by Terry Plotkin
1. When to shut-up. I suppose I am still learning this one, but I am getting better. The best time to shut-up is when I am angry. This is difficult. It will come out better if I wait until I can articulate well. When I get angry my bad behavior will likely trump the issue that has me steamed in the first place.
2. I can’t make other people happy. It has to come from within them. I don’t mean temporarily, as a smile and kind words can make someone else happy. Keeping it up forever is a great burden. The more intimate the relationship, the more difficult it is. It’s a good lesson to learn, as it is exhausting, and failing is no picnic. (In case you can’t tell, this is one of the lessons that did not come easy.)
3. A bully will never stop until you force them to stop. This is true whether they know they are doing it or not, whether they are male or female, whether it is a company, race, or a nation, whether family or stranger. If you can make them stop without using physical force, so much the better. One thing for sure, as long as you are afraid, you will be at their mercy.
4. If you wait for conditions to be right before doing something, you will likely never do it. The hardest thing to perform is the first step. Don’t wait for a teacher either; teach yourself.
5. The world is not so made that I am at the center of it; neither are you. The sooner we adjust to that fact the better it will go.
6. Forget about being a hero or prophet or widely admired. Make yourself and hopefully your little world a better place and find contentment.
7. Be honest with others; doubly true for yourself. No progress can be made using lies.
8. Be yourself when meeting others, forget about putting on airs or trying to impress, especially if you are meeting a potential love interest or going for a job that you really want. If they don’t like you for who you are, it is better to find out right away than waste your time and deal with the painful consequences.
9. Expect “other”: That is what often happens when you think something you have planned is about to occur. Best to be quickly adaptable and let things fall away when change occurs. There is no true security in this world.
10. Pay attention to what is going on, especially the psychic energy you feel around you. Trust that what you notice is real and act on it. (Be smart with tactics.)
11. Don’t have to play it safe. The fun and growth is in the risks. Sometimes it might backfire and you have to accept the fallout, but there is the potential for so much payback if you can put fear aside. On the other hand, I try to be wise enough not to take risks that are idiotic.
12. Don’t be afraid to admit when I am wrong and apologize for it. Nothing disarms another person faster than an admission of wrong doing.
(If anyone wants to share your list, no matter how small, send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will include them in a future post, with or without your name.)