Taken from Thought Catalog: Understand that life is not a straight line. Life is not a set timeline of milestones. It is okay if you don’t finish school, get married, find a job that supports you, have a family, make money, all by this age or that age. The world isn’t going to condemn you. You are allowed to backtrack. You are allowed to figure out what inspires you. You are allowed time. We choose a program right out of high school because that’s the proper thing to do. We choose a job right out of college. We go to that job every morning because we feel the need to support ourselves. We take the next step and the next step thinking we are fulfilling some checklist for life, and one day we wake up depressed. We wake up stressed out. We feel pressured and don’t know why. That is how you run your life. You ruin your life by choosing the wrong person. What is it with our need to fast-track relationships? Why are we so enamored with the idea of first becoming somebody’s rather than somebodies? Be alone. Take yourself on dates. In the midst of this you will learn about yourself. You ruin your life by letting your past govern it. There will be heartbreak, confusion, days where you feel like you aren’t purposeful. There are moments that will stay with you. You cannot let these define you. You will miss out on affection because you assumed your past love left you because you weren’t good enough. You ruin your life by comparing yourself to others. You ruin your life by desensitizing yourself. We are afraid to say too much, feel too deeply, to let people know what they mean to us. There is something breathtakingly beautiful in the moments of smaller magic that occur when you strip down and are honest with those who are important to you. Open yourself up, do not harden yourself to the world. You ruin your life by tolerating it. At the end of the day you should be excited to be alive. When you settle for anything less than what you innately desire, you destroy the possibility that lives inside you, and in that way you cheat both yourself and the world of your potential. Do not let this happen to you. Do not ruin your life this way. Life and work, life and love, are not irrespective of each other. They are intrinsically linked. We have to strive to do extraordinary work, we have to strive to find extraordinary love. Only then will we tap into an extraordinary blissful life.