1. Walk in the rain with your head held high.
2. Learn a new skill, like sailing, drawing or flying an airplane.
3. Don’t pass up opportunities to do things that are positive and exciting, but also scary and outside your comfort zone. Grab the opportunities to lead a seminar, volunteer at a horse camp for the blind, make a speech at a friend’s wedding, go skinny-dipping in a freezing cold lake, and take dance lessons.
4. Ask someone you don’t know very well out for lunch.
5. Go to a movie or a play by yourself every once in awhile, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable.
6. The next time you eat something, pay attention to each and every mouthful of it, and notice the flavours, textures, and smells.
7. Take home from the library one of those “classic” novels you’ve always wondered about but have never gotten around to reading. Read it in bed, perhaps out loud with your partner.
8. Spend at least one day not being afraid to make a fool of yourself.
9. Strike up conversations with strangers at the bus stop, at the laundromat, in the ticket line-up, and at the museum.
10. Spend a morning at the art gallery.
11. The next time you buy cheese, instead of getting a block of aged cheddar from Safeway, try finding a specialty cheese shop and try a small amount of something you’ve never tasted before.
12. Stop reading the newspapers for a month, and spend the money on buying a few independent magazines.
13. Throw more potluck parties, and ask people to bring over board games they haven’t played in years.
14. Invite the parents’ kids to your potluck parties too, and fill your house with the sounds of children’s voices.
15. Try completing as many things as you can long before they absolutely have to be done.
16. The next time someone expects you to be angry, surprise them.
17. Put a blackboard up somewhere in your house where you’ll see it every day, and write a daily quotation on it, something funny, profound, inspirational, or perhaps just plain weird.
18. At least once a week, cook something you’ve never made before and don’t apologize if it isn’t perfect.
19. Pick a subject you know very little about and haven’t spent much time thinking about (e.g., cactuses, Florentine art, cyberpunk science fiction, etc.), and spend a day or two finding out as much about the subject as you can.
Please let me know what else you might add to this list.