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LIFe advice page

Lessons from someone who doesn't know a whole lot

I am 19, I understand that my life experiences have been limited. I understand that people may have conflicting opinions to my own. This is what I have up to this moment, this is what I know and what I want to share with others like me. 

"What a story it would be"

         These are the simple words that you need to tell yourself if you are struggling or if feel like there is no way out of the hole that you dug yourself. One of my biggest struggles currently is getting up when my alarm goes off, as soon as that light flashes at 6am, I tell myself that if I get up and do what I need to, my story, my writing, will be much richer. Whether you believe it or not, everything you do in a day can enhance the story of your life.

         Say I live my life like every other schmo in my position, say I get up 30 mins before my first class, I throw on sweatpants, go through the motions everyday and fall asleep late because I am on my phone "snapping" some random girl. If I wrote a book on that lame ass life, no one would read it. Now, if I wrote about how I got up at 6am everyday, wrote 5 pages a day, dressed up for classes, ended the day with a glass of wine, and meditated before bed at 10pm, more people would read that story because it diverts from what they know to be normal life.

         Being different from the people around you and not following the pack is not recommended, it is necessary. If you follow the rest of the pack, you will not stand out from your peers. Everyday is a chance to write a page in your book.

         Quote of the Day- "Set a goal that makes you want to jump out of bed every morning."

Don't be Materialistic 

        On my list of ten goals by the age of 40, this is one of them that sticks out. My interpretation of someone who is materialistic is someone who wants to enhance their self image. Whether that be through fancy clothes, nice cars, or the newest accessories. The hard truth, that of which I am just know figuring out, is that your depth character is more important than your appearance. If you can hold a deep conversation with someone for 45 minutes, that is much more attractive than wearing the newest designer brand.

         I get it, it is damn hard to not want a cool ass car or a fly pair of sneakers. I want both of those, but I do not need them. Because a material object is not going to change your personality, it will not make you more happy, you are still the same person at the end of the day. Material possession heal superficial wounds but they do not fix deeper flaws. If you felt bad about yourself and decide to go out and buy a BMW, yeah it would feel good at first but after a couple of days those same feelings are going to linger, you will just have 40,000 less in your pocket.

        This isn't really even a piece of advice, it is a prescription for enhanced well being. Am I a hypocrite because I just bought a new watch? Maybe, thats not for me to decide. One thing I will say is that I am not perfect, I'll be the first to admit that but every day I try to better myself and work towards becoming a better person, you can't feel bad for doing that.

        I am not saying to eliminate material possessions from your life and become some monk who lives alone in an empty cabin. I am saying to be frugal with your money (like my pops always says) and ask yourself "Am I buying this to impress others or am I buying this because I genuinely like this product?" Be more self aware and always remember that money can't buy happiness.

Learn to say no / make your own decisions

         As you age you learn more and more that most decisions you have made in the past have been in the interest of appeasing others. Maybe you are going out with a group of friends and you don't really feel like drinking that night but you do anyways because everyone else is. You do not always need make decisions that are the right decisions in someone else's mind.

I will give you a quick example of how I found out that I was doing things not for myself but for the best interest of others,

         About a year and a half ago, a few months before Coronavirus spread, I had built a bar in my basement. I built a bar, put in string lights, and basically redecorated my whole basement and turned it into the spot to be. {What I am going to say next should not and will not take away from the fact that I did have some really fun times with friends at my house.} Anyways I started having people over and all was great until it turned into almost every week, I was gaining weight and still feeling stressed that I had to take care and was responsible for all these people.

         As bad as Coronavirus was, it hit and I was grateful for the time it brought me to reflect on were I was in life. Then I did something regretful, I built a 2nd bar for underneath my deck, in an effort to still have parties in a safe environment, outside. Granted I used mostly scrap wood for this one, it still took a lot of time and effort. I bought more string lights, more river rock for the flooring, and more Adirondack chairs. And for what? I was still not content with who I was, I felt as if I could never "say no" because I constantly wanted to be accepted by others.

        I would have 15-30 people over outside last summer and for what? I wasn't happy, I was putting people in danger with the pandemic still going around, and it was a lot of money for food and drinks for me at the time.

