If you’re in the luckiest one per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent.
When you feel overwhelmed, you’re trying too hard. That kind of energy does not help the other person and it does not help you. You should not be too eager to help right away. There are two things: to be and to do. Don’t think too much about to do—to be is first. To be peace. To be joy. To be happiness. And then to do joy, to do happiness—on the basis of being. So first you have to focus on the practice of being. Being fresh. Being peaceful. Being attentive. Being generous. Being compassionate. This is the basic practice. It’s like if the other person is sitting at the foot of a tree. The tree does not do anything, but the tree is fresh and alive. When you are like that tree, sending out waves of freshness, you help to calm down the suffering in the other person.
It’s like when you’re excited about a girl and you see a couple holding hands, and you feel so happy for them. And other times you see the same couple, and they make you so mad. And all you want is to feel happy for them because you know that if you do, then it means you’re happy, too.
Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” For me, life is what was happening while I was busy waiting for my big moment. I was ready for it and believed that the rest of my life would fade into the background, and that my big moment would carry me through life like a lifeboat.The Big Moment, unfortunately, is an urban myth. Some people have them, in a sense, when they win the Heisman or become the next American Idol. But even that football player or that singer is living a life made up of more than that one moment. Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearl. It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies.But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that move-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets – this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of use will ever experience.
If you’re reading these words, perhaps it’s because something has kicked open the door for you, and you’re ready to embrace change. It isn’t enough to appreciate change from afar, or only in the abstract, or as something that can happen to other people but not to you. We need to create change for ourselves, in a workable way, as part of our everyday lives.
You can accomplish almost anything when you’re trying to accomplish what you care about. Wear yourself out with focused, disciplined work on a purpose that connects with who you truly are. You have a unique voice and a unique drive that are longing to be expressed. Start living through this expression and you’ll find the joy and success you’ve been hoping for. So follow your heart and take your brain with you every step of the way.
Constantly seeking approval means you’re perpetually worried that others are forming negative judgments of you. This steals the fun, ingenuity, and spontaneity from your life. Flip the switch on this habit. If you’re lucky enough to have something that makes you different from everybody else, don’t be ashamed and don’t change. Uniqueness is priceless. In this crazy world that’s trying to make you like everyone else, find the courage to keep being your remarkable self. It takes a lot of courage to stand alone, but being unapologetically YOU is worth it!
You’re with a girl. She’s brown-haired and side-swept. I imagine that she’s the kind of girl who can easily shop for jean shorts, and speaks kindly more often than not. She seems like the kind of girl who hates New York City because it wreaks havoc on her shoes (really she just thinks it’s a big and scary place), but once had the time of her life in Spain on a backpacking trip when she was 23. Her gaze is focused on the embracing couple as near strangers capable of judgement. She stands bolted next to you like you’re her anchor in the social storm.You two seem finely matched… but what do I know? (Nothing at all.)I accidentally saw a picture of you and it reminded me that I was dating a man rightfully shaking his fist at God, while trying to hold my hand with the other. I was reminded of how fiercely we tried to hold our relationship together, and how devastated and relieved we were in its destruction. There’s water under that bridge.I accidentally saw a picture of you. No big deal. I wrote about it.
Now that you’re old, cut yourself some slack, would you?Let yourself off the hook.Give yourself a break.You don’t have to do it all anymore. Take it easy for a change.It’s OK with the rest of the world. So why not you?For the first time in your life, do what you want.Not what everyone else thinks you should.Not what you think everyone else thinks you should.Do what you want.Excuse yourself. Say no. Back out. Beg off. Stay home. Take a rain check. Take a nap. Watch the ball game on TV.Anything but what you’d rather not do but feel you have to for everyone else's sake but your own. And then feel bad about having done it. That's plain wrong.And ask for some help when you need it: 'It’s too heavy.' 'It's too far.' Too near. Too cold. Too hot. Too bright. Too dark.Whatever.It's OK because there's always going to be something you need help with anymore. And be grateful for the helping hand. You'll find more and more people extend one to you these days. Whatever the reason for accepting you’ve got the best excuse in the world. The only one you’ll ever need:'Hey, I’m old.
If you’re going to be passionate about something, be passionate about learning.If you’re going to fight something, fight for those in need.If you’re going to question something, question authority.If you’re going to lose something, lose your inhibitions.If you’re going to gain something, gain respect and confidence.And if you’re going to hate something, hate the false idea that you are not capable of your dreams.― Daniel Golston