Take a quick peak inside the book…
Why do we have to struggle our entire lives to unravel the mysteries of life and achieve happiness? How cool would it be to learn life’s lessons early in life, so we can spend more time enjoying our relationships and less time in battle and aggravation.
Chapter 1: Fortune from Tragedy
My house and all my personal possessions went up in flames on January 9, 2011. Despite this, I dealt with the tragedy with considerable equanimity. Why? Over the years, I’ve learned one extremely important lesson: No matter how horrible things become, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel called hope – if only you look for it. It’s the light that pulls through adversities. I’ve also learned that we can choose to be strong and bounce back
from tragedy or succumb and permit tragedy to ruin our lives. It’s our decision, and it’s that simple. Even more important, not only do we recover from catastrophes, we often emerge much stronger than before and better able to endure life’s trials and tribulations.
Chapter 2: Another Fire, Another Lesson: Cherish Your Life, Not Your Stuff
In the 1990s, my home in Evergreen, Colorado was threatened by a massive wildfire. Expecting to be evacuated at any minute, I packed up my belongings and loaded them into my Honda Civic. In the process, I discovered that there weren’t many things I couldn’t afford to lose. When all is said and done, they’re just stuff. What really matters is life itself. The lesson this experience taught me was to cherish life and my loved ones, not the things in it.
Chapter 3: No One said Life Was Going to be Easy: But They Should Have Warned Us!
As children we often idealize adulthood. We grow up thinking that adulthood is going to be a cake walk. Trouble is life is full of pitfalls – sometimes nasty ones. Expect occasional problems and you won’t be disheartened when they arise. Set about solving them, and then move on. You’ll save a huge amount of time and energy and will sail through
Chapter 4: Life’s an Experiment, Don’t Miss Out on the Lessons and Opportunities for Growth
Life offers you an opportunity to learn from the many mistakes you make. Don’t view them as failings, but as opportunities to grow. If you take the time to observe and accurately interpret the causes and outcomes of your mistakes, you can evolve into the person you secretly aspire to be.
Chapter 5: Through Self-Transformation, You Help Transform the World
Even tough you may not be able to change the world, you can change your little
corner. If there are enough of us in enough corners, we can – and will – create
a better world. Never forget that through transformation of the self, you help transform the world.
Chapter 6: There’s no Better Medicine than those Two Simple Words, “I’m sorry.”
Being right is not what life is about. Being in healthy, loving, and respectful relationships is. Learn to accept – and admit — when you trip up. Learn to say you are sorry and mean it. These two simple words have enormous healing power and take relationships to new, more enjoyable heights.
Chapter 7: Forgive and Forget: It’s Good for the Soul
The personal benefits of forgiveness are many. And, the world will be better off as a result of your love, kindness, and generous spirit – and so will you.
Chapter 8: Being Right can be Dead Wrong
As adults, we subconsciously equate being wrong with being bad, disappointing, and
even unlovable. As a result, we often go to ridiculous means to avoid the appearance of wrong-doing.Developing the courage to admit when you’re wrong is a powerful step in your evolution. Amitting you are not perfect – and never will be — is the first step toward a better you. People won’t respect you less if you make a mistake and admit it,
they’ll respect and love you more.
Chapter 9: We are all Flawed, but Don’t Use This as an Excuse to Keep you From Reaching Your Full Potential
None of us is perfect. Not even close. Accept this fact of life, but don’t use your imperfection as an excuse that keeps you from reaching your full potential and brightening the lives of all those who walk with you on our journey. Every day’s an opportunity to create a better you.
Chapter 10: Choose your Battles Wisely
Most of us expend tons of energy on the inconsequential. Whether your son or daughter gets a B or even a C, for instance, despite his or her best efforts is meaningless compared to the love and respect they show. We only live a few short years on this planet, so make the most of them. Spend energy on the things that really matter. Choose wisely and you’ll be happier in the long run.
Chapter 11: Just because you’re Angry Doesn’t Mean You Really Are
Anger in many of us, especially men, is an emotional expression of deeper feelings, those that men have never been taught or permitted to express. Early on, boys are trained that anger is the only legitimate emotional currency at their disposal. Expressions of all other emotions – except happiness — are taboo in a man’s world. The instant you feel angry, search inside to discover what you are truly feeling. Acknowledge and express your true feelings; don’t let them morph into anger.
Chapter 12: Let Your Passions be Your Guide: Life’s too Short for a Cubicle in a Skyscraper
Most of our energy, our ambition, and our drive is sanded away by the day-to-day drudgery and annoyance of living a lie, pretending to be happy at work when we’d rather be fishing on a quiet pond or canoeing a river or hiking in the mountains. Follow yours passion. Find a way to make a living doing what you love. If you can, you’ll never work a day in your life.
