Life’s Lessons

Here are my top/favourite 10 life’s lessons that I’ve learnt, often through bitter experience over the years.  I just thought I’d share them

Treat people not as you want to be treated but as they want to be treated.  Which implies that you listen to people.  Controversially I’ll say this is the issue with the recent Charlie Hebdu cartoons and the aftermath.  Listen to Muslims – it is deeply offensive to draw the prophet Mohammed.  That does not condone the acts of terrorism, or not support freedom of speech but with that freedom comes a responsibility to consider what you are writing, drawing and saying.

Where is it written life has to be fair?  Simply it isn’t.  Life can be bitterly unfair at times to anyone.  You listen to anyone and there will have been tragedies in their life that seem unfair compared to other peoples lives.  Life isn’t fair – accept it as it is.

Don’t play the victim.  Oh Woe is ME!  That was me for a long time, especially when I was a drinker.  I can slip into it.  I don’t like it, it is an ugliness of character I don’t like.  Again accept it as it is.

Many people confuse activity as work.  Taught to me by my first boss.  He set me a task – writing a computer programme (I was a trainee software engineer).  I booked time on the computer (this was back when computers lived in large rooms and you had to get a time slot to work on them!) almost straight away.  He noticed and asked what I was going to do.  “Start writing the code”  I said.  “What code?  You haven’t thought about how to solve it yet”.  He pointed out the people who spent a lot of time running, rerunning and rerunning their code.  “Think.  Thinking is the most valuable work not doing”.

Go worry for the next 10 mins…. Any change?  Stop worrying then there is nothing you can do!  Another on my accept it as it is list.  You send off an application for a job.  That is it you’ve done what you can, don’t worry about the interview until you know you have the interview it is simply wasted brain energy.  (Easy said I know…)

Being comfortable in your skin has nothing to do with looks or weight!  I first heard “comfortable in his skin” directed at this tall, handsome, very smart Frenchman.  I thought “Well I’d be as well if I looked like him”.  It was about being comfortable about your being, your place in the world and the world about you I subsequently realised.  I was so far from that at that time.

Happiness is a state of mind only you can really influence.  A variation on the Lincoln quote but I think it more complicated than he stated.  I do think though you can help.  I try to think happy as much as I can these days rather than to think unhappy… or as the cognitive behaviourists would have it stopping my negative thinking and making my self-talk more positive and constructive.  Also other people can’t make you happy per se, you have to be willing to push your acceptance.

Accept what you cannot change and stop fighting it.  The nutshell of a few on this list.  Play with the deck of cards dealt you at that time.  I have spent a times reflection on if I’d done things differently in the past – which is frankly again an utter waste of mental and emotional energy.

You can’t demand love or respect simply earn it through your actions.  I think when a boozer I demanded love.  I thought my wife should love me as I was the provider and protector and my kids should love me as I was their Dad.  I didn’t consider that they saw this drunken oaf slowly screwing his life up and theirs by association.

Music will always make the world a better place. Need I say more?  If you read my other blog you’ll know I’m more than a little obsessed with music…

About furtheron

Music and guitar obsessive who is a recovering alcoholic to boot
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6 Responses to Life’s Lessons

  1. What wonderful life lessons…print and bulletin board worthy for sure!
    My personal favorites are your words around worrying and that activity is the same as work. Obviously, we’ve always met at music…it’s how I found you 🙂

  2. byebyebeer says:

    Controversial, maybe, but commonly held I’m finding. Free speech never guarantees freedom from consequence. Great list, G. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  3. sherryd32148 says:

    I love this list and most especially the first one. As Kristen said, controversial? Maybe. But it needed to be said.

    This should be printed and put on the wall.


  4. JJ says:

    Hey, I just posted something about happy music. It is so true, I leave the radio on most of the day, it cheers me up considerably.

    Also, about the first point, it’s a different way of looking at it that I like. I too was appalled that people were deliberately posting those cartoons after being repeatedly told how offensive they are. I don’t equate that with freedom of speech, simply rudeness and bad taste. Because someone leaps out of control and murders, doesn’t mean that supposed freedom entails goading and bad taste.

    I agree, it needed to be said. You know what freedom really is? Feeling love for someone you wanted to choke to death. Humans can ALL work on that one.

  5. daisyfae says:

    These are good lessons… Number 1 is a favorite of mine — and i have to be reminded of it on occasion (especially true when i was dealing with my Mother…). It’s such a shame we don’t learn these things until we’re so much older!

  6. I love this list, Graham! I raged against probably all of these in my drinking days, especially about life being fair – you are right, it’s not! And I have had to struggle to accept that. It’s still not 100% sunk in for me, but I am getting there! Lots of fantastic points here…like Michelle said, this is truly worthy of printing out.

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