MMXI

Here it is, my first post of the year.

As I type this, some firecrackers are still going off. I could go on about the health and environmental hazards of firecrackers, but I already blogged about them here.

I do wish the government — or someone, anyone — would seriously campaign for the elimination of firecrackers. There are so many benefits to this, beginning with those to our health and environment. Perhaps a more obvious benefit and a more compelling determinant of not buying and using firecrackers would be that of saving money: they don’t come cheap, I hear, and one could think of better ways to spend money in these times.

In the meantime, a new year is upon us. I add my prayers to those of all humanity. May this new year bring us all not just new energy, but more importantly, new opportunities, new inspiration, new dreams, and new hope.

May there be more reasons and opportunities to write-paint-draw-sing-dance-act — and generally be creative.

May our lives have more meaning, and our efforts, more purpose.

And may we be worth every second of this new year.

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Here’s an excerpt from a “happy new year” email being circulated, with points on improving one’s life. The author of the points–not of the email–is Randy Pausch, famous for his book “The Last Lecture.”

The premise of Pausch’s book is an academic tradition at Carnegie Mellon University, based on this question: If you knew you were dying and had only one lecture left to give, what would it be? He himself passed on in 2008 from pancreatic cancer.

These particular points, according to the email, are supposed to have been written to his wife Jai, and their children, Dylan, Logan, and Chloe. (I couldn’t seem to find anything on the Internet to verify this, so my apologies if this info is inaccurate.)

Points on how to improve your life

Personality
1. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
2. Don’t have negative thoughts of things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
3. Don’t over do; keep your limits.
4. Don’t take yourself so seriously; no one else does.
5. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.
6. Dream more while you are awake.
7. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
8. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner of his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
9. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.
10. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
11. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
12. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
13. Smile and laugh more.
14. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

Community
15. Call your family often.
16. Each day give something good to others.
17. Forgive everyone for everything.
18. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
19. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
20. What other people think of you is none of your business.
21. Your job will not take care of you when you are sick. Your family and friends will. Stay in touch.

Life
22. Put GOD first in anything and everything that you think, say and do.
23. GOD heals everything.
24. Do the right things.
25. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
26. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
27. The best is yet to come.
28. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
29. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
30. If you know GOD you will always be happy. So, be happy.

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Watch Randy Pausch’s lecture below, or click here. As he says in the lecture, “it’s not about how to achieve your dreams; it’s about how to lead your life.”

A shorter version of the lecture is here.

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