“I have seen and touched and danced and sang and climbed and loved and meditated on a lifetime spent living honestly. Should it all end tonight, I can positively say there would be no regrets. I feel fortunate to have walked 90 years in my shoes. I am truly lucky. I really have lived 1,000 times over.”
Those are the opening lines of the final entry in my grandmother Zelda’s journal—a 270-page leather-bound journal she wrote small entries in almost every morning during the final decade of her life. In it, she reflected on lessons she had learned, lessons she was still learning, and the experiences that made these understandings possible.
When my grandmother was diagnosed with terminal cancer on her 90th birthday, I sat with her in a hospital room for the entire day, in silence, in laughter, in tears, and in awe. Although her body was weak, her mind was intensely strong. The terminal diagnosis inspired her to think about her life, everything she had journaled about over the years, and reflect aloud. So, I gave her the stage—my undivided attention—from sunrise until sunset.
As I sat beside her hospital bed, she thumbed through her journal one page at a time, reading dozens of specific entries she wanted me to hear. She spoke softly and passionately about her life, her loves, her losses, her pain, her dreams, her achievements, her happiness, and all the lessons that embodied these points of reference. It was without a doubt one of the most enlightening and unforgettable days of my life.
My grandmother passed away exactly two weeks later, peacefully in her sleep. The day after her passing I found out she formally left her journal for me in her will. Since then, I have read it from cover to cover countless times.
Although I have shared some of her insights and quotes with blog subscribers, course students, and coaching clients in the past, today would have been my grandmother’s 105th birthday, so I’d like to honor her. To do so, I’m going to re-share excerpts from the journal entries that she shared with me in that hospital room fifteen years ago. I’ve done my best to sort, clean up, copyedit and reorganize her wisdom into 19 inspiring bullet points. I hope you find value in them, too:
- There are thousands of people who live their entire lives on the default settings, never realizing they can customize everything. – Don’t settle for the default settings in life. Find your loves, your talents, your passions, and embrace them. Don’t hide behind other people’s decisions. Don’t let others tell you what you want. Design YOUR journey every step of the way! The life you create from doing something that moves you is far better than the life you get from sitting around wishing you were doing it.
- The right journey is the ultimate destination. – The most prolific and beneficial experience in life is not in actually achieving something you want, but in seeking it. It’s the journey towards an endless horizon that matters—goals and dreams that move forward with you as you chase them. It’s all about meaningful pursuits—the “moving”—and what you learn along the way. Truly, the most important reason for moving from one place to another is to see what’s in between. In between is where passions are realized, love is found, strength is gained, and priceless life-long memories are made.
- The willingness to do hard things opens great windows of opportunity. – One of the most important abilities you can develop in life is the willingness to accept and grow through times of difficulty and discomfort. Because the best things are often hard to come by, at least initially. And if you shy away from difficulty and discomfort, you’ll miss out on them entirely. Mastering a new skill is hard. Building a business is hard. Writing a book is hard. A marriage is hard. Parenting is hard. Staying healthy is hard. But all are amazing and worth every bit of effort you can muster. Realize this now. If you get good at doing hard things, you can do almost anything you put your mind to.
- Small, incremental changes always change everything in the long run. – The concept of taking it one step at a time might seem absurdly obvious, but at some point we all get caught up in the moment and find ourselves yearning for instant gratification. We want what we want, and we want it now! And this yearning often tricks us into biting off more than we can chew. So, remind yourself: you can’t lift a thousand pounds all at once, yet you can easily lift one pound a thousand times. Tiny, repeated efforts will get you there, gradually. (Angel and I build tiny, life-changing rituals with our students in the “Goals and Growth” module of the Getting Back to Happy course.)
- No one wins a game of chess, or the game of life, by only moving forward. – Sometimes you have to move backward to put yourself in a position to win. Because sometimes, when it feels like you’re running into one dead end after another, it’s actually a sign that you’re not on the right path. Maybe you were meant to hang a left back when you took a right, and that’s perfectly fine. Life gradually teaches us that U-turns are allowed. So turn around when you must! There’s a big difference between giving up and starting over in the right direction.
