20 Principles I Try to Live By

  1. 1.
    You get what you give
    My father used to say this and I believe it with everything in me. I interpret this in many ways - I personally get the most out of life when I am giving to others, and also you get out of things what you put into them.
  2. 2.
    Nurture your female friendships
    Unless you're marrying the dude, boyfriends come and go - girlfriends are, in many cases, forever. These relationships will carry you through some of your most trying moments and they will add so much depth and meaning to the wonderful moments.
  3. 3.
    Treasure your parents
    My dad passed away six years ago and I'm so grateful that I had such a wonderful relationship with him. I have the same amazingly special relationship with my mother and I am really lucky.
  4. 4.
    Understand money
    Many don't, and awful things can happen as a a result.
  5. 5.
    Don't mess around with your health
    Go to the dentist and the doctor regularly. If something doesn't feel right, get it looked at. No job is worth your well-being.
  6. 6.
    Back up everything regularly
    I'm a photographer, and when I first started shooting I accidentally wiped a card full of images from a trip to China. If your memories are important to you, save them! Same goes for important documents. I also love to use Artifact Uprising to make my photos into physical hardcover books.
  7. 7.
    Sleep long and well
    People laugh at me because I go to bed so early, but I just don't feel good if I don't sleep. I get run down and anxious if I regularly don't get enough sleep - and consistent lack of sleep can really affect your health.
  8. 8.
    Know the basics
    No matter how much _______ on demand you can afford, it's always incredibly valuable to know how to do your own stuff. Laundry, taxes, car maintenance - it's not hard to learn and can save you headaches and money, always.
  9. 9.
    Invest
    Certain things are worth investing in, others aren't - and this varies person to person, too. Certain people care a great deal about traveling well, while a homebody may want to invest more in their living space. Invest in what you place personal value on.
  10. 10.
    Clean out your home and closet
    It will make things like moving so much easier, and de-cluttering your space will make you happier and more organized.
  11. 11.
    Stay informed
    Read the paper or watch the news. If there's a movie that is transforming culture, see it. The importance of being informed and knowing what's going on the world - both culturally and politically - cannot be overstated.
  12. 12.
    There's no such thing as a "guilty pleasure"
    I don't typically think about diets or exercise while I'm enjoying dessert; I try to just enjoy dessert. Same goes for listening to a cheesy pop song or romantic comedy. Don't think about what others would say if they knew you were watching or doing it. If you love it, embrace it with open arms and make sure the ones who love you embrace that about you too. If something makes you smile, Godspeed! Anyone who shames you for the things you love isn't worth having in your life.
  13. 13.
    Know how to drink
    If you choose to drink alcohol, know what/how much you personally can handle - it will help you in business and pleasure for years to come.
  14. 14.
    Take care of your things
    Many people don't, but I place an extremely high value on my things. For instance, I am vigilant about cleaning my engagement ring because it's incredibly dear to me and I want it to be just as beautiful for many years to come.
  15. 15.
    Only make a sacrifice or compromise that makes sense for you
    Many things require compromising, but don't compromise on something that will make you miserable on a daily basis.
  16. 16.
    Be kind to all living things
    People and animals always deserve love and respect.
  17. 17.
    Be a yes person whenever possible (or, give me solutions - not problems)
    Attitude is EVERYTHING. I work in advertising, which is where I first discovered the difference between yes people and no people. Yes people respond to the questions and concerns of those around them with encouragement and a great attitude, even if no is the actual answer. They communicate that they're actively looking for a solution and want to help, whereas no people are interested in forwarding their own agenda, criticizing, etc.
  18. 18.
    Have insurance
    Car insurance, homeowners/renters insurance, health insurance, dental insurance - the out of pocket expenses and difficulty you will incur should you actually need one of these things and don't have them can be devastating.
  19. 19.
    Comparison is the thief of joy
    This quote is an old favorite, but it could not be more relevant. Social media has made it so easy to compare ourselves to others: their career, their travels, their beauty, whatever. The fastest way to make myself miserable is to do this - so I try very hard not to.
  20. 20.
    Celebrate!
    Anything you care about is worth celebrating. Pop champagne on a Wednesday if you're happy to be alive! I am eternally grateful for every holiday, ritual, or tradition I shared with my late father, and I've learned that being sentimental and celebrating those everyday moments means everything.