Thought for today:
"What is achieved in life if you leave nothing behind for the worms to digest when you're gone? What purpose has your life served if it has served no other but oneself? How can you ever find out why you were given life in the first place if you refuse to engage in each moment of your existence with an open mind and a willing heart?
I was once told by a wise man that every relationship we make in life is a valuable experience and can be learned from. He advised never to enter any situation or leave any relationship without having taken one thing from the experience that will serve you well in the future. Everyone has something valuable to offer and when we embrace all that life offers, we can achieve success both personally and professionally. God may have given us the gift of life, but it is up to each of us to give ourselves the intention of benefiting from all that is best in our lives and living it well. Winston Churchill once remarked, 'No one ever finds life worth living; one has to make it worth living.'
When I was told six years ago that I had a blood cancer that was terminal, I found myself refining the positive attitude I have always held to take account of my new circumstances. Many years ago my attitude was greatly influenced by a book I read called, 'How to win friends and influence people'; a best-seller that is still widely read. This book was written by an American developer of courses in self-improvement; Dale Carnegie. One of his core ideas in many of his publications is that it is possible to change other people's behaviour towards you by changing your behaviour towards them. This thought appealed to me, especially as it finds its basic roots in the core of Christianity and the heart of reciprocity. After reading that book, I understood more clearly that there is many ways of going forward but only one way of staying still. I was also reminded that life's governing composition is made up of 10% what happens to us and 90% to the challenges it throws up and how we react to those tests of life. Life's ultimate success isn't defined by how fast you can run, how high you can jump or how steep you can climb, what degree you obtained or job you have, but how well you bounce when unexpected circumstances hit you for a six and emotionally knock the stuffing out of you.
Much of one's success invariably comes from design and little from chance. Life is hard and if we don't design our own life plan and set our own targets of achievement, the likelihood is that we will finish up falling into someone else's plan; and so often what they will have planned for us is not what we ideally want. So many children with frustrated parents who never quite achieved what they wanted and now push their child to achieve on their behalf will recognise this emotional trap. This is why it's so important to find a satisfactory purpose in one's life; something that is invariably one's own purpose.
We begin by acknowledging that 'today' is our life, the only life we are sure of, the only life that matters! That is why we need to make the most of every moment we experience and every day we live. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake to all possibilities that surround you. Develop a pleasurable hobby. Make and keep as many friends as possible and let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you as you live your day with gusto, open heart and a broad imagination. Remember, especially anyone who is pessimistically inclined to make today real in the moment and not a regret of the past or an unrealistic goal for the future. Remember that 'today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday'. Learn to live in the present.
Purpose and design are such important factors in establishing one's happiness. As Friedrich Nietzsche said, "He who has a 'why' to live can bear almost any 'how.'" For me, some of my most important purposes for living have been to experience love, to be happy and satisfied with each day lived and to be helpful and feel wanted. I have found all of these things possible, but only after I found 'the true me'.
However far I've travelled in life, I have never been able to ignore or escape the romantic in me; a trait I blame my encourageable mother for when she lived. While I would never choose to have been without this distinctive trait, it has, on occasions, not always served me as well as I'd initially hoped. For instance, romanticism can be the greatest of deceivers. Often, the romantic in me has led me into believing that my first love was my last love and my last love my first. I now know that the only thing that really matters is that my present love is my best love. Despite any difficulties being a romantic dreamer can throw up, however, I have decided to stick with love, as I find loving being much more preferable than its counterpart, and hate too great a burden for any living person to bear.
Please take on board any suggestions I have made today that makes sense to you. If you adopt just one change in behaviour I have mentioned, you may be surprised how big a change it can represent in your overall level of happiness and satisfaction. My final message is that the tragedy of life is not that it ends too soon, but that we wait so long to begin it in earnest and with enthusiasm. Our time on earth is too precious a thing ever to waste one fleeting moment, and however difficult the circumstances one is faced with, it is never too late to plant new seed or give root to a new thought.": William Forde: August 7th, 2018.