- The biggest disappointments in life are often the result of misplaced expectations. – When we are young our expectations are few, but as we age our expectations tend to balloon with each passing year. The key is to understand that tempering unrealistic expectations of how something “should be” can greatly reduce unnecessary stress and frustration. With a positive attitude and an open mind, we often find that life isn’t necessarily any easier or harder than we thought it was going to be; it’s just that “the easy” and “the hard” aren’t always the way we had anticipated, and don’t always occur when we expect them to. This isn’t a bad thing—it makes life interesting, if we are willing to see it that way.
- Our character is often most evident at our highs and lows. – Be humble at the mountaintops, be strong in the valleys, and be faithful in between. And on particularly hard days when you feel that you can’t endure, remind yourself that your track record for getting through hard days is 100% so far.
- Life changes from moment to moment, and so can you. – When hard times hit there’s a tendency to extrapolate and assume the future holds more of the same. For some strange reason this doesn’t happen as much when things are going well. A laugh, a smile, and a warm fuzzy feeling are fleeting and we know it. We take the good times at face value in the moment for all they’re worth and then we let them go. But when we’re depressed, struggling, or fearful, it’s easy to heap on more pain by assuming tomorrow will be exactly like today. This is a cyclical, self-fulfilling prophecy. If you don’t allow yourself to move past what happened, what was said, what was felt, you will look at your future through that same dirty lens, and nothing will be able to focus your foggy judgment. You will keep on justifying, reliving, and fueling a perception that is worn out and false.
- You can fight and win the battles of today, only. – No matter what’s happening, you can resourcefully fight the battles of just one day. It’s only when you add the battles of those two mind-bending eternities, yesterday and tomorrow, that life gets overwhelmingly difficult and complicated.
- Not being “OK” all the time is normal. – Sometimes not being OK is all we can register inside our tired brains and aching hearts. This emotion is human, and accepting it can feel like a small weight lifted. Truth be told, it’s not OK when someone you care about is no longer living and breathing and giving their amazing gifts to the world. It’s not OK when everything falls apart and you’re buried deep in the wreckage of a life you had planned for. It’s not OK when the bank account is nearly at zero, with no clear sign of a promising income opportunity. It’s not OK when someone you trusted betrays you and breaks your heart. It’s not OK when you’re emotionally drained to the point that you can’t get yourself out of bed in the morning. It’s not OK when you’re engulfed in failure or shame or a grief like you’ve never known before. Whatever your tough times consist of, sometimes it’s just NOT OK right now. And that realization is more than OK.
- Sensitivity can be a super power. – Although sensitivity is often perceived as a weakness in our culture, to feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness; it is the characteristic of a truly alive and compassionate human being. It is not the sensitive person who is broken, it is society’s understanding that has become dysfunctional and emotionally incapacitated. There is zero shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being “too emotional” or “complicated” are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more thoughtful, caring and humane world. Never be ashamed to let your feelings, smiles and tears shine a light in this world.
- Opening up to someone who cares can heal a broken heart. – Deep heartbreak is kind of like being lost in the woods—every direction leads to nowhere at first. When you are standing in a forest of darkness, you can’t see any light that could ever lead you home. But if you wait for the sun to rise again, and listen when someone assures you that they themselves have stood in that same dark place, and have since moved forward with their life, oftentimes this will bring the hope that’s needed.
- Solitude is important, too. – Speaking to someone can help, but in moderation. Sometimes the moments you feel lonely are the moments you may most need to be by yourself. This is one of life’s cruelest ironies. We need solitude, because when we’re alone we’re detached from obligations, we don’t need to put on a show, and we can hear our own thoughts and feel what our intuition is telling us. And the truth is, throughout your life there will be times when the world gets real quiet and the only thing left is the beat of your own heart. So you’d better learn the sound of it, otherwise you’ll never understand what it’s telling you.
- Most of the time you don’t need more to be happier—you need less. – When things aren’t adding up in your life, begin subtracting. Life gets a lot simpler and more enjoyable when you clear the emotional and physical clutter that makes it unnecessarily complicated. (Angel and I guide our readers though this process of simplifying and getting back to happy in our brand new book.)
- Beginning each day with love, grace and gratitude always feels better than the alternative. – When you arise in the morning think of what an incredible privilege it is to be alive—to be, to see, to hear, to think, to love, to have something to look forward to. Happiness is a big part of these little parts of your life—and joy is simply the feeling of appreciating it all. Realize that it’s not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy. Make a ritual of noticing the goodness that’s already yours first thing in the morning, and you will see more goodness everywhere you look throughout the day.
