BY SOFO ARCHON
This is a transcript of a video published here.
Recently I turned 35, so I thought of taking this as an opportunity to share with you some of the most important lessons that I’ve learned in my 35 years of living. Here they are:
1. This moment is all there is. The past is gone, and the future is not here yet. The present moment is everything that you have, so be sure to immerse yourself in it.
2. Humility is the path to wisdom. To learn, you need to admit that you don’t know it all. In fact, not everything can be known, and that’s part of the beauty of life, which is an ongoing learning journey.
3. Pain is not your enemy. It’s just a messenger trying to convey to you that there’s something amiss. So, instead of suppressing or hiding from your pain, be sure to face it and pay attention to what it has to show you. For only this way will you be able to understand why it’s there and how to best deal with it.
4. True love can’t be hurt. True love gives without asking anything in return. Hence, even if it is unseen or rejected by those at whom it is directed, it keeps on being what it is.
5. Money isn’t just neutral energy. Due to the way money is created today, it inevitably produces artificial scarcity, which results in competition, inequality, poverty, greed, violence and environmental destruction. Therefore, money is quite a negative force in our world.
6. Peace begins on your plate. A few times a day you can choose peace over violence — that is, with each meal that you eat. Is your food cruelty-free or does it involve unnecessary suffering and death?
8. Don’t trust the mainstream media. Most of the popular media outlets are owned by power-hungry individuals, whose main intention is to manipulate your thought and behavior.
9. Voice your truth. Speak out your mind, express your feelings and let people see who you truly are. Being true to yourself and others is the only way to build healthy relationships and live an authentic life.
10. Live by example. You can’t change anyone, but your actions can inspire many to change.
11. Mistakes are part of learning. Don’t fear making mistakes, for they have many lessons to teach you. But be sure to admit them, and try your best not to repeat them.
12. Embrace change. Life is a running river, whose route can’t be predicted, and the happiest people are the ones who’ve learned to flow with it.
13. Simplicity is the key to living well. To live simply means to let go of what is unimportant and focus on what truly matters to your well-being.
14. Think for yourself. If you don’t, someone else will think for you.
15. We don’t have a true democracy. Casting a vote once every few years alone gives people extremely little political power in collective decision-making. Especially considering that those they vote for usually promise certain things before elections and do very different ones after they get elected.
16. There is no ‘free market’. In our economic system, you have as much freedom as your money can buy. And those with a lot of it have the freedom to restrict the freedom of others.
17. Books can be life-changing. Some books have the power to turn your life upside down, in a tremendously positive way. Just make sure that you pick carefully which books to read, otherwise they can be a waste of your time.
18. Use your words wisely. Words can hurt or heal, so always be mindful of how you speak.
19. Do no harm, but take no shit. Be kind and loving to your fellow humans, but also be smart enough to establish healthy boundaries in your relationships.
20. Look fear in the eye. If you don’t, it will always keep on haunting you.
21. Take responsibility for your life. Don’t sit around and blame others for your misfortunes. You have much power in your hands to help shape your destiny.
22. Failures are stepping stones to success. Each failure leads you one step closer to success, so don’t shy away from it. Try, fail, and try again for as long as it takes to achieve your goals.
23. Face your life’s problems. We have two options in life: either we work our problems out and suffer for a short while, or we ignore them and suffer for as long as we’re alive.
24. Question your beliefs. If followed blindly, beliefs can ruin your life, and that of others.
25. We are all connected. If you help someone, you help yourself. If you hurt someone, you hurt yourself.
26. Our economy is an anti-economy. To economize means to avoid unnecessary expenditure and waste, which is the exact opposite of what our consumption-based economic system does.
27. Don’t try to impress people. If you pretend to be someone else so that others like you, remember that even if they like you, they don’t really like you – they only like the mask that you are wearing.
28. Choose your friends carefully. The people we spend time with shape our lives. Choose to spend most of it with those who try to lift you up, and not those who try to drag you down.
29. Conventional school is training for economic slavery. That’s why it teaches us obedience, conformity and work for the sake of external rewards.
30. Don’t blame “evil” people. Rather, blame the conditions that produce them. Would you blame a plant for being sick and toxic, if it was grown in poisoned soil?
31. There’s no such thing as the perfect relationship. But if your relationships are built with patience, love and care, they can enrich your life more than anything else.
32. Social change requires individual change. Hence, to change the world, we need to embody the change that we wish to see in it.
33. People are mirrors to ourselves. To a great extent, your perception of others is a reflection of yourself. Therefore, the more you are able to understand who you are, the better you will be able to understand those around you.
34. Happiness doesn’t mean having no problems. It means having the skills to resolve them.
35. Death is not the end. Everything that exists — ourselves included — is part of an ongoing process called life, without a real beginning or end.