45 life lessons

45 life lessons and 5 to grow on

“To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me:

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative – dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

41. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”

Source: Regina Brett, Columnist for The Plain Dealer

What are we missing every day…

“A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist.

Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the top musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written,with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station

was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty?

Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?”

In spite of the fact that he used his outstanding ability to the full and performed some of the most intricate music ever written, only a few people even noticed the maestro and even fewer stopped to listen. The article notes:

No one knew it, but the fiddler standing against a bare wall outside the Metro in an indoor arcade at the top of the escalators was one of the finest classical musicians in the world, playing some of the most elegant music ever written on one of the most valuable violins ever made. His performance was arranged by The Washington Post as an experiment in context, perception and priorities — as well as an unblinking assessment of public taste: In a banal setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?

Journalist Gene Weingarten was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for his outstanding and thought provoking analysis of the experiment. Weingarten discusses the ramifications of Bell’s subway experience. What role does context play in our artistic perceptions? To what degree is our perception of beauty influenced by our mindset at the particular time we perceive it? He notes:

It’s an old epistemological debate, older, actually, than the koan about the tree in the forest. Plato weighed in on it, and philosophers for two millennia afterward: What is beauty? Is it a measurable fact (Gottfried Leibniz), or merely an opinion (David Hume), or is it a little of each, colored by the immediate state of mind of the observer (Immanuel Kant)?

Read the full article and see some clips here: Pearls Before Breakfast

Is this violinist really that much better than any other; if his music can not snap people out of their daily trance? If he is, what other things do we miss every day as we rush about our lives, full of seemingly important things that need to be done.

There are diamonds in the rough, everywhere, if you just take a while to take a closer look. And maybe to hear the truth, you just need to stop for a moment; close your eyes and really listen.

Bobby.

Do you have TIME to read this?

What is your time worth to you?

A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door.

“Daddy, may I ask you a question?”
“Yeah sure, what is it?” replied the man.
“Daddy, how much do you make an hour?”
“That is none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?” the man said angrily.
“I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?” pleaded the little boy.
“If you must know, I make £20 an hour.”
“Oh,” the little boy replied, with his head down.
Looking up, he said, “Daddy, may I please borrow £10?”

The father was furious, “If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I work long hard hours everyday and don’t have time for such childish behavior!”
The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.

The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy’s questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money? After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think he may have been a little hard on his son. Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that £10 and he really didn’t ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door.

“Are you asleep, son?” he asked.
“No daddy, I’m awake,” replied the boy.
“I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier,” said the man.
“It’s been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here’s the £10 you asked for.”
The little boy sat straight up, smiling. “Oh, thank you, daddy!” he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up notes. The man, seeing that the boy already had money, started to get angry again.

The little boy slowly counted out his money, then looked up at his father.
“Why do you want more money if you already have some?” the father grumbled.
“Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,” the little boy replied. “Daddy, I have £20 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.”

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We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Share this story with someone you like…. but even better, share your priceless time with someone you love.

Just remember the value you put on your time and what you exchange it for every day. It’s a wake up call for all of you working so hard and missing life itself.

I know that many think I am usually busy working, yet you’ll never catch me doing any 😉 After all work is always going to be there tomorrow. I always have time for people; family and friends. Do you?

What a weekend! Let it snow…

It was cold as I woke up early on Friday morning, needed to borrow a car to get to Heathrow area of London – and a warning light kept coming on, so had to keep slowing down on the motorway.
Parked at hotel near Heathrow, caught tube to central London and arrived at my first meeting half an hour late. Then rushed back to Heathrow for a champagne reception, which I missed by an hour as shuttle bus seemed to circle heathrow airport forever. Stopped at a hotel 5 minute walk from venue in the cold winter weather. Ended up with a double hotel room with a bed that barely was bigger than a single and sink didn’t drain properly.
Didn’t exchange many details with people at 400+ person networking event on Saturday.
Got a call from a friend to cover his place at a training event on Sunday instead of going to see friends around London, so had to stay an extra night in the hotel – extra expense.
Saturday evening went to cinema with friends after getting lost as I didn’t have GPS/Sat Nav and had to write directions down and still went wrong way due to miscommunication. Got to cinema and only one ticket/seat was available, difficult to share between three of us.
Air con/heating broke down in middle of night, so woke up in cold and sink still not fixed.
Sunday only had time at breakfast and lunch to grab a Mcdonalds instead of a proper meal. Freezing when I set off home in the evening. Phone battery died and it snowed on the motorway taking me longer to get back. Got in to blanket of snow in Hudds about midnight, bank letters and 295 emails waiting.

How was my weekend? BRILLIANT!!!

I think life has it in for me, by offering me such lovely opportunities, that made even all the crap above insignificant, it was an absolutely fantastic weekend!

Just hope I get time to share all the good stuff with you later to put it all into context!

What happened to Common Sense?

“AN OBITUARY FOR COMMON SENSE

‘Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, ‘Common Sense’, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
Why the early bird gets the worm;
Life isn’t always fair;
And maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place:
Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate;
Teens suspended from school for using mouth wash after lunch;
And a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent=2 0to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realise that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement ..

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust. His wife, Discretion, his daughter, Responsibility, his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights; I Want It Now; Someone Else Is To Blame; I’m A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.”