A life spent ceaselessly trying to please people who are perhaps incapable of ever being pleased, or trying too hard to always be seen as doing "what's expected of you" is a sure road to a regretful existence. I was on this road once, but I'm happy to say I'm paving my own path now, based on my own needs, morals and values. Today, I hope to inspire you to do the same.

Do more than just exist. We all exist. The question is: Do you live?

Existing without ever truly living is not what you should want for yourself. You also don't need approval from everyone for every little thing you do to be happy. You are not obligated to live up to everyone's expectations. Life is under no obligation to give us what we expect and you are under no obligation to give others what they expect. Period. Do things because you care. Do things because you know it's right. Don't just do things because everyone else expects you to.

You get to be YOUR best, without competing with everyone else. When you are happy to simply do your best and not compare or compete, everyone worth your while will respect you. Always be strong, but not rude. Be kind, but not weak. Be humble, but not timid. Be proud, but not arrogant. Be bold, but not a bully.

Be willing to go alone sometimes. You don't need permission to grow. Not everyone who started with you will finish with you. That's OK. Learn from your mistakes without unnecessary third-party pressure. You're going to mess up sometimes. But the good news is, as long as you're listening to your intuition, you get to decide how you're going to mess up. Which means you get to decide how you're going to live and what you're going to learn along the way.

Remember, failed relationships aren't designed to encourage you to lower your standards, but to raise them and keep them up. So while you're out there making decisions instead of excuses, learning new things, and getting closer and closer to your goals, know that there are others out there, like me, who admire your efforts and are striving for greatness too. Never let the wrong people bring you down.

When you're feeling insecure, you typically don't notice the hundreds of people around you who accept you just the way you are. All you notice are the few who don't. Don't ever forget your worth. Spend time with those who value you. No matter how good you are to people, there will always be negative minds out there that criticize you. Smile, ignore them and carry on. You might feel unwanted and unworthy to one person, but you are priceless to another.

No one knows you better than you know yourself. How you seem to others and how you actually are, rarely match. Even if they get the basic gist of who you are, they're still missing a big piece of the puzzle. What other people think of you will rarely contain the whole truth, which is fine.

So if someone forms an opinion of you based on superficialities, then it's up to them, not you, to reform those opinions. Leave it to them to worry about. You know who you are and what's best for you. Remember that real success in life isn't what others see, but how you feel. It's living your truth and doing what makes you feel alive.

You can best serve yourself and others by giving yourself what YOU need. Don't ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive and pursue it at all costs. That's what this world needs. People like YOU who come alive. Which means your needs matter; so don't ignore them. Sometimes you have to do what's best for you and your life, not just what seems best on the surface for everyone else.

Your relationship with yourself is the closest and most important relationship you will ever have. So don't forget about YOU out there, and don't be too hard on yourself either. There are plenty of others willing to do both for you.

Remember, if you don't take good care of yourself, then you can't take good care of others either; which is why taking care of yourself is the best selfish thing you can do.

Forgo the drama. Ignore the negativity around you. Just be sincere and kind. Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate. If you give too much power to the opinions of others, you will become their prisoner. So never let someone's opinion define your reality.

Constantly seeking approval means you're perpetually worried that others are forming negative judgments of you. This steals the fun, ingenuity and spontaneity from your life. Flip the switch on this habit. If you're lucky enough to have something that makes you different from everybody else, don't be ashamed and don't change. Uniqueness is priceless.

In this crazy world that's trying to make you like everyone else, find the courage to keep being your remarkable self. It takes a lot of courage to stand alone, but it's worth it. Being unapologetically YOU is worth it!

Expectations just get in the way of great life experiences. Don't let expectations, especially other people's expectations, get in your way. The unexpected is often better than the expected.

Our entire lives can be described in one sentence: It didn't go as planned, and that's OK. Often times, the unexpected ends up being better than expected!

For more inspirational tips on how to live a happier, more productive life, pick up a copy of "The Angel Affect" at the local IGA, and join the mission on Facebook. The Angel Affect: Become it, let it become you, and great things will happen to you, for you and because of you.