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Wise life advice
January 28, 2019 Teacher Thanks 3 comments

The older you get the wiser you become. So if you’re going to be taking advice from anyone- make it someone that has lived through all that you have and much, much more. The older the advice-giver, the better.

Sure, someone who is 20 years older will know a lot more about life than you. But someone 50 years older will know even more. Here are 42 Life Lessons from a 90-year-old.

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short not to enjoy it.

4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.

5. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

9. Save for things that matter.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words, ‘In five years, will this matter?’

27. Always choose Life.

28. Forgive but don’t forget.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give Time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. Yield.

35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you think you need.

42. The best is yet to come…

Paul Hudson Elite. 

When I met with Arlinda McIntosh, age 60; Anne Perryman, age 77; and Doreen Wohl, age 85, part of me expected to walk away filled with all sorts of groundbreaking advice — the kind only people wise with years can dole out. My takeaways, though, were surprisingly straightforward: Be kind. Engage with your community. Communicate. Travel. The messages themselves were ones I’d heard before, but the wisdom? Sage nonetheless.

Decades worth of experience mean that from these women, simple words hold extra weight. The women waxed reflective with me on what they’re nostalgic about — some of the best times of their lives, and some difficult ones, too. In the end, these interviews turned out to be less about gathering advice and more about collecting stories. Below are just a few of those: the highs and lows that molded Arlinda, Anne and Doreen into the women they are today — women whose words will echo in my mind, and hopefully yours, too.

Arlinda McIntosh, 60

Arlinda spends her time mentoring others with the lessons she’s learned as designer and founder of eco-conscious skirt company Sofistafunk. Here, she reflects on the challenges of her life as a single parent and how she was never taught to fail.

I one hundred percent do not want to be young again. I want to be Arlinda at 60 with my gray hair. I wanted to be 60 since I was, like, 20. My friend and I used to sit around and say, “Wow, one day we’re going to be old. What are you going to do? I’m going to get a rocking chair!” I don’t worry about the things I worried about in my twenties and thirties and forties. I relax. I’m comfortable with myself.

As you age, things change, but you know that’s going to happen. I was never taught shame. I was never taught to not love my hair or love my body. I cherish the fact that my mom let me be free in my way of thinking and my way of dress. Today, I wear makeup to go with my clothes because it’s cute — I don’t wear makeup to hide anything. I have plenty of scars because I like to climb trees, even now, but I’m not going to try to cover that up. I don’t have to have a flat stomach; my skirt is cute.

I was talking to my older sister recently, and we laughed about what we survived when we were younger. We grew up in New Jersey in what I now know was called a cold-water flat, a building that has no running hot water. I had never realized. I used to take my finger and write on the ice inside of the window of our house, and I knew we had a heater in the living room — but I didn’t know anything different. I said to my sister, “Wait a minute, we had no heat?” And she said, “No, that’s why there was a heater in the room and our blanket was so heavy!” My mom had made a quilt, and when you were under this quilt, you weren’t moving at night — it was like lead.

My mom was a minister in church. When I wasn’t at church, most of the time I was playing in the dirt with leaves and bugs. I’d find rocks and imagine where they came from. I wasn’t into fashion as a little girl; I was into nature and exploring.

I learned how to sew when I was about 12. I remember going to school in 5th grade, and every girl in the classroom had on a yellow sweater, a white shirt and a little plaid skirt. It wasn’t a school where we had to wear uniforms; it was just that everyone shopped at the same store. I came home and told my mom, and she took me to the fabric store. I got a piece of pink denim, made a skirt out of it and wore it to school. I was so excited that the following day, I took our kitchen curtains down and made my first gathering skirt. I liked it and felt satisfied, but I didn’t really think more about sewing, except for making a couple things throughout my teenage years.

I got married at 19 and we had three children. One day when I was in my early twenties, I came home for lunch to surprise my husband and he was gone. I knew that was it, and that I needed to figure something out. I had to pay rent in two weeks and my paycheck wasn’t enough. So I called up my close girlfriend and she said to me, “Why don’t you make me and our other friends some clothes?” That seemed crazy to me. I’d never made clothes for someone else; I didn’t know how to do that. But I decided to try. I went to the salvage store with just about $20 and bought denim. With it, I made five jumper dresses. I invited my friends over and they each paid $25 for the dresses. Then I took that money and bought more fabric. I asked if my friends would bring other people the next week. They did, and I gave them each some dollar-store pearls for bringing someone, which I still do now. I made my rent. Still, I didn’t see it as a business; it was just a way to support myself.

To me, failure seemed absurd because I had never been taught failure. I remember lying in my bed crying and thinking, I just can’t do this. But then I thought, how does one give up? If I kept lying there, that meant I wouldn’t make any money, and that meant we would all have to move. I had children to think about.

Raising my children on my own as a single parent was difficult. We didn’t have a washing machine or money for the laundromat, so my kids learned that when they got into the bathtub, they had to wash their socks and underwear while they were in there. Sometimes the kids ate and I didn’t, but I never said that I was hungry. My dad used to bring me a 50-pound bag of white potatoes on the first of the month. I couldn’t stand those white potatoes for a long time, but I learned how to make a white potato every kind of way — I could make a pie with white potatoes. There were no movies or anything like that, but it forced us to use our imagination. I taught my children, “Why go to a movie when we can tell each other a story?” We would sit and tell a story together. I’d start, and we’d take turns adding parts to keep it going until it was time for bed.

It wasn’t until 2006 that I turned my skirts into a full business, Sofistafunk. My gathering skirts are zero-waste. When I cut the skirt, I have about a two-inch by seven-inch piece of fabric left over; the piece I cut away becomes the pocket. As a nation, I feel that we’re very wasteful. I see how much garbage we throw away, and one day it dawned on me — when I throw this away, where is it going? A landfill that’s turning into a mountain. I can’t change the world, but I could change me. So my mission was to design a skirt that would use all of a piece of fabric without leaving scraps behind.

Now I’m passionate about mentoring other small business owners. I have a lot of information, and I think that giving it out for free is one of the best things I can do. I may not have money to give someone, but what I know could be valuable to them. Paying it forward is everything. People say life is short, but life isn’t that short for a lot of people — life is unpredictable. We have to be kind.

Anne Perryman, 77

Anne left her rural town to become a journalist in New York City and around the world. Rather than looking back, she says she’s constantly working on new projects and staying politically active to protest “the asshole in the White House” (even if that means an arrest or two).

I was raised in a small town — fewer than 1,000 people — in a farming community in Michigan, the second oldest of seven children in my family. There was no whining in our house. It was just, “Figure it out.” My parents gave us an example of hard work. They expected us to do well in school. They also gave us safety. We did not grow up with any sense of fear. We didn’t lock our door. We left the keys in the car in the driveway. I grew up fearless, so I became a fearless person.

When I was about 10, I was responsible for getting my younger cousin to school so that my aunt could go to work. While I waited for him to wake up, I would turn on the television and watch Jack Paar’s morning show. I was just this little girl in this little town, but I’d see the program coming from New York City. I thought, Oh my God, these people are so clever and funny and unlike anyone I’ve ever met. I had an early idea that New York was a place I’d like to be.

When I went to high school, my English teacher said that I was a good writer. I worked on the school newspaper, and I thought, You know, I’d like to be a writer in New York. That was my fantasy as a 16-year-old. But back in the late ’50s, there were only two typical choices for women who went to college: You would become a nurse or a teacher. I didn’t want to be a nurse or teacher; I wanted to be a journalist.

I went to Michigan State University and majored in journalism. Then I got married to my high school boyfriend, which was a really stupid thing to do. Back then, people didn’t live with each other first. I finished college a year before he did — I graduated fast — and we had an idea to get jobs in Germany, make some money, buy a motorcycle and travel across North Africa and around through the Middle East. I had an aunt who lived in Cairo, so we would stay with her.

We did it. In 1963, Germany was prospering and all these people were flooding in from Arab countries and Turkey. I was the only American at my job. I made a friend from Jerusalem, who said, “When you go to Jerusalem, you have to go see my family.”

