In order of importance. Possibly.
10. Grades don’t matter. Relationships do. Communicate with purpose. Talk to everyone. Walk through every open door and kick down all the closed ones. Go to class and befriend your teachers, classmates and the gal who makes your Venti Vanilla Chai. You never know what might happen.
9. Spend more on extraordinary things and less on ordinary things. Always order the $6 beer, and the $5 espresso, but order less of them. Savor them. Go on Spring Break. See more of the world. Go to more exclusive parties with velvet ropes and guest lists and buy the best only when replacing the mundane. Buy the plane tickets and the three-piece suit. Take care of your investments. Give generously and silently.
8. If you don’t think you can climb that mountain, finish that marathon or win that battle of the bands, but want to tackle it anyway, you should probably still do it. Action without thought can occasionally change the world, but thought without action absolutely never will.
7. Quirky cars with flaws are infinitely more enthralling to own than pristine sedans without character. Own one of each and drive the joyous ride when you feel like just another cog in the machine.
6. If you think she’s definitely the one, you should love without regard for your safety, sanity or solitude. If you think she may not be, love her that way anyway till you know she isn’t. Kiss longer. Make love more often. Do both in the summer rain.
5. Call your friends and family. Most days are somnolent, but connecting with those close to you can provide a spark in the slumber. Call them even if you feel like you have nothing good or new to report to them. Even if you’ve disappointed them. Especially if you’ve disappointed them.
4. Break more rules. They were usually created by other humans. Imperfect other humans who also break rules. Rules which may actually be wrong.
3. Go outside. Run more. Bike more. Climb more. Lift more. Challenge yourself. Pursue any and all athletic endeavors. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat them outside. Wake up with the sun and go to sleep with the owls. Embrace each day and never stop moving, no matter how much it rains and no matter how hard the winter wind whips your face.
2. No matter how many people share a room with you, whoever you’re talking to should feel like the only person in it.
1. Great lives include a collection of unbelievable stories. But they are not merely a collection of unbelievable stories. A great life is forged and created in the shadows of stories. The moments that matter are the ones that pass when no one is watching, when no one cares and when nothing is on the line. Consistency is being yourself no matter who’s watching … integrity is being your best self no matter who’s watching. Know the difference and be integrity.
Oh, and, when it comes to wine, chocolate, coffee, comedy, lighting and lovers … the darker, the better. Trust me.