"It's not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred with the sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause and who, at best knows the triumph of high achievement and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
(Theodore Roosevelt, 1858-1919, 26th US President and 1906 Nobel Peace Prize-winner.)
"What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate."
"Man is the artificer of his own happiness." — Journal, 21 January 1838
Have a clear idea of the person you wish to be then begin acting like you are already that person, show compassion and do random acts of kindness if that is your goal. Start now, where you are with the tools at hand.
Mindfulness :Our life unfolds in moments. Pay attention.
We need to live in the present because that is where we are able to make changes. The past is gone and the future is a dream. I try and remind myself everytime I get frusterated about past mistakes. Concentrate on what you can do today to ensure a better tomorrow.
"Look at this day, for it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course lie all the realities and verities of existence, the bliss of growth, the splendor of action, the glory of power.
For yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision, but today, well lived, makes every day a dream, a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day."
Using "Seven Habits of Successful People"as a daily checklist to your activities would be a good way to stay on track and help you build useful habits and routines while avoiding distractions and losing your direction.
7 Habits of Successful People by Stephen Covey
1. Be proactive and take resposibility.
2. Begin with the end in mind. All things are created twice, first in your mind, then in reality.
3. Live by that vision; have integrity.
4. Respect others and seek to benefit them as well as yourself. Win-win is the Golden Rule.
5. Seek to understand first instead of being impatient to be understood.
6. Value differences. In an organization conflict and tension are healthy and normal. They should be celebrated because they can produce better, more creative products.
7. Renew yourself. You must constantly recharge your own batteries.
Focus on your daily efforts because small steps taken daily achieve any long journey:
One morning, a blood vessel in Jill Bolte Taylor's brain exploded. As a brain scientist, she realized she had a ringside seat to her own stroke. She watched as her brain functions shut down one by one: motion, speech, memory, self-awareness ...
Amazed to find herself alive, Taylor spent eight years recovering her ability to think, walk and talk. She has become a spokesperson for stroke recovery and for the possibility of coming back from brain injury stronger than before. In her case, although the stroke damaged the left side of her brain, her recovery unleashed a torrent of creative energy from her right. From her home base in Indiana, she now travels the country on behalf of the Harvard Brain Bank as the "Singin' Scientist."
"How many brain scientists have been able to study the brain from the inside out? I've gotten as much out of this experience of losing my left mind as I have in my entire academic career."
After almost four years, Lesley Garner has decided to take a break from giving her advice column Lifeclass.
Here she offers some final tips for life.
By Lesley Garner Published: 23 Mar 2010
Lesley Garner Photo: ANDREW CROWLEY Dear Readers
This has been a very intense job and, although this page is called Lifeclass, I feel that I am the one who has
been learning from you.
After nearly four years as the recipient of every kind of dilemma, from post-traumatic stress and the harm
done by internet porn to more perennial woes such as the loss of marital love or that perpetual cry, “Have I
left it too late?” I am addressing my own dilemma by taking some time out.
My dilemma has been this: I have a very responsible job for The Daily Telegraph which, so you tell me, helps
an awful lot of people and which nobody wants me to leave. On the other hand, there are other things I would
like to do and, in particular, other kinds of writing I would like to experiment with.
I am currently a student on a novel-writing course at the Faber Academy. My fellow students and I are lucky
enough to benefit from the wisdom and the experience of writers such as Esther Freud, Rachel Cusk and Hanif
Kureishi. But while we love to hear what these writers have to say, our real challenge is to use the craft of
fiction to create worlds of our own and, perhaps, make sense of our own lives.
Since the life stories I hear from you every week leave little room in my head or heart for inventing and
developing life stories of my own, I have decided to step back from this page for a while in order to give
myself a chance. And what about you? How will you manage without me? Well, I imagine you will do whatever you
were doing before I came along, but in case this isn’t good enough I have some suggestions on how to be your
own agony aunt in my absence.
1 Do not do anything alone
One of the many valuable lessons I have learnt on this page is that there is nothing so difficult,
exceptional, demanding or painful that somebody else isn’t going through it too.
