Category: Life Enrichment
Advice from a Tree
By Ilan Shamir
Stand Tall and Proud Sink your roots deeply into the Earth Reflect the light of a greater source Think long term Go out on a limb Remember your place among all living beings Embrace with joy the changing seasons For each yields its own abundance The Energy and Birth of Spring The Growth and Contentment of Summer The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter
Feel the wind and the sun And delight in their presence Look up at the moon that shines down upon you And the mystery of the stars at night. Seek nourishment from the good things in life Simple pleasures Earth, fresh air, light
Be content with your natural beauty Drink plenty of water Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes Be flexible Remember your roots
Enjoy the view
The Four Agreements -Don Miguel Ruiz’s Code for Life
Don Miguel Ruiz’s Code for LifeIn his book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz gives us four principles to practice in order to create love and happiness in our lives. Embracing these agreements is simple in theory, but may be difficult in practice. Actually living and implementing these Four Agreements into your daily life can be challenging, especially at first. However, committing to and living these principles can be extremely uplifting and impactful.
As you begin to integrate these four agreements, your life will noticeably change. You may struggle at first, but with fortitude and practice these agreements become part of who you are and become integrated into every aspect of your life.
The Four Agreements are:
The First Agreement: Be Impeccable with Your Word
The Second Agreement: Don’t Take Anything Personally
The Third Agreement: Don’t Make Assumptions
The Fourth Agreement: Always Do Your Best
Be Impeccable With Your Word – Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using your word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
Don’t Take Anything Personally – Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
Don’t Make Assumptions – Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
Always Do Your Best – Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
The Other Wes Moore
Two kids with the same name, living in the same city. One grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison for felony murder. Here is the story of two boys and the journey of a generation.
In December 2000, the Baltimore Sun ran a small piece about Wes Moore, a local student who had just received a Rhodes Scholarship. The same paper also ran a series of articles about four young men who had allegedly killed a police officer in a spectacularly botched armed robbery. The police were still hunting for two of the suspects who had gone on the lam, a pair of brothers. One was named Wes Moore.
Wes just couldn’t shake off the unsettling coincidence, or the inkling that the two shared much more than space in the same newspaper. After following the story of the robbery, the manhunt, and the trial to its conclusion, he wrote a letter to the other Wes, now a convicted murderer serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. His letter tentatively asked the questions that had been haunting him: Who are you? How did this happen?
That letter led to a correspondence and relationship that has lasted for several years. Over dozens of letters and prison visits, Wes discovered that the other Wes had a life not unlike his own: Both had grown up in similar neighborhoods and had difficult childhoods, both were fatherless; they’d hung out on similar corners with similar crews, and both had run into trouble with the police. At each stage of their young lives they had come across similar moments of decision, yet their choices and the people in their lives would lead them to astonishingly different destinies.
Told in alternating dramatic narratives that take readers from heart-wrenching losses to moments of surprising redemption, The Other Wes Moore tells the story of a generation of boys trying to find their way in a challenging and at times, hostile world.
Cherie Carter-Scott’s Rules Of Life
“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.” – Helen Keller
Below is a brief summary of Cherie Carter-Scott’s Rules Of Life. If you are interested in making the most of your life, and helping others do the same, buy “If Life Is A Game, These Are The Rules.”
Rule One – You will receive a body.
You may love it or hate it, but whether you love it or hate it, it’s yours for life, so accept it. What counts is what’s inside.
Rule Two – You will be presented with lessons.
You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called “life”. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. These lessons specific to you, and learning them “is the key to discovering and fulfilling the meaning and relevance of your own life.” You may like the lessons or hate them, but you have designed them as part of your curriculum. Every person or incident is the Universal Teacher.
Rule Three – There are no mistakes, only lessons.
Growth is a process of experimentation. The failed experiments are as much as a part of the process as the experiments that work.
Rule Four – The lesson is repeated until learned.
Lessons will be repeated to you in various forms until you have learned them. You will know you’ve learned a lesson when your actions change. When you have learned them, you can go on to the next lesson. If you don’t learn easy lessons, they get harder.
Rule Five – Learning does not end.
There is no part of life that does not contain lessons. While you are alive there are always lessons to be learned. Accept the process of constant learning and change. Be humble enough to always acknowledge your own weaknesses, and be flexible enough to adapt to new possibilities.
Rule Six – “There” is no better than “here”.
