Friday, March 30, 2012

An Article In Review: Top Five Regrets Of The Dying


Song:  Promise

Artist:  Thomas Bergersen


Top Five Regrets Of The Dying

By:  Bronnie Ware

Bronnie Ware has released a book based on her original article.

You may order it from her original article.


Original Article:



The author describes how she had gained her insight into
the major regrets of the dying in how they had lived their lives.

She explains that she had worked with those who had but a few weeks to live.

They had a terminal condition and were sent home to die peacefully.

In her article, she had listed 5 major regrets that she had noticed
had been recited, time and again, by her patients.



1)  "I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself...
not the life others expected of me".


She goes on to explain how so many had not lived their dreams...
their true passions...and how they had realized...too late...
that it was due to their choices in life.

They had also realized how much freedom they really had in life...
and had not taken advantage of their only real limiter to their freedom...
before it had become too late...
their health.


As I have said many times in earlier articles...
it is not the mistakes in life that people regret so much
(unless they are irredeemable)...
it is in their not trying...
their not striving for the pinnacle of their passions.


Many people think that you need only have a dream which is believed
strongly enough and at a deep enough level...
that it will somehow come true.


There are three things that must happen...

A)  A realization...the dream.

B)  A realistic plan to reach that dream.

C)  An unremitting treading of that path to fruition.


It is in the steady walking of that path of passion which gives such beauty to life.

It is what true hope is.

It is what unleashes the energy of the gods in us.

It is what unlocks true love of ourselves...
so we may experience true love of others.



2)  "I wish I didn't work so hard".


The author tells of how so many had missed the opportunity to really 
connect on an emotional level with the most important people in their lives
because of time spent away from them due to their chasing money in order to 
lead a higher lifestyle.


I think the last word "hard" should be replaced with "much".

There are only so many hours in each day.
To have to spend so many of them away from family...
to the point of missing most of the magical moments in their lives...
is to have missed the memories that greatly enrich life.

It is wonderful to work hard...
it is one of life's great pleasures.

But to have to work long...
beyond the hours which would allow you to progress...
and to still enjoy life with your loved ones, is to set yourself up for regret
(to work long hours for a few years to establish yourself
so you may be able to enjoy more time with your loved ones later...
is understandable.  To do it long term... is not).

(The above presupposes that the basics of comfort had been established...
that the extra hours are to sustain an unnecessary lifestyle over family).




3)  "I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings".


This regret related to unfair treatment from others...
of allowing others to manipulate them in order to keep peace.

They ended up keeping silent...
and most importantly...had not done what was right...
and so, had developed regret.

They thought that not upsetting others was important...
even when their demands were invalid.

They had forgotten that, they too...are people.  
They also have the right to be happy.

It is not their responsibility to bow to the manipulator.
It is everyones responsibility to do that which is ultimately right.

Not what is popular...
not what will keep the peace...
not what will be good for the short term over the long...
but that which is right...
that which is best for the long term over the short.


To have self respect is the first, and most necessary step...
to receiving respect from others.

Without self respect...
true love of self...
true love of others...
true love of life...
is not possible.



4)  "I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends".


The author had put it succinctly in these two sentences:

"It all comes down to love and relationships in the end.  
That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships".


To have lived a selfish life...
only for oneself...
is to be more and more alone as time goes by.

It is to have measured life by a mere accumulation of memories
and materialistic wants, with nobody to honor those memories through their 
actions which would benefit others still.

It is to mean to have lived a meaningless existence.

To have benefited others...
to have been part of the battle of good over evil...
is to have gained the only immortality that man can have...
his legacy.

To know that your life mattered...
that it wasn't an accumulation of memories that will die with you...
but ones which will positively change the future for the better...
at least for those whom lives you had touched...
is to have been a warrior for good...
and so you may die a warrior's death.
A death which is not faced with regret or fear...
but one filled with great pride and accomplishment...
 a sense of fulfillment...
a satiation of life...
so you may release yourself from life with ease...
and so, have a good death.



