Saturday, December 27, 2008

Life 101>> an unillustrated guide

In my Christmas stocking, there was a gift that I had been looking forward to receiving. A couple of months back, I was in a store and saw a book titled, "Life 101 >> an illustrated guide." It intrigued me, so I flipped through the pages. The words of advice paired with often ironic pictures made me laugh. Most of what makes this book so humorous is the image portion; however, if you don't take the words at face value with nothing attached, it offers some nice advice.

Below are some of my favorite lines.

#1 Be Yourself.
#2 Don't blow with the wind.
#3 Try to be positive.
#6 Never be too proud to ask for help.
#7 Think outside the box.
#8 Do one thing at a time.
#9 Life isn't always fair.
#10 Sometimes it takes just one good idea.
#11 Always try to make a good impression.
#17 Keep an open mind.
#18 Beauty is all around you.
#19 Seek and ye shall find.
#20 Preparation is the key to success.
#22 Don't be envious.
#27 Don't be afraid to speak up.
#28 Never interrupt when you are being flattered.
#29 Plan ahead.
#30 Don't get carried away.
#31 You can if you think you can.
#32 If at first you don't succeed, try, try, and try again.
#33 Forget insults, remember compliments.
#35 Be a good listener.
#36-69 Respect your elders.
#70 Exercise regularly.
#71 The key to life is balance.
#72 An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
#75 Take an interest in the arts.
#76 Don't lose your head.
#78 Stay in touch with your friends.
#79 Be a team player.
#80 Remember to dance.
#83 Expect the unexpected.
#85 Honesty is the best policy.
#87 It is better to give than to receive.
#88 Do one good deed everyday.
#89 Love thy neighbor.
#91 Take time out for yourself.
#92 Be observant.
#93 Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can.
#95 Be a communicator.
#96 Learn to follow instructions.
#89 Always give it your best shot.
#101 Above all, just be yourself.


As a believer, my ultimate "Life 101" book is the Bible. I couldn't help but notice how many biblical themes jumped out at me in this list of advice.

Pick one or maybe several that jumped out at you and share your thoughts.

I'm not one for New Year's resolutions, but one area that I need to work on is #92. The image paired with this quote in the book is the picture of a man holding a tray of drinks, walking and headed straight into the deep end of a pool because he is looking elsewhere. My mind tends to race and race and race, and take me several different directions in the course of a moment. I can be in a conversation with an individual but also across the room, solving a problem, eating a snack, checking off my mental to-do list, and planning for tomorrow's event all at the same time. Another knock against me is my terrible memory. I cannot remember names, dates, or details to save my life.

I met a lady once who had a little notebook with her, and as I introduced myself and told her what I was doing, she wrote it all down. I'm beginning to think that such measures aren't such a bad idea for someone like me. It's not that I don't care or don't have a genuine interest in someone or what they are doing; it's just that I allow my mind to be on overdrive so much of my life that too much information is taken in at once and then none of it is retained. So perhaps my problem is not #92, but rather, #35. If I practice both more often and even record some of my findings, I can be a bit more aware.

It's interesting, because most of my friends are highly detailed-oriented people who, when asked, could recount a night's entire events by person, outfit, decoration, sensation, surrounding, and environment. Such an individual would score a high mark on the preference "Sensing," in the Myers-Briggs personality assessment. It speaks of those who are in tune to sensory experiences, details, and the "here and the now"... what is realistically happening at this moment.

I possess the opposite preference, also known as iNtuition. If you tend toward the intuitive end of the spectrum, you are a bit more imaginative and "head-in-the clouds" with your thinking. You see the forest rather than the trees, and the "big picture" rather than the nitty gritty particulars. Correlations, patterns, and connections come easily, and your "big ideas" may be good but may also leave out important pieces of information such as pitfalls, bottlenecks, and deadlines. If you were asked to sum up an evening, instead of listing off a detailed account, you would tend to remember meanings, moods, and the overall picture.

S0, #92 comes naturally for Sensors. In fact, I was recently talking to my friend who is an "S" and she was telling me that she doesn't even have to try to remember details; she just sees them and they are there as information whenever she needs to access them. I marvelled at this concept. To me, I would have to write down the specifics or at least make an effort to assign some sort of meaning to them in my mind in order to ever remember. As an "N," I have to make more of a conscious effort at this, so it is my goal for 2009.

What about you?

I will be posting about personality types soon, so stay posted. It remains to be a fascinating concept and important part of my dealings with people in my life, and it's been awhile since I've posted about it. Stay tuned!



Erin said...

That sounds like an interesting book. I enjoyed reading this post...I'm definitely not one who remembers details such as outfits or decorations at an event either, but am more introspective and can really relate to the remembering "meanings, moods, and the overall picture" instead. I look forward to reading more about personality types! That fascinates me too.

megs said...

i have a friend who is like your friend, she can remember when she met people, where they were, what their hairstyle was, what shoes, clothes and accessories they were wearing, what the weather was like and who was one time, and what everyone ate.

not me. i remember the moods and all that stuff.

i'm excited to hear what you have to say about personalities, i took the myers-briggs in school, i'll have to dig out my results so we can chat about them!

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