Life's contemplations

Burbank, California; March,2003;
Joan Marques, MBA, Doctoral Student

We all meet interesting people in our walk through life. Some will speak wise words to us; others will trigger thoughts –whether good or bad—within us that will lead to our own sagacious insights. Below are some of the valuable statements I encountered and/or formulated during the past few years:

Every relationship you get into should enrich your relationship with yourself. If such is not the case, start working on releasing it, for it will not be worth your while.
Everything is about perception. We all have a tendency to look at things and situations we're confronted with from a most favorable (to us) point of view. However, if you stay in a (dreadful) situation out of fear for change in your current pattern, you're not being brave, but foolish: you're either fooling the rest of the world or yourself. And the latter is unforgivable!

Every decision you make has an equal chance of turning out right or wrong, no matter how well prepared and thoroughly informed you are. It's what you do AFTER you've made the decision that will determine the final outcome.

No matter how hard it is to digest, failure is sometimes necessary for us to grow. Making a wrong decision; taking the wrong path, may ultimately be a lesson we have to learn in order to mold us into wiser persons as we mature.

Every act we perform is ultimately selfish, even the most altruistic seeming one. Anything you do, you eventually do for your own peace of mind, no matter how courageous it may seem to anyone else. Besides, everything you do eventually comes back to you. This is not a religion or culture-related philosophy: Just plain truth. Therefore, doing well should not be seen as a luxury but as a self-preserving must!

Everyone--even the most admired role models among us--has sometime, somehow, somewhere done something he/she is not too proud of. The passing of time and the process of oblivion are therefore a blessing..

The only person who knows the real motives behind your actions is you. Don't fool yourself..

Every person you meet in whatever setting, has an interesting story to tell. You may never get to know their story, but you can show the people you meet your respect anyway. Rest assured they deserve it!

Judging other people or cultures is easy to do from our personal or national perspective. Yet, realizing that we only have a limited view from where we stand; that we therefore don't have all the answers, and that we could have been part of that other group if nature had done its work slightly different, may create some empathy and understanding from our side..

There are more unhappy people in the world than there are happy ones. Unhappiness is the discrepancy between what we can get, and what we really want. The easiest solution would be to adjust what we want to what we can get. But too much water disintegrates the wine. Unhappiness may therefore just be a necessary part of most people's life: like a required shoe with a bad fit..

Every positive attribute has a negative side to it depending on who analyses it and from what position. Determination can be seen as stubbornness; persuasiveness as pushiness, eloquence as blarney, different as ridiculous. The art is to keep a positive mindset, even if it's not propitious to you. The least you can do is to learn from it..

No matter what our social standing, our ethnic, educational, or cultural background is, we all have at least these two things in common: being born and dying. This, then, is the critical confirmation of the interconnectedness of all living creatures, for all plants, animals, and human beings share this very destiny. Shouldn't we therefore take good note of the things of every day; stop ridiculing ourselves by hiding behind our status, and show our real faces to each other on our journey from birth to death?

Humility is no crime or shame: as long as you can feel content and satisfied with the way you earn your daily bread you're okay. And if you show compassion to others along the way, you will generate more from your work--financially and emotionally--than you initially expect. For goodness seldom goes unrecognized.

Goals are great, but the way toward your goals should be worthwhile. Most of our lifetime we spend on our way toward goals anyway.

Everything you do should be in line with your deepest conviction. If you take a step back and analyze what you're doing, it should all discharge into the one principle you strongly believe in. If that's not the case, you should consider where, how, and why you went astray.

Your mindset radiates through your appearance. If you feel great and optimistic, you will shine and convince anyone of anything. But if you feel shattered and downtrodden, you may as well sleep the day away, for all efforts will be worth nothing.

You only have one perspective: your own. However, your perspective can change through the books you read, the people you meet, the things you need, and life's general heat. Just as much as you can determine your attitude toward everything, you can also determine your perspective. Your biggest blunder would be to know that, yet refrain from doing it.

The above listed contemplations are, as you may have realized, applicable to all areas of our lives: work, home, or other settings. Consider them, and add your own life's findings to your version of the list. Then, proceed and make the best of the remainder of your journey. Good luck!