15. Celebrate loved ones’ accomplishments.
Your loved ones work hard to accomplish their goals. Celebrate with them. When someone you care for takes a moment to say, “I see what you’ve done. Congratulations. I’m proud of you,” it makes a sweet moment even sweeter.
24. Give compliments.
Don’t force them–only give genuine compliments. Tell the cashier you like her nail polish. Tell the barista he has a lovely smile. And don’t limit your compliments to casual interactions. Your loved ones could use them, too.
Did you screw up? Forget something? Say something thoughtless? Just say you’re sorry. Own up to your mistake and apologize for it.
40. Do no harm.
Don’t actively make things worse for yourself or anyone around you. It can be so easy to be mean, or hurtful, or rude when you’re in a bad mood or you’ve had a bad day. Fight the urge. You’ll feel better for it.
53. Make your bed.
“What’s the point? I’m just going to get back in it.” Never underestimate the power of a made bed. It immediately makes the whole room look tidier. It can feel like an oasis in the midst of a chaotic day.
The length of silk she tied over his eyes blocks out the light. The soft cord she used to bind his wrists and ankles bites into his skin. He’s profoundly aware of his nakedness. Of his arousal. Anticipation makes him tremble. ‘Wait,’ she said, and withdrew. ‘Wait.’
If he’s good, she will reward him.
He senses her near. Her soft breath, her warm skin, the smell of her wet cunt. She watches.
He closes his fists and flexes against the rope. He exhales, soft, and parts his wet lips, tasting the air for the scent of her.
He’ll be good.
Negativity hurts. Socially, negativity is all too easy to find. What’s the point of dwelling on the negative? It just makes you feel icky and puts you in a bad mood.
- Don’t hate-consume. Hate-reading blog posts, hate-watching TV, hate-listening to radio programs or podcasts. Don’t do it. The time you spend hate-consuming is time you could have spent doing something you like.
- Avoid people/places/things you find unpleasant. If you know you don’t like it, and you can avoid it, why persist? Don’t take that phone call. Delete that email. Don’t shop at that store. Get rid of that thing that makes you grind your teeth every time you see it, even if it was a gift, even if you feel guilty over some expected sentimental attachment.
- Eliminate unproductive/unnecessary/unpleasant conversations. There are some people who, no matter what, will make things just awful. There are empty conversations, conversations that don’t need to be had, conversations that are unhelpful and unpleasant. Don’t engage. And don’t be that person, either. Ask yourself three questions each time you feel the impulse to engage: Does this need to be said? Does this need to be said now? Does this need to be said by me? (The answer is, probably not. Let it go.)
- Eliminate the drama. Know someone who, no matter what, always has an epic drama ongoing? Does every story become fodder for a telenovella? Are you that person? What’s the point? As with conversation, don’t engage. And if you’re that person, stop it.
Unfollow people on Twitter, tumblr, Facebook. Unfriend them there if you have to, if you can. Block those websites you hate-read using a browser extension if you need to. Find things that make you feel good, that make you feel happy. Fill your time with those things.
Is it easy? Not always. Is it better for you, and the world in general, in the long run? Absolutely.
Your word choices are important.
photo credit: Jenny Solomon
Word choice is important in any verbal communication, be it spoken or written.
4. Listen to understand.
Too often, it seems as though we listen not to understand, but to respond. We seem to wait for our turn to speak. Conversation is about sharing information, but conversation should also be about processing that information. What is this person trying to tell me?
7. Never stop learning.
Learning something new every day was my favorite part of school. Once I graduated from the university, it seemed as though I just… stopped learning. That doesn’t have to be the case. It’s so easy to learn just one new thing each day.
16. Keep it simple.
Why complicate things? Why make anything harder on yourself than it has to be? Whatever you can simplify, do.
17. Is it beautiful? Is it useful?
“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” We move every few years for my husband’s job, and this is my favorite decluttering rule. It’s easy to apply to other areas of life as well.
23. Be kind.
The world is frequently an ugly place. Kindness goes a long way toward making it less so, not only for others, but for yourself.