My Top Tips for Living a Purposeful and Happy Life as a Cancer Survivor

  1. Remind yourself that nobody gets out of this life business alive.
    The greatest lesson I learned from surviving cancer is that our life is brief, like a shooting star. Knowing that life is not forever and that we are all mere mortals reminds me that every day is precious. By not fearing death, you learn how to live.  Be brave and fear not danger.  We all die, so take action now and live life to the fullest by taking chances.  When facing death, we are never more alive! 

  1. Take time every morning, every day to breathe in the air that surrounds you. 
    Breathe deeply, filling your lungs with oxygen; in through the nose, out through the month.   Enjoy this form of energy and relaxation.  Seek love and laugh deeply.

  1. Take time to observe the outdoors.
    Give gratitude for being alive by seeing, breathing, and listening to the sounds of nature.  The birds’ song, the chatter of wildlife. Drink it all in like a child seeing and hearing these things for the first time.

  1. Embrace your family and the ones you love.
    Don’t forget to include your pets as they have supported you their whole lives, especially during your down days.  Support your loved ones by being present with them and listening – limit your talking and just be there.

  1. Sit back and observe the innocence of children.
    Children are the epitome of curiosity and joy. They have not learned to hate, and can teach us about all of life’s miracles that surround us. Children make me smile in wonderment, as they are near perfect souls.

  1. Share simple acts of kindness with those around you. 
    A warm smile and hello may mend a broken spirit.  As you get older, smile more. Even if you think you have bad teeth, smile brightly and genuinely.

  1. Compliment others and share what you appreciate most about them. 
    I say thank you to everyone I observe working. If there were no workers, none of us would be served. Never disparage a worker. That to me is a sin – and it makes you small.  Without workers, our orderly world would crumble. 

  1. Read books filled with humanity.
    Classics are timeless and are filled with the same human temptations and moral attempts that we experience today. Keep growing and learning through reading.  If your sight is impaired, try podcasts and audiobooks.  Recognize that throughout history, everyone has been looking for love and recognition. 

  1. Keep moving and stay as flexible and fit as possible. 
    Take walks in nature everyday if you can. Doing so will fuel your mind with possibilities, while providing you with the energy and stamina to accomplish your goals. Walking helps us relax and gives us the time and distance we need to unravel life’s problems. It also helps us live in the moment and has made me a better person.

  1. Listen to more music.
    Put on the music you love and explore all music, old and new. Music fills your brain with emotions, from joy to sorrow.  Let songs and lyrics take you where you want to go – open your heart, sing along, and get up and dance. As Zorba the Greek said, Dance is life. 

  2. Realize just how small we humans are in terms of eternity.
    We are just a speck in the universe. Gaze at the stars on a cloudless night and recognize how vast the universe is. Visit old trees that have been standing for well over 100 years and remember that they will outlast us. Our problems are so small in the grand scheme of things.  When dealing with others, remember that we are all just spirits reaching out to others. When you meet someone that is bent or suffering, do not look away from them. Bend to them if need be and look them in the eyes – recognize the spirit in them and call them by their name. We are all the same. 

Scroll to Top