5)  "I wish that I had let myself be happier".


The author explains that many had let fear reign in their passions...
that they had feared leaving their comfort zone to the detriment of their 
ultimate happiness.

They had allowed the approval of others to override what had really mattered to them.

They had chosen to pretend to others...
and to themselves...
a false sense of contentedness...
and so, had sold out their trek to the top of the mountain...
and had settled for a relatively peaceful existence in town...
and merely gazing at the mountain.


Many falsely think that it is only when the peak is reached
that happiness is achieved.

They falsely think that the whole of the trek prior to the peak
is one of unrelenting pain and fatigue...
and so, forgo the journey entirely...
thinking that it is not worth the effort and pain.

What they don't realize is that from the start of their journey...
with each committed step forward...
 energy is gained...
hope is quickened...
passion is stirred...
a love of life becomes more vivid...
the momentary pain is looked upon as an enhancer to the experience...
making the summit all the more satisfying.


What the author had given others is a glimpse into...
Wisdom.

Although it was belated wisdom...
and it had not benefitted them...
their words...
the words of those whom had lived life and were facing death...
and had clearly seen the sum of their existence in crystal clarity...
may now benefit all those beginning their life journey...
and so they may, in essence, be a guide to living life well...
to others.

Through the author's article...
and subsequent book...
she has given a meaning to their lives...
and so...
a measure of immortality to their wisdom
so others may avoid the pitfalls that they had fallen victim to.

The dying and their regrets...
had become pathfinders...
to all of us still on our trek.

That is to honor them...
 and their honesty and wisdom.

Most importantly...
it is to guide all of us to a better path...
before it is too late.



Monday, March 19, 2012

One Of Life's Great Simple Pleasures


Song:  Wyatt's Torch

Group:  Immediate Music



 Just after Alex had completed his writing assignment
(the one described in the previous article)...
I had taken him out to eat at a nearby restaurant.
It is a quaint Casino / Restaurant at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains...
and poised at the gateway to the pass that leads to California from Reno.

The restaurant has large picture windows through which 
you may see the mountains.

It was lightly snowing and nearing sunset.
The air was crisp and fresh.

We entered and were seated.

Alex ordered a dish of Tilapia.

I had decided to engorge myself with one of my few vices...
I simply love a good cheese burger
(not too often...maybe a few times a month).

Not just any type mind you...
a flame grilled one
(Is there really any other way to cook one?  :)

The food is good...and the price is very reasonable.
The atmosphere is nice and the view is very beautiful.

Alex busied himself with his iPad and I listened to some
nice music on my iPod.

I was facing the mountains and I was simply entranced by the 
deep blue hue of the mountains below the glowing white of the snow caps.

As the sun set lower...
the mountains got a progressively deeper blue...
 and had finally disappeared from view.

I was alternately looking at the grand view of the mountains...
and at the grand view before me with my son sitting contentedly...
playing with his iPad and then concentrating intently on his Tilapia as he ate it.

I love nature...and I deeply love my son.

What a fortunate man I am, I had thought...
to have such great simple pleasures readily at hand.


I reflected upon my life...
of how grand an adventure it has been
(with more to come)...
of how I have had great fortune in my life...
even though in some ways...
I am a failure.

I need to expand upon this as I have a point to make.


As I have stated before...
to constantly strive toward that which you have a passion for...
to be able to do your life's work using that passion...
make a good living with it...
to help others in the line of your work...
and to love it so much that retirement is not in your plans...
you simply wish to do it until you simply can no longer.

That is to have lived a life filled with passion and creativity.

That is what I hope to have Alex achieve in his life...
unabated and ever growing happiness...
from sunup through sundown.

That is to be successful.

I have failed in this one important respect.

Although I had made my job as enjoyable as I could...
and it had provided me with a good salary 
and a very comfortable and early retirement...
it was not my passion.

