We can try to figure out the hard parts of life, the challenges, to open the closed doors of life on our own—or we can refer to humankind’s wisdom.
1. “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”
I need to challenge myself to inspire myself: I need to work with those who know their passion if I want to succeed.
2.”There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
When I’m mean to others in order to make myself feel better, I make myself smaller. “Do you feel victory when your words cause pain?”
3. “An amateur practices until he can play it correctly, a professional practices until he can’t play it incorrectly.” Or, better, since perfection is not the object: “The master has failed more times than the beginner has tried.”
4. “We judge ourselves by our intentions but others by their actions.”
Boom. Perspective. This one has stuck with me. As VP Biden put it today, we can judge other’s actions, but not their motivation.
5. “If it takes less than five minutes, just do it now.”
Don’t procrastinate. The obstacle will fester, and it will take the same amount of time to do then as now but you will have lived with the festering for longer. As Trungpa Rinpoche puts it, approach the challenge directly.
6. “If you don’t have time to do it right, you must have time to do it over.”
Measure twice. Slow down. Breathe. The Lincoln quote about sharpening the axe comes to mind.
7. “When you are torn between 2 choices, always pick the one that will make the best story – grandpa always said this and once I started following it, life became a lot more interesting.”
Approach your cowardice as if stepping forward will make for an adventure. It will.
8. “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
So, work hard. Because some talent out there works hard, too. “90% of talent is interest.” Pick your passion—but that’s not enough. Here’s more on Right Livelihood.
9. Criticism, if constructive, is a greater gift and a surer sign of true friendship than compliments.
10. Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
11. It’s okay if it’s not okay. It’s okay for things to not always be okay.
Listen to some Blues. Be okay with not okay. Practice tonglen.
Bonus: how to deal with Anger: