The 23 Principles and a Prayer

If I have a believe system, a philosophy of how to live, this is it. Each morning I say the prayer. A long time ago, I realized that I was the problem, not the solution. This prayer reflects that I need help being something better than myself. Most often it is a reminder that I need to get out of my own damned way.

A Daily Prayer:
Lord, help me
to see the best and not the worst,
to treat each with respect, not as an object,
to be a blessing and not a curse,
to live today better than yesterday. Amen.

23 Principles for a Life

1. Focus on a Vision for your life.
“If you are going deeply into poetry, give your whole self to it. Too many take it carefully, and fail.”–Robert Frost, poet.
2. Spend some time in quiet every day.
“Be still and know that I am God.” –Psalm 46:10.
3. Expose yourself to beauty.
“Feel truly, think clearly, sing simply and harmoniously.” –Aleksandr Sumarokov, Russian playwright.
4. Respect the mountain.
“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” –John Wooden, coach.
5. Take responsibility for your life.
“Be bold and mighty forces will come to you.” –Anthony Hopkins, actor.
6. Be constantly curious.
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” –Yogi Berra, baseball player.
7. Cultivate your sense of humor and learn to laugh.
“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” –Albert Einstein.
8. Invest in your own growth and development.
“It is worked on to get the worked over quality out of it.” –James Dickey, poet.
9. Be thankful and share your blessings. .
“Grace is the flow of harmony in and out of a person’s life.” –Margaret Edson, playwright.
10. Look; listen; learn; then look again.
“Chance favors the prepared mind.” –Ansel Adams, photographer.
11. Find enjoyable and satisfying work.
“Walk on air against your better judgement.” –Seamus Heaney.
“God gives talent. Work transforms talent into genius.” –Anna Pavlova.
12. Search for the good in every adversity.
“Love or die.” –Morrie Schwartz, teacher, from Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom.
13. Simplify your life.
“The truly great artist has the eyes of a child and the wisdom of a sage.” –Pablo Casals, musician.
14. Spend wisely.
“Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving worthy evidence of the fact.” –George Eliot.
15. Serve humanity and be compassionate toward all.
“Act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with your God.” –Micah 6:8.
“May we be open to a deeper understanding And a genuine love and caring For the multitude of faces Who are none other than oneself.” –Wendy Egyoku Nakao.
16. Treat each person you meet as if that person has the potential for greatness.
“’Come to the edge,’ he said. They said, ‘We are afraid.’ ‘Come to the edge,’ he said. They came. He pushed them…and they flew.” –Guillaume Apollinaire, poet. “God always travels incognito.” –Anonymous
17. Never neglect an opportunity.
“Luck is an art. People watch luck go by them; and they’re so blind, they never reach out and grab it.” –George Roy Hill.
18. Let go of the ego.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” –Jesus (John 15: 13).
19. Choose your battles wisely.
“The danger of civilization…is that you will (waste) your life away on nonsense.”
–the opening lines of the novella “The Beast God Forgot to Invent.” by Jim Harrison.
20. Belong.
“God breaks into little pieces and takes the best parts and makes other people out of them.” –a child quoted in Between the Dreaming and the Coming True by Robert Benson.
21. Never settle for the mediocre or for second best.
“In the last piece between life and death, there is no pretending; you must speak French.” –Montaigne.
22. Live each day morning, noon and night; live it fully and joyfully.
“Dust off your wings and wipe the sleep from your eyes.” –Townes Van Zant.
“…the fate of poetry is to fall in love with the world.” –Unknown.
23. “Convert everything in life to good.” –Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
“Most critics are hired to keep the theater safe.” –Edward Albee.
“Maximize the generous; minimize the mean.” –Jonathan Miller.

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