I love Top Ten Lists! Don't You?
These lists will change periodically, so check back often.
They were originally prepared by Dr. Philip Humbert, whose contact information is found below. Enjoy!
Top 10 Quotes for Living Well!
Over the years many people have offered their models of the "Good Life", and some have left quotes that nicely summarize important truths. The following are ten of my personal favorites.
- Know Thyself. - Socrates. From ancient Greece comes this reminder that introspection, keeping a journal, paying attention to the heart of things, comes first. Before we can know the world around us, and make reasonable decisions about our roles and goals, it seems we must first come to grips with who we are and what we value.
- To Thine Own Self Be True. - Shakespeare. In life there is no substitute for integrity. My grandmother was fond of saying, "We either stand for something, or we'll fall for anything." Integrity is about going beyond the truth to full and complete honesty, openness and fairness.
- And the Greatest of These is Love. - St Paul. He also observed that "without love I am just a clanging symbol or a noisy gong." Without love, caring relationships, and compassion, life is indeed a dry and shallow thing.
- Imagination Rules the World. - Albert Einstein. The good life is at least partly based on dreams that are worthy of us, dreams that elevate and challenge and inspire our best. Bobby Kennedy noted, "Others look at the world and ask, 'Why?' I dream of a world that never was and ask, 'Why not?'" Martin Luther King's defiant cry, "I have a dream!" will live long after most of us are gone and forgotten.
- Too much of a good thing is wonderful! - Mae West. The good life is about living large, about expressing the joy and love of life. It's about song, exuberance, and about taking chances, and "going for it".
- Opportunities multiply as they are seized. - SunTzu. Success depends on the courage to act, and courage in turn requires a level of faith that every opportunity acted upon will lead to more and better ways to serve, learn, grow and prosper.
- Do, or do not. There is no "try". - Yoda (The Empire Strikes Back). Life requires action, boldness and decisiveness. Mae West also observed, "He who hesitates is a damned fool."
- Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. - Antoine de St. Exupery. Henry Thoreau recommended, "Simplify, simplify, simplify. Let your concerns be as 2 or 3, no more." Friends, work, the media and this thing called the Internet, along with our own "wish lists" try to seduce us to complexity, busy-ness and anxiety. Keep it simple!
- The artist is nothing without gift, but gift is nothing without work - Emile Zola. Only focused, intelligent, diligent effort turns potential into reality. Without creative effort, talent and "gift" seem to atrophy and die. Truly a case of "use it or lose it".
- There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. - Albert Einstein. I highly recommend practicing the attitude of gratitude. What else is there?
Top Tens lists were written by Dr. Philip E. Humbert, writer, speaker and success coach. Dr. Humbert has over 300 free articles, tools and resources for your success, including a great newsletter! It's all on his website at: http://www.philiphumbert.com
Every day clients tell me about their problems, often in great detail, and I've noticed patterns that show up over and over. For many people, life’s problems are viewed as "not enough money" or "not enough time". For couples, the problems are often around "communication" or "parenting" or sex. They think if they only had more money or more time or better sex or a better job, things would be wonderful.
But it doesn’t work that way, because these things are not the BIG PROBLEM. From my experience, I suggest life's really big problems are:
1. Tunnel Vision. The tendency to focus only on the immediate crisis or sore spot. Under stress, things look worse or more complex than they really are. The solution: Perspective. Ask if it will matter in 6 months. Ask what else is going on? How did I create this situation and, in an ideal world, what would I like to do about it?
2. Fear. The anxiety or terror that things will go badly, that we will fail or be embarrassed. The solution: Humor and Curiosity. Modern life has very few saber-tooth tigers. The situation is rarely life or death. Ask, What's the worst that can happen? What's the best? What can I learn? What would I do if I had no fear?
3. Confusion. The sense of being lost or unclear about our direction. The sense that we don't know our own priorities anymore. The solution: Responsible Choices. Choose your values and priorities and set your own path. Your life is yours. Check your moral compass, pick a direction and do something extraordinary!
4. Guilt. The belief that we have hurt or failed or sinned and deserve punishment. Guilt is either accurate, because sometimes we do behave badly, or it is false and simply an illusion. The solution: If we have transgressed, we must make restitution, ask forgiveness, learn from our error and move on. If it is false guilt, set it down as an unnecessary and irrational burden.
5. Shame. The belief that we are worth-less than others, that we have a terrible, incurable flaw. It is not that we have done something wrong (guilt), but that we are bad or wrong. The solution: Clear, rational thinking. Everyone has behaved badly, but no one was created badly! Any flaws only serve to make you stronger, more heroic or more compassionate toward others.
6. Loneliness. The belief that no one loves us, that no one cares and we must desperately cling to anyone who finds us attractive or acceptable. This creates dependency, not intimacy. The solution: Accurate Self-Assessment. Not everyone will love you, but many people will if they meet you, get to know you, and spend time working/playing along side you.
