100 Advice That Could Make You Successful

14 07 2016

Wise man
1. There are plenty of ways to enter a pool. The stairs is not one of them.

2. Never cancel dinner plans by text message.

3. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

4. If a street performer makes you stop walking, you owe him a buck.

5. Always use “we” when referring to your home team or your government.

6. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.

7. DON’T underestimate free throws in a game of HORSE.

8. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

9. Don’t dumb it down.

10. You only get one chance to notice a new haircut.

11. If you’re staying more than one night, unpack.

12. Never park in front of a bar.

13. Expect the seat in front of you to recline. Prepare accordingly.

14. Keep a picture of your first fish, first car, and first girl/boyfriend.

15. Hold your heroes to a high standard.

16. A suntan is earned, not bought.

17. Never lie to your doctor.

18. All guns are loaded.

19. Don’t mention sunburns. Believe me, they know.

20. The best way to show thanks is to wear it. Even if it’s only once.

21. Take a vacation from your cell phone, internet, and TV once a year.

22. Don’t fill up on bread, no matter how good it is.

23. A handshake beats an autograph.

24. Don’t linger in the doorway. In or out.

25. If you choose to go in drag, don’t sell yourself short.

26. If you want to know what makes you unique, sit for a caricature.

27. Never get your haircut the day of a special event.

28. Be mindful of what comes between you and the Earth. Always buy good shoes, tires, and sheets.

29. Never eat lunch at your desk if you can avoid it.

30. When you’re with new friends, don’t just talk about old friends.

31. Eat lunch with the new kids.

32. When traveling, keep your wits about you.

33. It’s never too late for an apology.
34. Don’t pose with booze.

35. If you have right of way, TAKE IT.

36. You don’t get to choose your own nickname.

37. When you marry someone, remember you marry their entire family.

38. Never push someone off a dock.

39. Under no circumstances should you ask a woman if she is pregnant.

40. It’s not enough to be proud of your ancestry, live up to it.

41. Don’t make a scene.

42. When giving a thank you speech, short and sweet is best.

43. Know when to ignore the camera.

44. Never gloat.

45. Invest in great luggage.

46. Make time for your mom on your birthday, It’s her special day too.

47. When opening presents, no one likes a good guesser.

48. Sympathy is a crutch, never fake a limp.

49. Give credit. Take Blame.

50. Suck it up every now and again.

51. Never be the last one in the pool.

52. Don’t stare.

53. Address everyone that carries a firearm professionally.

54. Stand up to bullies. You’ll only have to do it once.

55. If you’ve made your point, stop talking.

56. Admit it when you’re wrong.

57. If you offer to help don’t quit until the job is done.

58. Look people in the eye when you thank them.

59. Thank the bus driver.

60. Never answer the phone at the dinner table.

61. Forgive yourself for your mistakes.

62. Know at least one good joke.

63. Don’t boo. Even the ref is somebody’s son.

64. Know how to cook one good meal.

65. Learn to drive a stick shift.
66. Be cool to younger kids. Reputations are built over a lifetime.

67. It’s okay to go to the movies by yourself.

68. Dance with your mother/father.

69. Don’t lose your cool. Especially at work.

70. Always thank the host.

71. If you don’t understand, ask before it’s too late.

72. Know the size of your boyfriend/girlfriend’s clothes.

73. There is nothing wrong with a plain t-shirt.

74. Be a good listener. Don’t just take your turn to talk.

75. Keep your word.

76. In college always sit in the front. You’ll stand out immediately. Come grade time it might come in handy.

77. Carry your mother’s bags. She carried you for 9 months.

78. Be patient with airport security. They are just doing their job.

79. Don’t be the talker in a movie.

80. The opposite sex likes people who shower.

81. You are what you do. Not what you say.

82. Learn to change a tire.

83. Be kind. Everyone has a hard fight ahead of them.

84. An hour with grandparents is time well spent. Ask for advice when you need it.

85. Don’t litter.

86. If you have a sister, get to know her boyfriend. Your opinion is important.

87. You won’t always be the strongest of fastest. But you can be the toughest.

88. Never call someone before or after 9 AM and 9PM.

89. Buy the orange properties in Monopoly.

90. Make the little things count.

91. Always wear a bra at work.

92. There is a fine line between looking sultry and slutty. Find it.

93. You’re never too old to need your mom.

94. Ladies, if you make the decision to wear heels on the first date commit to keeping them on and toning down how much your feet kill.

