Here's my own list of life's bests. . .
4. A warm hug
8. Sunrise and sunset
10. A pat in the shoulder
17. A stroll in the park
18. A sincere apology
20. Noisy cheers
24. Holding hands
25. Heart-to-heart talk
27. A pleasant smile
28. Silly jokes
29. Two thumbs up
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Here's my own list of life's bests. . .
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Imagine this. A concert violinist is performing a difficult piece in front of a large audience. Suddenly there is a loud snap that reverberates throughout the auditorium. The audience immediately knows that a string has broken and fully expects the concert to be suspended until another string, or instrument, is brought to the musician.
But instead, the violinist composes herself, closes her eyes and then signals the conductor to begin again. The orchestra resumes where they had left off and now the musician plays the music on three strings. In her mind she works out new fingering to compensate for the missing string. A work that few people can play well on four strings, the violinist with the broken string plays on three.
When she finishes, an awesome silence hangs in the room. And then as one, the crowd rises to their feet and cheers wildly. The violinist smiles and wipes perspiration from her brow. When silence returns to the great room, she explains why she continued to play in spite of a broken string. "You know," she says, still breathless, "sometimes it is the artist's task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left." *
We know what she means, don't we? Maybe we've lived most of our lives and we have only a little time left. Can we still make music?
Maybe disease has robbed us of our capacity to work. Can we still make music?
Perhaps a financial loss has left us impoverished. Can we still make music?
Or maybe a meaningful relationship has ended and we feel alone in the world. Can we still make music?
There will come a time when we all experience loss. Like the violinist, will we find the courage to discover just how much music we can still make with what we have left? How much good we can still do? How much joy we can still share? For I'm convinced that the world, more than ever, needs the music only you can make.
And if it takes extra courage to make the music, many will applaud your effort. For some people have lost more than others, and these brave souls inspire the rest of us to greater heights.
Just how much music can you make with what you have left?
Friday, May 15, 2009
You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time, informal school called Life. Each day, you will be presented with opportunities to learn what you need to know. The lessons presented are often completely different from those you think you need.
There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial, error and experimentation. You can learn as much from failure as you can from success. Maybe more.
A lesson is repeated until it is learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it (as evidenced by a change in your attitude and ultimately your behavior) then you can go on to the next lesson.
Learning lessons does not end. There is no stage of life that does not contain some lessons. As long as you live there will be something more to learn.
“There” is no better than “here”. When your “there” has become a “here” you will simply discover another “there” that will again look better than your “here.” Don’t be fooled by believing that the unattainable is better than what you have.
Others are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself. When tempted to criticize others, ask yourself why you feel so strongly.
What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you create with those tools and resources is up to you. Remember that through desire, goal setting and unflagging effort you can have anything you want. Persistence is the key to success.
The answers lie inside of you. The solutions to all of life’s problems lie within your grasp. All you need to do is ask, look, listen and trust yourself.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
by Mary Schmich
Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of 99 ... Wear sunscreen
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.
The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists,
whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.
I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth.
Oh, never mind.
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded.
But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.
You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don't worry about the future.
Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts.
Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don't waste your time on jealousy.
Sometimes you're ahead,
sometimes you're behind.
The race is long and, in the end,
it's only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive.
Forget the insults.
If you succeed in doing this,
tell me how.
Keep your old love letters.
Throw away your old bank statements.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives.
Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.
Get plenty of calcium.
Be kind to your knees.
You'll miss them when they're gone.
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't.
Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't.
Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.
Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either.
Your choices are half chance.
So are everybody else's.
Enjoy your body.
Use it every way you can.
Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it.
It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.
Even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
Read the directions,
even if you don't follow them.
Do not read beauty magazines.
They will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents.
You never know when they'll be gone for good.
Be nice to your siblings.
They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on.
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.
Live in New York City once,
but leave before it makes you hard.
Live in Northern California once,
but leave before it makes you soft.
Accept certain inalienable truths:
Prices will rise.
Politicians will philander.
You, too, will get old.
And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don't expect anyone else to support you.
Maybe you have a trust fund.
Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse.
But you never know when either one might run out.
Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it.
Advice is a form of nostalgia.
Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
The boxing world was startled by the explosive performance of Manny when he TKO'd Ricky Hatton in just 6 minutes of their World Championship fight last May 2. Susan on the other hand, became a web sensation when she surprised British Got Talent judges and audiences with her endearing rendition of I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables. And she is a 47 year-old aspiring professional singer. Her Youtube video hit 30 million in just a matter of weeks.
You can say that the entire world is their stage. And we are just mere enthralled spectators, watching these amazing and talented individuals who just came out of nowhere. And ultimately proven themselves that they can conquer the world with their bare talents. Their amazing stories from virtually unknown to famous figures captivated the whole planet. Their rise to fame is not by accident but by sheer dedication, riveting confidence and polished skills. Manny is the best in his craft right now and Susan is an awesome rising star in her own right. They both earned it and they are now reaping their rewards.
Two belittled individuals, two admired stars, two inspirations. And the world is just awestruck.