1. STAND TALL
Stand tall and speak the truth.
2. BE KIND
Consider others first; acknowledge their god-like nature.
3. PLAN AHEAD
Plan for each day; how we live this day is how we live our lives.
4. LET GO
Focus on this moment; this moment is important.
5. CHOOSE LOVE
Regardless of circumstances, choose love.
“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.”
* * *
The promise of something greater is within you:
Stand up straight. Sit up straight.
Look farther. Lead with your heart.
Be mighty like a skyscraper. Be noble like a tree.
Engage the senses and breathe deeply.
Inventory each muscle. Acknowledge your strength.
Then relax. Savor your physical body.
Feel the tiny wire lifting your head up high.
Stand tall. Rise up and face forward.
Look them in the eyes and give them respect.
But remember who you are, hold true to your beliefs,
and earn their respect.
When necessary, access your inner warrior:
confront evil and conquer fear.
Stand tall. Stand tall for others. And speak up.
Speak the truth: even if it is unpopular,
even when it is easier not to,
even if it leads to temporary pain.
Choose your words carefully. Do not guess. Do not speculate.
Remember: others rely upon what you say and what you don’t say.
Lies are poison. And truth unchecked by compassion can lead to cruelty.
Seek always to distinguish what is true from what is not.
Truth reveals itself in nature, in reason, in reflections,
in unfiltered experience, and in the silence deep within.
Truth lives in communion with the beautiful and the good,
and truth may be discerned in apparent contradictions
or in the message underneath the words.
Only when your mind, body, and heart align will you know it is so.
One’s happiness depends upon aligning one’s words with one’s actions.
Be true to your words and your actions will follow.
Stand outside of the truth and you will suffer in isolation.
Stand tall: give respect. Stand tall: earn respect. And speak the truth.
Truth is a choice. Truth begets power. Truth ensures freedom.
Stand tall and speak the truth.
“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”
* * *
All of our prophets unite in one message: be kind.
Self-centeredness is our natural gravity to overcome.
Balance selfishness with selflessness.
Balance taking with giving.
Attach less to things.
Less I, me, my and more you, we, and us.
Consider: who you are is merely a reflection
of what you acknowledge in those around you.
Be present with others. Open your heart to them
and listen. Really listen.
Practice: ask first, tell second,
asking open-ended questions:
When? Where? How? Why?
Seek to understand and then reflect.
Through this, feel their experiences.
Share in their happiness and multiply it;
share in their suffering and divide it.
And continually cultivate acceptance and tolerance
by inviting challenging perspective—
particularly from those who challenge you,
as they are our teachers.
Look for their innocence and learn from them.
Within each person lies their purpose.
Recognizing it acknowledges their unique beauty, truth, and good—
their god-like nature.
Belief in another brings their potential to life
and your own potential as well.
And remember to smile.
Others remember less about your words
than how they feel in your presence.
So relax and smile;
smile and the world smiles with you.
Every interaction offers the opportunity to extend kindness.
Be kind: consider others first; acknowledge their god-like nature.
“From intention springs the deed, from the deed springs the habits. From the habits grow the character, from character develops destiny.”
– Chinese Proverb
* * *
Our purpose in life is not merely to succeed; rather,
our purpose is to realize our greatest potential.
To achieve our greatest potential requires planning:
planning gives form to vision, clarifies priorities,
and offers clear direction to transform outcomes and lives
without resorting to crisis or fear.
Planning requires three steps:
Step one: envision the ideal future.
Begin by removing the filters of possibility and create the space to dream
and ask: What are my greatest gifts? What does the world need?
Allow all of the possibilities to pour forth. Then step back.
Within the many responses one clear answer will emerge
that satisfies both questions and pulls you forward
toward the future that wants you.
Step two: articulate your vision.
Describe the destination as well as each step along the path,
the challenges you will face, the resources required,
and the measure of your success—a measure
seemingly beyond reach from your current point of reference.
Then reveal the plan and the intentions that guide it
and ask others for their perspective.
Those who offer it may be your greatest resource for support.
Once fully described, now publish. Declare it to be so,
understanding that it will require you to say “no” to other opportunities
in a manner that enrolls others in participating in the deeper “yes”
that is your purpose.
Step three: commit to the future today.
