On New Year’s Day 2017, I wrote advice to my children. Four years later I decided to sit down and do it again – a bit of an experiment to see how my advice had changed over 4 years.

As it turns out? A lot. The advice I gave them in 2017 remained true but it was refined, honed, concentrated. The broad principles have become more focused.

I think probably what I’ve done here is encapsulate MY greatest learnings of the past 4 years. Thought I’d share them with you.

1 – Have boundaries

We can love more, love more wholeheartedly, and love in wellness when we have boundaries.

Advice to my children - Blog post:  Be kind and full of love...but have boundaries like a motherfucker.

2 – Disappoint people

Don’t live your life to please others, not on any level. So disappoint me, disappoint your grandparents. Disappoint your boss, your neighbour, anyone you need to, in pursuit of not disappointing you.

3 – Know you can do hard things

and then do them.

4 – Be brave

Take risks. Calculate the risk so you’re prepared for any outcome, but then be brave and do the thing. Miracles will happen.

Advice to my children - Blog Post: "Scared is what you're feeling.  Brave is what you're doing." - Emma Donoghue.

5 – Feel all your feelings

That’s what they’re for. Sit with them. Give them voice. Honour them. And then:

6 – Write your own resourceful truth

When you’re done feeling those feelings, explore them. Understand what beliefs and meaning are at the root of them, and then ask yourself whose belief that is, if it’s true, and if it’s helpful. If the answers to those questions are not: mine, yes, and yes, then change it. Write yourself a resourceful truth.

7 – Find reasons to be happy and grateful

In every moment. Because if you can’t do that, you’re keeping your happiness over the cognitive horizon and you’ll never get there.

Advice for my children: I was just sitting here over thinking the joy out of everything

8 – Understand that life is a series of THINGS

Some of those things we create, yes, but many – oh so many – just happen. Our challenge, then, is to understand that there will always be another thing. DO NOT spend your life waiting for the current thing to end: A pandemic. Your financial stress. A broken heart. If you wait for it to end, then as it does, or before it does, or soon after, there’ll be another thing, and you’ll spend your life in miserable limbo, waiting for the thing to end so that you can be happy.

9 – Own your happy

Understand your happy is in your full control and never give it away to anyone else. In that truth, you’ll always be powerful.

I want this for you.

Think happy, be happy


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