Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping
Chaos is when something unexpected happens. Chaos emerges, in trivial form, when you tell a joke at a social gathering and silence and embarrassing chills fall over the gathering. Chaos is also what emerges when you suddenly find yourself unemployed or betrayed by someone you love. Life can always get more chaotic so it is wise to construct a character that will not falter under the immense burden of chaos.
What shall I do with my life? Aim for Paradise, and concentrate on today.
Paradise concerns the good, the beautiful and the true. Shaping our values with aspirational goals helps us to focus on what needs to be done today to fulfil our vision for the future. While the aim is heaven, the work must be done diligently on Earth. When we conquer the day, then we progress to seize the month, the year and the rest of our lives. Our intention for each passing day should be to take us closer to our best self. If your paradise involves tranquility and calm then daily meditation is the earthly practice you must adhere to.
What shall I do with a stranger? Invite him into my house, and treat him like a brother, so that he may become one.
All of your friends were strangers to you at some point, so what facilitated the transition? You bestowed your trust in them and they reciprocated. We must hold our hospitality sacred yet available to others so that new life can spring between you and those who you do not yet know. Failing to extend the hand of trust because you may have been burnt in the past will stop new life and your world will die. We need others. It’s for our own survival. Welcome others and bring new life to your world.
What shall I do with a fallen soul? Offer a genuine and cautious hand, but do not join in the mire.
Everybody falls. The saviour must bring the light and to do so means one shall not enter the darkness. An outstretched hand is all that is required. A warrior enshrouded by darkness must fight their own terrors in the underworld, otherwise, unabated the demons grow stronger and more restless. Do not be the deus ex machina. You may save them for the moment but the demons will return.
How shall I educate my people? Share with them those things I regard as truly important.
Time is precious, if someone is investing their time in you make it worth it. The simplest way to ensure you are doing this is by telling the truth. Answer questions with care and consideration. Speak only when it matters. If you hold wisdom, then distill your thoughts into concise and simple language so that all can learn from it.
How shall I deal with the enlightened one? Replace him with the true seeker of enlightenment.
There is no enlightened one. I am prompted each day, that yesterday I was a fool and today I am still a fool, although maybe less foolish. Success is a process, not a state. There is only the one who is seeking further enlightenment. Let go of certainty and explore what you do not know. Accept your insufficiency so you can continually improve. There is pain in uncertainty but also freedom from not desperately clinging to certainty.
What shall I do when I despise what I have? Remember those who have nothing and strive to be grateful.
You may be blocking your own progress from not making use of what is already in front of you. Bad times will come and that may mean a few windows shatter, but the house is still standing. We should try to reevaluate what we desire and what we actually need. Humans can suffice on a few basic necessities. I read that if you earn more than $68,000 dollars a year (approximately £53,000) then you are part of the top 1% in the world. Confusing relative poverty for absolute poverty is disrespectful to the less fortunate who dream of the amenities we take for granted.
What shall I do when I’m tired and impatient? Gratefully accept an outstretched helping hand.
There is too much to be done and too little time. Family, friends, acquaintances and strangers alike can all add to your life, but only if you let them. We are all limited. Cooperating in efforts means that you will still strive to achieve the end goal without exhaustion or rushing the process. Sharing of credit will feel good as we engage in giving rather than taking. Help is always closer than we think. Grab onto outstretched hands with a firm grip.
What shall I do in the next dire moment? Focus my attention on the next right move.
Life can always get worse. In those dire moments, your character will be tested. Let us both hope that your character will not falter in adversity but instead will rise up to the challenge as if called upon by God himself.
Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street
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nice review. i have read part of the book and it made me realise how tough it is to change yourself. often it’s just easy to slip into the behaviour of the past. but then again, that’s probably why even making a little bit of progress is so rewarding. one has to be disciplined and true to oneself about personal failings if any significant development is to be made.
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Thank you Bala! Discipline and being true to oneself is crucial.