         In retrospect I regret throwing some of these parties because of the stress it caused me and because of how my graciousness was never reciprocated. Often people whom I invited would not thank me before they left, they would not invite me to any of their parties, and they would just be disrespectful. Don't get me wrong, this was not every guest, I had my core group of friends who I love to this day and always hang out with, those are the real friends.

         My gut told me that I shouldn't have all these people over all the time, but I still did. Come to find out that my gut was right like always, and I need to learn to always go with my gut because that is where true growth comes from.

        Do not always follow what the rest of the pack is doing, you will have more respect for yourself and people will have more respect for you if you are the one who says no. Self respect is earned, you have to built up trust with you inner self by going with your gut and saying no to that drink. Be that person who is able to dance at the bar when they are sober, don't follow the pack if you don't think it is the right thing to do.

        "The true character of a man is not defined by what he does in front of a crowd but instead by what he does when no one else is around."

Write down something that motivates you each day 

        I have used this tactic in the past year or so and have found that it has helped me, personally, get through the tough days. When I know that I have a long day of work or writing I will usually pull out a sticky note with a couple of meaningful words on it and place it on my wall in front of my desk. It can be as simple as writing down the words "family" or "personal growth", maybe even a motivational quote to live by for that day. It is really all about practicing the simple things in order to make your day run smoother.

        One thing that I have always done is write something on my left wrist underneath my watch. I don't like people asking about it so that is why I hide it, maybe thats part of the reason why I will never get a tattoo. Anyways I used to write the letters "HWPO" on my wrist (Hard Work Pays Off) when I was more intensely devoted to my working out, it helped me get through the hardest workouts just knowing that there was something worth it in the end.

I still write on my wrist simple little things to keep myself working hard and staying focused throughout the day. Just yesterday it was "family" when I was running because I was trying to teach myself that I need to do things for more than just myself. My actions and demeanor throughout the day have a direct influence on my siblings and it is important for me to be the best person I can each day.

        Just this past winter I was practicing this almost everyday but with different motives. In retrospect I was being very materialistic when I would write down things like "I want a Land Rover Series 3" or I eventually want my own house in Dennis, MA". If you put material possessions in front of what is really important, chances are you are not going to turn out as happy as you wished. I honestly am proud of myself for coming to the realization that life is not all about material possessions at such a young age because it will only strengthen my soul.

So I would suggest, whoever is reading this, to carry a pen with you, like myself, or maybe before you do the difficult tasks of the day sit down and think about what is important to you and write that down. Just remember folks, be selfless and be the person you look up to.

Spend time alone

        Spend time alone, be by yourself sometimes, it's good for your mental health. You shouldn't need to always have a plan or always do something with a friend, it's important to give time to yourself as well.

        Last night was one of my favorite nights of the entire summer and I will tell you exactly why. I managed to leave work around 10:30 which is actually a decent time to get out for me, I was home before 11. It was a long day, I can't lie, and as slow as it seemed to be it was slightly stressful for me for some reason. So after working a 12 hour day, my mind was still racing when I got home, I couldn't seem to relax, so I did what is probably the most relaxing thing to do on the cape. I grabbed my journal and a pen and made a 5 minute walk to my nearest beach. Nobody was around, no noise, it was just me, my notebook, and my thoughts. All I could hear were the waves slowly reaching the shore, it was extremely peaceful.

        For about 20 minutes I just laid on my back and stared at the stars, just thinking about where I am and and where I want to go in life. I had ideas and I had thoughts I might not have had if I did not take that time to myself.

        This entry is similar to the "Be Bored" entry in that the premise is the same, sometimes you have to let go of distractions and just focus on your mind. I am not saying that you should be a loner and not seek out friendship because for growth as humans we depend on others. Instead just take a moment here and there to step back and just think.


"Free your mind and your ass will follow."

- George Clinton

-Noah Safer

Think Happy Thoughts

        Negative thoughts are the killer of creativity, fulfillment, inner peace, joy, and many other profitable feelings. We have 65,000 different thoughts each day and 70% percent of those are negative- if you ask me that makes it awful hard to live a life full of love and happiness. The best way to combat negative thoughts is to take part in pleasurable activities such as hanging with friends or practicing meditation.