Chapter 13: Don’t Believe Everything You Think
We’re quick to jump to conclusions and easily led astray by falsehoods and misperceptions. As a result, our minds are full of information that’s just plain wrong. You’d be amazed at how many things you believe are wrong. Learn to sort fact from fiction and develop a deeper, truer understanding of the world around you. You’ll discover inner peace by pursuing a thoughtful, reflective path to truth.
Chapter 14: Anticipation is Almost Always Worse than Reality
If you examine the stimuli that create anxiety and fear, or provoke irritation, anger, and despair, you will find that most of them are inconsequential in the grand scheme of events and unworthy of the emotional energy you invest in them. Life is a rocky road, and many of us make things worse by fretting unnecessarily over the anticipated consequences of the mistakes we make, actions we’ve taken, even intentional acts that caused damage to others, only to find that the outcome is almost always much less harsh than we had anticipated. Things have a habit of turning out okay – sometimes even
better. Remember this lesson and you’ll save a lot of wasted emotional energy.
Chapter 15: A Loving Heart is the Truest Form of Wisdom
When we operate out of love for others, the quality of our lives improves dramatically. Before you can love others, however, you must learn to love yourself. Not until you do are you capable of engaging others in a healthy love of others. Let love and respect guide all your interactions with everyone — everything — and you will hardly every go wrong.
Chapter 16: It’s a Fool who Plays it Cool
If you find yourself feeling wary and distrustful, try opening up, smiling more, visiting more with the scores of people whose lives intersect yours. A smile to the secretary at the front desk of your children’s school with a friendly comment is all that it takes to start living a richer and more fulfilling life. It will begin to connect you to your community — something bigger and infinitely more powerful than the self. You’ll be amazed how much you will receive if you give just a little – a friendly smile, a kind word or a genuine compliment.
Chapter 17: Be a Hawk, Not a Mouse
People live extremely complicated lives, rife with ups and downs — more ups and downs than all the roller coasters in the world combined. We’re drawn in dozens of different directions by competing demands, and often perform under extreme stress, anxiety, and depression. By keeping this in mind – by seeing the big picture –you will find yourself less easily bothered by the inappropriate, insensitive, crass, or hurtful behaviors of others. Understanding can lead to tolerance and inner tranquilty.
Chapter 18: Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never!
Over and over again, I’ve learned that dreams come true through persistence. Persistence is what makes successful men and women rise to the top. To see your dreams materialize, you must believe in yourself and never, ever, under any circumstance give up. Triumph is a lot of “umph” preceded by try.
Chapter 19: Stay Focused on the Positive
Your thoughts create your world and define your relationships. Proceed through life with a lamp that shines on all that is good. Open your mind to happiness. Happiness is infectious. It helps create a better world. Remember the words of Buddha, “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
Chapter 20: Don’t be Afraid to Laugh at Yourself
We work our entire lives to be taken seriously, and then we are told we need to
lighten up and enjoy the entertainment value of our own foibles – to laugh at
ourselves. Perfection is a never-scaled mountain. Although many believe they’ve reached the summit, they’re deceiving themselves. Learn to recognize and laugh at your foibles and the missteps of others but laugh with understanding and love.
Chapter 21: Don’t Be so Quick to Judge
Quick reaction – drawing conclusions with scant evidence – is the cause of much
misunderstanding and conflict among people, governments, and nations. Learning
to judge less hastily requires us to be aware of our reactive nature. It also requires a ton of self-healing that begins by discarding the suitcases full of garbage we have been oting around since childhood.
Chapter 22: So You Wrote the Book of Life
Most of us seek ways to fashion the world around us to our liking, for example, to force spouses to comply with behaviors we deem appropriate. That’s because we each carry a book of rules embedded deep within the recesses of our minds – rules that we subsequently impose on those around us. The reformist inside each of us driven by our personal rules of life can make life miserable for those whose lives bless our. To find peace and take the heat off your loved ones, close the book. Live and let live, and
we’ll all be a lot happier.
Chapter 23: Leave the Wood Pile Fuller
Human beings belong to a larger community and feel whole when connected to others.
Contributing to the larger whole unites us with something larger and more enduring. So, leave the wood pile fuller, even a tiny bit fuller every day. The lives of others will improve, and your life will be enhanced enormously, as well.
Chapter 24: It’s never too Late to be Who You Might Have Been
Most of us live two lives: a secret inner life decorated with high ideals and moral principles, and an outer real life in which we often abandon or compromise our
morals and ideals, sometimes our most cherished ideals, for the sake of expediency, fitting in, getting by, or hundreds of other reasons. Say-one-thing-do-another is endemic in our society. Talk is cheap. Walking our talk takes time, energy, money, and commitment. Don’t expect a life choreographed by the practice of your ideals to be a piece of cake. Do expect it to have many extraordinary rewards.