Everything I've Learned So Far

Photo by James Shelley


I had a birthday recently, so I thought I would write down everything I’ve learned so far.
I cannot control people or situations, only my responses and reactions to them. I have nothing to leverage for my own happiness except my own attitude.
I cannot save the environment; I am the environment. [Great lesson from John Francis.]
Health — while probably the easiest thing to take for granted — is the most fragile gift I will ever have. It is the fulcrum upon which everything else balances–I will respect and nurture it as such. To seek health is to seek life. They are synonymous.
I have about 112 hours of conscious life to live each week: wisdom dictates investing at least one of these hours to meditate on how I will use the remaining 111 hours.
All is impermanence. Change is the only thing that remains the same. Fluctuation is the solidity of life. There is constant change under the sun, and this is nothing new.
Boredom is a symptom of chronic uncreativity and laziness: it’s presence is an all-bells alarm that priorities are seriously out of whack.
Accomplishing anything that yields a sense of meaning is first dependent on how I answer this question: what do I actually want in life? The degree to which I find purpose in life is directly correlated to the degree of clarity with which I answer that question.
Choices, commitments and actions ought to be determined by who I want to be, not in reaction against something that I do not want to become.
What “really happened” in the past will not affect me nearly as much as the story I believe about it, for better or for worse. Stories are meaning; stories are healing; stories are dangerous.
If hope is a mere illusion, then despair is no more imaginary. Thus, be they illusions or not, I still have to choose between them.
Leadership is simple: it is caring for people so much that it becomes obvious what we need to do together and actually doing it becomes natural.
I do not want to be famous, for the pursuit of accolades and recognition just wastes my time on a goal that would probably ruin my life if I was actually unlucky enough to accomplish it.
All these lessons are worth questioning and doubting, because certainty is a circular loop and it traps the mind if given a hold. I am always one assumption away from a dogmatic fundamentalism regarding anything I believe, right or wrong.
Passion is the capacity to act on conviction and continuously question this conviction along the way. I am only genuinely passionate about that which I am also willing to deeply question.
What really matters the most is simply this: who you love, who loves you, and how you define what it means to love.
And with this I will close: I will never assume everything I need to learn could ever be encapsulated in a single blog post!
Do you have any important life lessons to share?

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