95. Know the words to your national anthem.

96. Your dance moves might not be the best, but I promise making a fool of yourself is more fun than sitting on the bench alone.

97. Smile at strangers.

98. Make Goals.

99. Being old is not dictated by your bedtime.

100. If you HAVE to fight, punch first and punch hard.





Are you worried? You need a spiritual coach for your soul by Joe abidi

17 05 2015

worried-man-300x176

Johnny was worried. He needed to speak with someone, but he just didn’t know who. He opened up the yellow pages of his local phone directory. There were listed attorneys, financial advisors, plumbers, electricians, beauticians, bankers, and even fitness trainers. All of these people know about their business. He often paid them a fee to help him in their particular specialty. Some of them he consulted regularly and a few even became his good friends. All of their expert advice could not help him now. He needed to talk about something deeper; he needed to talk about his private life.

He decided to talk with Mike, a friend who lived in the apartment below his. He had known Mike for a very long time; they went to high school together and had always admired him because nothing ever seemed to bother him.

“Need to talk to you, Mike,” he said as they sat down.

“Worried about something?”  Mike asked, concern in his eyes, as he poured Johnny a drink. They were seated in Mike’s kitchen table

“Yes, and I can’t seem to get it off my mind either,” Johnny smiled, and sipped his drinks.

“Alright, what’s on your mind?” Mike laughed, a twinkle in his eyes

And Johnny opened the floodgates of his soul.

He talked about his struggle with his marriage and family, work, friendship, and social life. He talked about his defects, about the faults that kept him estranged from his wife, from his children. He talked about those jagged edges of his character that made him disagreeable with colleagues at work.  He unburdened himself of unexpected joys and sorrows that comes and goes, and oh yes, death. He was 50 years old, a lawyer. He knew where he had been and where he was going. Yet he did not know where he would he go when he died? He believed in God alright, and even believed in heaven, but that was all. He had no clue what God wanted from him or what he was supposed to do to make heaven. He needed God’s grace and reconciliation.

“I have tried talking to psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists and so on. Yet I know that although these health professionals can perform useful functions..but when I speak to them about my spiritual problem, they often gave me erroneous or unfortunate answers. Their advice often depended on their particular training, and is often based on naturalistic theories or ideologies which did him much more harm than good.”

“What is God’s will for me?” Johnny asked finally

Mike smiled and said, “What you need is a spiritual director.”

Johnny blinked.

“What’s that?”

“A spiritual director is someone who has the qualifications to guide you spiritually,” Mike answered. “You wouldn’t think of building a good house to live in here on earth without an architect,” Mike said. “How can you ever hope, without a director, to build the castle of your sanctification in order to live forever in heaven?” This is true for everybody, not just for the poor, simple, or uneducated but even more for the complacently successful. He will provide you the answer to your many questions as our circumstances change and as we grow “in wisdom and grace.” Besides he won’t charge you a dime.”

Johnny poured himself another drink and sat back. It was a hot afternoon. His pessimism vanished. Mike could do that; had the answers to everything. That was why they were best friends.

Mike looked earnestly at his friend and continued.  “Each person is a unique child of God with his particular genetic code, temperament, and life experiences. God has a specific plan for each. To discern this particular plan should be the continuing goal of any serious man or woman, especially if they are Christian. As God normally prefers to work through secondary causes, there arose right from apostolic times, the practice of seeking personal spiritual direction from a wise and prudent person who could guide one along the path to holiness with all its unexpected twists and turns. One would search with great difficulty throughout history to find canonized saints who did not receive regular spiritual direction. After all, even our Blessed Mother, the Immaculate Conception herself, found her vocation through the words of the Archangel Gabriel. And even she asked how this might come about.”

“Where do you search for a spiritual director?”  Johnny asked. He was listening.

Mike smile and said, “You should do what is referred to on Wall Street as “due diligence.”

“That is, do careful research before choosing a spiritual consultant, perhaps as much as in searching for a spouse or choosing the right college. After all, you are looking for a person to whom you are, in part, at least entrusting the salvation and sanctification of your very immortal soul. Remember that you are the buyer and that it may take several tries to find the right person or organization that fits your needs.

“One very simple way is to look to your friends who clearly take their interior and apostolic life seriously. One flows from the other. Ask them for a referral. If you see a serious striving for holiness in them, there is little doubt they are taking advantage of a good spiritual director.”

“A second way is look for a person, a priest or a lay person, in whom you see deep piety, wisdom, experience, maturity, zeal for souls and an unquestionable faithfulness to all the Church’s teaching. He need not have formal training in spiritual direction. The traits listed above more than make up for class hours or a degree. After all Karol Wotyla’s first spiritual director was a tailor! Then try to get him to free some time up for you. I guarantee he has a long line of clients.

“Who is Karol Wotyla?” Johnny asked.

“Pope John Paul the second,” Mike replied.

Johnny knew Mike was Catholic.

“A third way is to find a spiritual director increasingly popular and accessible in this age of the laity, is to take advantage of the formation provided for lay people by religious congregations and by the various and lay institutions which have as their specialty the formation of lay people. There you may find a well-defined spirituality complete with formational and liturgical activities that are personal and collective, doctrinal and ascetical, tailor-made to your particular situation. They often also provide the services of both priests and laity steeped in a particular spirituality.”

“What about the spiritual direction itself?” Johnny asked. “What is it like?  I mean what do you talk about?

“Many things or few,” Mike replied. “Perhaps you want to set the ground rules with the director himself. Certainly the quality and quantity of your prayer and spiritual reading and sacramental life should always be touched on. Your struggle to live as a Christian in marriage and family, work, friendship, and social life should normally be addressed–specifically. There should be an effort to address a very particular area of life which needs improvement, that defect or fault that keeps you from making more rapid progress towards holiness. With time your efforts to share your faith in a natural way with those around can also be a topic of discussion. These efforts may well result in God’s grace in reconciliations, conversions, and vocations. And, oh yes, from time to time you may simply need to unburden yourself of unexpected joys and sorrows that come on your pilgrimage to the house of God, the Father. If you are seeing a priest for direction, you may also want to avail yourself of the Sacrament of Penance, adding the sacramental grace to the actual graces received from being open and docile in the conversation with your spiritual director.”





Paralyzed and happy

27 04 2015

paralized and happy

I remember a man in the hospital where I was chaplain for a few years. He was unbelievably disfigured. His body was twisted like a corkscrew and all he could do was sit in bed, day and night. If someone came to visit him, he could not even turn his head enough to make eye contact.

Whenever I came around to visit him, my standard greeting would be, “Well, how are things today?”

And his answer was always the same: “Just fine, thank you.” Now, deep down, in my own heart, I knew that if I were answering for him, I could truthfully have said each time, “Well, things are a lot worse with me than with you,” and I could have understood.

But seeing this man suffering and hearing him answer so light-heartedly, always did something to me: I always left the room both humble and joyful.





“Mister, are you Jesus?” Story of the Blind Girl and the Sales Man

25 12 2014

Are You Jesus?fruit seller

A group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago. They had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Christmas night’s dinner. In their rush through the airport, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of apples. Apples flew everywhere. Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane, just in time. All but one. He told the others to go on without him and went back to where the apples were all over the floor. He was glad he did.

The little girl, the apple seller, was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks, as she groped for her spilled produce, the crowd swirling about her, rushing to their flights.

The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them back on the table and helped reorganize her display. He set aside the bruised and battered apples in a separate basket. When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl, “Here, please take this $40 for the damage we did.