- Who we choose to be around matters immensely. – Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded. Relationships should help you, not hurt you. Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be. Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you—people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it. Ultimately, the people in your life make all the difference in the person you are capable of being. Life is just too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. When you free yourself from these people, you free yourself to be YOU. And being YOU is the only way to truly live.
- Relationship boundaries are life-savers. – When someone treats you like you’re just one of many options, again and again, help them narrow their choices by removing yourself from the equation. Sometimes you have to try not to care, no matter how much you do. Because sometimes you can mean almost nothing to someone who means so much to you. It’s not pride—it’s self-respect. Don’t give part-time people a full-time position in your life. Know your value and what you have to offer, and never settle for anything less than what you’ve earned.
- It’s during the toughest times of your life that you’ll get to see the true colors of the people who say they care about you. – Notice who sticks around and who doesn’t, and be grateful to those who leave you, for they have given you the room to grow in the space they abandoned, and the awareness to appreciate the people who loved you when you didn’t feel lovable.
- New opportunities are always out there waiting for you. – Nobody gets through life without losing someone they love, something they need, or something they thought was meant to be. But it is these very losses that make us stronger and eventually move us toward future opportunities. Embrace these opportunities. Enter new relationships and new situations, knowing that you are venturing into unfamiliar territory. Be ready to learn, be ready for a challenge, and be ready to experience something or meet someone that just might change your life forever.
Afterthoughts & Promises
As I’m wrapping up this short tribute to my grandmother, I’m reminded of a poem by Christian D. Larson that she used to have hanging on her refrigerator when I was a kid. As soon as I was old enough to understand the poem, my grandmother made a photocopy of it for me, and, over 30 years later, I still have that same photocopy laminated and hanging on my office bulletin board. These are words I do my best to live by:
To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.
To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.”
(Note: Angel and I discuss strategies for living true to these words in the Happiness and Self-Love chapters of our “1,000 Little Things” and “Getting Back to Happy” books.)
If you’re feeling up to it, Angel and I would love to hear from YOU.
Which point mentioned above resonates with you the most today, and why?
Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
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Megan G. says
Marc (and Angel too),
Your grandmother was a very wise woman! Bless her amazing heart to live 90+ years and share her lessons learned with with you. Her priceless gift to you and your priceless gift to us! As someone who has followed your work for several years, and has also successfully and gratefully completed your happiness course last year, I find it especially inspiring to see how you’ve integrated and expanded upon many of the lessons your grandmother discussed with you a decade ago in her final days. That full circle of knowledge in and of itself is truly inspiring.
Many many thanks! Keep up the good work! And I just ordered your newest 1,000 Little Habits book, since I loved 1,000 Little Things and continue to use it as my daily affirmation source. 🙂
This deeply moved, inspired and touched the depths of my soul. Thank you..thank you..thank you.
Wow, what a legend your grandmother was, it’s hard to pick one as you every single one touched me but if I had to choose and because I’m struggling right now I’d say number 18 really shouts out to me, people I thought cared are dropping like flies and I’m beginning to find the ones that are worthy of me once I’m back on track. I’m going to save them and print the poem as I love everything about it 🙂
Incredibly wise counsel that makes me rethink a few different aspects of my life and see certain relationships and recent events in a new light. A huge thank you to your grandmother and you for sharing and compiling such thoughtful and practical insights.
And, M&A, thank you also for all your other coaching and teachings. I don’t usually leave public comments here on your blog, but I continue to improve my mindset and quality of life through your teachings. I have spent the past couple evenings watching the digital recording of your Think Better Live Better 2020 event in California and it’s already opened a big door for me. Just wanted to say thanks, and I hope to attend in person later this year inn Orlando.
Joanie Haines says
M&A, I continue to be moved by your emails and blog posts on a weekly basis. You truly do a remarkable job of distilling the strategies you’ve learned into digestible bits of wisdom for others. What you have done here with your grandmother’s journal reflections is a perfect example of this. Thank you!
Also, I too am looking forward to reading your 1,000 Things book, and I figure ordering it is the least I can do for you both after all you’ve done for me via your online work.
