I started out writing “10 life lessons for Z”.
Then I got carried away.
I want to tell her about being Happy, being Relevant, Being considerate, Being a good person, Dealing with Life, impossible situations, unhappy situations, disappointment.
Well, here are 11 advice that I hope she will eventually (she’s only 8 weeks +!) understand and perhaps practise.
1 Believe that everyone is good… but also believe that you might be wrong about that.
2 There will always be people more fortunate than you. Don’t envy them.
There will always be people less fortunate than you. Don’t despise them.
3 No one owes you a living. You get out of life what you put into it. But sometimes life surprises you. Be grateful and appreciative.
4 Life isn’t fair. Deal. People who tell you otherwise are trying to sell you something. Happiness does not come in a box. People who tell you differently are also trying to sell you something (usually in that box). People who are trying to sell you something aren’t necessarily bad people. They may just be trying to make a living (that no one owes them). Like Telemarketers.
5 Telemarketers are people too. If you can remember this when talking to one, you are a good person. If you wanna know if a person is good, watch how he treats the waiter. Or anyone else he/she has a “right” to yell at (e.g. anyone who is wrong).
6 People generally want one (or more!) of three things in life: Power, Beauty, Fame. Of the three, Health is the most important.
7 Perfectionists have no place in the kitchen. Or your life. If you meet one, run, don’t walk, away from him, or her. Angels and Perfectionists belong in heaven. In other words, the only good perfectionist is a dead perfectionist. Perfection is never achieved. Perfection is a place which if you practise diligently and often, you may visit. For a while.
8 Confidence comes not from being sure that you are always right, but from being sure that you will always strive to do the right thing.
9 The greatest humility is to be able to see things as they are, not as how (you think) they should be, not as how you wish them to be. Conversely, the greatest conceit is to see things as you think they ought to be, as you want them to be.
10 The purpose of life is not to find meaning. The purpose of your life is for you to give it meaning. How do you do this? Give more than you take. Listen more than you say. Do more than you need. Love more than you can bear. Trust more than you should. This is how you begin.
11 Hope is not a strategy. You hope for the best, but expect the worst; plan for the worst; prepare for the worst. You never plan for what the others SHOULD do, but what they COULD do. Similarly, never plan for the best case scenario. That’s not planning. That’s Hope masquerading as Plans.
And (11) is why I am writing this. I hope to teach her all this in person. But just in case…