But you’ll be less angry, less stressed, and less tired. Here’s what you can do: Pray for all the cars that go ahead of you. Sing a song to God. Imagine God seated beside you. 
2. Deliberately park at the farthest spot available in the parking lot. 
Result? You won’t have to fight over the nearest parking spots; You won’t have to circle around for hours; and you’re giving your body exercise by the extra walk.
3. Deliberately choose the longest line in the grocery.
We usually look for the shortest. Do the opposite. Look for the longest line. You can be sure no one will fight you over it. Enjoy. Pray. Smile. Bless the people around you. 
4. Deliberately chew your food slowly. 
As my friend says, “Food is God’s love made edible.” So enjoy your food. Relish it. Savor the taste. It’ll help your digestion. More importantly, it’ll calm you.  You’ll appreciate your food more. You’ll be more grateful to God for your food.
5. Deliberately put people before things. 
“Waste” time with your loved ones. Laugh, play, and do nothing together. Learn the “art of being” as a group. Last week, I brought all the top leaders of Light of Jesus to the beach for three days. We played charades together. We looked pretty insane. It was wonderful. People ask me why Light of Jesus has remained strong after 30 years. One reason: We play a lot. We have 4 vacations a year!
6. Deliberately take time to enjoy God’s Presence alone.
Each day, spend ten, fifteen, or thirty minutes hanging out with God. Just simply be with Him. Just rest in Him. You can sit before the Blessed Sacrament. Or go under a tree or take a walk. God says, “Be still and know that I am God.”
7. Deliberately stop watching TV. 
People watch an average of 4 hours of TV everyday. That means when you reach 65 years old, you would have spent 9 years of your life watching TV. You wake up one day and ask yourself, “Where did my life go?” Remember that failure is not an act but a habit. Instead of watching TV, read a book instead. Or hold an entertainment night as a family. Or sing together. Or take up a hobby. Or play a musical instrument. Or volunteer and serve God in a ministry.
8. Deliberately take lots of vacations.  
People work non-stop all their life, retire at age 65, and take a long vacation. Usually, they drop dead after a few years. Because they lose their purpose. I’ll teach you a better way, and I’ve been practicing this for some years now: Take lots of mini-vacations now and never retire! I take about 10 small vacations a year, usually with family and friends. And I can’t retire because I’m not working. Both my ministry and business is just so much fun.

Don’t Ever “Wait” Again!
       A lot of people just wait.
When we’re 8, we wait to be 13.
When we’re 13, we wait to be 18.
When we’re in school, we wait to get a job.
When we’re single, we wait to get married.
When we’ve got babies, we wait for them to grow up quick.
When we’ve got teens, we wait for them to mature.
When we’re working, we wait for our retirement.
But if you really live in your “Now”, you’ll never wait again in your life. We enjoy where we are.
When someone is late and says to you, “So sorry to keep you waiting,” you should say, “I wasn’t waiting. I was enjoying life. I was breathing in God’s love. I was living and happy and blessed.”
       Of course, if you say that, people will think you’re kookoo or had shabu for breakfast.
       But that is essentially what living in your “Now” is. You don’t really wait. Because waiting means you’re attention is focused on your future.
       Not you. You’re attention is focused on your “Now”.
       And you’re grateful for that “Now”.
If you’re single, don’t “wait” for a husband. Enjoy your singleness now. Embrace your freedom. Breathe in the blessings of God. Embrace His peace. Love His presence.
If you’re still childless, don’t “wait” for a baby. Enjoy your marriage now. Embrace your life today. Be blissful where you are.
       If you’re still financially hard-up, don’t “wait” for prosperity. Be grateful for the prosperity you have now. And because gratitude attracts what you’re grateful for, this will attract more prosperity.

Enjoy Your Imperfect Now
       After my talk, a woman came up to me and said, “Bo, my husband passed away 3 months ago.”
       “I’m so sorry to hear that,” I said.
       “Can I ask a favor? Can you give this message to all the wives out there?”
       She closed her eyes as tears rolled down her cheeks.
       I didn’t speak. I let her cry.
       She went on. “My husband wasn’t perfect. But I’ll give anything to hold his hand again. I’ll give anything to sit beside him now. I’ll give anything to hear him laugh. I’ll give anything to serve him again. But I can’t. It’s impossible. So please Bo. Tell the wives to enjoy their imperfect husbands while they can. Because it won’t be forever.”
       “I will tell them,” I said. I prayed for and gave her a hug.
       To this day, I tell her story in my talks often.
       Enjoy your imperfect “Now”—your spouse, your kids, your parents, your in-laws, your friends.

Rest In God
       I love it when the Bible says, “But Jesus would go away to lonely places where he prayed.” (Luke 5:16).
       I love it because if it’s good for Jesus, it must be good for me too. In fact, Jesus also invited his friends to do exactly the same thing.  “There were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his disciples didn’t even have time to eat. So he said to them, “Let us go off by ourselves to some place where we will be alone and you can rest for a while.” (Mark 6:31)
       I have two last things to say to you.
       First of all, you will never be alone.
       Jesus says, “Let’s go off by ourselves…where we will be alone.” That means He’ll bring you there. He’ll meet you there. He’ll accompany you in your trials. He’ll never let you go.
       Second, I believe that “alone” place doesn’t have to be a geographical place. That “alone” place is actually within you.
       In the middle of noisy traffic, you can go to your heart.
       Be quiet.
Be alone. 
Be open.
And breathe in God’s love.
       Enjoy your “Now”.
       May your dreams come true,
       Bo Sanchez

you can also read this article here.

What is Adulthood? 20 Defining Characteristics of a True Adult

How can one classify a true adult?  Many people directly attribute age to adulthood.  The problem with this methodology becomes evident when you discuss the topic with various people of different cultural backgrounds.  If you ask each of them what age they believe constitutes the point at which a person progresses from childhood into adulthood, their answers will always be different.  Why?  Because every one of the answers are based on subjective opinion.  Adulthood is not based age; it’s based strictly on emotional maturity.

So what constitutes emotional maturity, and thus adulthood?  Here are 20 defining characteristics of a true adult:

Realizing that maturity is an ongoing process, not a state, and continuously striving for self improvement.
Able to manage personal jealousy and feelings of envy.
Has the ability to listen to and evaluate the viewpoints of others.
Maintains patience and flexibility on a daily basis.
Accepts the fact that you can’t always win, and learns from mistakes instead of whining about the outcome.
Does not overanalyze negative points, but instead looks for the positive points in the subject being analyzed.
Is able to differentiate between rational decision making and emotional impulse.
Understands that no skill or talent can overshadow the act of preparation.
Capable of managing temper and anger.
Keeps other people’s feeling in mind and limits selfishness.
Being able to distinguish between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’.
Shows confidence without being overly arrogant.
Handles pressure with self composure.
Takes ownership and responsibility of personal actions.
Manages personal fears.
Able to see the various shades of grey between the extremes of black and white in every situation.
Accepts negative feedback as a tool for self improvement.
Aware of personal insecurities and self-esteem.
Able to separate true love from transitory infatuation.
Understanding that open communication is the key to progression.
Above all, true adults do what they have to do when it is required of them, and they do what they want when they can.  They are able to distinguish between the two and manage their time and efforts accordingly.