Wendy Lawson says
How fortunate that you were chosen by your grandmother’s wisdom to pass her words along. She was wise and had a realistic outlook in life. Her words are ones to live by. Thank you for your article. The content certainly reminds me to live my life mindfully, and to see the big picture in the scheme of things. I have recently lost my dear mother and the pain is searing. She taught me kindness and compassion through her action and I am forever grateful.
Thank you for saying that it’s ok to be sensitive and that it is something to be embraced and not a weakness. And thank you saying that it’s ok not to be ok at this time while grieving.
Ute Silvera says
Currently working through your Think Better Live Better recorded seminar and it’s really been helping me get 2022 going in the right direction, mindset wise.
Anyway, thank u so much for your grandmother’s wise words here. I felt specially touched by #15. The part that says:Realize it’s not happiness that makes us grateful but gratefulness that makes us happy.
I find that to be so very true.
Have a happy day!
Nathalie | Want for Wellness says
Your grandmother must have been a remarkable woman. Her ideas here really touched me, and I can imagine that’s one of the greatest gifts of all: To touch the lives of people, even when you’re not around anymore. I’ve been trying to fully understand point 6 for a year or two now, and I really feel it can make a significant change in your life when it comes to your happiness and relationships – even when you’re not that much of a demanding person.
Kristen Dorion says
Amazing read! From the very first statement I was in awe and couldn’t stop reading. Bless your grandmother’s soul. I am empowered to live through these truths and share with others 🙂
I love this so, so much you have no idea. This week has been hard for me. Actually the last year has been hard for me, but this week has been a surprisingly hard one recently, so this is truly the best thing to read. I love it so much. Thank you for sharing! I wish I had met your grandmother. She sounds amazing<3 Even through reading her tips, I feel her strength and as if she is lending me some.
I really enjoyed the points from your grandma that you shared in your article. Many of them resonated with me. As someone who has been struggling to get out of a loveless relationship, it has spurred me to have some hard conversations that I have put off for too long out of fear of change. Being ok with U-turns will stick with me. Thanks.
ivana s says
What a lovely tribute to your grandmother. I can see there was a real bond between you two. I have a strong bond with my grandmother, so this post moved me a lot. I was also very close with my other grandmother, while she was alive, and even now when it’s been more than a decade since she has passed away, I still feel like she’s watching over me, her memory is very much alive.
Your grandmother was such a wise women. Thank you so much for sharing her life lessons with them. I will treasure her words and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Hey Marc, thank you for sharing with us some of your last emotional moments with your grandmother. These insights can be really helpful for younger people out here. All in all I love the work you do with Angel, keep it up!
I’m almost there–85 1/2 and counting–and still learning what it means to have a meaningful life. Sometimes we have to rethink our dreams and fit them to the work God sets before us–taking care of people who can’t take care of themselves (yet) and teaching them how to grab the reins of life when the caretaker has to leave. Parenting a teenager at my age is a challenge, and re-parenting a son whose life turned upside down is harder yet. But such problems provide something to live for when you think (wrongly) that life is over.
7&15. “And on particularly hard days when you feel that you can’t endure, remind yourself that your track record for getting through hard days is 100% so far.”
Thank you for the grounded words of wisdom and gentle reminders. One day I hope to attend an event and would welcome the opportunity to meet in person.
Gai Nguyen says
She’s a woman of wisdom. In Vietnam, we don’t historically think an older woman can be that smart and wise, as they’re effected by dementia as a result of aging, etc. Times and opinions have shifted of course, but you’re still so lucky, inheriting the wisdom of life from her. Thanks for sharing.
rachel lepell says
Ahhh…I have been writing most days of my adult life
with the hope …
my children, or my children’s children, on and on
might find glimmers of light
Julie Johnson says
Read your first book and I remember Angel mentioning Marc’s grandmother in there somewhere too. What an incredible gift you’ve been given in the wise words and examples of your grandmother! Thank you for sharing her with us. It is an inspiring way to start the week.
There is something truly special and so very generous about what you’ve shared here. It’s exceptional, really. Thank you. What a beautiful tribute.
Good morning and thank you! I loved my grandmother who passed away when I was a young child. She used to fine needle crochet doilies. I don’t have any of hers but when I was unpacking some things I found two from my late Pop Pop’s aunt. I have set them out and every time I look at them, they remind me of her. She was a kind, gentle woman to me in the wake of a narcisstic, abusive mother. I am sure she would echo many of the same sentiments your grandmother shared. Have a wonderful day! You help me to start mine every day!
