The following is the best basic advice from my future self to my current self, I presume. This is what I’m anticipating my inner words of wisdom will be decades from now.
This also happens to be what my current self would have told my former young-adult self. And it’s also among my best advice for most people in general.
HERE IT GOES:
1. Lighten up, across the board.
Generally lighten up in your thinking and doing. Generally decrease the intensity of your opinions, especially as it pertains to others. Generally decrease your sense of urgency to do and to have. It’s good to do and to have, but rarely at the expense of conflict or chronic stress. Don’t feel so much pressure and don’t force experience.
Continually release bodily tension in your day-to-day operations. Gently untense your body, breathe intently, and operate from peace & joy as often as possible: this should be your preeminent practice.
NOTE: Almost nothing should be taken personally. All events technically occur independently of your needs, preferences, and feelings. People are generally very limited in their views, and not to their fault. The origins of peoples’ thoughts, words, and actions generally have nothing to do with you, meaning peoples’ views are rooted in their own experience, and you’re merely the recipient of their deeper preconceptions. Thus, your approaches and responses to people and experiences should almost never be defensive, grim, or uptight.
Continue to cultivate calm. Always do your best to approach life with attentive tranquility, and do your best to respond to life with compassion and equanimity.
2. Focus more outward, less inward.
A lot less of your attention should go toward what you think about things, how you feel, and about what you want. At the end of the day and at the end of your life, your actions and interactions are the only things that have real value.
Become less and less self-oriented. Become more and more others-oriented and experience-oriented.
Focus less on your own opinions and desires. Focus more on the needs and interestingness of other people and environments.
REMEMBER: It is never all about you, and you should embrace that. When you’re stressed or tense, you’re making it all about you.
Focus more on purposeful action and meaningful interaction. Be less concerned with your internal experience and more considerate of your external world.