I have the honour to address the world for fifteen minutes. I am no celebrity and I have not achieved anything special. I will share with you three guidelines I try to live by:
1. Take responsibility for your life and love yourself.
You are not always able to influence what happens to you in life. Whether you stay healthy or get sick, whether things work out for you the way you dreamt of, or whether you have to deal with throwbacks is no up to you. But you are the one who decides how to deal with things. Will you blame others and withdraw, or will you look for the positive and focus you attention on what you can do to make things better? Do you appreciate your life and look after your body, your mind and your feelings or do you destroy yourselves with drugs and self-abuse? It is up to you to give your body good nutrition and exercise, to feed your mind with knowledge, positive experiences, art or whatever else you like. It is also your responsibility to feed your soul. You can do that with religion or philosophy, by having happy relationships and by keeping your eyes open for the beauty of this world.
2. Be open for new experiences and thoughts and never stop learning
It often feels safer to stick with the things you know. Forming opinions, beliefs and a view of the world is important. We need to have values and rules to live by. However, make sure to stay flexible and tolerant in your way of thinking. There is always more than one way to do things right. There are many ways to be in touch with God, there are many ways to pattern friendships, families and relationships. There are many different ways to be a valuable member of your community and thousands of ways to lead a good life. Be open and accepting of ways different from your own. Learn from each other and cooperate with each other for the best possible result. The world is an exciting place full of possibilities. By being open, tolerant and willing to learn your life will become much richer and much more interesting.
3. Ask yourself: “what can I do for the world?” instead of “what can the world do for me?”*
This question is in my opinion the key to a fulfilled life. It gives life a purpose and helps to become less self-centered. Each and every one of us makes the world into what it is. What we say and do does matter. We cannot change the world as a whole, but each of us is like a small piece of a mosaic. We decide how we act and whether we will make the world a little bit nicer and more peaceful for everybody. It doesn’t take much. Use your talents. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to be extraordinary or very gifted to contribute to the world. Everyone matters. Maybe the X-mas decoration in your window will make someone smile, your blog might inspire someone, being a considerate driver might prevent an accident, being friendly to a stranger could influence his opinion of the place he is at, helping a neighbour might lead to a new friendship. Ask yourself: how can I make this world a nice, safe and happy place to be at? How can I give the people around me a feeling of being accepted, respected and of being welcome.
I am 54 years old and I am still practicing to live by these guidelines. Sometimes I am successful and sometimes my ego or my laziness are stronger. However, I feel that each day I managed to live by these rules was a successful and happy day.
I wish you all a happy weekend and a good, fulfilling life!
* This question I found in a small book called “Pocket sponsor” written by the AA. It has inspired me over and over again.