Everything I’ve Learned So Far

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!

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