- To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
- To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
- To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
- To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
- To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
- To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own .
- To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
- To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
- To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
- To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
You cannot be really first rate at your work if your work is all you are. So here’s what I wanted to tell you today: Get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger pay cheque, the larger house. Do you think you’d care so very much about those things if you blew an aneurysm this afternoon, or found a lump in your breast?
Enjoy life in such a way that you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze at the seaside, a life in which you stop & watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over the water, or the way a baby scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a sweet with her thumb & first finger. Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, & who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work. Pick up the phone. Send an email. Write a letter. Get a life in which you are generous. And realize that life is the best thing ever, & that you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. Take money you would have spent on beer & give it to charity. Work in a soup kitchen. Be a big brother or sister.
All of you want to do well. But if you do not do well too, then doing well will never be enough. It is so easy to waste our lives, our days, our hours, & our minutes. It is so easy to take for granted the color of our kids’ eyes, the way the melody in a symphony rises & falls & disappears & rises again.
It is so easy to exist instead of to live. I learned to live many years ago. I learned to love the journey, not the destination. I learned that it is not a dress rehearsal, & that today is the only guarantee you get. I learned to look at all the good in the world & try to give some of it back because I believed in it, completely & utterly.
“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a gift to be enjoyed”