Embark on a Hilariously Enlightening Journey: From 100 Commandments to 10 Mind-Blowing Truths!
As a loving parent seeking to instill wisdom and empower my children, I crafted 100 commandments several years ago to guide them toward a life of richness and fulfillment. Today, I unveil a portion of this extraordinary collection, presenting you with the second 10 commandments — for the first 10, read the article highlighted below. Inspired by the profound philosophies of great thinkers and psychological insights, like my grandmother and mother, these commandments shall serve as beacons illuminating the path to self-improvement. Join me as we explore this transformative journey together, with 80 more commandments to come.
"You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them." - Maya Angelou
Change can be scary. But go towards these types of scary stuff. Embrace the power of intention and take control of your destiny. Craft a compelling vision of where you aspire to be and meticulously design a roadmap to guide you. You can shape your reality and manifest your dreams through deliberate planning and unwavering determination. "Tek spoil mek style," or said another way, 'Make lemonade with the lemons you got.
Cultivate a Positive Circle of Influence "Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher." - Oprah Winfrey
I love Oprah! Choose your companions wisely, for they will shape your journey. My grandmother used to tell me this specifically when she was giving a lesson about "bad company." Surround yourself with individuals who inspire and uplift you, including your family members. Seek the wisdom of mentors, family, friends, philosophers, and psychologists who illuminate the path to personal growth. Engage in conversations that stimulate your mind and empower your spirit, forging connections that fuel mutual growth.
I have two family members, one who called me to complain for 30 minutes per call that I do not call them for a long time (to encourage my guilt to match their misery), and another who, on his deathbed, said, "Go live your life and enjoy it. Don't fret for me. I have lived mine and have accepted that my time to die has come." Quiz: Which do you think is more inspiring?
Embrace the Art of Letting Go "The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance." - Alan Watts
Release the burden of trying to control the uncontrollable. Accept that there are aspects of life beyond your influence, such as the past and the thoughts of others. Let go of futile frustrations (since you have no control over them anyway) and focus your energy on embracing the present moment. Dance with the rhythm of life, adapting to its twists and turns with grace and resilience. This is one solid lesson I learned a long time ago. My Vipassana practice reinforced this message. See more on my experience below in Related articles.
Nurture Bonds Through Touch and Affection "We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth." - Virginia Satir.
I have to remind myself of this. My grandmother did not teach me this because she grew up with a hard life in the Dominican Republic and later in Nevis. My mother did. She would always hug me and show affection. It's also great when a partner reminds you to hug them. Embrace the power of human connection through touch and affection. Share warm hugs and tender kisses with your loved ones; these acts foster emotional well-being and nourish the soul. Remember that we are social beings, and our survival depends on the bonds we create.
Indulge in the Global Feast of Knowledge "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." - Hippocrates
Eat knowledge! I read everything and anything. I read material that supports my worldview and those that do not. Savor the intellectual feast that the world offers. Immerse yourself in diverse literature, from classic philosophical treatises to contemporary psychological insights. Delve into the works of renowned thinkers like Cornel West and Achille Mbembe, enriching your mind with the knowledge that transcends time and space. I need to re-read these books myself. Make time, but that's another commandment. I am now reading The 1619 Project, created by Nikole Hannah-Jones, a must-read.
Preserve Your Truth in the Annals of History "History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again." - Maya Angelou
Record your story, for history, is often shaped by those who tell it. Preserve the authenticity of your experiences in memoirs that witness the lessons learned. Reflect on the works of historians like Howard Zinn and Mary Beard, acknowledging the complexities of human history and ensuring that the future is not doomed to repeat past mistakes. Reflect on your own history and that of your ancestors. To do so, you must be curious enough to defy book bans and censorship by those intent on creating and controlling an ignorant population. Florida and Texas, among other book-banning states, come to mind.
Honor the Temple of Your Body "Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live." - Jim Rohn.
Treat your body as a sacred vessel deserving of utmost care and respect. Engage in regular physical activity that invigorates your being and strengthens your vitality. Eat right! Delve into the teachings of philosophers like Kwame Anthony Appiah and psychologists like Abraham Harold Maslow, understanding the inseparable connection between physical well-being and the pursuit of a flourishing life. In my daughter's school, they would stretch and test their physical and mental abilities. One cannot be efficient without the other.
Unlock the Gateway to Wisdom Through Reading "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." - Dr. Seuss
I had small kids, thus Dr. Seuss! I love reading about a place and then actually visiting it. It's so much richer when that happens. Unleash the power of reading; its pages are the gateway to infinite wisdom. Immerse yourself in the works of literary giants like Eric Williams and Derrick Walcott and philosophical masters like Frantz Fanon. Explore diverse genres, from enthralling fiction to thought-provoking nonfiction, expanding your knowledge and nurturing your imagination.
Decode the Language of Actions and Words "Actions speak louder than words, but not nearly as often." - Mark Twain
Pay heed to the subtleties of human communication. Observe the congruence between words and actions, for true understanding, lies in the unison of both. Embark on a journey of decoding body language, drawing inspiration from psychologists like Paul Ekman and philosophers like Sylvia Wynter, empowering you to discern the authentic from the deceptive.
Rise Above the Opinions of Others "Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you'll be criticized anyway." - Eleanor Roosevelt.
"Emancipate yourself from [all forms] of mental slavery!" Liberate yourself from the shackles of others' opinions. Recognize that their judgments are not a reflection of your worth but rather a projection of their own biases and limitations. Embrace the teachings of philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche and psychologists like Carl Rogers, finding solace in pursuing your own truth and staying true to your values.
These ten commandments provide a glimpse into the profound wisdom and transformative potential of the original 100 commandments to my children. Drawing inspiration from philosophical and psychological luminaries and my experience, I embarked on a journey to encourage them to unleash their full potential, guided by the wisdom of Ayn Rand, the eloquence of Barack Obama, and the wit of Chinua Achebe, and of course me. Stay tuned for future installments as I continue to uncover the remaining 80 commandments, unraveling the secrets to living an extraordinary life.
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You can order The 1619 Project on this link.
Go to my link on books I have read to see more of the authors I mentioned.