Eight “L’s” for a contented life
I thought I would keep things simple with this article since the average adult attention span is less than 15 seconds. And, yes, there are many more words than eight words or concepts that when interpreted correctly and integrated into our activities, decisions, behaviors and life in general can have a significant positive impact on our life outcomes and consequences – but here are a few that I believe are an important foundation.
FYI – Starting in January 2018 for the first 26 weeks of the year - each week I am going to publish a new article focusing on eight specific words – on a different letter in the alphabet (starting from A-Z). I thought I would get a head start on 2018 with the letter L (giving you a preview of this process before it starts in a few weeks). Starting January 8th 2018 if you want to see each week’s article on the words I have selected – check my blog or my website every Monday and click on the heading - Wisdom.
OK, here are the first eight as a teaser;
Learn – If you are not learning you are stuck. Doesn’t matter whether you are twenty-five or seventy. We were not put on the earth for a few years to learn in high school or college and then just float through the rest of our lives. Learning is today becoming easier and harder for many reasons but in the end if you don’t make it a life mission to learn every day – why are you still here? Learn something new every day.
Love – I’m not referring here to romantic love but the mindset of love. We have two basic emotional states that determine the quality of our lives – love and fear – that’s it. Both of these have many sub emotions that they support whether joy or anger, peace or hate, forgiveness or jealousy. So, the question is which determines your actions, decisions, behavior and consequences today – the negative ones or the positive ones?
Let go – Sooner or later we all need to let go of something – regret, pain of loss, skills, activities, success, good looks, people etc. Whether it’s giving up skiing or scrabble, your high school sweetheart or lost loved one – holding on for too long causes unnecessary ongoing emotional pain that will impact other current circumstances, abilities or relationships in a negative way. Letting go isn’t easy but it is necessary if you want to move on with peace, success, happiness, contentment and less stress.
Listen – Do you talk too much? I know I do as a global professional speaker I get paid to talk but you what I learned a long time ago – I can get paid more if I listen better and more. I don’t care if it’s a spouse, customer, employee, one of your kids or a total stranger you learn nothing while you are talking that can help you become wiser, get smarter or improve a relationship. Youi can only do these when you listen.
Lighten up – Most people take life far too seriously. I recall a quote I read years ago by one of my mentors Og Mandino who told me to “Take what you do seriously but who you are lightly.” I asked him what he meant by that and his response was classic, “Tim, you’re here for a little while and then you are gone – your legacy will be who you touched with your life while you were here not what you did.”
Laugh – It’s a medical proven fact that people who laugh more live longer and get sick less than people who don’t. Know anyone who can’t or won’t laugh? Walks around with a constant frown on their face? Or Is always critical and complaining about something? Well, guess what – all their frowning and complaining doesn’t change anything but what it does do is shorten their life. I’m not talking here about constant joke telling but a light and playful spirit that sees the good rather than the bad, the positive rather than the negative and the hope rather than the despair.
Lead – Leadership or leading is not being the School Principle, Company CEO or State Senator. Leading is setting an example. Yes, during history there have been many negative and disruptive leaders but there have been more creative and positive ones. The answer to a better organization, family, church, school or government is not a bunch of elected leaders but an entire group that takes seriously the simple role of setting a positive example and living congruently with what they say.
Labor – I’ll close this one with a simple concept – Nothing worthwhile is free or easy. If you want something in life – a better relationship, better career, better business better health – better anything it takes effort and not mindless effort, but effort grounded in wisdom, patience and integrity.
And your thoughts are? What words (with the letter L) would you add and why?