ADVICE FOR SUCCEEDING IN CLASS & IN LIFE
Three Of Professor Fink’s Favorite Quotes:
(1) If we view the purpose of life as the acquisition of the largest possible slice of a fixed pie of material goods, then life becomes a zero sum game, in which someone else's victory is of necessity my loss.
In such a world, we are all competitors. The world of the spirit, by contrast, is not characterized by scarcity because its source is infinite. As a consequence, those whose primary focus is on spiritual matters do not experience life as unceasing competition.
-- Jonathan Rosenblum
2) Work as if everything depends upon you, and pray, as if everything depends upon G-d.
In this way, our Faith endures whatever challenges may come our way.
(3) We are here, I believe, because someone wanted us to be; who created us in love;
who knows our fears, hears our cries, and believes in us more than we believe in ourselves,
lifting us when we fall, giving us strength when strength fails, who forgives our mistakes;
who holds us in his everlasting arms and who, though others may reject us, never does.
And if all that should prove untrue, then I would rather be accused of taking the risk of believing
the best about existence than of having taken refuge in the safety of believing the worst.
-- Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
What is Maturity?
by Ann Landers
Maturity is many things.
"First, it's the ability to base a judgment on the Big Picture - the Long Haul. It means being able to pass up the fun-for-the-minute and select the course of action which will pay off later.
One of the characteristics of infancy is the 'I want it NOW' approach. Grown up people are able to wait.
"Maturity is the ability to stick with a project or a situation until it is finished.
The adult who is constantly changing jobs, changing friends - and changing mates - is immature.
He cannot stick with a situation because he is not grown up. Everything seems to 'turn sour' after awhile.
"Maturity is the ability to face unpleasantness, frustration, discomfort, and defeat without complaint or collapse.
The mature person knows he can't have everything his own way. Nobody wins 'em all.
He is able to defer to circumstances, to other people - and to time.
"Maturity is the ability to do what is expected of you, and this means being dependable and reliable.
It means keeping your word. And bound in with dependibility is personal integrity.
Do you mean what you say - and do you say what you mean?
"The adult world is filled with people who can't be counted on. They never seem to come through in the clutches.
They break promises and substitute alibis for performance. They show up late - or not at all.
They are confused and disorganized. T heir lives are a maze of unfinished business.
Such behavior suggests a lack of self-discipline - which is a large part of maturity.
"Maturity is the ability to make a decision, and then stick with it, riding whatever storms may follow.
This requires clear thinking, backed with the courage to stand by your position, once you've taken it.
"Immature people spend a life-time exploring possibilities and - then do nothing. Action requires courage.
And courage means maturity.
"Maturity is the ability to harness your abilities and your energies and do more than is expected of you.
The mature person refuses to settle for mediocrity. He would rather aim high and miss the mark, than aim low - and make it."
(1) Ability to take responsibility for our own emotions, especially the ones we do not like
(2) Ability to control our anger, not to yield quickly to emotions
(3) Ability to remain in touch with our deepest feelings
(4) Ability to identify and name our emotions (anger, frustration, loneliness, sadness & shyness)
(5) Ability to identify & acknowledge our strengths & weaknesses
(6) Ability to motivate ourselves & persist in the face of frustrations
(7) Ability to realize the consequences of our actions
(8) Ability to identify our reaction related to our emotions
(9) Ability to negotiate our disagreements with other people
(10) Ability to realize the cause of our feelings
(11) Ability to identify the difference between feelings & actions
(12) Ability to use the logic & analytic thinking in making judgments
(13) Ability to direct our emotions into constructive channels
(14) Ability to consider self and other interests, which motivates them, how thy work and how to work with them.
(15) Ability to be patient for success and & willing to work and wait for it.
FOUR STEPS TO A BETTER ATTITUDE
It is not what happens to you that counts. It is how you react to what happens to you, especially when you have unexpected problems of any kind. Here are four things you can do to assure that your attitude is the very best it can be, under all circumstances.
(1) FOCUS ON THE FUTUREFirst, whatever challenges you face, focus on the future rather than on the past. Instead of worrying about who did what and who is to blame, focus on where you want to be and what you want to do.
(2) FOCUS ON THE SOLUTION
Second, whenever you’re faced with a difficulty, focus on the solution rather than on the problem.
Make a list of every idea or insight you can gain from every setback or difficulty. Solutions are inherently positive, whereas problems are inherently negative. The instant that you begin thinking in terms of solutions, you become a positive and constructive human being.
(3) LOOK FOR THE GOOD
Third, assume that something good is hidden within each difficulty or challenge. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, a major proponent of positive thinking, once said, “Whenever God wants to give us a gift, he wraps it up in a problem.” The bigger the gift you have coming, the bigger the problem you will receive.
But the wonderful thing is that if you look for the gift, you will always find it.
(4) LOOK FOR THE VALUABLE LESSON
Fourth, assume that whatever situation you are facing at the moment is exactly the right situation you need to ultimately be successful. This situation has been sent to you to help you learn something, to help you become better, to help you expand and grow.
The Road Less Traveled
M. Scott Peck
It is in this process of meeting and solving problems that life has its meaning. Problems are the cutting edge that distinguishes between success and failure. Problems call forth our courage and our wisdom; indeed, they create our courage and our wisdom. It is only because of problems that we grow mentally and spiritually. When we desire to encourage the growth of the human spirit, we challenge and encourage the human capacity to solve problems, just as in school we deliberately set problems for our children to solve.
...wise people learn not to dread but actually to welcome problems and actually to welcome the pain of problems.
The 4 Self-Disciplines:
All self-discipline is the teaching of ourselves to do the un-natural. This is perhaps the one characteristic that makes us most human-- the capacity to do the un-natural; to transcend and hence transform our own nature.
(1) Delaying of Gratification
the process of scheduling the pain & pleasure of life in such a way as to enhance the pleasure by meeting & experiencing the pain first and getting it over with. It is the only decent way to life.
The work of change. Moving out against the inertia of laziness. It is the least lazy who know themselves to be sluggish
(2) Acceptance of Responsibility
We learn to rise up to the levels expected of us.
When character-disordered individuals blame someone else-- a spouse, a child, a friend, a parent, an employer-- or something else-- bad influences, the schools, the government, racism, sexism, socieity, the "system"-- for their problems, these problems persist. Nothing has been accomplished. By casting away their responsbility they may feel comfortable with themselves, but they have ceased to solve the problems of living, have ceased to grow spiritually, and have become dead weight for society.
(3) Dedication to Truth
continue to explore the mystery of reality. We must always consider our personal discomfort relatively unimportant and, indeed, even welcome it in the service of the search for truth.
The process of constant self-examination & contemplation. Examination of the world without is never as personally painful as examination of the world within.
There is a part of us that does not want to exert ourselves, that clings to the old and familiar, fearful of any change or effort, desiring comfort at any cost and absence of pain at any price, even if the penalty be ineffectiveness, stagnation or regression.
Fear is caused by laziness. Fear of change in the status quo; a fear that we might lose what we have if we venture forth from where we are now. Courage is not the absence of fear, but acting in spite of the fear.
To be organized & efficient we must daily delay gratification and keep an eye on the future; yet to live joyously we must also possess the capacity, when it is not destructive, to live in the present and act spontaneously.
Balancing is the discipline that gives us flexibility.
Recommended Videos & Web-Sites:
Dr. Randy Pausch; The Last Lecture; Achieving Your Childhood Dreams
Louie Schwartzberg; Gratitude
Dr. Dan Gilbert; Why Are We Happy?
The Interview with God