By: Henrylito D. Tacio
GOD GAVE Moses the Ten Commandments. Since then, people followed suit. They make their own ten lists: ten places to visit, ten memorable movies, ten best selling albums, ten greatest moments, ten healthiest foods to eat, etc. Now, allow me to share my ten things to remember about life and living:
The value of time. “The management of time should be the No. 1 priority for us,” writes C. Neil Strait. “Without some organization of our day, it will waste away without purpose and drain away without accomplishment.”
Each day, God gives us 24 hours but how do we spend them? “Most time is wasted, not in hours, but in minutes,” Paul J. Meyer points out. “A bucket with a small hole in the bottom gets just as empty as a bucket that is deliberately kicked over.”
The success of perseverance. It was through perseverance that the snail reached Noah’s Ark. But “lots of people limit their possibilities by giving up easily,” says Norman Vincent Peale. “Never tell yourself this is too much for me. It’s no use. I can’t go on. If you do you’re licked, and by your own thinking, too. Keep believing and keep on keeping on.”
To get through the hardest journey, we need to take one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping. “Perseverance is the most overrated of traits if it is unaccompanied by talent; beating your head against a wall is more likely to produce a concussion in the head than a hole in the wall,” Sydney Harris reminds.
The pleasure of working. It’s the only thing we can do for eight hours. We can’t eat for eight hours nor drink for that long. “Rest and play are the desserts of life,” Harold Mayfield says. “Work is the meal. It is only a child who dreams of a diet of dessert alone.”
Walter Hoving suggests: “Find a job that’s suited to your talents and then do a lot more work than you’re paid for. In time, you’ll be paid much more for what you do. Workers who get what they can, as fast as they can, are bound to be disillusioned. Such people fail to make progress simply because they aren’t profitable to the people who hire them.”
The worth of character. “What you are in the dark” is how D.L. Moody defines character. “There is no substitute for character,” Robert A. Cook declares. “You can buy brains, but you cannot buy character.”
“Promises must be kept, deadlines met, commitments honored; not just for the sake of old-fashioned morality, but because we become what we do (or fail to do), and character is simply the sum of our performances,” reminds Howard Sparks.
The power of discipline. A Chinese philosopher once said, “Parents who are afraid to put their foot down usually have children who step on toes.” That’s what discipline is all about.
“Discipline is demanded of the athlete to win a game. Discipline is required for the captain running his ship. Discipline is needed for the pianist to practice for the concert. Only in the matter of personal conduct is the need for discipline questioned. But if parents believe standards are necessary, then discipline certainly is needed to attain them,” believes Mrs. Wright W. Brooks.
The influence of example. Experience is the best teacher, so they say. The world is replete of examples of people who succeeded in life because they fought for what they thought was right. During the time Noah was building the ark, he was very much in the minority – but he won. When Joseph was sold into Egypt by his brothers, he was a decided minority – but he won. When David, ridiculed by his brothers, went to meet Goliath, in size he was in a decided minority – but he won!
Albert Schweitzer summarizes, “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”
The tranquility of solitude. Just what is solitude? To the simple, prison but to the thinker, it is paradise. “Practice the art of ‘aloneness’ and you will discover the treasure of tranquility,” says William A. Ward. “Develop the art of solitude and you will unearth the gift of serenity.”
Unfortunately, modern world has developed a phobia of being alone. “We prefer the most trivial and even obnoxious company, the most meaningless activities, to being alone with ourselves; we seem to be frightened at the prospect of facing ourselves,” Erich Fromm says.
The virtue of patience. Patience comes from two Greek words, meaning “stay under,” not always bobbing up. “One moment of patience may ward off great disaster; one moment of impatience may ruin a whole life,” so goes a Chinese saying.
The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it open. “Remember that quiet patience can and does master and outlive all boisterous, stormy human discords,” reminds Lowell Filmore.
The improvement of talent. Encourage people to use their talents in their own ways and they will often turn a squirrel cage of frustration into a ladder of success. “There is a good deal of wasted talent in the world, and some of the waste comes from sheer ignorance,” deplores Gilbert Highet. “People simply do not know how to apply their energies.”
“Talent is what you have,” explains Lloyd D. Mattson. “Person is what you are. It is the person who uses the talents; and if the person is inadequate, the talent won’t account for much. Most of us look at an unusually talented person and assume that all it takes to win is talent. Don’t be fooled. Talent is only the beginning.”
The sound of music. A little boy who loved music was bitterly disappointed because he could neither play nor sing. But Amati, the violin-maker, told him: “There are many ways of making music. What matters is the song in the heart.” So Antonio Stradivarius was encouraged to become the world’s greatest violin-maker.
“Music study has great value insofar as a mastery of it enables one to live more richly and wholesomely, to be a stronger, better, happier, more cooperative individual; to succeed more fully in the great business of being human,” says Vernon Leidig.