Life Lessons

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According to the calendar, I have survived another year on this planet.  My wife had to leave for a last minute business trip leaving me alone with the dogs and my thoughts.  This is the result.  A series of rambling thoughts that I feel compelled to share since I’ve reached an age where it seems appropriate.

Life goes back faster than you think.  Much of life is little moments and finding the joy in those.

Take all advice (including this) with a grain of salt.  People who are life coaches or offer advice tend to say things from their perspective.  What worked for them may not work for you.  You aren’t a copy.  You are unique.  Use advice as a map but ultimately blaze your own trail.

Find a philosophy that fits you and live it.  Don’t become a minimalist because it is trendy or it is popular or you think it sounds cool.  A lifestyle won’t bring you happiness.

I believe people are at their best only when they find something that ignites their passion.  If you haven’t found that, keep searching.

Very few experiences in life are all good or all bad.  Look for and focus on the good.  Hate your job?  Then find a new one.  If you can’t, then look for what it good about your current one.  The people you work with?  The pride in making something important?

Limit your complaining.  Yes, it can be therapeutic at times.  But, if you are always finding something to bitch about, then it is highly likely that you are the problem.  Very few people want to be around a complainer.  Negative people attract negative energy.

Do your best at everything.  Again, hate your job?  Do it well anyway!  Why?  Because everything you say and do is a reflection of who you really are.  Do you want to be known as a cynical slacker who doesn’t give a crap about anything?  It might sound good in theory but that’s all you’ll end up attracting.

Be happy and optimistic.  Yes, that can be a grind and a challenge at times but be the one who see the silver lining and the one who sees the glass as half full.  People may think you are crazy but, guess what, a lot of people like and are attracted to upbeat people.  Be one of those.

Keep it real though.  Don’t wear rose colored glasses all the time and you don’t have to be a cheerleader all of the time.  That becomes fake and forced and people will see through that.  If you can acknowledge the times when life really sucks, then it becomes easier for people to follow when you tell them that it doesn’t suck all the time.  You can be optimistic and spread hope and still be honest when needed.  People will appreciate that.

Most of the problems in the world are large and complex and may not be solvable.  Focus just on that and you can easily become depressed and not do anything about it.  But small steps matter.  Worried about pet over population?  Adopt a shelter dog!  Worried about homelessness?  Go volunteer to build homes?  Does it solve the problem?  No.  Does it help?  Of course it does.  A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step so better to take that single step then sitting around getting depressed about the thousand miles.

Be aware of the people who occupy the earth with you and try to be nice.  Did your barista screw up your coffee this morning?  Is that worth launching into a tirade?  Have you considered that maybe they’ve had a bad morning.  Cut people some slack when you can.  You will eventually get back what you put out.

Along those lines, be helpful when you can.  See someone coming to a door with their hands full?  Open it for them.  Is someone running for the elevator?  Press the door open button.  You’d be surprised what a small kindness can do for another person.

Lastly, when you are tempted to respond to someone in writing or electronically, act like they are right there across from you.  Don’t write things that you would never say in person.  The anonymity that internet has made it way too easy to say nasty and hurtful things.

OK, I’m done rambling.  That’s my wisdom for the day.


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