The younger we are, the clearer our vision. We see the beauty in others and the world around us. No one pretended or acted a certain way as a child. Instead, children show their true personalities through every action and word.

When did we lose that? When did we lose the point of not knowing who we are among the scattered mess that is adulthood? The real world is a scary place. People hate, lie, cheat and steal. In our industrialized age of technology and efficiency, we are taught structure and order over abstract ideas like nature and philosophy.

Life moves at a very fast pace, and we somehow manage to keep up with it. There seems to be no time in the world to do anything. Still, have you thought on the deep realities?

Will you be happy with what you’ve built during the time you’ve spent living? How do we escape and find who we are separate from all the noise?

Here are some simple tip to gaining that personal enlightenment.

Don’t Be Afraid to Change

Start with a clean slate. Become a vegetarian. Switch your major. Explore a different religion. Move. It can even be a small change, like reorganizing your closet. Change really affects the way we live because we are forced to shift our perspectives…if only for a moment.

Learn New Things Everyday

Read good books. Read bad ones. Watch black and white movies. Ask difficult questions about those books and movies. Where do we come from? Why am I here? A mentor can help you through the process of answering these questions. A professor or perhaps an older co-worker who has experience gives excellent insight because they’ve been through the same thing.

Find Your Passion

Try a million things. Or maybe just ten. You don’t know what you’re passionate about unless you try something. Explore your interests thoroughly. Taking risks may seem like a huge leap, but it’s worth it, especially if you find complete happiness in the end. There is beauty in realizing that something may not be for you. Move on. You may be looking in the wrong places.

Connect with Nature

Nature offers something a glass skyscraper cannot. Nothing can replace the sounds of the rustling leaves and animals scurrying. Reconnecting with nature can help you find peace with who you are. You were born with beauty. No social convention or magazine can tell you differently. Different studies on children’s interactions with nature also suggest healthier and happier lifestyles. Bring out your inner child and lay in the green grass.

Spend Time in Unfamiliar Places

Find some place you don’t spend a lot of time. Enjoy a summer at your grandmother’s house. Isolation may seem daunting at first. You may just need a month or a week, but solitude brings enlightenment in many different ways. You’re not surrounded by distractions and other influences. You and your thoughts are alone. This gives great advantage on those tough decisions.

Evaluate the People that Surround You

This may sound mean, but it is necessary. Your friends are an essential part of your development. Ask yourself the question, ‘Is this person helping me become a better person?’ Get rid of the negative influences. A friend is supposed to build and challenge you, not take away from you. Someone once told me “If the friends around you cease to offer value, you need new friends.”

Think About Your Own Happiness

Don’t think about other people in shaping your life. If your parents want you to be a doctor and you hate science, it might not be smart joining the local university’s pre-med program. You will be miserable if you tend to everyone’s needs. Instead, take time away from people in general and think about what makes you happy. If your parents, friends or significant other truly loves you, they will be happy for you and will probably help you find that way.

Fall in Love Without Overthinking It

This point gets a bit tricky. Perhaps instead of love, it may be lust. Whichever the case, don’t overthink it. Go with your gut. Learn throughout the entire process. If it falls apart, take a look at how the broken pieces got there. Gina Shaw of WebMD works through on picking up the pieces after a divorce, but you can apply this to any general break-up. Apply that learning to your next relationship, and hopefully, you’ll come out on top.

Find the Beauty in Helping Others

You don’t have to save the world and join the Peace Corps in order to help others. Sometimes, it may be changing your lifestyle. You can maybe change towards sweatshop-free living in order to advocate for human rights. Donate towards a charity or visit the homeless shelter. The beauty of someone’s smile and thanks can change the way you think about life.

Create a Bucket List

Goals really outline a person’s inner wants. It’s almost like prioritizing your dreams. Writing down a bucket list can really set the gears in motion. You’ll most likely want to actually buy a plane ticket and fly across the ocean. The United States is pretty big, too, so if you don’t have enough money for that trip, the state next to you might have some of the beautiful sights you’re looking for.

Be prepared, you may end up at dead ends. Things may seem to fall apart. Don’t give up. Just keep trying. You are already in there. What you’re looking for at this moment is the clarity of realizing who that is. Be comfortable with that and the faults you may find along your journey. Always experience life. Never be passive because everyday has beauty in it, just like you.

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Renee Sogueco


Winchester, VA

Renee attends Shenandoah University as a Mass Communications and Political Science double major. She is a 5'3" Filipina and constantly searches for new adventures, different perspectives and new pesco-vegetarian friendly recipes.

All posts by Renee Sogueco

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