Step bravely forward, then follow the first step with another and then another,
understanding that the size of each step is less important than the direction.
To sustain you, develop practices that yield positive results
and build a community of intention
to coach you, challenge you, and guide you
in those moments when the obstacles seem great or the path appears lost.
As you reach the top of each mountain
you may discover the bottom of another, higher mountain.
But first make time for rest and reflection
to acknowledge the ground you have taken,
and then begin again by envisioning the ideal future anew.
Plan for each day; how we live this day is how we will live our lives.
“We are always getting ready to live but never living.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
* * *
Awaken to the unique opportunity that only
this moment has to offer. Start now:
Reconnect to your physical senses:
Look. Listen. Touch. Smell. Taste.
Remember these first teachers and notice your breath;
it is the measure of our awareness.
Just breathe. Breathe in. Breathe out.
Surrender any tension in your body:
release its grip from your face, your shoulders, your stomach,
and let go.
Be present to the task in front of you.
Make it important. Give it your all.
Don’t hold back. Don’t half-ass it.
Even when you are tired, hungry, or don’t want to.
No excuses. No regrets.
Let go of the past.
Close the door on yesterday or condemn yourself to repeat it.
Let go of the stories, the disappointments, the wounds,
and the wanting for history to be different.
Learn from it, accept it, and let go.
Let go of the wanting.
Wanting leads only to more wanting.
Separate the positive intentions from the negative desire,
then focus on the possibility of fulfillment and let go.
Let go of hate.
Hate is a disease and, in its many forms—
anger, judgment, and fear—will sicken its host.
Relieve it with the antidotes of curiosity and compassion.
Free yourself from the idea of good and bad—
particularly in relation to the opinions of others,
and consider that there may be only observations and preferences.
Allow thoughts to pass without judgment, but do not deny them—
resistance only increases their hold;
instead, just observe them and let them be.
Choosing to accept what is will unlock the happiness within.
Then step outside of yourself; take on perspective.
From a distance opportunities expand, challenges diminish,
connections appear limitless,
and the abundance of life will be revealed.
In the clearing, the present glistens with possibility.
Let go. Focus on this moment; this moment is important.
“Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice.”
– Ayn Rand
* * *
The secret to happiness is happiness,
just as the secret to love is love.
Life is challenging. By virtue of being human we suffer.
Our bodies endure pain, illness, and deterioration.
Over time, Death’s calling card appears in more places,
but most of our suffering originates from within.
Our mind offers us a choice: suffering or happiness.
Our past, present, and future are linked together in this decision.
The key to happiness is hidden in plain sight:
choose your thoughts and the results will follow.
Our point of view determines our thoughts and feelings;
our thoughts and feelings influence our actions,
and our actions lead to results,
the results already determined by our point of view.
While we may have little control over events external to ourselves,
our thoughts are ours alone. Choose them with care.
Choose love, compassion, and joy,
particularly in the most challenging of circumstances—
any competing commitments fall away and worries disappear.
Continually ask yourself, “What would the best me do?”
And choose the wholesome alternative, unconditionally.
Choosing wholeness brings our true self into being
without giving up who we are;
it acknowledges our connectedness—
alleviating aloneness and thereby eliminating fear.
Only the delusion of separateness divides us.
Always remember that your state of mind is your choice.
And this choice confers upon us the power to create
the experience of our lives and the lives of those connected to us.
If there is one great truth, it is this: we cocreate our world.
Regardless of circumstances, choose love.
Rugger Burke, 2013
“Love tells me I am everything. Wisdom tells me I am nothing. Between the two, my life flows.”
– Nisargadatta Maharaj
* * *
Believe in something greater:
we may think we were born to save ourselves;
in truth, we are here to transform our nature to serve the world.
The process of transformation requires that you:
1. Believe in yourself 100%.
2. Acknowledge the god-like nature in others.
3. Find what you must do and do it
(always asking “How can I serve others?”).
4. Maintain a clear (“don’t know”) mind moment to moment, free from judgment of good and bad.
5. Make I, me, and my disappear such that inside and outside become one.
Practice, practice, practice until you realize your unique self,
eliminating all resistance to reality (what is in this moment).
Recognize all as one and chose wholesomeness.
* * *
As the wise man said:
Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.
After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.
This is my wood. This is my water.