Are you okay?” She nodded through her tears.

He continued, “I hope we didn’t spoil your day too badly.”

As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him, “Mister….” He paused and turned to look back.

She continued, “Are you Jesus?”

He couldn’t get that question out of his head for days. It was such a simple, small-scale event, but it made him see clearly what following Christ was really all about. “Love one another as I have loved you.” To be a Christian is to be another Christ.

 





A lovely child with one leg: Lord forgive me when I whine

26 05 2014

A lovely child with one leg: Lord forgive me when I whine

Today, upon a bus, I saw a lovely girl with golden hair.
I envied her. She seemed so gay, and wished I were as fair.
When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle.
She had one leg, and wore a crutch. But as she passed – a smile.
O God, forgive me when I whine. I have two legs. ‘Me world is mine!

I stopped to buy some lollies. The lad who sold them had such charm.
I talked to him. He seemed so glad. If I were late, ‘it would do no harm.
And as I left he said to me, “I thank you. You’ve been so kind.
It’s nice to talk with folks like you. You see, I’m blind.”
O God, forgive me when I whine. I have two eyes. The world is mine.

Later, while walking down the street, I saw a child with eyes of blue.
He stood and watched the others play. He did not know quite what to do.
I stopped a moment, then I said, “Why don’t you join the others, dear?”
He looked ahead without a word, And then I knew he could not hear.





9 Most Important Ingredients in the Happy life By Peter Kreeft

23 09 2013
Portrait of Happy Family In Park

Portrait of Happy Family In Park

If an opinion poll were to ask Americans to list the nine most important ingredients in the happy life, they would probably give an answer pretty much like the following: First, the most obvious, though not the profoundest ingredient, is probably wealth. If you notice your friend has a big smile on his face today, you most likely would say to him, “What happened to you? Did you just win the lottery?” If that’s what you’d say, it must be because that’s what would put the biggest smile on your face. And let’s face it; money can buy everything money can buy, which is a lot of stuff.

Second might be our culture’s most notable success, the conquest of nature and fortune by science and technology, allowing each of us to be an Alexander the Great, conqueror of the world. Third would probably be freedom from pain. I think few of us would disagree that the single most valuable invention in the entire history of technology has been anesthetics.

Fourth would probably be self-esteem, the greatest good, according to nearly all of our culture’s new class of prophets, the secular psychologists — and secular psychologists are among the most secular of all classes in our society. Fifth might be justice, securing one’s rights. Justice and peace summarize the social ideals of most Americans, the ideals they want for themselves and for the rest of the world.

Sixth, if we are candid, we have to include sex. To most Americans, this is the closest thing to heaven on Earth, that is ecstasy, mystical transcending of the ego — unless they’re surfers. Seventh, we love to win, whether at war, at sports, at games of chance, in business, or even in our fantasies. Our positive self-esteem requires the belief that we are winners, not losers. We want to be successful, not failures.

But it is even harder to believe that anyone would believe his utterly shattering paradoxes about happiness.
Eighth, we want honor. We want to be honored, accepted, loved, and understood. In our modern egalitarian society, we are honored, not for being superior, but for being one of the crowd. In most ancient societies, one was honored for being different, better, superior, excellent. But we still crave to be honored. Some even want to be famous. All want to be accepted.

Ninth, we want life, a long life and a healthy life. Thomas Hobbes is surely right in saying that fear of violent death, especially painful and early death, is very, very powerful. Your life is not happy if it’s taken from you, obviously.

This all seems so obvious and so reasonable as to be beyond argument. Higher ideals than these are arguable. Some of us seek them and some of us do not. But these nine would seem to be firm and impregnable, universal and necessary. Whoever would deny that they form a part of happiness would be a fool. Whoever would affirm that happiness consisted in their opposites would be insane.

Christ’s Concept of Happiness

Let us now perform a fantastic thought experiment. Let us suppose that there was once a preacher who did teach precisely that insanity, point for point, deliberately and specifically. Perhaps you cannot stretch your imagination quite that far, but I’m going to ask you to stretch it even one step farther. Imagine this man becoming the most famous, beloved, revered, respected, and believed teacher in the history of the world. Imagine nearly everyone in the world, even those who did not classify themselves as his disciples, at least praising his wisdom, especially his moral wisdom, especially the single most famous and beloved sermon he ever preached, the Sermon on the Mount, the summary of his moral wisdom, which begins with his 180 degree reversal of these truisms.

Perhaps you find this far too incredible to be imaginable. It would be a miracle harder to believe than God becoming a man. It is hard enough to believe that anyone would believe the strange Christian notion that a certain man who began his life as a baby, who had to learn to talk, and ended it as an executed criminal, who bled to death on a cross, and in between got tired and hungry and sorrowful, is God, eternal, beginningless, immortal, infinitely perfect, all-wise, all-powerful, the Creator.

But it is even harder to believe that anyone would believe his utterly shattering paradoxes about happiness. Perhaps we do not really believe them after all. Perhaps we only believe we believe them. Perhaps we have faith in our faith rather than faith in his teachings.

For, of course, I am referring to Christ’s eight beatitudes which opened his Sermon on the Mount, the most famous sermon ever preached, and the one part of the New Testament that is still held up as central and valid and true and good and beautiful even by dissenters, heretics, revisionists, demythologizers, skeptics, modernists, theological liberals, and anyone else who cannot bring himself to believe all the other claims in the New Testament or the teachings of the Church. These people strain at the gnats but swallow the camel. So let’s look at the camel that they swallow. Perhaps they only seem to swallow it. Perhaps they swallow only their own swallowing, gollumping like Gollum.

To our desire for wealth, Christ says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” To our desire for painlessness, he says, “Blessed are those who mourn.” To our desire for conquest, he says, “Blessed are the meek.” To our desire for contentment with ourselves, he says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.” To our desire for justice, he says, “Blessed are the merciful.” To our desire for sex, he says, “Blessed are the pure in heart.” To our desire for conquest, he says, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” To our desire for acceptance, he says, “Blessed are the persecuted.” And to our desire for more life, he offers the Cross. And now this man carrying his cross to Calvary even dares to tell us, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

We say how blessed we are as individuals or as a nation when we have wealth. He says no, you are blessed when you are poor. Poor not only in your bank account, but even more than that, not less, poor down to the depths of your heart, poor in spirit, detached from riches, whether you are physically rich or poor.

When Harvard University invited Mother Teresa to give a commencement address, she shocked them by taking issue with the gracious invitation they sent to her, as “the most famous person in one of the world’s poorest nations, to address the world’s richest nation.” She said no, “India is not a poor nation; India is a very rich nation. She has a wealth of riches, true spiritual riches. And America is not a rich nation. She is a poor nation, in fact, a desperately poor nation. She slaughters her own unborn children.”

Why? Because the mother fears those children will be poor, or will make her poor. The mother fears that she will not be able to afford to have these children, as if children are like cars or computers, calculable items in the household’s economy, consumer goods rather than consumers, objects rather than subjects, part of the circle rather than the center of the circle.

The supposed insanity of Christ’s saying thus turns out to be an illusion of perspective. In a lunatic asylum, from the lunatics’ point of view, it is the sane outsider who is insane. How useful to have a continual supply of outsiders, the saints, to remind us of where we live: east of Eden, in a lunatic asylum. Christ gives us a map to show how far east of Eden we are. The poor in spirit, of course, are not the weak-spirited; they are exactly the opposite. They are strong enough to be detached from riches, that is, from the whole world. They are those who are strong enough not to be enslaved to their desires for the things of this world.

Blessed are Those who Mourn

Well, what could Christ possibly mean by his second beatitude? Weeping and mourning is certainly not an expression of contentment, of the painless state that we all long for as part of happiness. Yet Christ tells us that those who mourn are blessed. How ridiculous for some Bible translations to translate makarios by ‘happy’ in this verse, in a society that means by ‘happy’ simply subjectively satisfied or content. That translation would make Christ say, “Those who weep are content,” which is not a meaningful paradox, but a meaningless self-contradiction.

