Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Planet Earth School

Fifteen “Rules of Life: The Planet Earth School.” by: Dr. Robert M. Nerem

Unmistakable beauty in Cafe Salotto 42 in Rome, Italy
1.  There are no such things as mistakes, only lessons; growth is through a series of such experiences, a process that involves both successful and unsuccessful experiments.

2.  An unsuccessful experiment does not represent failure, just a learning experience,
and one often learns more from these than from successes. 
3.  Always be open in the widest possible way to encountering a new person or a new opportunity, as these represent new teachers, new learning experiences.  “Leave the screen door unlatched,” because you never know who or what will walk in.

Another view of Saint Mark's Basilica from Palazzo Ducale in Venice, Italy
4.  Let the “rock” in your path be a “stepping stone.” If you encounter a closed door, simply look for another door that might be open.  Life is filled with a lot of paths and doors to walk through,
so don’t waste time on a door that is closed. 

5.  Your life is up to you.  At birth you were provided a “canvas” onto which you have the opportunity to “paint your life.”  Take charge of your life and the “painting of this picture.” 
 If you don’t, someone or something else will.

6.  People will remember not what you said, but only how you made them feel, so strive to make a difference in the lives of others.

7.  Be willing to let go of the life you had planned so as to have the life that awaits you.

Heading towards Siguenza, Spain

8.  Remember that the cup is always half full, never half empty, but also remember that the only cards you can play are the ones you are dealt.

In a recent interview Michael J. Fox, the actor and Parkinson’s activist, was asked “how do you keep your optimism in the face of difficult circumstances?”  Do you ever ask “why me?” He answered that “I have no choice about whether or not I have Parkinson’s”, I have nothing but choices about how I react to it.  In those choices there’s freedom to do a lot of things.”

Again, you can only play the cards that you are dealt, so be willing to let go of the
life you have planned so as to have the life that awaits you.

9.  Look for the good in people, and try to imagine the world as it seems to the other person.

A community kayak on the beach in Provinciales, Turks & Caicos

 10. Never, never worry about something over which you have no control.

11. Whatever happens, place the least dramatic interpretation on the event, the incident,
and/or whatever is said.

12. Welcome each and every new day, for “each dawn is a new beginning.” 
 Each day presents new opportunities.

Blossoming magnolia flower in Atlanta, GA

13. Listen to your heart.  If you can’t hear what it is saying in this noisy world, make time for yourself, make peace with who you are and where you are at this moment in time.

14.  Don’t let your preoccupation with reality stifle your imagination.  If someday, why not now, even though the impossible may take a while.
15. Life’s journey isn’t to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, worn out, shouting—holy cow, what a ride!

"The Ride" in Key Biscayne, Miami, Florida

All pictures taken by Gisymar. Speech given at the Georgia Institute of Technology graduate commencement ceremony August 2009.

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