WISDOM: A LIFESTYLE CHOICE (or, The Top 49 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR LIFE)
The other day I was listening to a local radio talk show featuring a fairly liberal thinking self-proclaimed “Confused Agnostic”, and he posited the following question to his audience. “What do you do to manage the stress you experience from the craziness of everyday life? Please call in and let’s talk because I have a very hard time relaxing and seek your advice”
Most callers advised things like “gardening”, “golf”, “exercise”, “needlepoint”, “fishing” etc. And the host asked them, “How long does it relax you until you have to do it again?”. Most callers didn’t have an answer for that.
While I was listening, I thought about it and I almost called in, but then I stopped myself. Why, you may ask? Because my answer was too simple, yet too complex.
You see, at the ripe old age of 53 I’ve finally put together all the puzzle pieces of my life. I “Get it” now. I’ve always felt close to “it” but now I finally feel as though I’m there. This isn’t to say that I’ve stopped learning and growing, because I definitely haven’t…that is a huge part of me that will never go away. But I did finally reach a station in my life where I KNOW I have arrived. Call it an epiphany if you like or an awakening, but I merely consider it complete PEACE OF MIND.
So, what is my formula? Well, throughout my entire life I have absorbed and followed certain wisdom, much of which was given to me by mentors. Some could be considered redundant, some repugnant, but all that matters if there are some lessons that speak to your mind, heart and soul. And that you also ABSORB the lesson and live it. If you don’t, then it’s your fault and no one else’s. And after all, actions speak louder than words.
- You can only control the controllable. (Recognize what is out of your control and ignore it)
- Worrying never solved a problem.
- Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one and no one thinks their shit stinks.
- Listen to what people have to say before you form your thoughts. (They may have a cogent point)
- Those who throw stones shouldn’t live in glass houses. (umm…if I have to explain this one, then you’re a few crayons short of a box)
- No one is perfect, but they should strive to be. (Don’t be stagnant and/or obstinate)
- Hold yourself to a certain standard before you choose to hold others. (Hypocrisy is ugly)
- Always be intellectually honest. (If you don’t know what it means, then Google it)
- Always give people the benefit of the doubt before judging them.
- Don’t just talk for the sake of filling a void. (Have a point or purpose when you open your mouth)
- Observe, listen and learn. (Stop staring at your smart phone)
- God is inclusive, not exclusive. (I’ll let you just consider this one)
- Have no fear (Underdog is here!) No, really…fear only prevents us from advancing and ultimately distills into regret.
- It’s only business, don’t take it personally.
- Stop being hyper-sensative. Believe it or not, it’s rarely about YOU! (But when it is, then maybe, just maybe, it’s information you should consider)
- If you don’t take care of yourself first, then you will ultimately fail when taking care of others.
- Always seek to provide positive feedback over criticism.
- Stupid is as stupid does.
- Stop blaming Autocorrect. (If it happens to you a lot, then it’s your fault)
- If the opportunity presents itself to do a good deed, then do it! (I have saved 3 lives. How many have you saved?)
- The speed limit isn’t a maximum, it’s a minimum. (Stay in the right lane if you don’t know that)
- YIELD doesn’t mean STOP.
- There is nature and people and action out there to enjoy. (Put down your fucking cell phone)
- PEACE ON EARTH cannot be achieved with flowers, unicorns and rainbows. (There are people out there that wish you dead and will never appreciate your misguided kindness)
- Shit happens. (Roll on)
- If you wake up with a bad attitude, then you should go back to sleep.
- The money you make (if you actually work for a living) is YOURS, not the Governments.
- Attempt to be eloquent. (Harsh ignorance or bravado is unappealing)
- Don’t poke the Bear.
- Logic and reason are actually useful mental tools…try it sometime. (A mind is a terrible thing to waste)
- You don’t always have to press the brake to slow down, just take your foot off the gas pedal. (And experience the wonder of inertia)
- If you always think that everything could be cleaner, then you should start taking medication. (OCD)
- Homework for a 4th grader is much less important than knowing that s/he is trying, learning and progressing. (Misguided priorities)
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. (It only makes you more of an asshole)
- Most of life is funny if you have the right perspective. (Live, laugh and love)
- You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequence of your choice. (Don’t be a victim)
- Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. (And Lions, tigers and bears…who incidentally don’t have guns)
- Panic results in mayhem, mayhem results in death and destruction. (Stay calm)
- They hate us because they ain’t us. (or because they “anus”)
- Strive to not take things for granted. (It can disappear in a heartbeat…especially if you don’t look both ways before crossing the street)
- If your life is too hectic to appreciate what you have, then you have no life. (Stop and smell the roses)
- Your children are not you. (Provide guidance but let them find their own way)
- If you have more “pets” than there are days in a week, then you either own a farm or need medication.
- If you’re cold, then put more clothes on. If you’re hot then take some clothes off (And call or text me).
- Be loyal, trustworthy and honest.
- Only argue if you are confident you are right. (and admit it when you’re wrong)
- Many Walmart shoppers are the “Walking Dead”.
- If you focus on the forest then you will never see the trees.
- Happiness is a choice. (Smile)
It’s my hope that some of this resonates with you. I, myself, live and breathe ALL of these principles. And I’m 99.9% carefree. You see, you don’t have to do something to AVOID life’s chaos; all you need to do is instruct yourself to eliminate, minimize or accept it. And then focus on positivity, happiness and understanding.
Live, learn and grow. And laugh!