Thank YOU! I really just want to say a HUGE Thank You for all the amazing job you are doing. I have been reading your blog for quite some time, and it’s been an endless inspiration, very often weekly survival kit, I have so many ‘saved’ articles as well. The support you give to people from all over the world is PRICELESS! I have always been procrastinating to post the ‘thank you’…. But it’s coming now! Sorry it took me a while….;) Thank you for the great wisdom from your Grandma, all 19 points resonate deeply. I have recently lost my beloved Grandpa who was also my source of wisdom and inspiration. There is this amazing wisdom that you gain with age… I wish we could teach those ‘Grand’ lessons to our kids at school, as a part of an official curriculum… World would be so much better and healthier! Thank you!
Jennifer Malme says
“No one wins a game of chess, or the game of life, by only moving forward.” My husband has lost 3 jobs in 3 years. Each time seemed like a slap in the face, a debilitating blow to not only our family finances, but also his self-esteem. Somehow, each time he picked himself up and moved in another direction. What we didn’t realize was that each perceived failure was moving him closer to the job he was meant to have – the 4th one that he has now. He is living proof that this axiom is true!
Your grandmother was a wise woman, indeed! What a blessing to have her words and to share them with us.
I really relate with no. 16. I am so thankful that I learned this in my early 20’s and even wished I learned it earlier. My mother was right. I should surround my self with people who brings out the best in me and who I find my values inlined with. I was surrounded by people who caused me real stress and insecurities, people who did not contribute to my growth instead impeded it. I finally distanced my self from them and is now on a journey of opening up to people who have the same values as me and finding others who I can feel growing with. Your grandmother is an awesome woman. I want to grow old with all these values.
Thank you. I just broke off a two he relationship with someone who promised he’d work through the tough times. He has 5 kids 11-22, he promised he had room for me, he said we were building a life together, when it cane down to it, he couldn’t give more than a day to our relationship. I stuck around longer than I should’ve in hopes it would get better. Then I realized our relationship wasn’t a priority. Even when I gave everything to him and his kids and their activities. I realized I was sacrificing my life for someone who didn’t even notice. And when I told him my thoughts and feelings and that I just couldn’t do it anymore, he said ; “ok”
No fight for us, no “I can’t live without you”, just “ok”
Thank you for your grandmothers wisdom. I have a feeling she would’ve left this relationship long before I did! 🙂
Eileen violet. says
My darlings ,
This has been a wonderful read, so much wisdom in this from yr darling grandmother!!! It brings tears to my eyes to see how much of this I can put into my own life after making mistakes and feeling so many of these things how good to know it’s normal and human !!!!
Thank you for Sharing, you are truly a gift to me and to countless others !!! God bless
James Crowley says
1. “There are thousands of people who live their entire lives on the default settings, never realizing they can customize everything. ”
This hits me a lot – in fact my favorite motivational speaker Gary V (pls everyone do yourself a favor and look him up) preaches this a lot. As everyone is, and should be, I’m working on myself every single day. But too many times I see people who ACT like they’re stuck and can’t get out and it results in them being miserable, and not liking what they do. It’s crazy (but it really isn’t) to think that If I wasn’t happy right now and wasn’t doing what I really wanted to do, I could get up, walk to my boss and quit. Its THAT simple. Change is ourselves. We make the decisions around us. If you aren’t happy living your 9-5 job (default settings) and following the same pattern every single day for the next 30-40 years, FIX IT yourself. You’re only on this earth once, and everyday is a blessing.
Thank you for these amazing truths – it’s a blessing.
Aren’t grandmothers are great!? Yours was and is amazing. Mine is now 103!
Pretty much all of the points resonate with a time/moment of my life. I’m 70 and still one learns. Not necessarily that much more about oneself, often in my life I’ve found a quiet corner to just ‘be’, but more how one interacts with with the different pace of one’s partner. Opposites.
A phrase comes to mind…if I knew then what I knew now…all part of several points by your grandmother. Somehow as you get older you can ‘shave off the top’ issues that hurt. I never thought I’d see the day I’d say that, but it can happen. The ‘why’ is never far from my mind when something doesn’t jibe. Maybe the answer is, life is too short to make the small things bigger.