The other side of the hill may be greener than your own, but being there is not the key to endless happiness. When your “there” has become “here” you will simply obtain another “there” that will look better to you than your present “here”. Be grateful for and enjoy what you have, and where you are on your journey. Appreciate the abundance of what’s good in your life, rather than measure and amass things that do not actually lead to happiness.
Rule Seven – Others are only mirrors of you.
You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself. Therefore, be tolerant and accept others as they are.
Rule Eight – What you make of your life is up to you.
You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. Take responsibility for yourself. Learn to let go when you cannot change things. Take charge of your life or someone else will.
Rule Nine – Your answers lie inside of you.
You know more than you have heard, read, or been told. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust. Trust your instincts and your innermost feelings. Draw on your natural inspiration.
Rule Ten – You will forget all this at birth.
We are all born with all of these capabilities, but our early experiences lead us into a physical world, away from our spiritual selves, so that we become doubtful, cynical and lacking belief and confidence.
Contribute a Verse
Dead Poets Society
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, ‘O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless–of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?’ Answer. That you are here–that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”
O Me! O Life!
by Walt Whitman
O Me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring;
Of the endless trains of the faithless—of cities fill’d with the foolish;
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light—of the objects mean—of the struggle ever renew’d;
Of the poor results of all—of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me;
Of the empty and useless years of the rest—with the rest me intertwined;
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?
That you are here—that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.
This article was taken from the website: Harvard Business Review
Steve Jobs’s Legacy: Design Your Own Life
by Nilofer Merchant
While there are many things worth celebrating of Steve Jobs’s life, the greatest gift Steve gave us is a way to design our own lives.
Steve Jobs was known for being a design god who sweated experience, and pixels and, well, everything. “Design,” he once said, “is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But, of course, if you dig deeper, it’s how it really works. You have to grok what it is all about.”
In our society, thinking for ourselves is not highly valued. Our education model was designed with the 19th century more than the 21st century in mind. It reinforces fitting in and suppresses much of the natural creativity we start with. That’s how we go from drawing and acting and make-believe to PowerPoint. If we allow creativity at all, it is limited to arts and sports. “Real work” has us looking like a Dilbert character. Between the pressures of our teachers, parents, and ultimately co-workers, we often give up any search for personal meaning as we aim to belong to a tribe. After a while, we may not even believe we have something unique to offer. Rather than figure out what we are each about, far too many of us live within the boxes others define.
But when we define ourselves by what others want, we are trying to kiss a moving butt. To live in a box defined by someone else is to deny our uniqueness. Each of us is standing in a spot no one else occupies. That unique perspective is born of our accumulated experience, perspective, and our vision. When we deny these things, we deny that which only we can bring to the situation, our onlyness. And that is surely not the way the world is made better.
I’m reminded of the ad copy Steve initiated when he returned to Apple:
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. (Apple Inc.)
The problem with being a rebel, a misfit, a troublemaker is that the masses will not be cheering you on. Rosa Parks might be a heroine today, but at the time, she lost her job. Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr both had huge dissension within their own communities. It took Jobs years to come up with a turnaround strategy that showed what Apple could do. People forget the years between 1996-2001 where much of the market called him more insane, than insanely great.
But he knew that his journey was to apply what only he could — from his meticulous design methodology, to reimagining computing, to building a different type of company. He realized — and showed us — that our real job is not to conform to what others think. Instead, we need to recognize that our life’s goal is to find our own unique way in the world, to find the way that we move from being kiss-ass to being kick-ass.
That is the fundamental gift of Steve Jobs. His insane greatness was to find his own journey and to live his life this way. He didn’t worry about being weird; he only wanted to be himself.
I have been in love with Apple products since my first Apple II, which I practically bought with quarters and nickels earned in small increments. I grew up picking apricots on the property where Apple buildings now stand. I worked at Apple during the “dark days,” as alumni refer to the years between Steve Jobs’ departure and then his much-needed return. He was competitive, sure, but mostly against himself. And that, too, is a lesson for us. It has been an honor to use his products, and it was an honor to work at his company. But the greatest honor has been to emulate what he showed us by his life. That each of us must find our own path. The unmarked path.
So I ask you to join me in honoring Steve’s greatness not by trying to be Steve, but by trying to be your greatest self.
Nilofer Merchant (www.nilofermerchant.com) is a corporate director and a speaker on igniting cultures of innovation