We got a motorcycle and we left on New Year’s Day to go to North Africa. It was freezing, but we had this idea that we were going to keep warm with plastic bags on our feet and all this stuff. We were such fools. When we got to Libya, they said we had to go to Benghazi to get paperwork, so we hitchhiked there, got the paperwork and came back, but they had messed up the motorcycle. So at the border of Libya, with no transportation, that was the beginning of our hitchhiking adventure all the way across the country. We eventually made it to Egypt and stayed in Cairo with my aunt for a while. Then we went to Jerusalem to see my friend’s family, who took care of us and invited us to stay for another month. The love they gave us was just so terrific. Then we went to Yugoslavia, Turkey and back to Germany. After a year of travel, we came back because my husband had a year to finish at Michigan State, and I got my first newspaper job at the Lansing State Journal. We were growing in different directions. The next job I got was at United Press International in Atlanta during the early days of the Civil Rights Movement. I just left. We didn’t get divorced for a while, but I said, “I’m going to take this job.”

At UPI, I wanted a foreign assignment. I had this bug that I wanted to travel more. I was told, “Oh, women don’t get foreign assignments … you’d have to work here for at least 10 years before you’d even be considered for that.” So I quit and I came to New York. I decided to do freelance. I got an apartment in the West Village, a fourth floor walk-up, for which I paid $45 a month. There was a bathtub in the kitchen.

I spent six years doing freelance work, including two years in Asia during the Vietnam War. I really thought I had arrived as a journalist. I did some serious stuff — stuff about toxic fish and all kinds of important stories. But nobody bought it. At the same time, I wrote a story about my experience in a public bath in Tokyo. Everybody bought that story. That was a light bulb over my head. So I started to write stories about my experiences and what surprised me. That was my bread and butter. I also wrote a big story about Air America — the CIA airline active in Southeast Asia — that I sold to Playboy. Eventually, I came back to New York and thought, I need to get a nine-to-five job.

I saw in a New York Times ad that a professional quarterly was looking for a writer and editor. It was a big accounting firm; the hiring manager had worked for UPI, and I got the job. I still did freelance work on the side. I was told to cover a play in New York called Short Eyes that prisoners had created. I met this guy involved who was working for a foundation that helped the formerly incarcerated transition back into society. We fell in love. That was January of 1974, and we got married in August of 1974. We had a daughter a year later and moved into this very apartment. My whole life changed.

I worked as a Director of Public Information at Bank Street College of Education for nine years and then as a Director of College Relations and Publications at Lehman College in the Bronx for 15 years. I also produced a nationally-circulated newsletter called Work & Family Life with my colleague Susan Ginsberg for over three decades before she passed away this year.

I’m a fanatical political person. In 2008 when [Barack] Obama was running for president the first time, I thought, I have to do something. I went to Detroit and registered voters on the street. I went back in 2012 to work for the campaign again. I wore out a pair of boots working for Obama right up until election day. I also did a lot of work for Hillary [Clinton] in 2016. I was part of a group called Executive Women for Hillary. Since then, I’ve just been protesting this asshole in the White House now. Give me strength.  I went to the Women’s March and the Climate March. I’ve been arrested twice, once in Albany sitting in the governor’s office as part of a “real rent reform” campaign. We’re trying to get universal rent protections for all of New York and trying to roll back the preferential rent stuff.

I want to stay productive and stay political. I don’t have any desire to sit on the beach and not do anything. For fun, I go to museums and see ballet and music. If you live in New York, you’ve got to get the culture. What’s the point of living here with all the hassles if you don’t enjoy the culture?

I have the smallest wardrobe you could possibly imagine because I know what I feel comfortable in. I am a low-maintenance dresser and traveler. When I see people with huge suitcases, I think, Why? I’ve never checked a bag on an airplane. My two years in Asia I traveled with a small bag, a little portable typewriter and a camera.

One of the things I feel so lucky about in life is that I never really cared much about what people thought of me. Growing up in a little town, I knew I didn’t belong there. I’m inner-directed — that’s a psychological term someone told me about. I don’t look back. I’m always working on something for the future. I wanted to be a writer in New York and I wanted to travel. This is my 50th year here. My dreams came true.

Doreen Wohl, 85

Doreen says putting off retirement until age 80 and traveling every six months have kept her young, and she’s nostalgic for time spent with her family.

I grew up in England. Both my parents were teachers. My father went on to become headmaster of a school for children who were in need of care and protection. I was six years old when World War II began. The area my parents lived in was east of London, and the German planes were coming over that area, so we were evacuated. We went off early to a Quaker boarding school in the countryside. Some of the towns around us got bombed, so depending on what was happening in the war, we would either go home or we’d go to our grandparents’.

I took a year between high school and university, and then I earned my economics and sociology degree in London. In my family, there was total support for me going to university. My sister didn’t go, even though she got better grades than me in school. But she wasn’t as adventurous. She became a secretary — she didn’t really like working. I was interested in exploring the world. People said, “How can you just go out there and travel?” I never felt nervous about doing it. I was just intrigued. I came over to the U.S. in 1954, when I was 22, to spend a year working with migrant farm workers through the American Friend Service, the service branch of the Quaker Society of Friends. We worked with the crew that had come up from the south to pick beans in Pennsylvania. I worked with the Council of Churches from North Dakota and Michigan, and then in the Texas cotton harvest. I met my husband, Bernie, when I finished working in Texas.

Bernie and I got married in England when I was close to 24 years old. That was the usual age for women to get married at the time. Although, both my mother (born in 1898) and grandmother (born in 1864) didn’t get married until they were 30.

We lived out in Brooklyn. Bernie had his master’s degree in social work and was a co-director of a community center there. Then we went to Columbus, Ohio, to work in a settlement house — a type of housing in low-income areas that provides educational opportunities and activities. There are still several settlements in New York. After 12 years in Columbus, we took a sabbatical year in England. I loved living in Columbus, but shortly after we came back from England, I said, “I don’t want to live here the rest of my life.” My husband got a job offer at Goddard Riverside Community Center, one of the settlement houses and multifaceted community programs here in New York.

In New York, I became the director of Kingsbridge Heights Community Center in the Northwest Bronx and stayed there for about five years before going to the West Side Campaign Against Hunger, an emergency food program. I worked there from age 60 until age 80, when I retired. At first the program was just handing out food in bags without any real focus on types of food and whether it was food people wanted to eat — it was a lot of macaroni and cheese. I put forward ideas for reorganizing it, and they were very supportive. They said, “You’ve been hired to direct, so go ahead.” They didn’t question my ideas.

We did some things that a number of the church people did not approve of. We transformed the program into a customer co-operative and set it up like a store where people were able to do their own shopping. We put forth the concept of a nutritionally-balanced shopping cart, so people were able to shop for fruits and vegetables and grains and protein. Nobody was paying any money, but it was set up so that they could select their own food. We also had a social service office, so we not only provided food but met with people about other support they may be eligible for and put them in contact with other organizations.

The West Side Campaign Against Hunger is staffed by volunteers, some of whom put in hours five days a week. There are lots of stereotypes about low-wage workers that just aren’t true at all. Low-income people do an enormous amount of community work and they’re never recognized. These people are concerned about their neighbors and they’re the backbone of their families. I’ve tried to do what I can to give recognition — even just celebrations of birthdays, getting theater tickets for people and having a volunteer recognition day with monetary awards.

I’ve always enjoyed the work I’ve done. I think that’s an absolute gift. I never had to do what many low-income people and immigrants have to do. I never worked in a chicken slaughterhouse or a factory or a coal mine — that’s a privilege. I’ve been fortunate with my health.

I think staying working until age 80 kept me young. I feel like I’ve aged since I’ve retired. I’m nostalgic for the time of being a young family with kids. I was about 26 when my son was born and 28 when my daughter was born. I went back to work when my daughter was two.

Outside of my work, I’ve also been interested in art. Back in school, I did some sculpturing. I enjoy museums — I go to Met Breuer quite a lot. The renovation has taken it back to the original building, and I think it’s wonderful. I enjoy the Guggenheim and the Met and the Whitney. My personal style is folky. Jewelry tells a tale. I must admit earrings are my weakness. I pick them up on my travels and at craft festivals and flea markets.

