Zen Mischief

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Life Lessons

Over the years I have gathered quite a number of suggested "lessons for life": things to keep in mind and which ought (at least in somebody's view) to make up one's modus operandi. The list below is divided into those which I consider to be the most essential — my top ten — and all the others.

Top Ten Lessons for Life
  1. Life isn't fair — deal with it.
  2. If it harm no-one, do as you will.
  3. Treat others as you would wish them to treat you.
  4. Be open and honest in all that you do.
  5. You can never have all the information you want to make a decision; every decision is the best you can make at the time with the information available.
  6. Don't be afraid to admit you were wrong or you don't know; be prepared to change your mind.
  7. No one is responsible for your happiness, your emotions, your opinions or your orgasms except you.
  8. No regrets — just things you now know weren't the best.
  9. If you're faced with a problem, don't delay trying to resolve it; problems ignored only multiply.
  10. There is no point worrying about things outside your control or which you cannot change.

And a Lot More Lessons for Life
  1. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"
  2. When in doubt, don't.
  3. Life is too short to waste time and energy hating others.
  4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
  6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  7. Learn to love yourself.
  8. Embrace sex and nudity — they're a natural and rich part of life's pattern.
  9. Save for retirement starting with your first pay packet.
  10. Make peace with your past so it doesn't screw up the present or future.
  11. It's OK to let others see you cry.
  12. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  13. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
  14. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  15. Over-prepare, then go with the flow.
  16. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
  17. Listen.
  18. The most important sex organ is the brain.
  19. Forgive everyone everything.
  20. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  21. Time heals almost everything. Give time a chance.
  22. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  23. Be curious — about everything.
  24. Be yourself, not who you think you want to be.
  25. It's easier to get forgiveness than permission.
  26. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
  27. Think as much as possible and to the best of your ability.
  28. Don't be afraid to tell it like it is. If other people don't like it that's their problem.
  29. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
  30. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
  31. Never forget that your enemy is also a human being.
  32. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  33. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  34. Masturbation is good.
  35. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  36. If you don't ask, you don't get; the worst they can say is "No".
  37. Everyone has too many possessions. Use what you have and quit buying more.
  38. Every coin has two sides; so does every situation.
  39. Respect other peoples' beliefs however much you disagree with them.
  40. Communicate, communicate, communicate.
  41. "No" is always an acceptable answer.
  42. Be comfortable in your body.
  43. If you need a God, fine. If you don't, that's fine too.
  44. You are entitled to believe whatever you like. You are also entitled to express your beliefs. But we aren't obliged to listen to them or agree with them.
  45. Look under the bonnet of all knowledge. Remember research causes cancer in rats.
  46. The world doesn't owe you a living (or anything else). You have to work to earn it.
  47. Always maintain a good sense of humour.
  48. Never be too good to start at the bottom.
  49. Don't spend more money than you make.
  50. Keep an open mind.
  51. Having a bad job is better than having no job at all.
  52. Your life is delicate, and if you neglect yourself, you'll spoil.
  53. You must be able to forgive, even if it's difficult to do.
  54. Save your money now and spend it later.
  55. Love is not always easy; sometimes you have to work at it.
  56. Find something comical in every single situation.
  57. Make sure you're doing what you love; don't be afraid to follow your dreams.
  58. Education is important, but not necessary. Life can be an education in itself.
  59. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
  60. Have common sense. Think about the most reasonable answer to every situation. If you don't have common sense, you're a bust.
  61. Life is a gift that you must unwrap. It's up to you to determine if what's inside will lead you to happiness or hell. Only you have the power to make that decision.


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