1) Never compare yourself to others. If you must have comparisons, choose to compare yourself with an earlier version of yourself.
2) Never make assumptions about what others might be thinking of you. You don’t know what’s going on in someone’s head and you never will. Your perception of their view of you might just be a self-projection of your own fear and self-doubts. Just because someone might be looking at you with a frown or a curled lip does not mean they might be thinking, ‘God, that person is an idiot.’ That frown could be due to anything – from short-sightedness or a sudden toothache or just a squint to try and figure out where you bought that awesome top you’re wearing right now. So never assume a negative – if you must assume, always assume a positive.
3) Remember that you can’t please everyone. I used to dress/do my hair/act/speak/react in the way I think would most please other people. But that was crap because I wasn’t being true to myself, and you know what? That is so not the way to go. There are always people who will have something negative to say about you – that’s crap, too, I know, but that’s also life – so why get yourself in a fluster, trying to please everyone when you know that’s impossible? Instead, be honest (but also be tactful – being honest does not give you a licence to brutalise other people’s feelings), dress to please yourself, and focus on your positives as well as on the positives of those around you.
4) And when it comes to the negatives… don’t let what other people say affect you. This goes back to the last lesson, the fact that there’s always going to be someone who might say something negative that could hurt you, be it consciously or unconsciously. It does hurt when you hear such things, but remember, there’s no point getting angry about such senseless, hurtful words! Instead, remember, opinions differ all the time and not every spoken word is the truth. For example, if someone pointed at you and laughed and said, “You’ve got spaghetti growing on your head,” would that affect you? Not really, because you know for a fact that you haven’t got spaghetti growing on your head! Similarly, if someone tries to point out that you’re ugly, fat, stupid, weird, dressed badly or whatever, remember this: it’s not true and they must be pretty silly (not to mention, tactless) to say such things in the first place!
5) Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. This quote by Plato is one of my favourites and it’s so true. The girl or boy sitting next at the next table might look so polished, so put-together, so successful and self-assured, but you never know what hardships or self doubts they might be harbouring on the inside. Always remember, everyone has problems. It’s a fact of life.
6) Do the right thing. Someone once asked Gandhi, ‘How do you know if the next act you are about to do is the right one or the wrong one?’ His reply: ‘Consider the face of the poorest, most vulnerable human being that you have ever chanced upon, and ask yourself if the act that you contemplate will be of benefit to that person; and if it is, it’s the right thing to do, and if not, rethink it.’ (This is such a great way to live your life by, and I make it my aim to do so!)
7) And remember… always remember… you are worth it. Yes, it’s not just the slogan of a cosmetics brand! You. Truly. Are. Worth. It.