I like to travel to Europe. I visit friends in England and France, and I try to go about every six months. Of course, there are other parts of the world I’d still like to see, but I should have done that when I was 60 or 70. My feet now aren’t in such good shape. When I travel, I go to be with people. Life is really about people communicating with each other. I could easily spend a day at home and not talk. But when I spend a day with people, I come back feeling healthier. Older people are a resource in communities that’s probably not tapped into enough. We need to communicate and stay involved.

Photos by Emily Malan. 

Jackie Homan

Jackie Homan is a journalist, writer, and proud owner of an indoor s’mores maker for the rainy days.

Get more Brain Massage ?

Nov 23, Giving advice reacquaints us with the knowledge we possess, which instils confidence, which motivates action.

Here’s a solid gold piece of advice: be wary of anyone offering you solid gold pieces of advice. The friend who advises you to, say, stay in your relationship or leave your job may well be looking out for you; but she’s inescapably looking out for herself, too, whether she realises it or not. Maybe she believes her own marriage was a case of settling, and wants you to join the club. Maybe she adores your company so much she could never recommend a career step that might involve your leaving town.

Moreover, research suggests that, in the absence of incentives to the contrary, people will generally advise you to act more cautiously than they would act themselves in a similar situation – perhaps because they don’t want it on their conscience if you take a daring leap and fall flat on your face.

There’s a happy flipside to this, though, for parents, teachers, managers and anyone else who finds themselves in the position of needing to motivate others: far better than giving them advice is to give them the opportunity to give advice. That’s the conclusion of a new study by psychologists at the universities of Chicago and Pennsylvania, who found that American middle-school pupils were much more enthusiastic about doing their homework after dispensing advice on the topic to younger children, as compared with after receiving advice from teachers. This motivational effect lasted weeks, and was also observed among adults who were attempting to lose weight, save money, control their temper or find a job. Teach a man to fish and he’ll know how to fish – but get him to teach others how to fish, and he might actually get on with some damned fishing.

This result isn’t all that surprising, I suppose, when you consider how flattering it feels to be invited to give advice. (Frankly, it’s only slightly less ego-boosting to give it anyway, even when not invited.) Faced with a challenge, we tend to assume we need to seek advice in order to obtain more knowledge about how to proceed; yet the truth, very often, is that we know exactly what we need to do – we just lack the confidence to do it. The act of giving advice reacquaints us with the knowledge we already possess, which instils confidence, which motivates action.

This, by the way, is another good reason to keep a journal: you can use it to advise yourself. Your friends may have limited patience with your habit of lecturing them on their lives in order to feel better about your own (I know mine do!), but a leather-effect notebook never complains.

Why are we surprised that therapy has its downsides? | Oliver Burkeman

Finally, this is a reminder that there are few bigger compliments you can pay another person than to ask, preferably sincerely, for their advice. Benjamin Franklin famously observed that to ingratiate yourself with someone, it’s better to ask for a favour than to perform one: the favour-doer will come to think of you as the decent and likable sort for whom they do favours.

The same surely applies to advice: rather than giving it, ask for it. Though I should add that if you have any insights on this matter yourself – what with you being such a wise and thoughtful person, with such rich life experience – I’m definitely all ears.

[email protected]

Read this

Zac Bissonnette’s book Good Advice From Bad People, a compendium of tips from various frauds, felons and failures, shows how the best advice doesn’t always stem from living the best life.

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Eight pieces of life advice from wise women

wise life advice

engagement wishes msg
Romantic bday wish
anniversary wishes with pictures
Words of wishdom
best wishes on your wedding day quotes
Happy mothers day mother in law poems
thank you for the lovely wishes
Thanksgiving for bday wishes

How to Live a Good Life
Advice from Wise Persons

Principles, Rules, Essentials, Precepts, Recommendations, and Key Concepts for Right Living

Advice Regarding a Worthy Lifestyle
Adopting a Healthy and Wholesome Lifestyle
High Ideals, Models, Virtues, Key Factors
Suggestions for Developing Your Philosophy of Life
Quality Lifestyle


Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo
Valley Spirit Center, Fir Grove, Vancouver, Washington, 2020




Characteristics of Healthy People

"So far as motivational status is concerned, healthy people have sufficiently gratified their basic needs for safety, belongingness, love, respect and self-esteem so that they are motivated primarily by trends to self-actualization (defined as ongoing actualization of potentials, capacitates and talents, as fulfillment of mission (or call, fate, destiny, or vocation), as a fuller knowledge of, and acceptance of, the person's own intrinsic nature, as an unceasing trend toward unity, integration or synergy within the person. .. These healthy people are there defined by describing their clinically observed characteristics.  These are:
1.  Superior perception of reality.
2.  Increased acceptance of self, of others and of nature.
3.  Increased spontaneity.
4.  Increase in problem-centering.
5.  Increased detachment and desire for privacy.
6.  Increased autonomy, and resistance to enculturation.
7.  Greater freshness of appreciation, and richness of emotional reaction.
8.  Higher frequency of peak experiences.
9.  Increased identification with the human species.
10.  Changed and improved interpersonal relations.
11.  More democratic character structure.
12.  Greatly increased creativeness.
13.  Certain changes in the value system."

-  Abraham Maslow, Toward a Psychology of Being, 1962. 




Happiness Activities

1.  Expressing Gratitude
2.  Cultivating Optimism
3.  Avoiding Over-Thinking and Social Comparisons
4.  Practicing Acts of Kindness
5.  Nurturing Social Relationships
6.  Developing Strategies for Coping
7.  Learning to Forgive 
8.  Increasing Flow Expectations
9.  Savoring Life's Joys
10.  Committing to Your Goals
11.  Practicing Spirituality
12.  Taking Care of Your Body (Meditation)
13.  Taking Care of Your Body (Physical Activity)
14.  Taking Care of Your Body (Acting Like a Happy Person)
15.  The Five Hows Behind Sustainable Happiness: Positive Emotions,
       Optimal Timing and Variety, Social Support, Motivation, Effort,
       Commitment, and Habit. 

-  Sonja Lyubomirsky, The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want, 2008




Nine Essentials for Lifelong Vitality

"1.  Moving with Attention, Wake Up to Life, Mindful Movements
2.  The Learning Switch, Bring in the New, Lifelong learning, Retraining
3.  Subtlety, Experience the Power of Gentleness
4.  Variation, Enjoy Abundant Possibilities
5.  Taking Your Time, Slowing Down, Not Rushing, Luxuriate in the Richness of Feeling 
6.  Enthusiasm, Turn the Small into the Great
7.  Flexible Goals, Make the Impossible Possible  
8.  Imagination and Dreams, Create Your Life
9.  Awareness, Cultivating Mindfulness, Thrive with True Knowledge"

-   Anat Baniel, Move into Life: The Nine Essentials for Lifelong Vitality, 2009.




The Six Principles of Enlightened Living
The Six Perfections (Paramitas) in Mahayana Buddhism:

"1.  Generosity: charity, kind-hearted giving, altruism, unattached generosity, boundless
     openness, unconditional love (Dana) .
2.  Virtue: ethics, morality, self-discipline, not harming, proper conduct, impeccability (Sila). 
3.  Patience: tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, endurance (Kshanti). 
4.  Energy: diligence, courage, enthusiasm, vigor, effort (Virya). 
5.  Meditation: absorption, concentration, presence of mind, contemplation (Dhyana). 
6.  Wisdom: transcendental wisdom, mystical insight, enlightenment (Prajna)."  

-   Six Perfections and Paramitas: Buddhist Perfections (c 50 CE)




Creating Optimism

"1. Connect to Others, socialize, maintain friendships.
2. Maintain Autonomy: a feeling of independence and a sense of being in control.
3. Self-Esteem: a function of how you perceive others view you. 
4. Competence: relates to how effective you feel you are. 
5. Purpose: fulfillment and meaning throughout your life. 
6. Connection to Your Body: vital to our complete sense of self…
    Exercise, mind/body arts, pampering, wholesome food, rest, relaxation. 
7. Connection to Nature: its permanence, its beauty and power. 
8. Spirituality: a powerful weapon against depression." 

-  Bob Murry and Alicia Fortinberry, Creating Optimism, 2004. 




