I lost a friend this weekend. We’d had many wonderful experiences over the years that I knew him and his family. He was a man who in earlier years lived life to its fullest. He owned beautiful cars and motorcycles. He had an indescribably beautiful collection of ornate pheasants. He had smoked cigars with Fidel Castro. Once at a cocktail party while having a pleasant conversation with a man he asked him what he did for a living. That man was James Taylor. He became a fan of his music after that. My friend knew many ‘Hollywood Types’. He drove cross-country on his motorcycle and met princes. If you wanted to explore six degrees of separation being acquainted with him made it much more interesting.

These are some important points I learned from knowing ‘John.’

Your happiness doesn’t come from what you do. Understand that your level of happiness is what draws those experiences to you. The moment you start looking outward for happiness you give your life and the chances of happiness away.

Don’t look outside of yourself for fulfillment; let the world be your mirror. If you see injustice then be more just. If you see separation be more inclusive. People are never going to be who you want them to be. They are going to be who they choose to be. That may not always suite you. When you look to others for your needs you may be sadly disappointed. Look around at those that have mistakenly given up their hopes and dreams with the plan that someone else would be able to be their be all and end all.

Life is short no matter how many years you have here. Just as days are often not long enough for all that you want to do so is our time here. Don’t waste it being angry or lethargic. Go! Happen to life, don’t wait for it to happen to you. Figure out what you want to do, even if just for today and do it. Live it like there may not be another tomorrow. Repeat this again tomorrow and the next day and the next. Life is to be lived!

This too shall pass, if you let it.  Many people spend a great deal of time ruminating over things that have gone by. They’ve wondered why others did the things they have done. They think about their losses and hurts, all of which are in the past until you bring new life to them by remembering them and making them real all over again.

There is always something new to be learned if you are open to it. We can easily learn from one another, from our experiences but we can only do so if we are curious as to why they do or think as they do. If we just come to conclusion about their wrongness or rightness there is nothing to be gained. Curiosity is where growth comes into play. Expansion of our experiences equals growth. This doesn’t mean you change your point of view or agree with someone else, it just means you have allowed yourself to see things from a different perspective. You don’t have to align with that perspective to have growth. You just have to go beyond your previous limitations.

Thank you all for your points of view, for sharing your lives with me and giving me the contrast I require in order grow beyond my previous walls. How have others contributed to your life? What have you learned along your journey? Have you found that being introduced to contrary beliefs has benefited you in any way? If yes, then how?

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