Life’s Ring of Keys

pop pop and brynnWith each passing day I am reminded more and more how all of this stuff is connected and how each of us are somehow related to our neighbor. And with each passing day, I am reminded that the lessons I’ve learned about life, about dealing with disease, about work, about sports, or about anything else you can name, all boil down to a handful of common denominators that when realized provide a sense of acceptance, clarity, and comfort.

 For starters, we need to understand that we are all writing our autobiographies with everything we do each and every day. So what are we choosing to write? A bestselling thriller? Or a mediocre story that will quickly end up in the back of the discount rack? We own it. It’s ours. We are our own writer, producer, director, cameraman, editor, and for that matter – critic. So let’s write our story the way we want to be remembered.

 All too often people are paralyzed and motionless like a deer in headlights afraid to take that first step simply because they can’t see the entire staircase in front of them. Do we really have to care or worry? What’s important is that the staircase is sound and that you are sure-footed as you go. You don’t need the full road map right now this minute to be able to make your next move. Follow your heart and follow your instincts.

 We all have bad days. The truth is we all have some REALLY bad days. Hopefully we have many more good than bad. But whatever is making up your bad day, there is one universal truth. The sun will set on that bad day. And as has been the case for every one of my days so far in my lifetime, a new day will be here tomorrow. With healthy perspective and a little luck, that day should bring a renewed sense of hope and possibility. Good or bad, most of the emotions that we experience in life will be cyclical. The secret is to remember that and dress accordingly to ride out the storm while always remembering to cherish the good times, no matter how long they may last. Another one will return.

 We have far more choices than we sometimes care to admit. It’s sometimes easier to play the victim card and not take action because of something that has happened to us. While we don’t always have control over those happenings, we have full control over how we react and how we respond. Choose wisely.

 It’s ok to kick and scream and find fault when things don’t go as we hope they would; but only very briefly. Very soon you will need to pick yourself up and either resume your journey or chart a new course. And how do you do that? By not fearing the first step even if you can’t see that whole staircase.

 Have the courage to do the right thing even if it’s not the most popular thing.

 Did you ever notice there are certain people who brighten a room just by walking through the door? They possess a certain intangible quality that attracts goodness and light. They may not even have to say a word. They may just “be”. Figure out what those qualities are and choose to be one of those people.

 You can’t have enough friends, allies, and loved ones. But you should make it a point to let the people who are important to you, know that they matter. And it’s never too late to make that acknowledgement. I still reach out to teachers I had decades ago just to say thanks.

 Things aren’t always fair. Accept that and move on. But always try to create a level playing field and one of complete acceptance for everyone in your world, even if you may have been dealt a rough hand. Turn it around and make it count for something positive for someone else. Be a facilitator of positive change.

 Play is good for the body, mind, and soul. Do it more often.

Laughter is good for the body, mind, and soul. Do it more often.

Surround yourself with people who respect who you are on good days and bad. A little objective disagreeing is healthy and provides balance, but never sacrifice integrity and respect in yourself or in those you choose to spend time with.

This is really a pretty simple thing. I’m not sure why we choose to complicate matters.

Train, endure, achieve, matter.

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