Twenty Rules for Optimal Living in the 21st Century

1.  Face Reality
2.  Take Action
3.  Create Yourself
4.  Accept Responsibility
5.  Do It Now
6.  You Can't Change the Past 
7.  Act Like a Scientist 
8.  Work, Work, Work and Practice, Practice, Practice 
9.  Push Yourself 
10.  Do and Feel 
11.  There's No Gain Without Pain 
12.  Accept and Forgive Yourself Unconditionally 
13.  Live for Now and for the Future 
14.  Commit Yourself 
15.  Take Risks 
16.  Be Interested in Yourself and in Others  
17.  Remain Flexible  
18.  Use It Or Lose It 
19.  Accept Uncertainty 
20.  Don't Expect Heaven on Earth 

-  Albert Ellis and Emmett Verlten, Optimal Aging: Get Over Getting Older, 1998.  Aging Well




Seven Strategies for Positive Aging

1.  You can find meaning in old age.
2.  You're never to old to learn.
3.  You can use the past to cultivate wisdom.
4.  You can strengthen life-span relationships.
5.  You can promote growth through giving and receiving help.
6.  You can forgive yourself and others.
7.  You can possess a grateful attitude. 
-  Robert T. Hill, 
Seven Strategies for Positive Aging, 2008.  Aging Well




Seven Perennial Spiritual Practices

"1.  Transform your motivation: reduce craving and find your soul's desire.
2.  Cultivate emotional wisdom: heal your heart and learn to love. 
3.  Live ethically: feel good by doing good. 
4.  Concentrate and calm your mind. 
5.  Awaken your spiritual vision: see clearly and recognize the sacred in all things. 
6.  Cultivate spiritual intelligence: develop wisdom and understand life. 
7.  Express spirit in action: embrace generosity and the joy of service." 

-   Roger Walsh, Essential Spirituality: The 7 Central Practices to Awaken Heart and Mind, 1999




Cloud Hands Blog

Virtues and a Good Life 


Fitness and Well Being

Aging Well and Values

The Ten Paramitas of Buddhism

How to Live a Good Life: Advice from Wise Persons

Dharmapada Sutra of the Buddha

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Spirit of Gardening


Green Way Research Subject Index



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, © 2020 CCA 4.0



The Essence of the Ten Transformative Practices

"Generosity arises from unselfishness and nonattachment.
Ethics involves virtue, integrity, and self-discipline.
Patience requires resilience, acceptance, and fortitude. 
Effort means courage in joyous perseverance.
Meditation implies mindfulness, concentration, reflection, and introspection. 
Transcendental wisdom includes discernment and self-knowledge. 
Skillful means arise from resourcefulness and imagination. 
Spiritual aspirations include noble intention and resolve.
Higher accomplishments require leadership, powers, and positive influence.
Awakened awareness means pristine realization.
These are the ten arms and legs of the radiant body of the Bodhisattva,
Whose heart is Bodhicitta, selfless love and compassion."

-  Lama Surya Das, Buddha Is as Buddha Does: The Ten Original Practices for Enlightened Living, 2007. 




Twelve Gateways to Personal Growth

"1.  Preparation: Stairway to the Soul 
2.  Discover Your Worth: Opening to Life 
3.  Reclaim Your Will: The Power to Change 
4.  Energize Your Body: A Foundation for Life 
5.  Manage Your Money: Sufficiency and Spiritual Practice 
6.  Tame Your Mind: Inner Peace and Simple Reality 
7.  Trust Your Intuition: Accessing Inner Guidance 
8.  Accept Your Emotions: The Center of the Cyclone 
9.  Face Your Fears: Living as Peaceful Warriors 
10.  Illuminate Your Shadow: Cultivating Compassion and Authenticity 
11.  Embrace Your Sexuality: Celebrating Life 
12.  Awaken Your Heart: The Healing Power of Love 
13.  Serve Your World: Completing the Circle of Life"

-  Dan Millman, Everyday Enlightenment: The Twelve Gateways to Personal Growth, 1999.  




The Ten Emotions of Power

"1.   Love and Warmth
2.   Appreciation and Gratitude
3.   Curiosity
4.   Excitement and Passion
5.   Determination
6.   Flexibility  
7.   Confidence 
8.   Cheerfulness  
9.   Vitality 
10.  Contribution"

-   Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within, 1991.





Reverse Your Biological Age By:

"1.  Changing your perceptions.  
2.  Deep rest, restful awareness, and restful sleep. 
3.  Lovingly nurturing you body through healthy food.  
4.  Using nutritional complements wisely.  
5.  Enhancing mind/body integration: breathing exercises, yoga, tai chi, qigong, aikido, etc.. 
6.  Exercise: strength and aerobic conditioning.  
7.  Eliminating toxins from you life.   
8.  Cultivating flexibility and creativity in consciousness.  
9.  Love and loving relationships.   
10.  Maintaining a youthful mind."

-   Deepak Chopra and David Simon, Grow Younger, Live Longer: Ten Steps to Reverse Aging, 2001. 




Nine Pagan Virtues

"1.  Wisdom - Good judgment, the ability to perceive people and situations correctly, deliberate about and decide on the correct response. 
2.  Piety - Correct observance of ritual and social traditions; the maintenance of the agreements (both personal and societal),
we humans have with the Gods and Spirits.  Keep the Old Ways, through ceremony and duty. 
3.  Vision - The ability to broaden one's perspective to have a greater understanding of our place and role in the cosmos,
relating to the past, present and future. 
4.  Courage - The ability to act appropriately in the face of danger. 
5.  Integrity - Honor; being trustworthy to oneself and to others, involving oath-keeping, honesty, fairness, respect, self-confidence.
6.  Perseverance - Drive; the motivation to pursue goals even when that pursuit becomes difficult.
7.  Hospitality - Acting as both a gracious host and an appreciative guest, involving benevolence, friendliness, humor, and the
honoring of "a gift for a gift."
8.  Moderation - Cultivating one's appetites so that one is neither a slave to them nor driven to ill health (mental or physical),
through excess or deficiency. 
9.  Fertility - Bounty of mind, body and spirit, involving creativity, production of objects, food, works of art, etc., an
appreciation of the physical, sensual and nurturing." 

-  The Ar nDraíocht Feín Dedicant Program, 2005.




Cloud Hands Blog

Virtues and a Good Life 


How to Live a Good Life: Advice from Wise Persons

Fitness and Well Being

Aging Well and Values

The Ten Paramitas of Buddhism

Spirit of Gardening

Dharmapada Sutra of the Buddha

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu


Green Way Research Subject Index


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, © 2020 CCA 4.0.




Hierarchy of Needs, Ranking the Fundamental Needs of Human Beings


-  Abraham Maslow's, Hierarchy of Needs, 1943




Confucian Virtues

"Li: Propriety, reverence, courtesy, ritual or the ideal standard of conduct.
Jen: Goodness, benevolence; recognition of value and concern for others, no matter their rank or class. 
Chun-Tzu: The idea of the true gentleman who lives according to the highest ethical standards.
The gentleman displays five virtues: self-respect, generosity, sincerity, persistence, and benevolence."

-   Confucius (550-479 BCE),  The Analects




Strive Conscientiously To

1.  Increase our objectivity and eliminate confusing facts and inferences
2.  Break any habit with which we habitually put ourselves at risk
3.  Get rid of agendas that conflict with our higher priorities
4.  Replace self-defeating demands and damnation with realistic preferences and appraisals
5.  Accept ourselves and others as the fallible human beings we actually are."

-  Albert Ellis and Robert Harper, A Guide to Rational Living, 1961.




The Twelve Principles of Natural Liberation

"1.  All forms are interconnected, constantly change, and continuously arise from and return to primordial Source.
2.  Commit yourself completely to liberation in this lifetime. 
3.  Relax and surrender to life. 
4.  Remain in now. 
5.  Cultivate union with universal energy.  
6.  Go with the universal flow.  
7.  Rest in the radiance of your open heart. 
8.  Active compassion arises naturally out of unconditioned love.  
9.  Cutting through to clarity, luminosity, and spaciousness.  
10.  Return to Source.  
11.  Pure Source awareness is - remain in recognition.  
12.  Serve as a warrior of the open heart and liberated spirit." 

