Tip #18: Remember to smile, despite what you've been through.
I love this one. It's so simple, so self-explanatory, yet...it says a lot. This day and age is tough folks. Times now are much tougher than it was for the last generation or the generation before. Sure there's the recession and all, but I'm talking more on the mental and emotional scale. We've fought and are fighting the things that only some can imagine. One in particular I want to focus on is addiction, because that's the one that will, if we let it, destroy us, as it nearly destroyed me (ref: Tip#5).
Quick overview: It has been a little over a year since I overcame my own addiction (of which one it is, I will not mention). Sure I'm healed, but the memories and the scars are still there. I still remember how I felt during that time. I felt nothing, empty. I was apathetic toward everyone and everything, my grades were slipping, and several times I contemplated running away. I told no one of my suffering because I figured that people would push me away and reject me because of the addiction. I figured that perhaps I'd take care of it myself and that things would shape up eventually. Little did I know, it was only getting worse. One night in December, I was at the lowest point of my life. It was during this point I contemplated ending my life, so that way, I could end the addiction as well. Thankfully, it was my own conscious that brought me back and made me realize, "I need help." After that nearly fateful night, I opened up to those that loved me and who wanted me to rise above the addiction. Eventually, I got help from a psychologist and I put the addiction far behind me.
You'd be surprised at how many stories there are out there. What will surprise you even is the person telling them. Some fight addictions similar to my own. Some deal with abuse of various sorts. Some fight depression and self loathing. Yet curiously, each person finds a way to smile, despite what they go through. Why is that? There are plenty of reasons. Perhaps it may be loved ones, friends and family, that puts a grin on our face. Perhaps it's a certain hobby that gives us simple and pure joy that uplifts us and causes those pearly whites to shine. For myself, what helped me get through my personal war, was family and playing my cello. It gives me the purest of joys to pick it up and just play whatever my heart desires. For that reason, I smile. That's why I smile every day.
Ask yourself this question: What makes me smile? If you can't find an answer, find something that does. No excuses.