Cristina Interiano | Wednesday, January 31, 2018
When I first came to ND, my parents snuck into my suitcase a homemade poster with 10 things to never forget despite any experience I was going to get living alone. One and a half years later, I still see that poster everyday and can assure you that those 10 pieces of advice are definitely key to have in mind among all the emotional and stressful experiences college life can bring. These ten “life hacks” can be summarized in ten sentences:
1. Happiness is found in loving God through service to others.
Success is pleasing God, serving and giving ourselves to others; it is helping people also become prepared to reach this success which is the only one that truly matters and will lead us to genuine happiness.
2. Money is a means, not an end.
Money is merely a way to acquire assets; never make it your end. Always acquire it and use it responsibly and never form an attachment to it: One cannot venerate two gods. The important treasures are the ones we build in heaven, not on earth. Remember to always live with less than you have regardless of appearances, save before spending and most importantly, to always give, even in small amounts, but GIVE! It’s the best investment, for God pays with blessings.
3. After God, family is the most important priority.
Family is the first mission God has assigned to us, to always be there for them and make them a priority. We must dedicate time to our family members, for just like everything else in life if we do not foment our relationships, they will deteriorate. Recognize we will not have them forever, so take advantage of them now, make time for them and support each other mutually in everything.
4. Education is the process of becoming a better self.
It does not matter what you study, but the circumstances and people who you encounter in the process and the attitude and objectives with which you receive education. The best education is the one that teaches you to live happily, prepares you to take on challenges and to face them with courage, faith and perseverance.
5. Work should be done to please God and others.
God made us for working, and it is in this way that we must please him. Being rewarded for it is necessary and just, but must not be the goal of our work. If you find yourself prioritizing salary and not the work, it is time to examine your heart.
6. True friendship is a treasure; one must cultivate it, care for it and appreciate it.
We were created to live in community, we need one another. It is important to have friends and nurture these friendships, invest in them: We need our friends just as much as they need us.
7. Always look for excellence in everything you do.
No matter what we do, pour your heart into it and give it your 100 percent. Do not lose sight of the details, and make the best of your abilities.
8. Time is a talent granted to us by God in order to earn heaven, administrate it wisely.
God has gifted us with a limited time here on Earth, we do not know exactly how much we have left, but the fact is that at this moment we are here and he is watching and is expecting us to use wisely the treasure of time he gave us.
9. Always remember who you are, and be yourself!
Always be authentic, and never forget where you come from, your values, your experiences, your attitudes, reputation and history. Be proud of it by representing all this with pride and dignity. Do not let other people or circumstances pressure you to be someone you are not.
10. Success is not measured through what we have, but through how happy we are.
Society tends to push us to measure success by what we have, our status or by the power and influence that we represent. However, success is finding your vocation and giving it your all; it is motivating others to find and fight to accomplish the goal of finding true happiness. Also, never judge, because many times those who seem the least successful in front of us are the most successful of all.
Even though most of these rules do not require much philosophical thought, it is easy to get distracted and forget them once in a while. To me, reading them daily just serves as a reminder of what I am here for, who I am, and what who I want to be. I thought sharing them might inspire others to examine themselves and their hearts more often and to think about where they want to get and how to do it honorably.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.