On this day (May 16th) in 1990, Muppets creator Jim Henson died. He left this note for his children. (There’s a little more information at lettersofnote.com.)
“And when things got hard, you started looking for something to blame, like a big shadow. Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.”
I enjoyed this quote from Rocky Balboa the first time I saw the movie, and I appreciate it even more now after getting my a** kicked by this f-ing blood disease, but still grinding along every day.
The Onion “reports” that the Dalai Lama says that his next life will be his last one before he retires.
I started to kill a gnat tonight, and as I went to hit it, it rocked back on its back legs, looked up at me and screamed, “Stop! It’s me, Zeus!”
I looked at it and said, “Zeus was too good, he taught me kindness and compassion; I can’t believe he would have been reborn as a gnat. But l’ll let you live. Go on, enjoy your life.”
“If we think we want to get joy for ourselves, we realize that it’s very shortsighted, short-lived. Joy is the reward, really, of seeking to give joy to others. When you show compassion, when you show caring, when you show love to others, do things for others, in a wonderful way you have a deep joy that you can get in no other way.”
“You can’t buy it with money. You can be the richest person on Earth, but if you care only about yourself, I can bet my bottom dollar you will not be happy and joyful. But when you are caring, compassionate, more concerned about the welfare of others than about your own, wonderfully, wonderfully, you suddenly feel a warm glow in your heart, because you have, in fact, wiped the tears from the eyes of another.”
~ Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in The Book of Joy
A really nice man named Ben who worked at the Walmart in Broomfield, Colorado passed away recently. We talked a lot and he told me many good stories over the last few years, including this one.
This is a good quote from the tv series, Hart of Dixie. I remember when I thought about selling my business I knew I might regret it, but I also knew that I was sick with something and doctors couldn’t figure out what it was. So I decided to sell the business and move to Alaska, and that was one of the best decisions of my life. I got to experience things that won’t even be possible to experience in the future because roads are being paved, civilization keeps encroaching on nature, and global warming is melting the glaciers and polar bears into extinction. In retrospect I’d make that decision 100 times out of 100.
“Curiosity can provide both fun and wisdom, and occasionally trouble.”
“I was born innately curious. If that doesn’t work for you, figure out your own damn system.”
(On a personal note, I would argue that many people are born curious, and his parents didn’t beat the curiosity out of him.)
“Develop into a lifelong self-learner through voracious reading; cultivate curiosity and strive to become a little wiser every day.”
“A few major opportunities, clearly recognizable as such, will usually come to one who continuously searches and waits, with a curious mind that loves diagnosis involving multiple variables.”
“Temperament alone won’t do it. You need a lot of curiosity for a long, long, time. You need to have a passionate interest in why things are happening. That cast of mind, kept over long periods, gradually improves your ability to focus on reality.”
“Einstein said his successful theories came from curiosity, concentration, perseverance, and self-criticism.”
~ from the book, Charlie Munger, The Complete Investor (and a few other sources)
The Dalai Lama offers advice on how to start your mornings:
“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”
I can especially dig the, “today I am fortunate to be alive” part.