I enjoy meditation and I honestly should do it a lot more than I should because it is immensely helpful when trying to maintain a positive peace of mind. Being able to effectively meditate is a skill, once you learn how to do so it is a lot easier to control your emotions and align your thoughts. If you are ever dealing with stress in life, try and just sit by yourself and breathe.

        Anyways back to thinking happy thoughts, personally I struggled with this in the winter like many others I am sure. Having to be alone in the house and not being able to visit friends really takes a toll on the mind. There was one question that kept bouncing around in my head, "How can I be an optimist in a cold isolated world?". It's hard to think in a positive way when everything and everyone around you seems to be succumbing to the dread and misery around them. My list of "pleasurable activities" was dwindling, like many others, I could not do the things I was so used to doing. I learned that when this happens you need to learn to appreciate and practice the smaller things in life. Whether that be sending a text to someone, helping mom out with dinner, or just simply being kid to someone. So basically what I am getting at is, you need to learn to adapt to your current environment and find small things that make you and others around you happy.

        Even if you just tell yourself that you are doing a good job, that will go a long way in your mind. For instance, last night I was bartending and I started to remember drinks by memory without looking them up, it was a rewarding feeling and I metaphorically pat myself on the back for all the hard work I did leading up to it. Something as simple as that put a smile on my face.

Stop comparing your life to the lives of others

         Now more than ever our lives are being compared and contrasted to the lives of others over social media apps such as Instagram and Snapchat. This is especially destructive for someone who hasn't fully developed a proper self image of themselves. And the problem with social media is that you are never seeing the real life of someone, you are only seeing the highlights of somebody's life. The hard truth is that some people fake smile or even fake laugh in order to seem like they are happy in their picture. You can't compare your actual life to a life that is riddled falsities.

        The hard truth is that you will never feel satisfied with where you are in life if you are constantly thinking about how someone is doing something better. I still use social media but I removed over 900 followers a few months ago because I just simply don't care what other people, who I don't know, are doing. I deleted snapchat because ultimately it is childish and unprofessional. Some people enjoy it and that is fine with me but I soon came to the realization last year that sending pictures of my face to someone who sends their face back is rather futile and ridiculous when you look at it in retrospect. And again I am not knocking anyone who enjoys using it, just my opinion. At the end of the day, no one should be spending more than 30 minutes a day on social media.

        Back to comparison. Your life is your life and no one can dispute that, you do things to improve yourself, not to improve yourself in spite of others. So go out, be by yourself for a while, stop comparing, and start living.

Congratulate yourself

        Learning how to pat yourself on the back can be a hard task for many, including myself. No matter how hard we work it will always seem like we can do better.

         I was walking through the streets of Dennisport last night by myself just listening to music and I started thinking about where I was in life. I am 19, I have a great job, a have a good set of friends, and I do not have any demanding responsibilities, but I still couldn't smile for myself. It really doesn't matter how old you are or how much money you have, you have to learn to be satisfied with who you are, while still being hungry for improvement.

        Like I said before, I have trouble with that satisfaction part of life, one thing I do to achieve this happiness is to smile at the little things. Maybe you made a good sale at work, you lost 5 pounds, or maybe in my case- you wrote 3 pages, smile for yourself when you accomplish the little things, it's a good morale booster. Even if you just take 5 minutes a day with no distractions, to sit back and think everything you did, that should be enough to help maintain peace of mind.

The importance of keeping a journal

         I feel as if even now I still underestimate the importance of journal entries. Let me make something clear, I have not been keeping a consistent journal for a long time, I wish I had with that being said. The reason why I think it is so valuable is because you can always look back and see how far you’ve come. I used to do entries when I was starting a new workout to say how I felt but honestly a majority of that was bogus because I was just writing how I needed to become better. A journal does not serve as a list of responsibilities but rather how you cope with those responsibilities. I feel better every time after I write. It organizes my thoughts. One day I want to write a book and to have all that information I need will only enhance my world view in my later years. Even when you have good days, still write in your notebook because when you have bad days you can look back and see what you were doing on your good days.

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