I’ve done this list before…My Ten Steps to Total Existential Liberation & Emancipation although it wasn’t addressed to my future children. So this top 12 (because 10 isn't enough) is like a continuation of that, only it’s what I’d want my little patch of brussel sprouts (i.e. the future kiddies) to know:
1. RESPECT & LOVE YOURSELF
If you respect yourself, really really respect yourself and recognize your self-worth NOTHING and NO ONE can ever break you down…no ex-girl/boyfriend, no relationship gone awry, no shattered heart, no petty squabbles with peers who you think are your bestest best friends, no boss trying to drag you through the mud, no parental disagreements…NOTHING. If you Love yourself enough you’ll always come first. People may still hurt you and put a few dents in the metal, but the core will remain rock solid and intact. You won’t ever need anyone’s approval or validation because you’ll have it from the one who matters most. And the sooner you realise that you don't "need" people to validate your existence the better. Besides, no one can love, believe in and respect you if you don’t love, believe in and respect yourself. Respect not only yourself, but others too and your environment etc. PS. Confidence NOT Arrogance.
2. ALWAYS BE HONEST
People won’t believe you anyway, even when you splat the brutal truth in their faces i.e. see Joan of Arc. Be honest in your words and all your dealings.
3. DO NOT FOLLOW BLINDLY
Don’t be afraid to ask, research, learn, study. Don’t be a dumbass and just swallow everything the masses are fed by any posing authority figure. Search for the truth.
As often as you can. NOTHING broadens the mind like traveling. Nothing can incite awe and wonderment like roaming distant lands. The knowledge acquired and those memories are priceless. PS. Always take a camera with enough memory & a charger to capture those moments.
Life is about moderation. Everything has it’s time and place. Too much of a good thing is bad…depriving yourself when there’s no good reason to isn’t good either.
6. MAKE MONEY
For your own security, work smart and play hard. Life means nothing if you can’t enjoy your wealth. But even though money cannot make you happy, the LACK thereof will DEFINITELY make you miserable. It’s ok to appreciate the aesthetic appeal in material possessions, but money does not mean living in a false paradise. Money should essentially mean TWO things…Opportunities and the Freedom to exploit those opportunities.
6. LEARN TO DEFEND YOURSELF
To articulate an argument and fight with words is a magnificent art. To extend your arm and bitchslap the shit out of the mofo who antagonizes you, a martial art. Truth is, there are waaay too many assholes and spineless bastards in this world and one should always know how to defend oneself. Like if someone slaps you, you knock their fucking lights out. If they kick you, you break their faces. However, don’t ever start a fight; instead learn how to end one.
7. BE COMPASSIONATE
No matter where you are in your life, no matter what status you’ve been afforded, always remember where you come from and extend the same courtesy you’d like bestowed on you unto others…no matter who they are. Also remember, you live by the Grace of The Almighty, you’re always one step away from being worse off then they are and that you’re no better than anyone else.
In life, nothing worth having comes easy. It’s usually quite painful…not like pulling out your toenail painful…but it will test your strength and faith in every way possible. Don’t ever give up because you don’t have the courage to go on. Borrow or grow some if you have to.
9. THE LESS YOU HAVE THE BETTER
I reiterate, hoarding breeds misery. Be generous with your money, your belongings, Yourself, your time. Don’t waste time and money on unnecessary “things” designed to fill the empty void in your soul for all of 2 minutes before you have to haul your ass out again to exercise your consumer right to clog your life with more junk. Don’t bog your life down with unnecessary baggage and things that you think you may need/use one day. Don’t fixate on your material possessions and if you love it, be prepared to lose it. PS. And PLEASE do not buy into the "brand"...if you really feel that way inclined, go to Aunty Moena's clothing factory in Cape Town, she imports all the tags and labels & sows it on with her industrial machines for all the major retail stores in SA, for a fraction of the price.
10. ALWAYS GIVE 110%
In life, everything you do should be given your all. It’s all or nothing. Half-ass jobs and half-measures are for cowards. Pursue your dreams with the intensity of a thousand suns burning through the galaxy. If you happen to fail, at least you know you really tried.
11. LAUGH & HAVE FUN
The most important one. People take themselves and this world too seriously. Sometimes there isn't this Divine answer everyone is so desperately searching for...sometimes life is exactly that, its just life, meant for living and worshipping...not over-thinking and looking for answers where there are none. Instead, Believe.
For my sons, avoid women who:
- Have more ambition than you do
- Play the damsel in distress
For my daughters, avoid men who:
- Are emotionally unavailable
- Are insecure since insecurity manifests in two ways: either the arrogant "know-it-all-wannabe-looking-for-attention" or "the-lame-ass-wanting-to-be-saved"
- Are very secretive about their lives & who they really are but want to know everything about you
I tag everyone who hasn't done this yet...Isheeta? Sofi? Mash? Waseem? WIP? NK? Dew? Beebs? Theres like a million of you guys :P