For almost all of the first part of my life, up to my early 40s, I resisted anything the smacked remotely of self-help or personal development. I suspect this had to do with the possibility of discovering weaknesses (couldn’t afford to do that!) or maybe infringing on my idea of orthodoxy.
I won’t go into the various ways this changed, but it’s safe to say it started with a 12-step group (I didn’t know what those were for a long time, either) and has since turned into a happy pursuit of learning about living. We live in a time when we have access to many good thoughts.
I would be the first to tell you, though, that there is no silver bullet for what ails you. As one of my favorite writers, James Hollis, says, there are no self-help gurus who can rescue you.
Still, there seem to be some commonalities or what I would determine to be clear truths which I’ve come to regard as wisdom:
- Sleep is important to good health and a good state of mind.
- It’s bad policy to assume you know the motives for others actions.
- Unless you’re playing racquetball, it isn’t good to be reactive.
- It takes more energy to maintain an enemy than to maintain a friendship.
- Our appreciation for nature is strongly tied to our appreciation for life in general.
- There are no bad days, just bad moments.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Once we’ve reached adulthood, we are almost entirely responsible for our own happiness.
- Don’t hold post-mortems over mistakes you’ve made and brood on what you might have done differently.
These are just of few things I try to keep in mind. I’m thankful for friends who demonstrate many of these principles to me regularly.
I’d love to hear your wisdom!