-   John P. Milton, Sky Above, Earth Below, 2006  




The Four Classic Western Cardinal Virtues

"1.  Temperance: moderation, self-control, mindful, purity, disciplined. 
2.  Prudence: wise, intelligent, knowledgeable, insightful, forward thinking, sagacious, sound judgment. 
3.  Courage: fortitude, endurance, composure, determination, will, overcoming adversity. 
4.  Justice: fairness, principled, harmony, equality, utility, rule of law." 

-   Plato (c 340 BCE), Republic




How To Live

Don't Worry About Death
Pay Attention
Be Born
Read at lot, forget most of what you read, and be slow-witted
Survive love and loss
Use little tricks
Question Everything
Keep a private room behind the shop
Be convivial: live with others
Wake from the sleep of habit
Live temperately
Guard your humanity
Do something no one has done before
See the world
Do a good job, but not too good a job
Philosophize only by accident
Reflect on everything; regret nothing
Give up control
Be ordinary and imperfect
Let life be its own answer

-  Summary of some of the views of Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) by Sarah Bakewell in How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer, 2010.   




Six Virtues of Positive Psychology

"The introduction of  the Character Strengths and Virtues (CSV) Handbook suggests that these six virtues are considered good by the vast majority of cultures and throughout history and that these traits lead to increased happiness when practiced.  Notwithstanding numerous cautions and caveats, this suggestion of universality hints that in addition to trying to broaden the scope of psychological research to include mental wellness, the leaders of the positive psychology movement are challenging moral relativism and suggesting that we are "evolutionarily predisposed" toward certain virtues, that virtue has a biological basis."   -  Positive Psychology

The organization of these virtues and strengths is as follows:

  • Wisdom and Knowledge: creativity, curiosity, open-mindedness, love of learning, perspective, innovation
  • Courage: bravery, persistence, integrity, vitality
  • Humanity: love, kindness, social intelligence
  • Justice: citizenship, fairness, leadership
  • Temperance: forgiveness and mercy, humility, prudence, self control
  • Transcendence: appreciation of beauty and excellence, gratitude, hope, humor, spirituality"  



    The Ten Grave Precepts

    "1.  Affirm life; Do not kill.
    2.  Be giving; Do not steal.
    3.  Honor the body; Do not misuse sexuality.
    4.  Manifest truth; Do not lie.
    5.  Proceed clearly; Do not cloud the mind.
    6.  See the perfection; Do not speak of others errors and faults.
    7.  Realize self and other as one; Do not elevate the self and blame others.
    8.  Give generously; do not be withholding.
    9.  Actualize harmony; Do not be angry.
    10.  Experience the intimacy of things; Do not defile the Eight Treasures."

    -   John Daido Loori, The Eight Gates of Zen, 2002.

         The Five Precepts of Mahayana Buddhism




    The Thinker's Way to a Richer Life

    1.  Think Critically 
    2.  Live Creatively
    3.  Choose Freely 
    4.  Solve Problems Effectively 
    5.  Communicate Effectively 
    6.  Analyze Complex Issues 
    7.  Develop Enlightened Values
    8.  Think Through Relationships 

    -  John Chaffee, The Thinker's Way: Steps to a Richer Life,  1998




    Please read about, learn, understand, and apply the Scientific Method in your daily life.


    "The scientific method is an empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century. It involves careful observation, applying rigorous skepticism about what is observed, given that cognitive assumptions can distort how one interprets the observation. It involves formulating hypotheses, via induction, based on such observations; experimental and measurement-based testing of deductions drawn from the hypotheses; and refinement (or elimination) of the hypotheses based on the experimental findings. These are principles of the scientific method, as distinguished from a definitive series of steps applicable to all scientific enterprises.

    Though diverse models for the scientific method are available, there is in general a continuous process that includes observations about the natural world. People are naturally inquisitive, so they often come up with questions about things they see or hear, and they often develop ideas or hypotheses about why things are the way they are. The best hypotheses lead to predictions that can be tested in various ways. The most conclusive testing of hypotheses comes from reasoning based on carefully controlled experimental data. Depending on how well additional tests match the predictions, the original hypothesis may require refinement, alteration, expansion or even rejection. If a particular hypothesis becomes very well supported, a general theory may be developed.

    Although procedures vary from one field of inquiry to another, they are frequently the same from one to another. The process of the scientific method involves making conjectures (hypotheses), deriving predictions from them as logical consequences, and then carrying out experiments or empirical observations based on those predictions. A hypothesis is a conjecture, based on knowledge obtained while seeking answers to the question. The hypothesis might be very specific, or it might be broad. Scientists then test hypotheses by conducting experiments or studies. A scientific hypothesis must be falsifiable, implying that it is possible to identify a possible outcome of an experiment or observation that conflicts with predictions deduced from the hypothesis; otherwise, the hypothesis cannot be meaningfully tested.

    The purpose of an experiment is to determine whether observations agree with or conflict with the predictions derived from a hypothesis.[8] Experiments can take place anywhere from a garage to CERN's Large Hadron Collider. There are difficulties in a formulaic statement of method, however. Though the scientific method is often presented as a fixed sequence of steps, it represents rather a set of general principles. Not all steps take place in every scientific inquiry (nor to the same degree), and they are not always in the same order."

    The Scientific Method, Wikipedia, 2019      Scientific Method, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2019    




    Ten Positive Energy Prescriptions

    "1.  Awaken intuition and rejuvenate yourself.
    2.  Find a nurturing spiritual path.
    3.  Design an energy-aware approach to diet, fitness and health.
    4.  Generate positive emotional energy to counter negativity.
    5.  Develop a heart-centered sexuality.
    6.  Open yourself to the flow of inspiration and creativity. 
    7.  Celebrate the sacredness of laughter, pampering, and the replenishment of retreat.
    8.  Attract positive people and situations.
    9.  Protect yourself from energy vampires.
    10.  Create abundance."

    -  Judith Orloff, Positive Energy, 2004.   



    How to Make the Most of Your Life: 50 Wise Tips



    Characteristics of Wise People

    1.  Cultivated
    2.  Compassionate
    3.  Good Listeners
    4.  Nonconformists
    5.  Open-minded
    6.  Problem-centered
    7.  Reflective
    8.  Humorous
    9.  Unselfish
    10.  Willing

    -  Jordi Alemany, 10 Common Characteristics of Wise People, 2016



    Buddha's Charter of Free Inquiry

    “Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing;
    nor upon tradition;
    nor upon rumor;
    nor upon what is in a scripture:
    nor upon surmise;
    nor upon an axiom;
    nor upon specious reasoning;
    nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over:
    nor upon another’s seeming ability;
    nor upon the consideration, “The monk is our teacher.”
    When you yourselves know:
    “These things are good; these things are not blamable;
    these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed,
    these things lead to benefit and happiness,” enter on and abide in them.”"
    -   Gautama Buddha
         Kalama Sutta, The Buddha’s Charter of Free Inquiry
         Translated by Soma Thera (The Wheel Publication, No. 8),
         Buddhist Publication Society, 1987  



    Cloud Hands Blog

    Virtues and a Good Life  


    Fitness and Well Being

    Spirit of Gardening

    Aging Well and Values

    The Ten Paramitas of Buddhism

    Dharmapada Sutra of the Buddha

    Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu


    How to Live a Good Life: Advice from Wise Persons

    Green Way Research Subject Index


    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, © 2020 CCA 4.0




    18 Rules for Living

    1. "Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
    2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
    3. Follow the three Rs:  Respect for self, Respect for others, Responsibility for all your actions.
    4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
    5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
    6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
    7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
    8. Spend some time alone every day.
    9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
    10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
    11. Live a good and honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
    12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
    13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
    14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
    15. Be gentle with the earth.
    16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
    17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
    18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it."

    -  Attributed to the Dalai Lama, probably erroneously, and more likely borrowed from:
       H. Jackson Brown Jr., Life's Little Instruction Book:  511 Suggestions, Observations, and Reminders on How to Live a Happy and Rewarding Life, 2000. 




