About a year ago we published an article entitled, 18 Things My Dad Was Right About. The article contained a list of life lessons my dad had shared with me when I was a kid. Today, as promised, my dad emailed me an addendum to his original list. It contains ten additional life lessons from the smartest 69-year-old I know. Enjoy.
- Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the sacred experience of living every moment with love and gratitude. There is always, always, always something to be thankful for and some reason to love. So be sure to appreciate what you’ve got. Be thankful for the little things in life that mean a lot.
- Be a student of life every day. Experience it, learn from it, and absorb all the knowledge you can. Prepare yourself for greatness by keeping your mind conditioned with fresh knowledge and new challenges. Remember, if you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready when great opportunities arise. Read The Last Lecture.
- Experience is the best teacher. Don’t try too hard to memorize the things others are teaching. Learn the best practices and then do your thing. Life itself will teach you over the course of time, and often at the right time and place, so that you will remember forever what is truly important.
- Your choices, your actions, your life. Live it your way with no regrets. Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do. Continue to work hard at what you love no matter what the challenges are. Be persistent. Life eventually rewards those who do.
- No one is ‘too busy’ in this world. It’s all about priorities. What you focus on grows. Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Albert Einstein, etc… Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
- Be patient and tough. Someday this pain will be useful to you. You will never realize your true strength until being strong is your only option left. Until you are broken, you won’t know what you’re truly made of. Pain doesn’t just show up in your life for no reason. It’s a sign that something needs to change – it’s a wake-up call that guides you toward a better future. So keep your heart open to dreams, and make that change. For as long as there is a dream and positive action, there is hope; and as long as there is hope, there is joy in living.
- Oftentimes it is better to be kind than to be right. We do not always need an intelligent mind that speaks, just a patient heart that listens. Be kind whenever possible. And realize that it is always possible. It takes a great deal of strength to be gentle and kind. And when you practice kindness and bring sunshine to the lives of others, you cannot keep it from yourself.
- You can become a magnet for good things by wishing everyone well. Judge less and love more. If you want inner peace, resist the temptation to gossip about others, or portray them in a poor light. Instead of judging someone for what they do or where they are in their life, figure out why they do what they do and how they got to where they are.
- Only you are in charge of your attitude. The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that that situation is over, you cannot move forward. You are responsible for how you feel, no matter what anyone else says or does. You are always 100% in control of your thoughts right now, so choose to feel confident and adequate rather than angry and insecure. Choose to look forward, not backward. Read Awaken the Giant Within.
- Satisfaction is not always the fulfillment of what you want. It is the realization of how blessed you are for what you have. It’s not that everything will be easy or exactly as you had expected, but you must choose to be grateful for all that you have, and happy that you got a chance to live this life, no matter how it turns out.
Photo by: Hartwig HKD