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Some Final Guiding Principles

medium_4352348350We can put our bad feelings into others just as they can put theirs into us.

This Guiding Principle reminds me that people often dump their problems onto one another. It reminds me to not allow other peo­ple to put their bad feelings into me so that I’m stuck with them.

I first learned this lesson years ago when one of my children received a punishment of not being included in a family vacation. While on vacation, I received a call from her, and at the end of the call she felt fine and I was miserable in the paradise of Hawaii. She shamed and blamed me for punishing her with the net effect that she felt better and I felt worse!

The Guiding Principle we can put our bad feelings into others just as they can put theirs into us also reminds me not to dump my bad feelings into other people just because I’m feeling bad and want to relieve myself of those bad feelings. It reminds me that when my machinery takes the driver’s seat and I give my bad feelings to oth­ers or I accept their bad feelings into me, I’m acting unconsciously. This Guiding Principle keeps me mindful so that I won’t allow this to happen.

Life is lived in the little things.

This Guiding Principle reminds me that it’s the small events in my daily life—holding hands with my loved ones, visiting with my grandson or talking with him on the phone—that are the most important, and it reminds me to take time to cherish them.

Years ago I read a book that was a collection of “deathbed interviews” in which the author-editor pointed out that terminal patients rarely talked about large business or personal triumphs or failures; rather, they spoke of the little things that brought them happiness. I’ve seen this in my own life as well. Over the years, when my grown-up children remind me of meaningful moments from their childhoods, they mostly talk about small things like our riding a bike together and rarely mention the material things I gave them. Life is lived in the little things.

 

An excerpt from my recent book, Your Mind Is What Your Brain Does for a Living, now available at Amazon.

 

photo credit: Leo Reynolds via photopin cc

  • 2 Feb, 2015
  • Posted by Steve Fogel
  • 8 Tags
  • 0 Comments
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