Your grandmother was at peace when she died….she’d figured life out!
Number 1- There are thousands of people who live their entire lives on the default settings, never realizing they can customize everything….
Growing up in a military household you were told what to do and when so growing up, my ‘default’ was never My intentions but more so standard operating procedures.
Easing into my 40’s, I am embracing that each day is my day. Each challenge is my challenge and each blessing is my blessing. These are givens, however the acknowledgement of knowing for myself what to do with each day and how to handle those challenges and how to receive my blessings for me, to be able to truly bless others, is a lesson that I am constantly eager to put into effect.
Being a mentor has helped me to see more clearly that there are a million paths to take in this world. None of them are wrong however the beauty of making your own decisions to carve a personal journey are as unique and ‘customizable’ as your confidence and strength will allow.
Number one for me was a confirmation that the decisions that I have and am now making for me were never ‘wrong’.
Also a reminder that everyone around you just will not always be right.
You have to live for you. So much easier said than done. In a world where stereotypes and branding is our first source of how to receive and give recognition, being yourself shouldn’t be a bad thing – as long as you are making the best choices.
Also – sorry this really touched me… I will say that my Mommy passed in ’04 from breast cancer and she called me her ‘wild child’. Growing up, there was this older Deaconess at church that shared with me: ‘I’ve always admired you because you always made your way and stood your ground’… that was 10 years ago. Those words had awakend me. I no longer fretted not taking the “traditional” paths…I didn’t realize it then and again, I’m just embracing consciously how precious and wonderful my choices were and how they affected others. I always stated my smile was my ‘default’. What a glorious day it was when I realized I could second by second, correct, and change how life could and can be for me.
I thank you for sharing.
By the way, I have now memorized the poem. I will say it to my kids when I get older…….. Your grandma Zelda’s words will always be with me. Marc, you had an amazing, wise grandmother. Again thank you so much for sharing her fantastic words.
You are so lucky to have had her!
That poem is also the pledge for the Optimist Club International (a service club with chapters all over the world). They recite it at every meeting, and it is also hanging on my fridge. I recently read Bishop Fulton Sheen saying the same sort of thing; he says, “Cease speaking of your aches and pains at once,” which I tell myself in a prim 50’s voice whenever I am tempted to complain. Somehow it works.
Perla Milner says
Enjoyed this story! My grandmother was my inspiration… an example… my joy and pride… I miss her dearly… grateful I had her?
It’s truly a shame that we have to get so old to become so wise! 😉 When we are young we know it all and no one can tell us any different, but as we age we start to realize just how much we don’t know. Your Grandmother was a wise women indeed and to part onto you her wisdom, was a gift to you that I thank you for sharing with me!
Mariah Bee says
#1 Gosh. It moved me to tears as a great wake up call. I’m definitely living in default, in a job that makes me unhappy, working with a soul sapper who brings me down daily and goes out of her way to cause trouble for me. It consumes your happiness. I have many talents and passions, art painting and I’m writing a book. Only I can change this and I love your positive motivating words. Your Grandmother rocked.
Thank-you for the shake awake.
Bob Edwards says
Amen! Here is proof that God works in mysterious ways. Look at how many people this has touched and that is only the ones that have taken the time to post a comment.
My comment: I had wonderful Granddad’s and Grandma’s, Great Uncles and Aunts that took the time to help me along the way. They saw that I was in a hard place and they saved me from going down the wrong road, gave me advice that I have passed onto my 3 sons which in turn have made them fine wonderful young adults. My Wife and I know this because when we are out and about people come up and tell us so, we are very grateful for those comments.
I would like to add a couple of Points that I received while growing up: Nothing is as hard tomorrow as it is today, give the problem some time and it will usually work itself out.
Wait to get Married, what’s the rush? You got the rest of your life to live, if it is right you will know it.
Kathleen Sumpter says
I’ve truly never read anything so beautiful, so profound, so perfectly timeless. It’s a road map for one’s life. Thank you for sharing such a personal account of your grandmother’s insights. I believe she is flying with the Angels in Heaven. A life well, and lovingly lived.
