Being a complete and total John Lennon nut along with being a possessor of a photographic memory, I happen to know that today marks a key and tragic day in Lennon’s life. You see, it was on July 13, 1958 that John’s mother was killed by a drunk driver. John was just shy of his 18th birthday. It would take years upon years for John to come to terms with this sudden and great loss. Even when he himself died tragically at the age of 40 (which is starting to look younger and younger to me), he had not been able to fully put this loss into a place where he could really wrap his head and heart around it. Even so, John attempted to help others deal with their pain. He did his best to try to help the world while he himself found life almost too trying to deal with. It is this ability to balance the outward and the inward that ultimately makes me respect John a great deal.
This is on my mind, in a round-about way, because I recently read a post by Amber Naslund called What I wish more people knew about me. Amber said a lot of people were writing posts along those lines these days. Her post is lovely, but it didn’t make me want to write a post exactly like that. Rather, it made me want to write a post about what I hope people learn from me, just like I learned from John Lennon (and others) that you can use your own experiences to try to help others who may be in the same situation or in more dire straits. It made me want to try to verbalize what I hope I leave with you when you take the time out to engage with me on a regular basis. It made me reflect on the legacy I hope I am building as I go day-by-day through life.
Ultimately, these things are things I learned myself, either by experiencing it and saying, “Oh!” or by learning at the feet of others. And in the end, while some of these things may be useful for business and may be relevant to a Social Media reality, what they really represent are things I’m trying to reach out and teach others around me in the world at large. Use at will.
So, with all of that in mind, here is what I want you to learn from me.
1. Life can be exceedingly cruel at times, but worrying about that or letting yourself lose time lamenting those dark days doesn’t really get you anywhere. Every minute, every day, you have a choice about how you will handle your life. You can make the conscious decision to reach up and out of that great hole in your heart. You can find stuff to fill it up.
2. What appears to you as a great burden may look like an open door to someone else. Do not be offended at these times, but rather listen and see if the door starts taking shape in your mind. You might begin to see things in a new light.
3. Things that seem easy to you may be intensely difficult to someone else. I can so easily see – well enough to type this post, well enough to do my crafts. I can’t reach or carry things easily and driving is a great challenge, but those things may be so easy for you that you don’t think about them. Take time every day to imagine what your life would be like if you couldn’t do what you are doing right at this minute. And then be grateful.
4. You can succeed without selling your soul. You can even have fun pursuing success.
5. You can succeed without stepping on other people to get there.
6. There is always someone who needs your help, even if you think you are the most beaten down, the most unlucky, the most…whatever. There is always someone who has a harder road to hoe. Always. Even if it may not seem that way to you.
7. Keeping your ears open to big truths, even if your mind isn’t ready for them yet, can save you a lot of time.
8. Patience is a virtue. We hear this all of the time, but until you are forced to reckon it, the saying may not resonate.
9. Do not always assume that it is your fault. Sometimes someone else messes up. Sometimes someone else is the bad guy. Don’t volunteer to step before the firing brigade until you sleep on it a bit.
Now for number 10 I want you to write one thing you want me to learn from you. Or write a post and link here, whichever you choose.
I am not an overly fatalistic person, but I do believe that we can learn something from everyone we meet, even if we just pass by each other oh so quickly in the online world. This is what I hope you can learn from me if we engage in conversation. What do you hope I can learn from you?
This is post #85 in the Engagement Series. If you want to make sure you don’t miss a post, feel free to hit “subscribe!” And thank you!
Image by Svilen Milev. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/svilen001