As mentioned in a previous post, this was the first attempt at 10 Life Lessons for Zoe, when she can understand them.
Well, I got carried away… And wrote over 20 “lessons”… and quotes.
And some of the “lessons” got rather esoteric and specific. Like this one:
Strength of conviction is not proof or evidence of the truth. The people who are most sure of themselves, most sure of their truths, most sure of their purpose in life, are the most charismatic, most attractive, and most dangerous people in the world. Stay away from them… if you can.
I recognise that “wisdom” as a personal “rule of thumb” to stay away from Religious Fanatics, Christian Scientists, Vegans, Environmentalists, and <Insert Your Favourite Fanatics Here>.
(Definition of Fanatic: Can’t change his mind, and won’t change the subject. Succinct!)
But is it a truth, or a wisdom, or advice, or just my way of dealing with… challenges? Maybe she will deal with it differently.
Anyway, I decided I needed to be more concise, so I posted 10 Lessons from the Bible as a first post. Limiting my ten lessons to just those I gleamed from the bible was helpful to limit the lessons… I actually got stuck after 9.
This one will be a little more free-wheeling.
So, here are ten distilled wisdom of about 50 years. Well, those I can think of. Some I have mastered. Many I am still practising. And some I am only just starting to understand. But I guess, these are ten things that I hope will make her a better person.
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.
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.
[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 (No one owes you a living). Like Telemarketers.]
3 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 has a right to yell at (e.g. anyone who is wrong).
4 People generally want one (or more!) of three things in life: Power, Beauty, Fame. Of the three, Health is the most important.
5 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.
6 Confidence comes not from the unshakeable conviction that you are right, but from the simple commitment to always strive to do the right thing.
7 The secret to life is to be in the present, respond to the Now in the most positive and appropriate manner, and understand your place in it and your cue. The greatest humility (and honesty) 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 (and deceit) is to see things as you think they ought to be, as you want them to be.
8 Personal is not the same as important. Values are not facts. Understand the difference between facts, opinions, and values. Most people fail to understand this distinction. Understanding their confusion is part of the skill of understanding people. Understand that people will confuse values with facts, and then following that, they will confuse personal with important.
9 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. Trust more than you should. This is how you begin. Put your heart and soul into everything you do, even if you don’t want to do it. Stand for something. Believe in something. Live for something. Or someone. Try to leave this world better than when you came into it.
10 Don’t believe everything you read or see on the Internet. [Wait! These Lessons are on the Internet! Noooooooo…]