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The Hudsucker is an online magazine made up of unique and dedicated writers with fresh voices from across the country and overseas. Our team of writers are passionate and driven, bringing forth their personalities in each article. Since its inception in 2012, The Hudsucker has continuously proven how writing is our strongest fingerprint. By creating a smart and ambitious environment for readers, the digital magazine focusing on popular culture aims to be relatable through experiences and passions.

Cultivating a Meaningful Life

I truly view life as a learning process. I do not intend to sound as if I am telling you what to do, how to live your life, or even giving advice as an expert; I simply would like to share what I have learned. These simple keys remind me what is important in my life and help keep me focused.

Image Credit: Liz Jansen

Image Credit: Liz Jansen

Look for beauty in everything around you.

Take some time in your day to stop and smell the roses. Many of us choose to work harder when we are stressed out, but intentionally slowing down may help you gain some perspective. If you look hard enough, you will find something to be grateful for or at least smile about!

The same concept works for people. Look beyond your first impressions, your surface judgments, and the stress that we all experience. Try to see the goodness in the people around you and treat them as though they are the person they could be. A good friend once told me “Compassion is a verb. Don’t just feel it, but show it.” This helps remind me that it is not enough to think nice things about the people around us. We must express our positive emotions in order for them to be seen by others. Only then do we begin to make an impact.

Seek out meaningful experiences to add value to your life.

We sometimes pursue opportunities or chase dreams based on what others value. We are heavily influenced by what our culture says is attractive or cool. But at the end of the day, the only thing that truly matters is whether or not you are satisfied with your life. This is not being selfish; in the end, we must direct our energy and efforts toward the things that we are most passionate about. This is how we find our purpose in this world.

If you are unsure about what is important to you, start by treating each experience as an opportunity to learn about yourself. Every task you take on, every new skill or challenge, every bad experience can be turned into a lesson. Life becomes more of an adventure when we treat it more like an adventure and less like a competition. Life is too short to spend time doing things to please other people. At the end of our lives, we will remember the times when we were doing things we loved and made a real impact.

Encourage others. Compliment others. Give to others.
Being kind in the smallest of ways can make a huge difference in someone’s day. We all experience stress and we all endure struggles in life. In my opinion, there is no sense in closing ourselves off and trying to be independent. If we all make a slight effort to welcome others and offer a smile, we can create a much more positive environment for all of us. More often than not people will return the favor of friendliness. This is true for strangers, friends, family, anyone! You do not have to have a close friendship with someone to be kind.

This may sound idealistic, but it truly can work. It takes time, and sometimes people aren’t open with you in return, but give it a try. What’s the worst that can happen by being extra friendly to people? You never truly know how far this chain reaction can reach if your kindness brightens someone’s day and they go on with the rest of their day spreading more kindness.

Everything you say to a friend will either build them up or tear them down; there is no middle ground.
– Rachel Scott

I truly believe that the majority of human goodness can be boiled down to simple positive energy. If we are being friendly and positive with one another, we have a much better chance of doing great things for this world and advancing as a society.

Challenge Question: What do you do to better yourself and those around you?

About the Author

Kevin Root is a contributing writer for The Hudsucker. Kevin grew up in Fairfax, Virginia and is currently a senior at James Madison University. He is majoring in exercise science with a minor in biology. Kevin is involved with Relay For Life fundraising and hopes to continue these efforts after graduating to work toward a future without cancer. He recently discovered that writing is a powerful tool for him to reflect on his experiences and grow as an individual. Kevin is committed to his passions and always strives to improve the lives of those around him! He also writes at his blog, “Exploring the Mind and Pushing Personal Limits“. Follow him on Facebook: Kevin Root

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