Birthday Reflections: 10 Traits for Achieving a Happy & Healthy Life by Elisa Schmitz
Birthdays may mean we are another year older, but I focus on the fact that we’re also one year better. Each of us is on a unique journey. This birthday, I am reflecting on the 10 traits that I believe have helped me get this far in life.
1. Be resilient – Resilience allows you to experience adversity and overcome it. Bouncing back from negative events is perhaps the most vital skill to being a successful person. We all experience failure; it is often the best way to learn. It’s what you do after the failure that makes all the difference in how you perceive life and your ability to succeed in the future.
2. Be fearless – Being fearless does not mean that we do not feel fear. It means that in spite of our fears, we move forward. It’s OK to be afraid. Just don’t let it stop you.
3. Be passionate – Why do something if your heart isn’t in it? Life is too short to spend your time on things that mean nothing to you. Find your passion and pursue it with purpose and intention. Chances are good that you will succeed.
4. Be adaptable – If there’s one thing that is constant, it is change. Surprises (not always the happy kind) are around every corner. Don’t be surprised by surprises, especially in these volatile times. Keep calm in the chaos. The ability to be flexible and adapt to a constantly changing environment is key to staying happy and healthy.
5. Be kind – Because, why be hurtful? It costs us nothing to treat each other with kindness, and the outcomes are so much better than treating each other with disrespect or hatred. Kindness begets kindness. Please, pass it on.
6. Be empathetic – Expand your mind, and your heart, to allow room for others’ thoughts, opinions and perspectives, even if they are far different than your own. Empathy allows you to hear and feel others, and by doing so, you may learn something or find more room in your heart because of it. And really, can you ever have too much heart?
7. Be grateful – Every day, find a reason to be thankful. Look around and notice the little things. Even on the darkest of days, we can find gratitude. And when you feel grateful, life is simply better.
8. Be loving – Show your love to those you care about. Life is fragile, and we never know when someone will be taken from us. Whether through words, actions or both, make sure those around you feel your love. It makes a difference in their health and happiness, as well as your own.
9. Be mindful – Awareness of what’s going on in the world and a deeper connection to it can make a huge difference in how you move through life. Even if you are not religious or spiritual, it is helpful to believe in something bigger than yourself and to know that we are all connected. If you are feeling disconnected and adrift, mindfulness may help you gain focus and clarity, and feel the positive energy you need to succeed.
10. Be hopeful – You know those days when nothing is going right and you just don’t feel like you’ll make it through? You will, and the sun will rise again. Every day brings a fresh start, a chance to move forward more positively than the previous day. Don’t ever give up hope. It is always there.
Thank you for being part of my birthday by reading this. I appreciate you!
Photo: Feeling joy while doing yoga on a beach swing at sunset in Phuket, Thailand, on my birthday last year.
Photo: Feeling joy while savoring the fall foliage in my backyard on my birthday this year.
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