7. Resentment. Holding anger and refusing to move beyond real or imagined mistreatment in the past. Some people spend their whole lives as "victims", nurturing a terrible event in their past. The solution: Let go! Life is not fair and people do not always behave well or kindly. Use your trauma to make you wise, kind, gentle, and strong. Holding anger will not work.
8. Self-Doubt. The repeated, endless questioning of your own abilities, opinions or actions. The inability to take a stand, to act boldly, or to follow-through. The solution: Action! Think clearly, then take action and follow-through. Start small, but do it! You are the world's expert on your life! Use your wisdom to live well.
9. Stubbornness. The refusal or inability to re-assess a situation, change your mind, or admit you were wrong. The solution: Wisdom and Humility. Only a fool stays on a course that is headed for disaster! Search for new and better information, remain flexible, open and creative. When the situation changes, adjust accordingly and set a new course.
10. Addiction. Humans become addicted to drugs, but we also become addicted to our jobs, our opinions or our lifestyle. We can be addicted to people and need them rather than love them. The solution: Take a vacation! Periodically, walk in someone else's shoes. Break your habits, re-arrange your schedule, delegate those things that only you can do "right". Use habits and traditions to set you free, don't let habits enslave you!
The Top 10 Life Lessons from Golf
Golf is an amazing mirror of life. Yes, other sports provide life lessons as well, but golf happens to be my favorite sport and the one I understand the best. It is an addiction, a mystical experience, a test of character, an escape, a source of rare joy and excruciating pain. No psychological test will tell you as much about a person's character as a round of golf. With the arrival of spring, here are some of my observations about golf and the game of life:
- Expectations & Flexibility. Golf, like life, is not mastered in a season, and it is particularly frustrating if we approach it with stiff and inflexible expectations. Great golf begins with stretching, bending, loosening up, and matching my desired outcomes with the realities of a body grown lazy over the winter. A sense of humor, and a sprinkling of humility go a long way!
- Clarity of Purpose. Many golfers never stop to think about why they play the game. To win? To have fun? For social reasons, or for the challenge? For the exercise? Just as striving to become rich and famous often creates frustration and disappointment, few will ever play professionally, and striving for perfection is a setup for "failure". Know why you play the game and where you find your satisfaction and joy in it.
- Equipment. Most golfers play with clubs that don’t fit them, or that no longer suit their games. Graphite shafts and new club designs have revolutionized golf. Active golfers should have their clubs checked for loft, lie, and length, and have them re-gripped every season. Almost any job is easier with the right tools.
- Solid Foundations. Golfers go to extremes. Some take lesson after lesson, trying to fix the tiniest flaw in their quest for the perfect swing. Others, ignore the classic foundations of grip, stance and swing in their eagerness to "do it my way." Success is usually found in a healthy balance of learning from the wisdom and experience of others, while celebrating your unique style and approach to the game.
- Profitable Practice. On the day of a big tournament, I often go to the practice green and watch skilled, dedicated golfers practice missing putts. With a small crowd milling about, they quickly hit putt after putt, destroying their rhythm, timing and confidence. Then, in frustration, they wonder what ever happened to their carefully honed putting stroke! In golf, and in life, practice smart. Practice for success!
- Smart Preparation. Tour players always play practice rounds. Ben Hogan used to walk the course at twilight before a tournament to learn all it’s hidden tricks and traps. Top players rehearse every shot in their imagination before going to the course. They prepare in advance so they are ready when the moment of truth arrives. It pays off.
- Show up. The biggest challenge for many Nike Tour and other young players is to play their best golf without a nickel in their pocket, often lonely and far from home. They have reasons to be distracted. What are your excuses? Ram Das said, "Be here now." In golf, and in life, it’s hard to win if you don’t show up, or only show up for every-other swing!
- Warm up. Every great athlete, the ones in the best physical and mental shape, respect their bodies enough to loosen up, stretch and rehearse before competition. Unfortunately, most amateurs don’t go to all that trouble. We jump out of the car, grab the clubs, and head for the first tee. Before any important event, arrive early, walk around, relax, and warm up to the task at hand.
- Focus on Results. Every golf stroke creates a result. Sometimes the ball goes in the hole; sometimes it goes out of bounds. Golfers tend to focus (1) on the result they would have preferred, which is merely wishful thinking, or (2) on beating themselves up for being so "stupid", which is painful. Learn from every swing. Observe the results you actually get. Life never lies!
- Review and Adjust. If you aren’t getting the results you want, find the reason. You can trust the ball; it goes where you hit it. If you want a different outcome, change your setup, routine, or other actions until you get the result you prefer. Someone said, "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is a mark of insanity." Successful people learn quickly; others learn eventually.
Have a marvelous day and a wonderFULL week, and I'll see you on the links!