Saturday, May 4, 2013
Here is what Charles Sykes writes in the preface of his book:
"50 Rules began as a mere 10 rules that I used in a television commentary back in the mid-1990s; they grew to 12, and then 14. Along the way, they took on a life of their own, especially after they were somehow attributed to Gates. With that imprimatur, the original rules raced across cyberspace, showed up in thousands of emails and websites, were picked up by newspapers and an assorted collection of politicians and motivational speakers and commentators, including radio's Paul Harvey and advice columnist Ann Landers - all attributing the rules to the Master of Software. This was flattering and a bit exasperating. I enjoyed the fact that so many found the rules valuable, but it was a mixed blessing when my own email box began to fill with the brilliant insights of Bill Gates. Eventually, the word got out that Gates was innocent of the deed and that the blame rested solely with a guy named Sykes. But how to account for the enduring appeal of the original rules, which survived being delinked from Gates? I think it was because they were such a blunt contrast to the thumb-sucking feel-good infantilism that has become so common in American education and culture. Previous generations thought it was their duty to prepare young people for the ups and downs of life as a matter of course and as an obligation. There is a long and rich literary tradition of books giving sound, realistic advice to young people, written by people who thought it was their job to provide children with a guide to growing up, rather than to amuse and entertain them, or be their buddies. Today, however, children can spend years in the company of credentialed goo-goos who not only miseducate them about the real world, but fail to give them the tools to make their way in it. This book is intended as a counter-point: think of it as a user's manual for the real world".
And here are the 50 Rules:
1. Life is not fair. Get used to it.
2. The real world won't care as much as your school does about your self-esteem. It'll expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.
3. Sorry, you won't make sixty thousand dollars a year right out of high school. And you won't be a vice president or have a company car. You may even have to wear a uniform that doesn't have a designer label.
4. You are not entitled...
5. No matter what your daddy says, you are not a princess...
6. No, you cannot be everything you dream...
7. If you think our teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss. He won't have tenre, so he'll tend to be a bit edgier. When you screw up, he's not going to ask you how you FEEL about it.
8. Your navel is not that interesting. Don't spend your life gazing at it.
9. Your school may have done away with winners and losers. Life hasn't.
10. Life is actually more like dodgeball than your gym teacher thinks.
11. After you graduate, you won't be competing against rivals who were raised to be wimps on the playground.
12. Humiliation is a part of life. Deal with it.
13. You're not going to the NBA, so hold off on the bling and spare us the attitude.
14. Looking like a slut does not empower you.
15. Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping. They called it opportunity.
16. Your parents and your little brother are not as embarrassing as you think. What's embarrassing is ingratitude, rudeness, and sulkiness.
17. Your parents weren't as boring before as they are now. They got that way paying your bills, driving you around, saving for your education, cleaning up your room, and listening to you tell them how idealistic you are.
18. Life is not divided into semesters. And you don't get summer off. more rules to follow...
19. It's not your parents' fault. If you screw up, you are responsible.
20. Smoking does not make you look cool....It makes you look moronic.
21. You're offended? So what? No, really. So what?
22. You are not a victim. So stop whining.
23. Someday you will have to grow up and actually move out of your parents' house.
24. Batman's girlfriend is right: "It's not who you are underneath, but what you do that defines you."
25. Pi does not care what you think.
26. A moral compass does not come as standard equipment.
27. Your sexual organs were not meant to engage in higher-order thinking or decision making.
28. Somebody may be watching...
29. Learn to deal with hypocrisy.
30. Zero tolerance = zero common sense.
31. Naked people look different in real life.
32. Television is not real life.
33. Be nice to nerds. You may end up working for them. We all could.
34. Winners have a philosophy of life. So do losers.
35. If your butt has its own zip code, it's not because McDonald's forced you to eat all those Big Macs. If you smoke, it's not Joe Camel's fault.
36. You are not immortal.
37. Being connected does not mean you aren't clueless.
38. Look people in the eye when you meet them...
39. People in black-and-white movies were in color in real life. And no, the world did not begin when you were born.
40. Despite the billion-dollar campaign to turn your brain into tapioca pudding, try to learn to think clearly and logically.
41. You are not the first and you are not the only one who has gone through what you are going through.
42. Change the oil.
43. Don't let the successes of others depress you.
44. Your colleagues are not necessarily your friends, and your friends aren't your family.
45. Grown-ups forget how scary it is to be your age. Just remember: this too shall pass.
46. Check on the guinea pig in the basement.
47. You are not perfect, and you don't have to be.
48. Tell yourself the story of your life. Have a point.
49. Don't forget to say thank you.
50. Enjoy this while you can.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Thursday, October 6, 2011
May you get a clean bill of health from your dentist, your cardiologist, your gastroenterologist, your urologist, your proctologist, your podiatrist, your plumber
and the IRS.
May your hair, your teeth, your face-lift, your abs and your stocks not fall.
May your blood pressure, your triglycerides, your cholesterol, your white blood count and your real estate taxes not rise.
May you find a way to travel from anywhere to anywhere in the rush hour
in less than an hour, and when you get there, may you find a parking space.
May the telemarketers wait to make their sales calls until you finish dinner.
And above all else
May what you see in the mirror delight you, and what others see in you delight them.
May someone love you enough to forgive your faults, be blind to your blemishes,
and tell the world about your virtues.
May you want what you have, so as to be truly content with your lot.
May you be at peace knowing that that which you so lovingly instilled in your children,
is sufficient to carry them through the rough spots they encounter along the way.
May you never be too busy or too late to really be there for the people you love.
that is yours for many years to come.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.
2. I wish I didn't work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness."
Monday, April 11, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
1. Follow Your Curiosity
“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”
2. Perseverance is Priceless
“It's not that I'm so smart; it's just that I stay with problems longer.”
3. Focus on the Present
“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.”
4. Imagination is Powerful
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions. Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
5. Make Mistakes
“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”
6. Live in the Moment
“I never think of the future - it comes soon enough.”
7. Create Value
“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value."
8. Don’t Expect Different Results
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
9. Knowledge Comes From Experience
“Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience.”
10. Learn the Rules and Then Play Better
“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”