    A Twelve-Point Program for Healthy Aging

    "1.  Eat an anti-inflammatory diet.
    2.  Use dietary supplements wisely to support the body's defenses and natural healing power.
    3.  Use preventive medicine intelligently: know your risks of age-related disease, get appropriate diagnostic and screening
    tests and immunizations, and treat problems (like elevated blood pressure and cholesterol) in their early stages.
    4.  Get regular physical activity throughout life. 
    5.  Get adequate rest and sleep.
    6.  Learn and practice methods of stress protection. 
    7.  Exercise your mind as well as your body. 
    8.  Maintain social and intellectual connections as you go through life. 
    9.  Be flexible in mind and body: learn to adapt to losses and let go of behaviors no longer appropriate for your age.
    10.  Think about and try to discover for yourself the benefits of aging. 
    11.  Do not deny the reality of aging or put energy into trying to stop it.  Use the experience of aging as a stimulus
    for spiritual awakening and growth. 
    12.  Keep an ongoing record of the lessons you learn, the wisdom you gain, and the values you hold.  At critical points in
    your life, read this over, add to it, revise it, and share it with people you care about." 

    -  Andrew Weil, Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Physical and Spiritual Well-Being, 2005.





    Process of the Good Life

    "1.  A growing openness to experience – they move away from defensiveness and have no need for subception (a perceptual defense that involves unconsciously applying strategies to prevent a troubling stimulus from entering consciousness).

    2.  An increasingly existential lifestyle – living each moment fully – not distorting the moment to fit personality or self-concept but allowing personality and self-concept to emanate from the experience.  This results in excitement, daring, adaptability, tolerance, spontaneity, and a lack of rigidity and suggests a foundation of trust.  To open one's spirit to what is going on now, and discover in that present process whatever structure it appears to have. 

    3.  Increasing organismic trust – they trust their own judgment and their ability to choose behavior that is appropriate for each moment.  They do not rely on existing codes and social norms but trust that as they are open to experiences they will be able to trust their own sense of right and wrong.

    4.  Freedom of choice – not being shackled by the restrictions that influence an incongruent individual, they are able to make a wider range of choices more fluently. They believe that they play a role in determining their own behavior and so feel responsible for their own behavior.

    5.  Creativity – it follows that they will feel more free to be creative.  They will also be more creative in the way they adapt to their own circumstances without feeling a need to conform.

    6.  Reliability and constructiveness – they can be trusted to act constructively.  An individual who is open to all their needs will be able to maintain a balance between them.  Even aggressive needs will be matched and balanced by intrinsic goodness in congruent individuals.

    7. A rich full life – the life of the fully functioning individual as rich, full and exciting and suggests that they experience joy and pain, love and heartbreak, fear and courage more intensely.  Rogers' description of the good life:  "This process of the good life is not, I am convinced, a life for the faint-hearted.  It involves the stretching and growing of becoming more and more of one's potentialities.  It involves the courage to be.  It means launching oneself fully into the stream of life."

    -  Carl Rogers (1902-1987), On Becoming a Person, Biography




    Eight Elements West

    "1.  Consistent Exercise:  Energize through safe, results-oriented exercise.
    2.  Body Alignment:  Promote proper posture, spinal strength with flexibility, and body awareness.
    3.  Natural Nutrition: Implement sound eating practices for life.
    4.  Sound Mind: Embrace life obstacles with self-awareness, reflection, imagination and creativity.
    5.  Relaxation and Centering: Cultivate and calm the body-mind connection everyday.
    6.  Community and Environment: Surround yourself with trusted friends and family. Be kind to the Earth.
    7.  Individual Action: Time is precious. Let change begin now, with you.
    8.  Heart of the Human Spirit: Transform life through your heart, where true strength resides."

    -   Eight Elements West, 2005 



    Try to Build It

    "The only sensible goal, then, is to try to build a reality-tunnel for next week that is bigger, funnier, sexier, more optimistic and generally less boring that any previous reality-tunnel. And once you have built that bigger, funnier, happier universe of thought, build a bigger and better one, for next month."
    - Robert Anton Wilson, Prometheus Rising, p. 226, 1983




    Cultivating a Positive Mindset

    "Think in a calm, pacified, and reflective manner instead of being disturbed, agitated, and impulsive in one's reactions.
    Put ideas together rationally and arrive at the right judgment even in the absence of obvious evidence or proof. 
    Decide, plan, and execute a course of action in a patient, persistent, and disciplined manner. 
    Recognize the changes and be flexible in adapting to them.
    Observe and perceive things with a sense of humor instead of outrage, indignation, and anger.
    Let go of useless and counterproductive thoughts, desires, and ambitions instead of being preoccupied with them.
    Relax and meditate or rest.
    Resist temptation and coercion."

    -  Michael Fekete, Strength Training for Seniors, 2006. 









    Some Guiding Principles for Integral Practices and Institutions That Support Them:

    "1.  They promote a simultaneous development of our various faculties.
    2.  They generally require mentors, rather than a single guru.
    3.  They require a strong and developing autonomy.
    4.  They are facilitated by personal traits that promote creativity in general.
    5.  Though they encourage individual autonomy, they require surrender at times to transformative agencies beyond ordinary functioning.
    6.  They require patience and the love of practice for its own sake.
    7.  They utilize inherited all-at-once responses, or psychosomatic compliance for high-level change.
    8.  They utilize the manifold changes catalyzed by images and altered states.
    9.  They enlist more that one mediation to achieve particular outcomes.
    10.  They surpass limits by negotiation rather than force.
    11.  They depend upon improvisation.
    12.  They utilized images of unity.
    13.  They require and facilitate conscious transitions between different states of consciousness.
    14.  They depend on a developing awareness that transcends psychological and somatic functioning.
    15.  They orient all our capacities and somatic processes toward the extraordinary life arising in us."

    -   Michael Murphy, The Future of the Body: Explorations Into the Further Evolution of Human Nature, 1992.  




    The Song of Ch'an Tao Chia
    The Twenty Seven Precepts of Taoism

    "Have compassion for all sentient beings causing them no unnecessary hurt nor needless harm.
    Refrain from needless competitiveness, from contriving for self-advantage and from subjugating others.
    When accepting authority over others know also that you accept responsibility for their wellbeing.
    Value true friendship and fulfill your obligations rather than striving with egotistical motive.
    Seek liberation from the negative passions of hatred, envy, greed and rage, and especially from delusion, deceit and sensory desire.
    Learn to let go of that which cannot be owned or which is destroyed by grasping.
    Seek the courage to be; defend yourself and your convictions.
    Accept transience, the inevitable and the irrevocable.
    Know that change exists in everything.
    Negate the barriers to your awakening. Discover the positive in the negative and seek a meaningful purpose in what you do.
    Be just and honorable. Take pride in what you do rather than being proud of what you have accomplished.
    Having humility and respect, give thanks to those from whom you learn or who have otherwise helped you.
    Act in harmony with your fellow beings, with nature and with inanimate objects. 
    Know that a thing or an action which may seem of little value to oneself may be a priceless treasure to another. 
    Help those who are suffering or disadvantaged and as you yourself become awakened help those who seek to make real their own potential.
    Know that there is no shame in questioning.
    Be diligent in your practice and on hearing the music of the absolute do not be so foolish as to try to sing its song.
    Remember to renew the source in order to retain good health.
    Seek neither brilliance nor the void; just think deeply and work hard.
    When still, be as the mountain. When in movement be as the dragon riding the wind. Be aware at all times like the tiger, which only seems to sleep and at all times let the mind be like running water.
    When you are required to act remember that right motive is essential to right action, just as right thought is essential to right words.
    Beware of creating burdens for yourself or others to carry.
    Act with necessary distinction being both creative and receptive and transcending subject/object dichotomy.
    Know that you are not the center of the universe but learn to put the universe at your center by accepting the instant of your being.
    Seek security within yourself rather than in others.
    Know that even great worldly wealth and the accumulation of material things are of little worth compared with the priceless treasures: love, peace and the freedom to grow.
    Allow yourself to be so that your life may become a time of blossoming."

