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the Message Continues ... 11/41

 

         

                                                                                                                          

 

 

 

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"....I learned to love the journey, not the  destination. I learned that it is not a dress rehearsal, and that today is  the  only guarantee you get. I learned to look at all the good in the world and  try  to give some of it back because I believed in it, completely and utterly. "

Important life lessons
by Kathy Paauw

(based on excerpts from a commencement address made by Anna  Quindlen, to the graduating class of Villanova University in  Pennsylvania )

 


Time to Graduate: Get a Life! 
Quindlen went on to share some important life lessons that all of us can  benefit from: 
"...........And remember that love is not leisure, it is work. Pick up the  phone. Send  an e-mail. Write a letter. Get a life in which you are generous. And realize  that life is the best thing ever, and that you have no business taking it for  granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. 
Take money you would have spent on beers and give it to charity. Work in a  soup  kitchen. Be a big brother or sister. All of you want to do well. But if you  do  not do good too, then doing well will never be enough. It is so easy to waste  our lives, our days, our hours, our minutes. It is so easy to take for  granted the color of our kids' eyes, the way the melody in a symphony rises  and  falls and disappears and rises again. It is so easy to exist instead of to  live. 

I learned to live many years ago. Something really, really bad happened to  me, something that changed my life in ways that, if I had my druthers, it  would  never have been changed at all. And what I learned from it is what, today,  seems to be the hardest lesson of all. I learned to love the journey, not the  destination. I learned that it is not a dress rehearsal, and that today is  the  only guarantee you get. I learned to look at all the good in the world and  try  to give some of it back because I believed in it, completely and utterly. And  I  tried to do that, in part, by telling others what I had learned. By telling  them this: Consider the lilies of the field. Look at the fuzz on a baby's 
ear.  Read in the backyard with the sun on your face. Learn to be happy . And think  of life as a terminal illness, because if you do, you will live it with joy  and passion as it ought to be lived." 

Just Do It! 
 "Time is the most important currency, but once you spend it, it's gone."  --Rod Steiger
If you struggle to "get a life," here are some concrete action steps you can  take, beginning TODAY! 

Action Idea #1 - Identify what you love to do. 
 * If you had more time, what would you do? (Or, if you had a terminal  illness, what would you want to do with the time you had left?) * Write down  your  response. 
* What is holding you back from doing this now? Do you choose to wait for a  terminal illness to come along before you make time for what you love most? 
* Get your calendar out and schedule time to do some of the things you wrote  down. 

Action Idea #2 - Identify your values.
 *Jot down the names of 10-20 people whom you admire. They do not need to be  living, and you may have never met them or known them personally. 
* After you've completed your list, write down the qualities that you admire  in each person you listed. For example, if I listed Mother * Teresa, I might  describe these qualities: compassionate, generous, unconditional love, lived  with meaningful purpose. The qualities that you admire in others are YOUR  values. 
* How do you honor your values regularly? What is getting in the way of you  honoring your values? 
* Pick at least one value that you choose to honor in the coming week. How  will you honor it? If you will honor it in the form of an activity, be  specific  about what the activity is and schedule time on your calendar to make it  happen. 

Action Idea #3 - Identify your priorities and passions. 
 * Pretend that you are attending your 100th birthday party and your closest  friends and relatives have gathered to honor you. What would you want them to  say about you? What would represent a life well lived with no regrets? 
* What matters most to you? What are you most passionate about? Write it  down. 
* What one thing could you do, that if you did regularly, would make the  biggest difference in your personal life? For your professional life? 
* Get out your calendar and begin planning to do these things regularly. 

 

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