I have been reading the second volume of Life’s Little Instruction Book (by H. Jackson Brown) and wanted to share ten instructions with my comments. I wrote about the first volume in an earlier article.
Use your past successes as a trampoline, not an easy chair. It is easy to rest on your laurels and bask in the glory of what you have worked hard to achieve. Life goes on and there are new challenges to face. Enjoy your past successes but fire yourself up to face the next project and new challenges.
Volunteer. Sometimes the jobs no one wants conceal big opportunities. I have been volunteering for the past ten years at Toastmasters and the Kuringai Youth Orchestra. I have learnt so much and benefited from my involvement during this time. As much as I like volunteering I have recently learnt the skill of saying “No” and choosing when to stop.
Eat a piece of chocolate to cure bad breath from onions or garlic. I can think of many more reasons for eating chocolate!
Remember that 80% of the success in any job is based on your ability to deal with people. People skills are fundamental to life – being a good listener, having empathy and respect for others, being able to remember names, motivating and inspiring others and many more skills.
Learn to play “Amazing Grace” on the piano. Amazing Grace is a very powerful hymn and has a very strong meaning to me. It was my grandfather’s favourite song and was sung at his funeral. Whenever I hear it, stop whatever I am doing and think of him. One of the best versions I have heard is by Judy Collins – listen on YouTube. I think I would prefer to sing it well than play on the piano.
Don’t trust your memory; write it down. I use an A5 sized paper notebook for my daily tasks and notes. I can use my iPhone to write notes or photograph things to remember. Memory skills are great but the bluntest pencil is more permanent than the best memory.
Every once in a while ask yourself the question, “If money weren’t a consideration, what would I like to be doing?”. This is a great question to check your life goals and values. I certainly wouldn’t be doing the job I am doing nor would I stay in the field of Information Technology. My interests lie in music, creativity, travel and people.
Remember the three Rs: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions. Respect and Responsibility. Be able to justify your actions and choices.
Don’t overlook life’s small joys while searching for the big ones. Happiness and Joy abound in every day. Every day make a list of all the joys and wonderful things you experienced. This is sometimes referred to as a gratitude journal.
When you have the choice of two exciting things, choose the one you haven’t tried. Trying new things is always fun. Explore something exciting and new every week – every day if possible!