I had waited too late to discover my passion and to pursue it
(Although it is not too late to pursue many of my passions.
I shall be engaging in them more in the near future).

I am one of the fools in life that had to learn some valuable life lessons...the hard way.

 This is not to say my life was difficult.  

To say so would be an insult to so many
who are struggling in a hard economic environment.  

It is not to say that I am not ever so grateful for the opportunities
I have been afforded and have taken advantage of.

It is also not to say that I am not fully enjoying life...
that I am...
with much more to come...
and with even greater depth through the chasing of my passions. 

My point is...
 that to have had an even greater life...
I would have had a job that I considered my life's work...
one where I couldn't wait to get to...
one where I loved every minute on the job...
one where I had felt a sense of deep satisfaction at the conclusion of the day...
of only leaving without regret because of even greater passions to pursue off the job...
all the while making important contributions to others...
to improve their lives.

That is to live life fully.


Had I thought even more deeply about the nature of life as a young child...
about reverse planning my life according to my passions...
about how serious study in school would open up so many more doors of opportunity
instead of wasting so many of my opportunities daydreaming in class...
of not doing homework, not engaging in class...
of living in my own world while the real one was passing me by...
I could have had a life that was pure joy...
instead of having one where my job hours were just fun and not a passion.

I now take solace in, not only being able to impress upon my son, Alex...
an even better way of life...but to prepare him for one.

This is what it means to be a parent.

To not only impart wisdom...
but to impart the means of achieving even greater heights
than the heights achieved by us.


Alex is my son...

I am...
 his Atlas...
 his Guardian...
his Protector...
 his Guide...
 his Teacher...
his staunchest supporter...
his Fighter/Intercepter...
his Full Back as he runs for a touch down in life.

His friends are my friends...
his enemies are my mortal enemies.

I am his Father...
and for this...
I am most grateful.

While being a Father is not always simple...
it is definitely one of life's greatest pleasures.


Alex Grasping The Concept Of Outlining A Paper


Song:  Dreamway

Group:  Immediate Music



I have been working with Alex on writing structure... 
and with techniques to improve writing flow.

I had taught him the basics of outlining his project or paper first.

As I had explained to him...
an outline is the outlay of mental notes to oneself...
 providing the prioritization or chronicalization of the salient points...
all of which provide the structure of the project or paper.

I had shown him how to research material...
how to extract that information from articles...
and how to incorporate it into the outline.

All that is left is to expand from the outlined words...
into sentences and paragraphs.

I had to, at first, explain what the important points were.

While looking at an article...
it may be obvious...at first.

What you get is, often times, the author's prioritization of importance...
which may not match your area of importance.

It becomes easy once the writer knows that which he wishes to impress.

The very first thing to be done is to know what the topic sentence shall say
(the first thing in an outline).

This dictates the parameters of the article
(expressed inclusions and implied exclusions).

It then becomes a relatively simple matter of categorizing the outline...
and researching the information for each category...
just a word or so for each point.

Then comes the fleshing out of the article in the rough draft.

Earlier yesterday...
 Alex had worked on a paper on an adornment commonly worn by Roman youths.


As I had explained the process 
and had walked him through a couple of papers previously...
I wanted to let him spread his wings on this one.

I simply told him to outline his paper...
to research the information...
and to complete his rough draft.

A few hours later...
I had checked up on him.

He had finished his paper...
his rough draft wasn't even rough  :)

The paper was well written and had contained all the pertinent information.

He said he just worked off of his outline
(which he had done by himself).

This is what I had been working towards!

He had grasped the concept of the outline.

As I had explained to him...
an outline is far more than what is used in writing papers...
it is an efficient way of thinking.

It is the difference between someone having to read a speech at a podium...
and one who orates...one who performs magic with words without a script.

It is because many people attempt to remember the whole of the script...
word for word...that they need to read a speech.

An Orator needs only to remember the outline of his speech...
a word as a guide to the concept to illustrate for each point.