    -   Stan Rosenthal, (Shi-tien Roshi) of the British School of Zen Taoism, 
    The Song of Ch'an Tao Chia: The Twenty Seven Precepts of Taoism
        Translation of the Tao Te Ching by Stan Rosenthal   




    Primary Spiritual Traits


    -  Lee Jampolsky, Walking Through Walls: Practical Spirituality for an Impractical World, 2005




    Elementary School Students Values Education

    I worked part-time for the Corning Union Elementary School District (5 schools, K-8) from 1999-2016 as the Technology and Media Services Supervisor, and District Librarian.  My office was in the Maywood Middle School, serving public school students in the 6th to 8th grades, ages 11 to 14.  Teachers and staff tried our best to create a safe, positive and productive educational environment.  We had signs and posters, and used daily verbal reminders about the kind of social and learning environment we wanted students to create and support. 

    I read with interest a few years ago about Fundamentalist Baptist Christians in Southern U.S. States that were pushing to have the Hebrew (Jewish) Ten Commandments of Moses placed on posters in every public elementary school (K-8) classroom.  I seriously doubt that telling a third grade student not to commit adultery, not to covet their neighbor’s wife or property, not to kill, and to worship only the Hebrew deity Yahweh is very meaningful or relevant to them, or beneficial in improving elementary school classroom behaviors. 

    In our public school, we emphasized core values every day:  Responsibility, Integrity, Safety and Courtesy. 

    Here are examples from three posters in our library and classrooms:

    Self Respect

    S   Set Goals
    E   Exercise 
    L   Love Yourself 
    F   Focus on Fitness 

    R   Rest and Relax 
    E   Eat Right 
    S   Smile 
    P   Portray the Positive 
    E   Enjoy Life
    C   Care for Others
    T   Tell Yourself “You Can Do This”

    Good People Skills

    Use Good Manners 
    Acknowledge Others 
    Use Greetings 
    Use People’s Names 
    Look at People When Talking 
    Accept Differences 
    Respect the Opinions of Others 
    Give Compliments





    Twenty Teachable Virtues


    -  Barbra C. Unell and Jerry L Wyckoff, "20 Teachable Virtues: Practical Ways to Pass on Lessons of Virtue and Character to Your Children," 1995




    Seven Precepts of Merlin:

    "First:  Labor Diligently to acquire knowledge, for it is power. 
    Second:  When in authority, decide reasonably, for thine authority may cease. 
    Third:  Bear with fortitude the ills of life, remembering that no mortal sorrow is perpetual. 
    Fourth:  Love virtue - for it bringeth peace. 
    Fifth:  Abhor vice - for it bringeth evil upon all. 
    Sixth:  Obey those in authority in all just things, that virtue may be exalted. 
    Seventh:  Cultivate the social virtues, so shalt thou be beloved by all men. 
    The motto of the Druids the world over is “United to Assist.”
    The aim of the Druids is Unity, Peace and Concord.”"

    -  Isaac Bonewits, Essential Guide to Druidism, 2006.




    By Max Ehrmann

    “Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
    and remember what peace there may be in silence.
    As far as possible without surrender
    be on good terms with all persons.
    Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
    and listen to others,
    even the dull and the ignorant;
    they too have their story.

    Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
    they are vexations to the spirit.
    If you compare yourself with others,
    you may become vain and bitter;
    for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

    Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
    it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
    Exercise caution in your business affairs;
    for the world is full of trickery.
    But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
    many persons strive for high ideals;
    and everywhere life is full of heroism.

    Be yourself.
    Especially, do not feign affection.
    Neither be cynical about love;
    for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
    it is as perennial as the grass.

    Take kindly the counsel of the years,
    gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
    But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
    Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
    Beyond a wholesome discipline,
    be gentle with yourself.

    You are a child of the universe,
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you,
    no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

    Therefore be at peace with God,
    whatever you conceive Him to be,
    and whatever your labors and aspirations,
    in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world.
    Be cheerful.
    Strive to be happy. ”

    -  Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, 1927.  Max Ehrmann (1872–1945), a poet and lawyer from Terre Haute, Indiana. 



    Cloud Hands Blog

    Virtues and a Good Life 


    Fitness and Well Being

    How to Live a Good Life: Advice from Wise Persons

    Aging Well and Values

    The Ten Paramitas of Buddhism

    Dharmapada Sutra of the Buddha

    Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu


    Spirit of Gardening

    Green Way Research Subject Index


    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, © 2020 CCA 4.0.




    Ten Principles for Living

    "1.   Never obey anyone's command unless it is coming from within you also. 
    2.   There is no God other than life itself. 
    3.   Truth is within you, do not search for it elsewhere. 
    4.   Love is prayer. 
    5.   To become a nothingness is the door to truth.  Nothingness itself is the means, the goal and attainment. 
    6.   Life is now and here. 
    7.   Live wakefully.  
    8.   Do not swim – float.  
    9.   Die each moment so that you can be new each moment.  
    10.  Do not search.  That which is, is.  Stop and see." 

    -   Osho (Acharya Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh), Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously




    Evaluation of Your Personal Strengths

    Wisdom and Knowledge
    1.  Curiosity and Interest in the World
    2.  Love of Learning
    3.  Judgment and Critical Thinking, Open-Mindedness
    4.  Ingenuity, Originality, Practical Intelligence, Street Smarts
    5.  Social Intelligence, Personal Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence
    6.  Perspective

    7.  Valor and Bravery
    8.  Perseverance, Industry, Diligence
    9.  Integrity, Genuineness, Honesty

    Humanity and Love
    10.  Kindness and Generosity
    11.  Loving and Allowing Oneself to be Loved

    12.  Citizenship, Duty, Teamwork, Loyalty
    13.  Fairness and Equity
    14.  Leadership

    15.  Self-Control
    16.  Prudence, Discretion, Caution
    17.  Humility, Modesty

    18.  Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence
    19.  Gratitude
    20.  Hope, Optimism, Future-Mindedness
    21.  Spirituality, Sense of Purpose, Faith, Religiousness
    22.  Forgiveness and Mercy
    23.  Playfulness and Humor
    24.  Zest, Passion, Enthusiasm 

    -  Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D., Authentic Happiness, 2002, pp. 134-161, Website




    Seven Fundamentals

    1.  Set goals.
    2.  A detailed management plan for your present resources.
    3.  Have a detailed plan for the use of your time.
    4.  A consistent plan for the gathering of knowledge. 
    5.  Constant association with people who have a common interest in progress, success, ideas, and philosophy.
    6.  A consistent plan for developing all your skills.
    7.  A consistent plan for figuring ways to live uniquely.

    -   Jim Rohn, Seven Fundamentals for Wealth and Happiness, Book, 1996



    Ten Golden Rules for Living the Good Life

    “1. Examine life, engage life with vengeance; always search for new pleasures and new destines to reach with your mind.
     2.  Worry only about the things that are in your control
    , the things that can be influenced and changed by your actions, not about the things that are beyond your capacity to direct or alter. 
     3.  Treasure Friendship, the reciprocal attachment that fills the need for affiliation. Friendship cannot be acquired in the market place, but must be nurtured and treasured in relations imbued with trust and amity. 
     4.  Experience True Pleasure
    . Avoid shallow and transient pleasures. Keep your life simple. Seek calming pleasures that contribute to peace of mind. True pleasure is disciplined and restrained. 
     5.  Master Yourself. Resist any external force that might delimit thought and action; stop deceiving yourself, believing only what is personally useful and convenient; complete liberty necessitates a struggle within, a battle to subdue negative psychological and spiritual forces that preclude a healthy existence; self mastery requires ruthless cador. 
     6.  Avoid Excess. Live life in harmony and balance. Avoid excesses. Even good things, pursued or attained without moderation, can become a source of misery and suffering. 
     7.  Be a Responsible Human Being
    . Approach yourself with honesty and thoroughness; maintain a kind of spiritual hygiene; stop the blame-shifting for your errors and shortcomings. 
     8.  Don’t Be a Prosperous Fool. Prosperity by itself, is not a cure-all against an ill-led life, and may be a source of dangerous foolishness. Money is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for the good life, for happiness and wisdom. 
     9.  Don’t Do Evil to Others. Evildoing is a dangerous habit, a kind of reflex too quickly resorted to and too easily justified that has a lasting and damaging effect upon the quest for the good life. Harming others claims two victims—the receiver of the harm, and the victimizer, the one who does harm. 
     10.  Kindness towards others tends to be rewarded
    . Kindness to others is a good habit that supports and reinforces the quest for the good life. Helping others bestows a sense of satisfaction that has two beneficiaries—the beneficiary, the receiver of the help, and the benefactor, the one who provides the help.” 

