Greetings friends and fellow pilgrims. I am still preparing for and adjusting to my son’s departure for Fort Lewis Washington. As a going away gift I am having the book “365 Tao” bound as a hardback book. He has read it in the past to the point of breaking the binding so I thought a hardback copy would serve him well, I also had the book binder include several pages of my words of encouragement and what I call “Words of Wisdom.” I thought my readers might enjoy see them, so here they are:
1) “Shit happens” – our lives are a constant parade of events that we are required
to adjust too, how we adjust affects our level of happiness!
TYPES OF SHIT:
a) “Just Happens” Shit – we have little or no choice in the event’s occurrence
- THROWNESS – conditions we are born with (gender, race, baldness, etc)
- “DROPPED OUT OF THE BLUE” Shit – largely unexpected or unforeseeable events and conditions (illness, accidents, acts of nature)
Keys to adjustment for the “Just Happens Shit”:
- Acceptance and Accommodation – some people actually embrace the
event as a way of adjusting (“bald is beautiful”)
- Foster Coping Skills – prepare for the next “unexpected event”
(buy insurance, build strong social support, foster spirituality, get training)
Most Common Errors:
- “Fight the Shit” – this is the basis for many marketing efforts
(hair loss treatments, diets, cosmetic surgery)
- “Fear the Shit” – worry about all the “what ifs” that could occur
b) “Stepped in It” Shit – we have some responsibility for these events occurrence
as they are influenced by our life choices
- CONSEQUENCES – conditions we create by our actions, they are not necessarily predictable, but likely outcomes of our actions (highly probable). They may involve the consequences of ours and others people’s actions, we tend to not see these coming, although in “hind sight” we realize that they were highly probable. (cancer due to smoking)
- “SEE IT COMING” Shit – if you are observant and know how to recognize it, these are the situations/ relationships/ events that you can steer clear of/ avoid (getting in the car with a drunk, going out with a drug user, skipping classes, unprotected sex).
Keys to adjustment for the “Stepped In It Shit”:
- Make Corrections – change the causal behaviors or attitudes that
lead to event (quit smoking, start exercising,
leave the relationship, training, etc.)
2. Learn From It – take a lesson away from the experience and then
Implement changes to decrease the likelihood of
future problems (choose relationships more wisely)
3. “Fight It” – work to take control (now) over the things you still have
control over… manage the fallout! (apologize)
Most Common Errors:
- Embracing the Shit – this “there is meaning in suffering” attitude
often leads to a lack of action (everyone dies!)
- Misinterpreting it – seeing it as “Just Happens Shit” and accepting it
as an unchangeable situation. (I said “I do!”)
Note: Situations often represent combinations of these categories. An unwanted
pregnancy maybe experienced as a “Dropped out of the Blue” event, but in
hindsight it is a “See it Coming” Event.
2) “Be Happy”
- Life is all about attitude! Attitude represents a filter or lens (like a pair of glasses) that we
view the world through. Like a dirty lens, we often assume that what we perceive
(through the lens) is the world and not a filtered image (anger is a dirty lens)
- always remember that your lens needs polishing and cleaning… check it frequently!
3) “Never Say Never”
- We can only make predictions about the future, none of us can know what it holds!
This attitude helps keeps us from committing to inflexible positions… keeps us from
having to “eat our words” in the future… helps us keep our options open!
“Be Certain, But Humble”
- Strive to be certain about your beliefs (in yourself and your worldview). Strive to have your life experiences fit your life view, but be humble about your beliefs because they are yours and do not necessarily fit the life experiences of other people.
- This is particularly important with respect to political and religious beliefs.
5) “Change is Mandatory, Growth is Optional!”
- perhaps one of the most important overriding points about life is that it is a process!
- it is always in the process of becoming something (something more or something less, but surely something different) our control over this process is sometimes limited
- like it or not, planned and unplanned changes (shit) happens, it is what we do with these changes (resist/ignore/adjust to them) that is of paramount importance
- how we respond dictates the general course our life follows (do we consistently make mountains out of mole hills… or see mountains –obstacles- as just speed bumps)
- wise choices do not always lead to success (a lack of failure) but they always lead to growth (improving our happiness and chances for success in the future)
6) “Always strive for Balance”
- Growth is a process of finding balance between our desires and needs (present and future) and the demands of life situations (rules and laws, other’s needs)
- Buddha and the Taoists preached “the Middle Path” – don’t deny your needs but don’t give in to excesses – always treat others with compassion and care!
7) “Just because you can doesn’t mean that you have too or should!”
- Life presents us with multiple possibilities and choices, we must choose wisely!
- Not all choices are equal! Some choices represent unreasonable risks (You can see it coming shit) and
threaten to move us away from a balanced position.
- Stupid people make stupid choices: 1) They couldn’t do what they tried to do (lacked skills to do it); 2) They
didn’t see the potential risk (should not have done it); 3) They told themselves they “had to do it” (a dare,
standing up to an insult, to look tough).
I hope that you found my words thought provoking and humorous… have a wonderful day!