When I think of things I want to teach my kids to help them become healthy, thriving humans, I realize I am closer to the practice rink than I am the master class. Maybe you will relate to these 5 tidbits to thrive, too?

#1 Never communicate important topics over a screen.

If you’re tempted to communicate with someone over a screen because it feels too confrontational for a face to face encounter, take a step back, & put down the technology. If you can’t say something to someone’s face, don’t say it at all– that includes gossiping to another person about it. When we aren’t looking someone in the eye, we lose their humanness (enter creation of internet trolls), & we are so much more harsh when typing on a phone or computer screen than we would be having a conversation over a cup of coffee. (Depending on severity of conversation, add scones.) If you need to blow off some steam, write out how you feel on a word document– but don’t send it. When you’re cooled off, go back & write a second draft, this time thinking about what you would actually like to say to the person sitting in front of you. This can be good, healthy practice. You get all the words out of your head so you don’t spend all of your minutes focused on a still-hypothetical conversation. And remember, you can choose to be honest & kind at the same time.

#2 When you’re listening to a message for self-growth, stop thinking of everyone in your life who needs to hear it & focus on how that message can better YOU.

Tell me you haven’t done this, too! Whether you’re in church or a conference or you’re reading a book or listening to a podcast, this is too easy. The speaker gives a generic nugget of wisdom– It’s a lot harder to judge someone after you’ve shown empathy towards them— & I’m like, Oooh, I hope so&so heard that because her heart needs some work! But when we do that, we completely miss the point. We will never be in control of how someone else grows. The only person we have control over is ourselves, & if we’re focused on someone else the whole time, that means we aren’t making the time to develop ourselves. It doesn’t matter if that other girl needs the message– focus on you here.

#3 Don’t give your time to drama.

I repeat– you cannot control what other people say. But you can control how you respond. Be honest. Be kind. Rise above the pettiness. Your time is too valuable & precious to let nonsense drama suck your day away. Rise above it. A girl is being mean to you? Unfollow her on social media so you’re not contributing to her audience. If you’re in the same class or you can’t help seeing her, choose the option that will lead to you rising above it– either continue being kind to her (maybe she’s hurting & you’re an easy target), ignore her if you struggle stooping to her level, or tell a trusted adult if you need intervention or wisdom. I’m 30 years old & still look to trusted adults all the time. And yes, sometimes Lorelai Gilmore is my trusted adult. (Also, we all mess up & gossip when we shouldn’t or start unnecessary drama. This is called being human. Apologize when you need to, & then move on with your life.)

Lorelai Gilmore

#4 Find joy in starting small.

We live in the age of information, which definitely has its perks, but it also means you can see exactly how you’re doing all the dang time. How many likes did your picture get in the first five minutes? How many profile visits? How many comments? This is a poor setup for the real world. We want instant success & find little gratification until we get it. All of the sudden, we give the outside world all of the chips when it comes to our worth. Here’s the thing– you were not born a full grown adult, & you do not start something as a full blown success. Whatever you’re starting– a new subject, a new sport, a hobby, a passion, a job, a friendship– give yourself the freedom to start small & not focus on the numbers. When you focus on the numbers, you focus on the actions of other people. When you focus on how much joy something brings you or how much you’re learning, that’s when you grow.

#5 Keep this mental checklist handy at all times.

You won’t always have someone beside you helping  you know if you’re making the best decision, so memorize these three questions: Does this decision bring me joy? Would the person I respect most be proud of my decision? At the end of the day, will I be grateful I made this decision? If you can truthfully answer yes to all three questions, go for it, girl. If not, be strong & remember– you were created to become the best version of yourself. Make choices that reflect that.


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