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Column

Take care of yourself first

Stressing out to be a people-pleaser is no way to live a proud life.

Imagine sitting on your death bed in your 80s. The pictures you have sitting next to your bed are more likely going to be from your fishing trips, vacations, time spent with your family and so on. None will be from parts of your life that made you sigh.

Memories of your life will come from adventures, new experiences and bold choices. Not only are they good for eliminating regrets in your life when you’re older, but they are also good for living your best life today.

How do you do that? I started to learn the answer to that years ago when I listened to an entertainment podcast that included one of my all-time favorite human beings. He was asked how they can be as awesome as he is. His explanation: he does whatever he wants, and he doesn’t try to make the same mistake most people do when they sell out for money.

That was a good place to start, and I vowed to never let myself become a millionaire. I knew I needed to make more than a paycheck-to-paycheck job had to offer in order to have fun adventures and save enough for retirement, but I never wanted to waste my life away in cubicles tossing around terms all day like “fiscal term” or “benefits specialist.”

Throughout my younger days, another tip I learned in loving my life is to leave behind the things I didn’t love, and any reminders of them. For example, I once had a job I hated every single day, and when I quit, I got rid of any piece of clothing I wore from that job, as well as any pieces of paper I ever collected throughout my employment.

That can also go for listening to anything on the radio that isn’t music. Since music is one of the things that makes my soul feel awake while the rest can make me feel the opposite, I resort to alternatives such as old CD’s or Pandora.

One other tip I keep revisiting time and time again is “just say no.” I had once trained myself to be like Jim Carrey’s character in the movie “Yes Man,” but more often than not, you need to use your strength to say “no” to anything that won’t serve your inner peace.

I believe it was reading Robert Greene’s material where I learned to despise the free lunch. In other words, don’t accept free gifts or favors from anyone so that you don’t feel like you owe them. Once I realized that, so many memories occurred where I was more proud of myself with the times I said no than I said yes.

Other tips: eat healthy and workout consistently by doing physical things you enjoy, and do life with other people. Many of these things I have struggled with, will still struggle with but will become more consistent in succeeding with.

Oh, and don’t be a people-pleaser. As Stewie Griffin once said to Brian: “You don’t need Quagmire to like you. You only need one person to like you. You.”

Contact Orrin Shawl at
oshawl@newtondailynews.com

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