Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hints for Living

No doubt you have discovered as I have that the less complicated life is, the better. Granted there are some issues in life which are unavoidably perplexing, usually involving sensitive emotional issues. But when it comes to mere survival, the techniques are rudimentary.

The starting point for any successful career is to get out of bed. The corollary to this observation is that one should go to bed. Getting a good night’s sleep is one of nature’s gifts. Even a disturbed sleep, if taken between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., can provide far more improvement to the average day than almost anything else. I suspect it has something to do with keeping oneself synchronized with what is happening around one, whether it is the rest of humanity or the birds and the bees. It is at times a temptation particularly for the younger set to linger into the late hours of the evening or the early hours of the morning. This is a practice to be avoided largely because it betrays less a calculated willingness to do so than a lack of conviction in having completed one’s daily affairs. There comes a time in a day to put down the hoe. Anyway, having got oneself to bed, the same theory applies at the other end; namely, enough is enough. Assuming one hasn’t contaminated oneself with debilitating additives and self-medication the night before, there should be a natural enthusiasm to greet the day. Even if there isn’t, after eight hours one has effectively exhausted any benefit to be derived from one’s lair.

The value of the morning breakfast cannot be diminished. In one sense it doesn’t really matter what one consumes as long as you wrap yourself around something. Get some fuel into the furnace. Matters relating to calories and fiber and so on can be more adequately addressed later in the day when one is more prepared for such demanding considerations.

Morning ablutions go hand in hand with the preparation of oneself for the day. Clean smalls and a clean shirt at a minimum.

Increasingly the awareness of people about the need for exercise is making exercise less of a social event (like gym) and more of a normal everyday practice, like walking to work, or at least going for a morning constitutional. Once the practice is initiated it is a like a drug which attracts you to the habit again and again. The object here is to get some fresh air and sunshine. Simple as that!

Whatever it is that one does throughout the day there are simple principles to be kept in mind. Paramount among them is that you can only do one thing at a time. This rule enables one to avoid unnecessary stress while adding the value of careful consideration to the task at hand, which in turn provides its own rewards. This thesis is consistent with the objective to put oneself wholeheartedly into one’s work without compromise. In the end a sloppy job is of no use to either oneself or others.

As these basics pretty much take care of getting one from morning until night, there really isn’t much more to consider on the practical and functional level. There are, however, certain additional factors to be kept in mind to facilitate a happy existence.

First, try to do whatever it takes to improve the lives of others with whom you come into contact. This mustn’t be seen as entirely altruistic because on another level it is guaranteed to provide return advantage to you. The exercise of this principle must of course be done genuinely since otherwise it will clearly smack of manipulation and thereby suffer defeat. An interested and beneficent predisposition will not only appease others but it will soften your own internal turmoil if such exists, so it is the proverbial win-win situation.

Second, always keep in mind your own objectives in whatever you do. This may require you to halt the proceedings temporarily to satisfy yourself about the utility of the direction in which you are going. It may alternatively require you to reject a proposition that is being advanced. Either way, keep in mind that you will not be ultimately satisfied unless you listen to your gut and deal with the messages accordingly.

Third, try to see yourself as others do. Usually that means lowering one’s sights as much as we tend to believe in our own talent. Furthermore if one adopts a less than perfect view of oneself there is room for misbehaviour, accidents and general slips. A forgiving paradigm enables one to be more charitable towards others as well. Remember that criticism is the best autobiography!

Last, spend more time counting one’s blessings than deprivations. This is a cultivated habit which can encompass everything including family, health, friends, employment and things. Never overlook the advantage of opportunity, that window into the future. Often meditative reflection can approach an uplifting spiritual experience even if one is inclined against organized religion, for example. Every successful enterprise, whether commercial or otherwise, requires recapitulation and assessment now and again.

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