Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes


25 life lessons

Posted on March 22, 2014 by jimparedes

HUMMING IN MY UNIVERSE By Jim Paredes (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 23, 2014 – 12:00am

If you ask each person in the world what are the most important lessons he/she has learned in life, you will get a universe of answers. Each life is lived so personally, every single one having a unique point of view with stories to tell and lessons learned from specific times and places.

Instead of writing about a single subject this week, here’s a random list of top-of-mind lessons from my own life journey.

1. While it is good to give generously, it is equally important to learn to receive graciously.

2. It is not always an all-important concern to be right or even to correct every wrong. Sometimes, it makes more sense to just be calm and accept things as they are, even if they are far from ideal.

3. Contrary to what a lot of self-help books say, it is important to have some ego. It is a reference point you need to navigate life. But make it a small ego — small enough that it does not worry about changing or dropping positions and opinions. An enormous ego that cannot overcome pride and change its views when necessary can be disastrous.

4. Learn to look at yourself in the third person, the way you look at other people. Learn detachment. It becomes easier to understand and forgive oneself and others. It helps when you don’t take yourself too seriously.

5. Do your best at all times. Sometimes you will be better than ever. At times you will be less than good. You are not always brilliant. However it turns out, know that you are actually already doing your best considering your state of being at every moment.

6. You can’t always be your kids’ best friend. And you shouldn’t aspire for it. More important than needing a best friend in us, they need good parents.

7. Do not flinch when giving tough love. If you don’t give tough love, out of pity or whatever reason, you will be dispensing what is called “idiot compassion.” It will destroy a person.

8. Be passionate about something — a sport, a hobby, a cause, anything. You will learn a lot about how to live life through your passion.

9. The less you need anything from the outside world to feel good, the happier you will be, wherever you are and whatever your circumstances.

10. Have control over your mind. Practice to make it calm, focused. It is there to serve you, not to drive you crazy with anxiety. The way to do this is to not be attached to the past or any future outcome. Just be in the here and now!

11. Do not ever lose your fascination with the world. If you miss seeing the enchantment happening every day in your life, you are not living it as you should.

12. You will die someday. Think about it every chance you get. It will teach you how to live.

13. Do not be afraid to smile at strangers. Everyone wants to do the same thing but not everyone is as brave and bold as those who actually do it. Courage, like smiles, is contagious.

14. Once you bring children into the world, no day will pass when you will not think of them, no matter how old they already are.

15. Teach your kids rituals, values, customs, family and social traditions. It will give them a sense of who they are and their place in the world.

16. Learn to say yes and no with conviction and finality. This is a vital life skill.

17. In matters of love, there are very few who are wise. And even the wise will make huge mistakes.

18. As much as it is fashionable to disdain politics, it is important to understand and engage in it. Politics affects us in every way and so we cannot leave it to politicians alone.

19. Don’t wait for apologies or thank yous. If they come, great! Even if you never hear them, it does not mean that people did not feel remorse or gratitude. Just be content in knowing you did the right thing.

20. Do not remain in your comfort zone. Pretty soon, it gets stale and can become a toxic zone. Move forward. Embrace the unknown and meet the “you” you haven’t met. When you engage the unknown, you realize that, more often than not, you can actually handle it.

21. Do not identify yourself with your feelings, moods, status, wealth. They come and go. Identify with things that have never changed and will not change. It may take you a lifetime to awaken to what these are. But you must know them.

22. Religion is a franchise on God which, when you think about it, is way too big and complex a reality to brand. If your religion works for you, great. But even if you have never joined a formal religion, you will still experience God. God is inescapable. What’s important is to just love and be kind to people. That’s the best way for others to know there is a God.

23. Avoid the literal, uncreative life. Literalism strangles and kills. A life lived without poetry or art is hardly a life. It is the same when reading holy text. Don’t read it literally. It is not so much about science or history, but more about opening us to the greater truth, the sacred mystery of what we can never measure or completely explain.

24. Sex and lust are part and parcel of being human and we will deal with them throughout our lives. Learn when to control them and when to let go. Learn appropriateness. Give selflessly and receive with gratitude.

25. As much as you cultivate your taste, mind, manners, faith, make sure you put as much effort into cultivating and expanding your sense of humor. It is the reset button of life.

1 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 05 04 14 13:56

    Be accident-prone | mathersville

1 to “25 life lessons”

  1. Gigi Alvia says:

    Thanks Jim. Sage. Provocative. Sharing if you don’t mind. Like them all but my fave is #8 which I have lost in recent years! I definitely still practice #13.
    At 58 I am still enjoying the Apo Hiking Society songs 😎
    Be blessed!



Leave a Reply


  • October 2019
    M T W T F S S
    « Sep    
     123456
    78910111213
    14151617181920
    21222324252627
    28293031  


↑ Top