Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man and Life's Greatest Lesson

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I recently read the book “Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man and Life's Greatest Lesson” by Mitch Albom.
I recognise that through over usage the expression “Life Changing” has lost its meaning. However for me “Tuesdays with Morrie” was one of those very exceptional books that truly deserves to be described as “Life Changing”.
Having read the book I then started to reflect that if I were “changing worlds” what would be the thoughts about living life that I would want to share.
Here are my top ten:

  1. Listen

If you never gain the skill to listen or worse still, you loose the skill to listen, life will fail you.

The people truly perceived as the greatest conversationalists actually say the least! These people actively listen to what you have to say giving you their full attention and then they validate what you think and feel. They don’t try to fix your problems.

  1. Love is the most important and powerful of all the emotions.

Love is the highest emotion that every human being aspires to and responds to. It is the glue between husband, wife, children, family and close friends but unfortunately love is not a cure all.

Some people are so emotionally damaged by others, their environment, drugs or any permutation thereof that they become truly unreachable. Reserve for these the detached loving that is the hardest love of all to give.

  1. People matter; status and possessions don’t

Every minute of every day, advertising tries to blur the distinction between our needs and our desires. People’s goals and ambitions have become centred on things and status and the price they pay is in the loss of relationships and love.

Make sure you get the right work life balance and don’t loose the ability to distinguish between the things you need against those fads and fashions marketed at you in the guise of necessities.

  1. Do not be afraid of your emotions

Most of us are comfortable with laughing even in public but so many are frightened to cry or grieve as these emotions are seen as the mark of the weak.

In my experience those incapable of experiencing these emotions are already emotionally damaged, in fact it is those who have real inner confidence and strength who feel most comfortable with the outward display of their emotions.

  1. Be kind to yourself and forgive yourself

You are human and so by definition you will make mistakes but hopefully learn from them and then move on. Don’t carry your mistakes around with you like an albatross around your neck or a chip on your shoulder.

Forgiving yourself allows you to move on and grow, un-hindered.

  1. Treat everyone in the same way as you want to be treated

Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby and Mrs Bedonebyasyoudid both from “The Water Babies” by Charles Kingsley. If you have not read the story now is your opportunity. Nothing more needs to be said.

  1. Be tolerant of others and their views

From whatever country, from whatever race we all share the same planet. Whilst you will always find other races and other cultures views different from yours, technology is shrinking our world, so their views and values will be coming ever closer. Enclaves and ghettos cannot be built against them so the quicker everyone gets on and embrace the diversity the better for all.

  1. Life is choices and no one can make them for you

Life is a series of choices that you have to make for yourself; that makes you the only person accountable for your life. Others may try to make choices for you but your choice is the final one, not theirs.

  1. Happiness is an attitude of mind

This links into choices above. You choose how you respond to anything that happens to you in life.

There are millions of people around the world who live in far worse circumstances than you or I and I truly mean millions, so what have we to be so sad about?

You can choose to be happy or sad.

  1. Smile

A smile is infectious and costs nothing also it’s much harder to be sad if you are smiling.

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