You are not the only teenager who wonders if he is gay or why he has no friends. You are not the only parents
of soldiers who gnaw away at your own worries and fears in private. You are not the only man whose wife has
told him she needs space, or the only wife whose husband seems to have changed character. You are not the only
person sitting alone and wondering if you have left it too late to find somebody special.
Your troubles will be halved if you reach out to other people and share your sorrows. You can do this both by
talking to friends and through the many organisations that cater for every kind of human difficulty, from
bereavement and unemployment to marriage problems.
2 Be your own researcher
How do you find other people who are going through what you are going through? The internet is king. Many days
I have sat for hours on Google typing in “help for old people”, “midlife crisis”, “celibacy” or
“co?dependency” and reeled at the amount and quality of information available at the press of a button.
Your local Citizens Advice Bureau is a useful source of information on all kinds of legal, financial, even
emotional problems. Relate (www.relate.org.uk) offers advice in family relationships. The Royal College of
Psychiatrists (www.rcpsych.org.uk) is an excellent hub of information on all kinds of mental illness and its
treatment. Carers can find help and advice on www.carers.org. People concerned about their own old age or the
care of their parents can find help via www.ageconcern.org.uk.
If you feel lonely and don’t know what the social life is like in your area, Google the town you live in and
go on to www.meetup.com to find social and educational groups.
3 Use self-help books
Yes, really. I have written some, so I am bound to say this, but some are invaluable. If you don’t know which
of the many titles available is right for you, check out Tom Butler-Bowden’s useful series, 50 Self-Help
Classics, 50 Psychological Classics, and 50 Spiritual Classics. These are succinct summaries of a large number
of books and you will certainly find one that seems to match your own understanding of your problem and state
And, of course, I highly recommend my own books. Everything I’ve Ever Done That Worked is being reprinted in a
lovely new edition this spring and is full of my own tips on changing your state of mind, your fortunes and
your life. For anybody struggling with relationships I recommend my book Everything I’ve Ever Learned About
Love?; for life’s inevitable ups and downs, Everything I’ve Ever Learned About Change?; and for readers who
would like to remind themselves of some of the problems that have gone through these pages and my solutions to
them, Life Lessons.
4 Lighten up
Oh, heaven knows this is easier said than done. If you could lighten up, you wouldn’t be writing to somebody
like me, but nobody’s emotional toolbox is complete without some simple exercises to break the circuits of
misery and regain some perspective. Even in the midst of grief and torment, people can gain equanimity in very
small ways by watching comedy on TV, by going for a walk, by looking up at the clouds, by gardening or
birdwatching, singing or dancing.
Everything I’ve Ever Done That Worked has lots of useful suggestions for mood-shifting. A very wise woman once
told me to imagine that I was seven years old. I find that if I do, life immediately looks a lot more amusing
5 Do something different
I realised early on that many people’s problem is simply that they have walked themselves round and round in
the same old circle until they are stuck and have lost all perspective on their situation. My sole
contribution is to look down from my bird’s-eye view and show them what the nature of their problem actually
You can learn to do this for yourself if you recognise exactly when you are repeating a piece of behaviour or
an argument. Repetition leads to obsession and obsession doesn’t solve anything.
If madness is doing the same thing and expecting a different result, then sanity is saying to yourself, “I
choose to walk in another direction.” Do not engage in the same repetitive arguments. Remain silent and let
people vent their feelings. Do a lot more listening than talking. Get out more. Practise changing your brain
patterns by walking a different way to work or trying on clothes you might normally avoid. Being stuck is
miserable and unproductive. Cultivate ways to be more playful and silly and the gloom often shifts.
I could say so much more – and over the past four years I have – but I have also learnt that people only take
in limited suggestions or information at a time. And often, despite my best endeavours, I suspect they carry
on doing exactly what they were doing before. It doesn’t do to have too elevated an idea of one’s own
importance – that’s another thing I have learnt from you.
I hope to write for you again in these pages in the future, if not exactly in this very special role. In the
meantime, thank you more than I can say for trusting and confiding in me. I truly wish all of you happy and
With love from Lesley
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"I will be organized. To that end, I will take stock and see what organization I really need. I will not stop at straightening my desk, but will better organize my thoughts and more clearly envision the great work I intend to do. I will risk re-organizing the pieces that comrise the puzzle of my life."