All I can say is “Wow.” I wish I had found your blog and books earlier , although I might not have been ready for it then. At 62, I still have hopes that I can go up to be like your grandmother! These points get printed off tomorrow.(12:midnite here)
All wonderful points for a fulfilling life, which reach a culmination at death, and begs the question of how to face that transition from life to non-life. I too believe strongly in having something to look forward to every day, something to be achieved, something to be fixed, something to be created. I’ve been a hospice volunteer and have tried to see through that window of my mortality as I watched death occur. In the moments before my mother died, she said she was going home. I’ll never know which home she meant – where she grew up, or the home where I grew up, or a heavenly home. But she knew, and it was something she looked forward to, and perhaps that is the key to our own transition – making one final effort to have something to look forward to – going home. For me, that will be Number 20 on the list.
I think #16 is solid advice – pay attention to whom you spend your time with, surround yourself with good people you admire and respect, it does filter down to you. I noticed how different my life became when I left a nay-sayer husband, made new friends with community theater volunteers, and then when I met my now husband at a karaoke night. I suddenly was more upbeat, more grateful, more, in a word, happy! They bring out the best in me. I am so thankful I made that huge life change. It was hard to admit to myself, deep inside, that I felt held back and unhappy. But once I did, and I saw another way of living, of expressing myself, I didn’t look back. So thankful for that leap of faith in myself!
Loved reading this and all of these points were great so it’s difficult to pick just one! The ones that really hit me were: 1, 2, 4, 9, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18, and 19. The general sentiment about living and truly doing your own journey is wonderful and much appreciated. Everything written above resonates right now – thank you for taking the time to do this!
Sorry for your loss. Your grandmother seems like she was an amazing woman! 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful Grandmothers words of wisdom. I feel warm at heart and excitement within my soul.
Blessings and endless love,
Tomilola Akindeju, Southsea , Portsmouth says
For me it’s number 17, though all hit a spot in my heart. At this stage of my life I am realising that some certain persons who I hold dear to my heart have not been very reciprocal towards me. As such, this wisdom nugget comes at a time when I need it most. So, caring and being loving is not a fault of mine, but the lack of response is what s troubling. Thanks a lot Marc and Angel for sharing. I will be cherishing these for years to come
16 & 17. Honestly, Marc and Angel I wan to to start by saying I love you guys so much and hope to meet you someday and also share my story. Your mails keeps me going honestly. There are so many times I almost killed myself or was so confused depressed and didn’t know what to do, once I read your mail, all that changed. Around November last year, After praying everyday and night for like 3 weeks begging God for that man that would just be perfect for me a husband on one fateful day after the weeks of praying I felt in my spirit that I was gonna meet him long story short I met “the man” (just the kind of man I’d prayed for) he asked me to date him he showed so much love and affection I really was amazed and in my head God actually answered my prayers then all of a sudden after sometime this man started giving me bad attitude treating me like I was an option. I felt mostly undeserving of him when I was with me. He even told one time we hanged out that women like me have not dated his class that I wasn’t really responding while he was talking to me and so he would break up with me if care is not taken (I was on my period that day he knew and I was so tired could barely even eat) but because I loved him I really wanted the relationship to work so I did all I could to stay with him. After sometime I just realized that Omg I am worthy and I’ve got value. No man should make me feel otherwise. No matter how much I love this guy I need to do the right thing which is let go. Asides this, I almost commited suicide after I found that this guy was married he lied to me all this while wow!! Well, like you rightly wrote “When someone treats you like you’re just one of many options, again and again, help them narrow their choices by removing yourself from the equation. Sometimes you have to try not to care, no matter how much you do. Because sometimes you can mean almost nothing to someone who means so much to you. It’s not pride—it’s self-respect.” I did exactly this after sometime and I thank God God has been helping me heal. God bless you Marc & Angel. I love you both so much. Debby with love from Nigeria.
I just discovered this blog and I was just scrolling through to see what type of articles you post. Initially I scrolled past this one, but then scrolled back up and for whatever reason I just felt drawn to this post. I have to say, I’m glad I read it. Your grandmother’s wisdom is profound! I found myself taking screenshots of a lot of the points. I’ll be revisiting them often and will be sharing them with my children as they get older as well.
Although I love all the insight, I would say number 9 is the most important to me. When you focus on today life is a little less stressful. When I think about what ‘should’ be or what ‘could’ be, that’s when fear and worry come in. Even reading it I was thinking about my dog possibly being sick, but when I thought about what we can do today (instead of what’s going to happen) the fear melted away.