The ABCs of Life

An alphabetical list of life lessons

Accept responsibility for your own actions. Trying to pass the buck will get your sacked.

Believe you have what it takes to make a difference. This world needs what you alone can offer.

Cast your cares on your Creator. Anxieties that hold you hostage rob your peace of mind. Prayer can restore your personal operating system.

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” The Golden Rule is still the gold standard for mining the most out of life.

Exercise regularly. Walk. Run. Row. Climb. Throw. Stretch. Cardiovascular activity promotes a clear mind and contributes to restful sleep.

Fuel your body with healthy food. If you want to live a long time, eat more fruits and vegetables.

Give to charitable causes. You’ll feel good about yourself when you share with others.

Hang on when you feel like letting go. Perseverance is the price tag for realizing the dreams God has planted in your heart.

Invest your money. Saving is smart. Debt is deadly. Deferring gratification compounds your interest at the bank and in what really matters.

Just do it! Doing today what shouldn’t be left for tomorrow produces yesterdays devoid of regret. Procrastination is the devil in disguise.

Keep short accounts with others. Take the initiative to resolve disagreements. As it says in the Bible, “Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath.”

Lick an ice cream cone. Don’t eat it. Savoring life’s little pleasures makes them last longer. Don’t hurry through the happy times.

Mind your own business. Be grateful you’re not everybody’s judge. Stay focused on your job.

Never say never. You just don’t know what might cause you to change your mind someday. When it comes to air-tight convictions, leave space for breathing room.

Open your eyes to the wonders around you. It was Browning who said, “Earth is crammed with heaven and every common bush afire with God. But only he who sees takes off his shoes. The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.”

Preach what you practice. Don’t keep your passions to yourself. Others can be enriched by what brings you joy. Like the old Swedish proverb contends, “A shared joy is a doubled joy.”

Question easy answers. The world is filled with bumper sticker platitudes that only stick to the chrome of a car. Don’t settle for clichés. Keep asking “Why?” “Why not?” “What if?” “So what?”

Read for fun. There’s more to the world than textbooks and technical ones that prepare you for a degree or a deadline. Find a favorite fiction writer and lose yourself in the pages of his/her plot.

Seek the ultimate meaning of life. This is your invitation to join Plato, Socrates, Solomon, Ghandi, Confucius, Charlie Brown and the other great thinkers of history. Think with your soul.

Talk to strangers. Some things you learned in kindergarten need to be unlearned. People you haven’t yet met hold keys to doors of opportunity currently locked.

Unleash your imagination. Let your creative mind run free. Daydreaming isn’t just for kids. It’s for those who want to find solutions to the nightmares that haunt society.

Value each day. The present is a gift. Like the poster that hung in my college dorm room declared, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

Waste time. In spite of what some might have taught you, wasting time isn’t the unpardonable sin. Redeem your coupon for free time. Discover a hobby. If you play hard, you’ll work better.

eXamine your motives. Learn to look inside in search of pride. As I learned to ask in Rotary: Is it the truth? Is it fair and beneficial to all concerned? Will it build goodwill?

Yearn for a kingdom that’s out of this world. Jesus said it best: “Seek the kingdom of God above all else … He will give you everything you need.”

Zip it! When a friend shares something in confidence, keep your mouth shut. Prove your trustworthiness. Resist the impulse to gossip.