Instructions for Life


I came across this on the Internet the other day, as one does from time to time, and thought I would reproduce this here with some comments.

Take into account that great life and great achievements involve great risk.

Theodore Roosevelt once said: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

Tony Blair once said “Education, Education, Education” but here we should repeat: “Analyse, analyse, analyse”. Work out why things haven’t gone as expected as it is only by doing this that you will remember the lessons of failure. But don’t just analyse failure, analyse successes too so they may be repeated.

Follow the three R’s

Education has always been important in our society but never more so than in the twenty-first century when more and more emphasis is being put on hiring at degree level. We are living in an information based society and the main thing that one learns at university is how to research correctly.

Respect for self and others

If you do not respect yourself, you cannot respect others. Also, if you do not love yourself, you can never be able to love others. Perhaps on a superficial scale, but never in a deep and meaningful way.

Responsibility for all your actions

You, and only you can be responsible for all your actions. Your upbringing matters not as your inner self can glow no matter how much your outer self can be trampled upon. I know this, believe me, I know it more than anything I have ever learned.

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

Some people have everything they want tumbling into their laps, if this happens how is it possible to build that person’s character? Those who have to fight and struggle for everything they get must surely value it more. Equally important is that by struggling they build a stronger character.

Learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly

I’m not quite sure how this got into the equation but I would suppose it has something to do with by learning the rules you can ascertain which are unjust and which are sensible, and perhaps discard the unjust ones?

Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship

I have noticed that four of my own friendships that ended abruptly over small things have all been with Scorpios. This may not mean anything, but I offer it out of interest. It is a sad thing when this happens and on each of the above occasion I thought I had lost a trusted friend. However, another part of me tells me that if a relationship can break off so easily then it wasn’t a good friendship in the first place.

When you realise you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

Mistakes should never go unchecked and unchanged. This is how a small problem turns into an insurmountable catastrophe Sometimes all this takes is to admit you are wrong. Did I really say “all” here?

Spend some time alone every day.

By putting aside a small time for reflection you will gradually become calmer and more able to cope with life in this twenty-first century of ours. Think of why you are here, your loved ones, and what you can do to make all of our lives better. By “all” I am referring to your own circle.

Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.

Life moves on, you have to adapt – but on the outside. But be aware of your beliefs and your value system. If you find your beliefs change, then by all means change them – but be aware when you do. As a demonstration of this, I once heard the story of a girl of sixteen believing remaining a virgin until marriage was good. However, when she reaches thirty, if still unmarried, then her belief may not be as important to her as it was fourteen years previously.

Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

As a salesman I know only too well the power of silence. A good interviewer on the television also knows when to shut up. Have you noticed how interviewees keep on talking, saying more and more, because they abhor a vacuum? Although I know better than to believe in the bible, I have remembered one phrase my mother liked: “Confidence and quietness shall be thy strength”.

Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.

Quite so; when you get to my age you certainly don’t want to reflect on a life of dishonour and deceit. Remember, nowadays with the government’s constant attack on our pensions, you may not have much more than your memories to look back on. There! I had to bring in politics somewhere!

A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

It is important in life to have a base. A safe haven where you know you can always return to. Home should be that base. Unfortunately, a lot of homes are not a safe haven for quietness and calm nowadays, which is why there is a steady growth of gang culture with all the tragedies resulting from them.

In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.

Ah yes, I think, as I have a lot of women readers, it may prove prudent to gloss over this one. The words are self-explanatory anyway!

Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.

Alas, we all know only too well how people hang on to their knowledge. I have a friend, we will call him “John” who once told me off for imparting my knowledge to others. He said “knowledge is power” keep it close to your chest. Although I like John, he is rather a sad person with this attitude. I will impart all my knowledge to any who wish to hear of it. And I enjoy doing what I can to better the life of my friends.

Be gentle with the earth.

… or what? Ah yes. Global Warming. Enough said here!

Once a year, go somewhere you’ve never been before.

That is fun and exciting. Even my trip to the Norfolk Broads where I had never been before was exciting. I try to go somewhere I have never been before more often. Did you know that 80% of Brits live within five miles of where they were born?

Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

That is very true and, alas, seems to be a rarity. I see so many couples that love each other but don’t like each other. Hands up, how many of you count your spouse as your “best friend”? I know I do, and friends and relatives have remarked on this all through out marriage.

Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

We go back to “fighting for what you want builds character”. Never forget the old saying “easy come, easy go”.

Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

Oh yes, this is so true. But I will keep my comments for cooking. How many of you cook from recipes by following the instructions to the letter, measuring out the ingredients to the nth degree? Recipes are just a guide. Throw yourself into the mood and just take a pinch of this, a handful of that, and see what happens. But before you do you have to learn about ingredients, what herbs and spices add to the flavour, what other ingredients do as well. Once you understand this, away you can go.

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