    -   By M. A. Soupious and Panos Mourdoukoutas, The Ten Golden Rules: Ancient Wisdom from the Greek Philosophers on Living the Good Life, 2009. 



    Adult Life Tasks:

    Career Consolidation
    Keeper of the Meaning

    -  By George E. Vaillant, M.D.. Aging Well: Surprising Guideposts to a Happier Life from the Landmark Harvard Study of Adult Development, 2002. 




    Serenity Prayer

    "Give me the serenity to accept
    the things that cannot be changed,
    the courage to change the things
    which can be changed,
    and the wisdom to distinguish
    one from the other.
    Living one day at a time,
    Enjoying one moment at a time,
    accepting hardship as a pathway to peace."
    -  Reinhold Niebuhr, Serenity Prayer Version, 1937

    "For every ailment under the sun
    There is a remedy, or there is none;
    If there be one, try to find it;
    If there be none, never mind it."
    Mother Goose Rhyme, 1695



    The Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy

    A   Attention
    B   Beauty, Being Present
    C   Compassion, Connections
    D   Devotion
    E   Enthusiasm 
    F   Faith, Forgiveness
    G   Grace, Gratitude
    H   Hope, Hospitality
    I   Imagination
    J   Joy, Justice  
    K   Kindness 
    L   Listening, Love 
    M   Meaning
    N   Nurturing 

    Anthology of wise advice for living well from many books by experts and wise persons.

    41 Supremely Wise Life Lessons From Everyday People

    In the aftermath of #MeToo and Time’s Up, this year’s International Women’s Day serves as a particularly important commemoration of the contributions of women past, present and future, as well as an urgent call to action. Part of that work involves uplifting the voices of women who are speaking out — about change, about success, about marginalization, about intersectionality, about what it feels like to be a woman making her way through the world.

    Scroll down for some of our favorite quotes by women who have been featured on Man Repeller. If there are any words by women that have touched your life in some way, even to the extent that you simply scribbled them down in a notebook, please share them in the comments below. Let’s turn up the volume.

    “The youth are not just our future, they are our present. How do we create space for them?”

    Carmen Perez in The Women’s March Paints an Optimistic Future for Feminism

    “In a subtle way, my gray hair reminds me of all the experiences in my life that have shaped me as a woman. And I really enjoy that reminder because it forces me to stop and think, girl, you’ve earned everything, including those silver streaks.”

    Noria Morales in 5 Women on Going Gray

    “At the end of each day, I like to ask myself, ‘What did you learn today?’ If I have answers, then that day has been successful.”

    Lacey Tompkins in 10 Women on Success As They Know It

    “I think you have to be honest with yourself about attainable goals and take the time to acknowledge when you’re putting too much pressure on yourself. Try to be self-aware enough to determine whether self-applied pressure is contributing to your unhappiness.”

    Simone Oliver in11 Women With Their Shit Together

    “Don’t touch your face. Let the pimples do what they do, leave them alone. Don’t try to cover everything up because that always ends up making it worse. Just do enough to make yourself feel more secure. Know that your skin is not what people are focusing on, and if it is, then those are not the kind of people you should interact with.”

    Jaquelyn Klein in What If Acne Wasn’t a Flaw? 5 Women Skip Coverup and Talk Skin

    “My joy comes from knowing that my strength is imbued in my very being, that no one has endured as much as a black woman and no one has triumphed like a black woman. Living in a country that was forged in a legacy of marginalization, it gives me absolute joy when I see a woman succeeding, like Kamala Harris, or becoming a standard of beauty, like Lupita Nyong’o. We thrive.”

    Olivia Stevens in I Asked 13 Black Women a Question I Needed to Answer Myself

    “Women spoke and the engine of the internet’s outrage machine listened — then whirred to life. Weinstein was rightfully terminated. This series of consequences goes to show that in the ongoing campaign to support victims of sexual harassment and condemn their abusers, there is no such thing as too much noise.”

    Harling Ross in Harvey Weinstein’s Fall: When Women Speak and People Listen

    “Of course I have flaws I’m self-conscious about, but you learn to live with what you have been handed in life and count your blessings. If I had to live my life over, I would start at age 40.”

    Ann inI Asked 23 Women About Their Biggest Insecurity

    “My eyes will never be blue, my bone structure will never allow for you to mistake me for a Scandinavian model. I am who I am and even if that infers ‘ugly as fuck,’ I think it’s, I don’t know, beautiful.”

    Leandra Medine in Why I Don’t Wear Makeup

     “It feels good to be a regular person. It feels good to move through the day without making assumptions about what other people think and see and believe. It feels like a relief. It feels respectful. I’m just me. You’re just you. You’re just doing your best. There’s a lot to celebrate. There’s a lot to love. There’s a lot to feel grateful for. And there’s nothing at all to be ashamed of.”

    Heather Havrilesky in Shame: An Explainer

    “When I hear “balance,” it doesn’t sound like a goal. More like unnecessary pressure. I say that because when we’re killing it in one area of our lives, the reality is another area is going to get less of our attention and less effort.”

    Vanessa Lundy in A Model, an Author and a Stylist on Letting Go and “Having It All”

    “If I could tell myself anything, I’d say, ‘Be more adventurous. Don’t take everything that seriously. You are still in your twenties, so it’s okay to fuck up. There is time to get back on the horse.’ I wish I realized that, aside from paying bills, being an adult is actually fun.”

    Nicole Chapoteau in I Asked Women What They’d Tell Their 28-Year-Old Selves

    “In order to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to enjoy constantly being in over your head. There’s this sweet spot between, ‘I GOT THIS!!!’ and ‘…Holy shit, I’m gonna barf’ that you live in every single day.”

    Polly Rodriguez in It’s Never Too Late: 3 Women on Second Chances and Changing Careers

    “I had spent nearly two decades attempting to hide, remedy and ‘fix’ was not something to be fixed at all. The bottom half that had made me feel so different than the other girls I grew up with was inherited. It was genetically and generationally mine.”

    Monica Busch in I’ve Finally Stopped Fighting My Natural Body Type

    “Ask yourself why the issue matters to you and why you do the work, and remind yourself of that every time you feel like quitting. I like to make my advocacy bigger than me, so that when I get the urge to stop, I remember that there are others counting on me to push forward.”

    Cristina Gonzalez in How to Be an Activist (Even if It’s Not Your Job)

    “I am a 32-year-old black woman immersed in a cinematic universe where black women thrive. I am overjoyed for the children who will grow up seeing these confident, courageous women taking up space and telling stories that are larger than life.”

    Erin Canty in In ‘Black Panther,’ Black Women Thrive

    “There’s a difference between believing that you’re beautiful because people tell you that you are and knowing you’re beautiful no matter what people say. There’s a difference between accepting a body that gains weight every summer and taking pleasure in the versatility of such a body.”

    Celeste Little in Rihanna’s Perspective on Her Weight Changed How I Think

    “There’s a balance of being comfortable, of having enough money to live on and then just having a good time. You’ve got to balance. You’ve got to find time to play. You gotta have a little life, a little fun. Find your soul.”

    Emily Lemer in3 Women on What They’ve Learned in Their 70+ Years of Life

    “I used to feel compelled to prove a point. Now I’m comfortable being solitary in an opinion.”
    Jamila in24 Women on How Life Changes With Age

    “The minute that every single thing is perfect, you’ve lost your sexuality, as far as I’m concerned. Where’s the juice?”

    Ali MacGraw in Iconic Actress Ali MacGraw on Expensive Things and Getting Older

    “The world needs whatever you are into. Whatever you’re obsessed with, there is someone else out there who needs that.”

    Maggie Winter in MR Round Table: Female Entrepreneurship

    Feature illustration by Irene Servillo.

    wise life advice

    Oct 4, Slideshow of St. Francis of Assisi favorite quotes for his feast day.

    wise life advice
    Written by Zolozuru
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