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The Pearls of Life

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The meal was quite good. My wife had outdone herself, and the dinner had launched a family discussion around what it was like to be as old as Dad. My sons seemed fascinated to learn that television was called books when I was their age, and running to the store for some “things” was a full day’s activity. When told how old Dad was, my youngest replied, “Wow, I thought the world was only about ten years old.” The more I think about that response, the more I believe it is true.

This moment taught me a lot. There were so many things to learn from it that I can't really call them lessons. Rather, they were experiences that helped build my character. It was the whole setting - my family, the place, the time, the situation - that made me think about how to deal with life. This moment made me reflect on some fundamental traits that define the essence of life."

Your life is what you make it: We are constantly faced with choices and opportunities that can lead us to different paths in life. Though sometimes external factors can limit our choices, ultimately it is up to us to make the decision. That's why it's important to always learn as much as possible so that our choices are the best they can be.

It’s not what happens: Life is full of ups and downs and each event comes with choices. Some of these choices are within our control, while others are not. However, it is important to always strive to do your best and make decisions based on as much knowledge as possible. Once a decision has been made, it is important to accept the consequences and take responsibility for them. Avoid making excuses, rationalizing or blaming others for the outcomes. Instead, focus on what's next and move forward.

If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging: I don't always make the right decisions. It's important to learn from mistakes and not dwell on the consequences.

Think about the future, and do what’s next: No matter what the outcome may be, whether it's success or failure, it's important not to waste too much time blaming others or praising yourself excessively. Instead, it's crucial to take some time to reflect, evaluate and learn from the experience. Use the lessons learned to move forward and focus on the next task at hand.

None of us are as smart as all of us: No matter how much we promote, champion, or rationalize our ideas and positions, we sometimes get it wrong. The best way to improve our thinking is to seek out other opinions. Talking to people from all walks of life can expand our view and perspective of the world and its challenges. However, opinions are like vegetables; they might all look good, but not all of them are suitable for the same soup pot. Talk to everyone, but make your own decision.

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