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Life Strategies

 

First, it is of paramount importance to spell out concretely a statement of purpose for one's life, based on one's current understanding - with the expectation it will change or be refined over time.  Mine is the currently the following:

Life Purpose  - Minimize suffering and maximize happiness for myself, family, friends, acquaintances, strangers, animals and inanimate objects by helping each recognize and fulfill his/her/its purpose.

Here is a new version (10/25/04):

Life Purpose  - Find happiness by mindfully experiencing life, and by helping others do the same.

But having a purpose is just the beginning.  To achieve one's purpose, one must have concrete "rules to live by" in order to guide one's actions.  Below are the rules that I've developed based on extensive reading in the area of philosophy, success and personal development.  I'm doing my best to put these rules into practice, and have been extremely pleased with the results so far!  

My "15 Commandments":

·  Develop Worthy Principles - Think daily about my purpose and priorities

·  Focus on GoalsList, review and prioritize my goals every day

·  Live Deliberately – Make every decision/action mindful of my goals/principles

·  Don’t Procrastinate – “Do it Now!” – Take action, “Ready, fire, aim”

·  Work Hard – Don't give up; Success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration

·  Don’t Compromise – “Do it Right” – Don’t cut corners, even in little things

·  Live Effectively“Work smart” - Find most efficient way to achieve my goals

·  Live in Balance – Balance family, career, self improvement and helping others

·  Live ModestlyDon’t strive for excess material stuff or praise for good deeds

·  Be Thankful – Appreciate others, and what the world provides

·  Think Positively – Find plus in every situation, choose to be happy/successful

 ·  Be Nice – Treat others with kindness & respect, assume their intentions good

·  Be Flexible Many valid paths. Feel free to explore them and help others do same

·  Be PatientLife is long, plenty of time to achieve, revel in small steps forward

· Be HappyLife is a journey, enjoy the ride!

I've found a powerful personal mantra in observations about successful living first made by the Greek stoic philosophers, and perhaps best expressed by American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) in the form of the Serenity Prayer:

Serenity Prayer:  Grant me the serenity to accept things that I cannot change, the strength to change things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.  

I've found the following to be an empowering addendum to the Serenity Prayer:

Serenity Prayer Addendum: I have the power to change much more than I can now imagine.  

Greatest Personal Hope: Life will guide me to a concrete endeavor that will allow me to fulfill my life purpose of helping all to the greatest extent I am capable.  

Equation of Life (Dean’s version):

    U = O = 2I + 2A + 2S = E

   Where:

       U: Universe or Understanding

       O: Oneness of all things

      2I:  Impermanence and Interdependence of all things

     2A: Acceptance and Appreciation of all things, especially the unchangeable

     2S: Surrendering to things as they are, while Striving to improve things for

            benefit of others and myself

       E: Enlightenment

The reason I'm a practitioner of methods to improve health and extend lifespan is that life is too short to experience everything I want to, and to fulfill my purpose here on earth.  By extending my healthy years, and as importantly, showing others how to extend theirs, we could all accomplish and experience so much more.  For more philosophical insights on the motivation for life extension, please read the thoughts of Ben Best on the subject.

There have also been a number of books that have been very influential in the develop of my outlook on life, and my life strategies.

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