“Wealth still failed to impress him; the purpose of money was to purchase one’s freedom to pursue that which was useful and interesting.”
~ H. W. Brands, in his biography of Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin 1767
Today’s Lesson: “Letting Go of Attachments”
This goes along with simplifying your life. And the act of simplifying certainly helps you recognize your attachments. You’ll see what I mean when you start to give away a perfectly good suit that you haven’t worn in ten years. Suddenly that suit looks really necessary. But once you do let go, you never look back. And suddenly you are lighter and freer than ever before.
Using this same thinking will help you to not be attached to money. The greatest asset money has is that it allows us to live our lives more richer because of the free time it gives us in life. Enjoying interesting and useful time with good friends, family and loved ones. One must remember to be wise when money and free time are available in excess because they can destroy a person very easily if one isn’t careful. Go find your purpose, and then be wealthy.
To speak or not to speak? This is the question.
Justice Louis Brandeis, in his compelling opinion nearly seventy-five years ago in the criminal syndication case of Whitney v. California, in which he articulated the premise of what today is known as the “Doctrine of Counterspeech.” Here is a brief excerpt from his opinion (at the URL below):
“When it came to expression that was perceived by some to be dangerous, threatening, or harmful, Brandeis famously wrote, “If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”
Brigham Young University’s 2000 Law Review (archives) titled “Counterspeech 2000: A New Look at the Old Remedy for “Bad” Speech” by Robert D. Richards and Clay Calvert. The article has a lot of interesting points worth considering. Tell us what you think and say what you will, while we all get educated from your speech.
“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
Such a poignant statement that sums up how we should truly measure ourselves. As I celebrate my 54th birthday today, I will take these words by Aristotle with me as a reminder to live my life each day as someone who lives rightly. Doing so will help me be an excellent human being who has chosen to develop habits that are conducive to a life of excellence. After all, isn’t that what we all want to achieve with our lives? Today, choose to be an excellent person who inspires others to live their life in excellence. This is a most excellent idea.
“A man is not much if he can’t depend on himself, and nothing if others can’t depend on him.”
~ Benjamin Black
There’s a school of psychology which holds that happiness is subjective. Good or bad things happen in life, but people return to the same base level of happiness. Researchers found evidence that people adapt completely to marriage, divorce, widowhood, birth of a child, and layoffs.
Death of a spouse, for instance, is a terrible event characterized by a radical drop in happiness, but in the year that follows happiness rises, and within two years happiness returns to normal and may even rise above the baseline (as the subject gets caught in another hedonic cycle). A similar hedonic pattern follows most negative events—and positive ones too. People get over them. In almost every unhappy situation that people are faced with, the happiness level reverts to the baseline.
Because people have the strength to eventually rebound after any tragedy, they can depend on themselves, and others can depend on them to get them through the difficult times in life. Choose to be a happy person no matter what happens in your life and people will know they can depend on you. It just depends on you.
“Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them; but do not let them master you. Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight.”
~ Helen Keller (1880-1968) American Writer
Cover of The Story of My Life
Such a powerful statement by someone who faced so many difficult challenges in her life. This is how Helen overcame her physical “blindness” to the world around her and enabled her to see things in such a way that most who have sight cannot. Everyone is either born with or faces some deficiencies in their life, so learning how to properly overcome them is essential to living a life that is physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy. To learn how to do this, just read Helen Keller’s book entitled, “The Story of My Life” and you’ll be uplifted, overjoyed and renewed with life. Then all you’ll need to do is share your new found abundance for life with everyone you can, and you’ll see your deficiencies disappear for good. You will then become the master of your life.
Merry Christmas everyone! Today is Christmas, a time for people to be with their families and dear friends as they relish the time together on this day of reverence and remembrance It’s also a time where we reflect on the year that is coming to a close and when we make promises to ourselves to make the next year better than the last. I encourage you to make the effort during this most cherished time of the year to be a better person who makes a difference in other people’s lives. To be a person who takes better care of them self and cares for the ones you love just as much as you care for yourself. And mostly to become a person who lives a life beyond reproach and encourages others to live their life with zest and zeal, kindness, joy, and vigor.
Here is something to think about as you ponder what you can do to change your life for the better. My advice to you is to live and love in the NOW. The truth is found in the moment NOW and is soon forgotten in the mad dash for NEXT… planning, hoping, worrying, dreaming, leaving the truth unnoticed when it is right NOW to be had in all its glory and wonder.
“The essence of intelligence would seem to be in knowing when to think and act quickly, and knowing when to think and act slowly.”
~ Psychologist Robert Sternberg
How we react to something determines the outcome of a certain situation which can have a great impact on us immediately or some time after. It all depends on how quickly or slowly you act. How you act–and react–shows how intelligent you really are. Smart people typically don’t get themselves in trouble because they have thought about what their actions will manifest and the consequences they’ll have to live with thereafter. So, next time you’re in a situation that requires critical thinking and quick judgement, try your best not to make a decision either too quickly or too slowly. Whatever you decide though, make sure your course of action is based on how it effects the lives of those involved in your decision. It will end up being the best decision of all.