The poor in spirit, of course, are not the weak-spirited; they are exactly the opposite. They are strong enough to be detached from riches, that is, from the whole world.

Mourning is the expression of inner discontent, of the gap between desire and satisfaction, that is, of suffering. Buddha founded an entire religion on the problem of suffering, or dukkha, and its cause, tanha, or greed, and its cure, the Noble Eightfold Path leading to nirvana, the abolition of both suffering and its source.

Unlike Buddha, Christ came not to free us from suffering, but to transform its meaning, to make it salvific. He came to save us from sin, and he did so precisely by embracing the suffering and death that are the result of sin. It must sound as absurd to a Buddhist to say that suffering is redemptive, as it would sound to a Christian to say that sin is redemptive. Each religion must accuse the other of the most radical practical error: confusing the problem with the solution.

The reason Christ gave for declaring mourners blessed is that they shall be comforted. For in hope this future is made present. It’s true that “one foot up and one foot down, that’s the way to London Town,” whether one is going to London to be crowned king or to be hanged on Traitor’s Gate. But the future destiny of the journey makes everything in the journey itself different, not just accidentally, but essentially, and not just extrinsically, but intrinsically. A journey to be hanged is tragic, even if it is in a comfortable coach. A journey to be crowned, even if it is in an uncomfortable wagon, is glorious.

St. Teresa said, “Looked at from the viewpoint of heaven, the most horribly painful earthly life will turn out to be no more than one night in an inconvenient hotel.” And Christ has the viewpoint of heaven. Christ is the viewpoint of heaven. Christ is heaven. In giving us himself, he gives us heaven, and its viewpoint, that is, his.

Blessed are the Meek

The meek who will inherit the earth, whom Christ calls blessed — who are they? They are not well-known. They do not thirst for honor, fame or glory, and do not usually have it.

We all want to be known. But God, who is supremely blessed, is anonymous. He works by nature most of the time. He hides instead of constantly showing his glory. He came as a baby, and died as an executed criminal, and lets himself be ignored. He lets himself be eaten daily, as what looks like a little piece of bread. He is utterly meek, and utterly blessed. If we are utterly meek, we will be utterly blessed. If we are half meek, we will be half blessed. If we are not meek, we will not be blessed, for God is the source of all blessedness, and God is meek. And the effect cannot be the opposite of the cause.

The meekness that Christ calls blessed in his third Beatitude is indeed in sharp contrast to the desire to conquer nature that Francis Bacon declared to be the new summum bonum, the new meaning of life on earth, and to the desire to conquer fortune that was Machiavelli’s new summum bonum. But it is not the contrast that the world thinks. It is not a blessing on wimps, sissies, dishrags, wallflowers, shrinking violets, worry-warts, Uriah Heeps, nebbishes, nerds or geeks. The meek are those who do not harm, who do not see life as competitive, because they understand the two premises from which this conclusion logically follows.

First, that the best things in life are spiritual things, not material things. That life’s meaning is to be found in wisdom and love and creativity, in understanding and sanctity and beauty, rather than in money or power or fame or land or military or athletic conquest.

And they understand the second principle, too, that spiritual things are not competitive. That they multiply when shared, while material things are divided when shared. Since happiness depends on understanding the best things in life, and since the best things in life are spiritual, and since spiritual things do not diminish when shared, and since what does not diminish when shared cannot be obtained by competition, and since competition is the alternative to meekness, therefore meekness makes for happiness.

We should not be surprised that Christ the Logos is at least as logical as Socrates. Or that we are not. That’s why his pure reason sounds outrageously paradoxical to us. As Chesterton said (it’s impossible to stop quoting Chesterton; that’s like stopping eating potato chips), “It is because we are standing on our heads that Christ’s philosophy seems upside down.” We are looking at the earth and kicking up in rebellion against the heavens.
To be Continued.








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