If there ever is a key to a perfect health and happiness I’d love to use it, but in the meantime this is what I’ve come up with:

1. Sleep

It’s not about the quantity but rather about the quality. Fresh air in the bedroom, good pillow and a breathing blanket/duvet. If you can’t sleep, think about things that make you happy or smile, read, or just get up.

2. Intake

Food and drinks; alcohol, tobacco & drugs. People telling you what is good and bad… You know what is good. But will you do it? What does it take to stop smoking, to eat less fat and carbohydrates, to drink enough water..? Go and investigate; listen to your body. One thing: Less is more.

3. Cardio

Sport, movement, fresh air. Feel your heart. The reward slams the dread of procrastination. Just do it.

5. Environment

You are part of nature. If a rainy day makes you feel gloomy just think this: This is just what it is. Besides, water is the source of life.

6. Safety & security

Stability and shelter: an income, a roof over your head. The only way to appreciate these is to try and live without for a while. Highly recommended. In fact, you might see how little is actually needed.

7. Act busy

The rhythm of life: something to keep you going, to loosen the cerebral mold, a job to go to, any occupation, activities, friends. Be social. Let the energy pass through you.

8. Learn

Intellectual nourishment is good. Curiosity didn’t kill the human. Use art, literature, film, theatre; passive and/or active. When done right, high art isn’t pretentious (filter through the fuzzy crappy majority that is), it’s to make you understand the human condition. Turn off the TV, smartphone and the internet altogether. Read real books. Listen to what people said thousands of years ago, in far away places, when they could memorise entire books and smile in the face of existential adversity. Just a thought.

9. Creativity & imagination

But you can also think too much. The modern western world has come to that: Too rational, materialistic, industrial, shallow, soulless, ego-centric. Try and use the other brain hemisphere. Draw, write, music, dance. Just look at children before they hit puberty, their fantastic world view, or just look at a cat, untainted by thoughts in all its relaxed, mysterious wisdom.

10. Sex

Trust your instincts & imagination. Don’t listen to what they’re telling you, it’s all there, and it’s all good.

11. Love

Genuinely – listen to your heart. It’s easier than you think. And infinitely better.

12. Be

Stop. Now. Take a step back. Don’t think. Don’t even feel – just be. Try it.