Guidelines For Living

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In late 1999, I was a brand new graduate student instructor of psychology at California State University, San Bernardino.
For my very first class, I taught Personal and Social Adjustment, a course in gaining self-understanding through psychological principles.
To this day, I remember how honored and moved I felt to contribute to the process of helping my students think about and plan their lives.
I still feel the same every time I teach a new class.
I shared this with my students on the last day of that very first class.
I hope something in my philosophy for life is helpful to you.
Guidelines for Living Take time to know yourself.
It's a guarantee you'll be living with yourself the rest of your life, so it's important to like, know, appreciate, and respect who you are.
Understand where you came from, make the most of where you are now, and believe in and plan for the future.
Take time to know, REALLY know, the people who are important to you.
Who are they? What do they want and need? How do they feel? What are their hopes and dreams? Ask them with an open mind and an open heart - they'll likely be delighted to tell you and delighted that you asked.
Communicate clearly and honestly with other people in a straightforward manner conveying mutual respect and dignity.
You'll be surprised at how many misunderstandings DON'T happen.
Listen to other people.
Open not just your ears, but your mind, your heart, and your attitude and REALLY listen.
It's one of the best ways to learn.
Own your feelings.
They belong uniquely to you.
They are not inherently good or bad.
Everything from intense joy to the deepest grief are part of being alive.
Pay attention to what your feelings are telling you.
Do not simply let your life take "the path of least resistance.
" You have choices.
They are yours and only yours to make.
Be active in choosing the course of your life.
Know you can't control everything.
Things will happen over which you have no control, but to the extent that you consciously shape your destiny, the fewer regrets you are likely to have.
Love is worth the risk.
Be real.
Don't fake for anyone or anything.
The most precious and valuable thing you can be in your life is yourself.
You are irreplaceable.
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