21 Suggestions for Success
A friend of mine tipped me off to these suggestions, but they are both profound and simple:
1. Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.
2. Work at something you enjoy and that’s worthy of your time and talent.
3. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
4. Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
5. Be forgiving of yourself and others.
6. Be generous.
7. Have a grateful heart.
8. Persistence, persistence, persistence.
9. Discipline yourself to save money on even the most modest salary.
10. Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
11. Commit yourself to constant improvement.
12. Commit yourself to quality.
13. Understand that happiness is not based on possessions, power or prestige, but on relationships with people you love and respect.
14. Be loyal.
15. Be honest.
16. Be a self-starter.
17. Be decisive even if it means you’ll sometimes be wrong.
18. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life.
19. Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.
20. Take good care of those you love.
21. Don’t do anything that wouldn’t make your Mom proud.
So why do we struggle so much with these “profound and simple” things? I think that main problem with implementation of these simple points is that we rely too much on what our external culture (friends, media, academia) tell us and less on what we feel to be right. If we would turn inward as we make these important decisions and take these important steps, we would make the correct decisions much more often. Tolstoy’s main argument against the society of aristocracy is just this: we give others more say in our decisions than they ought to have. See here: http://www.theidealist.us/2008/05/04/tolstoi-the-effects-of-the-influence-we-grant-to-society/ and here: http://www.notquitecenter.com/2009/01/26/resurrection-by-leo-tolstoy-%E2%80%93-book-review/
I fully agree, Mike. I think society likes to take the easy way out. And then they want to make it the “norm” so that they feel better about their personal failings.
Not all of these suggestions are easy (although most are). But they are very simple truths that each of us inherently know will make us happier, but are often unwilling to do what is necessary to make it happen.