The Tao te Ching is one of my favorite texts, religious or otherwise. Each page is a new bit of life lesson or musing to reflect upon, and I appreciate it for its simplicity as well as its insight. So while drinking my morning coffee, I sat down with my moleskin and wrote a Tao te Allie, my own personal lessons and musings. Perhaps they are a bit general, but I voraciously advocate every word. Enjoy!
The Tao te Allie:
I. Read. Bring a book, newspaper, magazine with you wherever you go so when you’re sitting alone waiting for a friend or your food or the bus, you can put down your phone and pick up your book. Books are the best places to lose, or find, yourself. Whichever you please.
II. Travel. Often. On the cheap, off the beaten path, somewhere that excites you. But don’t forget about the friends and family waiting for you back home.
III. Go outside. Feel the world expand beyond walls and ceilings, relish in the silence or chaos in that very moment.
IV. Never stop trying to improve yourself. Make conscious and concerted efforts to improve everyday. Allow yourself to be happy but not satisfied.
V. Have those challenging conversations. Talk to people with different opinions than you and speak with intelligence and passion. Then, have the wisdom to stop talking before a fight ensues.
VI. Wake up with a smile. Don’t drag yourself form bed grudgingly, unfairly predisposing ill feelings on the day. Be kind to the morning and the potential good fortunes it will bring.
VII. Allow others to be close to you. Mystery only goes so far before it starts to feel like you are depriving others of your true self. Let others in.
VIII. Before getting upset or frustrated, ask yourself these questions: “Why does this matter so much to me?” and “Will this still matter down the road (days, weeks, months, etc.)?” You’ll know which battles to fight and when you’re being irrational.
IX. Be kind to others, but do not fall victim to pleasing others at the expense of your own happiness. You will not be an enjoyable person if your own needs aren’t met.
X. Do not be too hard on other people. Keep them accountable, but realize at the end of the day they are just human, comprised of genes and environmental factors that lead to their decisions. Be a positive environmental factor to others.
XI. Have goals. Always have an ambition you are striving to attain, in any aspect of your life. Know and understand sacrifice, failure, and success.
XII. Take a note from the 5-year-olds and be curious. ‘How?’ and ‘Why?’ should be integral to your vocabulary.
XIII. Do what makes you happy, but recognize the difference between instant and delayed gratification. Harness the willpower to know when to push through the pain or when to stop torturing yourself.
XIV. Say yes. Never let fear of leaving your comfort zone stop you from new experiences. Make your life a story worth telling.
XV. Love. Yourself and others. The saddest hearts are not the broken ones, but the ones that never learned to love.
Expect another post tonight about the details of my day!