On Monday morning, I was reading Harvey Mackay’s column. He shared some background about a gentleman, named Gordon Dean, who began his career as a lawyer and served under Presidents Roosevelt and Truman. I was intrigued when he said, “Dean died in a plane crash in 1958, and it’s said among his personal effects was an envelope with nine life lessons scribbled on the back. Harvey went on to share those nine life lessons.
I was reminded of a previous issue of the Winning Lifestyles newsletter where I shared another great man’s life lessons and thought you might enjoy them, as well. Here is an excerpt from that article:
Have you ever thought about what you would want your obituary to say? Do you think it would read the way you hope? It did for my dear friend Andy.
Andy Detroi was a faith filled man. During his 66 years, he impacted a great many people.
His life was directed by two sets of Commandments. The first came from the scripture, the second from his pen.
Andy wrote these guidelines to remind himself of the way he wanted to live. He measured his daily success against his consistent adherence to these two sets of Commandments.
Because I believe he found a balance between the practical and profound, I would like to share his Ten Points To Live By.
1. I WILL NOT WORRY
Apprehension is destructive and shows a lack of confidence in God and ones self. It also breaks down both physical and mental health. Worrying shatters energies and reduces effectiveness.
2. I WILL TREAT EVERY HUMAN BEING WITH DIGNITY AND RESPECT
Everyone is worthy of my best efforts. Finding fault is destructive and self-defeating. There is something worthwhile in every person.
3. I WILL CONTINUE TO IMPORVE MYSELF
Anyone without a continuing program for improvement will, inevitably, regress. This applies not only to learning new disciplines but also to the quest for emotional maturity as well as to the way we relate to people. I will try to improve in the things I presently do. I will also attempt new and different endeavors from time to time to avoid becoming mentally stale and intellectually one sided.
4. I WILL GUARD MY HEALTH
I believe that physical health is best maintained by preventive methods such as proper handling of stress, progressive, regular exercise and adherence to principles of good nutrition.
5. I WILL EXERCISE SELF DISCIPLINE
It is imperative that I avoid rationalizing to abandon routine, scheduled activities. I must be faithful to schedules that relate to work, study, exercise, etc. I will try to tackle something difficult every day.
6. I WILL NOT BE IDLE
Time is life. It is not to be wasted! I believe that all of one’s time should be spent in one of three activities: constructive work, worthwhile, pleasurable recreation or needed rest.
7. BEING IS A STATE OF CHANGE
I recognize that nothing about us stands still. I must be willing to change constantly if I am to remain effective and well adjusted. Happiness is not a station we arrive at but, rather, a manner of traveling. The journey is the reward.
8. PEOPLE ARE WHAT THE WORLD IS ABOUT
Whatever I may achieve in life, I am a human being first. If I fail as such then all else I have done was in vain. Being of real service to others is what real success is measured by. All other achievements are of a lower order and this applies foremost to my family.
9. MY FIRST LOYALTY AFTER GOD BELONGS TO MY WIFE
She is my partner in all things. She is also an individual. I love her to realize her own best potential and pursue her own interests rather than become an extension of our family and myself. She has always been loyal, loving and good to me. I will do my best to enrich her life in every possible way.
“Success in marriage is more than finding the right person – it’s a matter of being the right person.”
10. THE LORD’S PLAN IS PERFECT
I can never measure up to that, but I want His ways to be my guiding light. I will endeavor to be a giver rather than a taker. It is easy to be critical of the people and the world around us but far more worthwhile to empathize and contribute. I will try to be an asset to every situation I find myself in. I wish to leave my world a little better place for having been in it.
When he died Andy was beginning a “new” career after a lifetime in aviation. Yes, he did leave this world a better place.
Pick one ‘Point’ a day and evaluate yourself on it. You may have to change the language a little, but adjust the concept to fit your life. For instance, #5 I WILL EXERCISE SELF DISCIPLINE; I am trying to not moan, complain or whine about the responsibilities in my life. Our culture makes it easy to moan and complain. I catch myself more quickly, however, habits are challenging to break. Well…I should get better, I get to practice again tomorrow.