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July 15, 2014

The top 10 lessons I am learning right now (and pretty much always)

Starting with age-old clichés, let's make this post all about life, and go!
Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. Forrest sure carried that lesson with him!
Life is about the journey and not the destination. Sometimes the destination is nice though, too, am I right?!
Life is what you make of it. No denying that one, eh?
Life is short so live it! or life is short, here today and gone tomorrow. I can rally around the sentiments of the first one. Life is meant to be lived, but that sure looks different for everyone, and the second one? I personally try not to get too stuck on the thought that today could be my last day on earth, otherwise one could drive themselves crazy with the what-ifs.  However, in the back of my mind is a simple thought that each day is a blessing and I have the great opportunity to make the most of it.
Carpe diem, seize the day. Any command in Latin should be taken seriously. So do it!
Life is a crapshoot. I am curious how many gamblers use this cliché?
Life goes on. That should always be followed up with Ob-la-di, ob-la-da!! if you really want to emphasize that one.

Life is a b*@#% and then you die. Well, that is one way of looking at it.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, or it's whiny brother, life is like a bowl of cherries and this is the pits. I think we should always compare life to fruit. It is just so similar.

Just Do It. I tell myself this every time I lace up my Nike running shoes. Just kidding I don't.

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Be really tough to get ahead in life, kids.

Love many, trust few, but always paddle your own canoe. Unless, of course, you're up a creek without a paddle.

Moving on to the top 10 lessons I have been learning (sometimes reluctantly) in my own life. Nothing new here folks, just rehashing many of the things we all learn at one time or another.

1. Don't take life so seriously. Don't take yourself so seriously or your spouse or your children. We are all imperfect creatures living in an imperfect world. Laugh at yourself once and awhile. Do it. Laugh when someone says you have a boogie in your nose. It's endearing. Be thankful they told you.

2. Stop being a perfectionist. Perfection is a made-up word, a treacherous journey to la-la land and eventually crazy town. Who cares if your house isn't always clean, your kids aren't always well behaved, your clothes aren't always ironed, you miss a deadline once and awhile, and your marriage doesn't always look like a fairytale book. None of it is supposed to because, wait for it, life is messy.

3. Don't wait around for others to be kind to you. Be kind first. Joe over there who didn't bother to say hi to you isn't feeling so hot today. Smile at him and give him some love. The man who looks like he is about to cut you off and pass you on the highway is trying to get to a very important interview. Let him over, don't be so rude. Just be kind first and watch what happens in your life. You will attract more kindness everywhere you go when charity of heart begins with you.

4. Every child needs to grow up, eventually. Ever hear of the term, adult wounded child? That's a psychological term that means you struggle with responsibility and adulthood because of a bunch of psychological things that happened in your past. I am one of those. It takes more effort to have resilience when you never quite learned how to face your struggles and overcome them, but the payoff is worth it. Growing up is hard to do.
5. When you grow up, make sure never to lose the childlike wonder completely. You'll be left with a cynical viewpoint about life. It's hard when you are an adult and experience great personal pain, see hurting people all around, and watch many people seemingly have no trouble stepping on others in the pursuit of money and power. The solution is not to say that life is therefore pointless or filled with pain. Deep inside each of us is a space filled with love that springs forth creativity. Something new is made out of brokenness every day, and we can all be redeemed. Find joy in the simple things in life.
6. Approval is not out there. A long time ago I used to listen to Howard Stern. He had a segment where he had women come on the show and he would determine (along with other radio hosts) whether that woman was beautiful or not. Seriously? I used to wonder if they would think I was pretty enough. I can't believe I ever wondered that. It doesn't matter who finds you beautiful or worthwhile. You are beautiful and worthwhile so believe it about yourself. Speak it over yourself every single day. Stop looking to others to approve of you.
7. The truth will set you free. Be honest. There is no need to lie in order save face, to make someone feel better or convince someone else of what you already know inside is a lie. As Dr. Seuss said, be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and  those who matter don't mind.
8. It is better to give than to receive. Just try it. Give without expectations. Be a friend to all. Find happiness in your own heart and let it spill over towards others who are having a hard time finding happiness on their own.
9. Just keep swimming. (Finding Nemo is my favorite Disney movie; Dory got it right with that one!) Get up every morning and know that today is a new day. There are new mercies every morning. Let the challenges of yesterday fall away and raise up to the challenges of today. Find strength where strength is found. There is a life force, a source of strength much greater than our own and it is available at all times. Renew yourself with it and hang on until the storm passes.
10. When all else fails, find some great Facebook quotes or clichés and get happy! ;)