By thinking in category / subcategory...everything is in order.  
You need only remember the name of the category.
The underlying knowledge may then flow forth unhindered.

It was after I had explained it to him in this manner that he had understood.

In previous weeks...
as I was working with him writing essays...
I had seen that his main problem was in the organization of the paper itself...
not in the actual writing once he knew the direction.

As he had no parameters initially...
he hadn't known where to start.

I could see he was attempting to write the whole essay in his head first.

Without direction...
he hadn't known which points were the pertinent ones.
His research had stumbled as a result.

The concept of the outline had made all the difference.
He had really taken off on this one.

He had not merely soloed...
he had soared.

It wasn't the quality of the paper that had made me so happy...
it was in his understanding of the concept of an outline as a way of thinking...
that had made me the happiest.

With this one concept...
he will improve in all his papers...
his speeches...
his whole way of categorizing his thoughts.

Addendum:  While I realize that most people naturally think in this manner...
a child on the spectrum often times has trouble in the area of organization.
He has had to learn how to extract the main idea from what he has read...
and how to best organize his thoughts and writing.

By explaining the concept...
demonstrating it...
having him do it under supervision...
and then letting him do it on his own..
a simple, tried and true method, once again...
regins supreme.  :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Daily Guidance Of Homework - One Of The Great Pleasures Of Being A Parent




Song:  Age Of Gods

Group:  Thomas Bergersen




Guiding Alex in a project.


After Alex comes home from school...
he eats a snack...
he then does his homework at the dinner table.

I then check it and go over any missed points or misunderstood concepts
(my wife guides him in Math and many home supplementary subjects).

I go over his daily school homework.



I will attempt to teach through the asking him of guided questions
(Socratic Method)...
or through the direct explanations of basic concepts...
and then have him answer correctly...his initially incorrectly answered questions.

Sometimes, I will have him research the subject on the internet or to reread
a missed passage in his text.




Alex deriving great pleasure from working a problem to its correct resolution.



Neither of us are really morning persons.


This is a picture of us at the MathCounts competition.
It is about 11:30 in the morning here...way beyond my bedtime
(I still stay awake all night and sleep during the day).

Alex had just completed the initial 3 rounds of testing.
We are awaiting the results for the top 8 to compete head to head
(which he had gotten to advance to).

While moments together with my son...Alex...
during great moments such as accompanying him to events or taking
him places and enjoying watching him enjoy himself so much...
are tremendous...and form memories that last a lifetime...
and incredibly enrich my life...

it is in the daily pleasure of watching my son grow as I help guide him in his 
studies and other supplementary learning activities that I derive a deep sense
of satisfaction.  I learn so much about my son in knowing his basic thought 
process by watching his daily efforts come to fruition as he accomplishes his tasks.

I revel in his fighting spirit and his spirit of adventure...
as he advances in his physical and musical training
(presently on hold as we adapt his schedule to the needs of his school schedule).

It is through our daily guidance of him that he also knows us.

He knows, through our dedicated actions...
our measure of resolve to better his life...
our demonstrated love by the willing giving of our time to him
(a child left to his own devices and desires, is essentially abandoned)...
our sharing of our thoughts and philosophy...our accumulated and aggregated wisdom...
so he may become much more wise and to have even greater happiness in his life.


Again...
I know, all too well, how extremely fortunate I am to be in the
position to be fully retired at an early age...
so I may be able to spend, freely, the most valuable currency in life...
time...with whom I love the most.

I also know that it is in the training that the warrior wins the battles.

The training that will serve the Intellectual Warrior the most...
lies in his daily training...his homework and advanced supplemental training.

Prioritized as mission number one...
done daily (including weekends and all school breaks)...
it becomes a hunger to be satiated only through the great adventure of learning.


To be learning on a daily basis is...

(not as a solitary task...a sink or swim scenario...
but as a guided mission of love from parent to child)

 to be thoroughly prepared for life...
 to be thoroughly engaged in life...
 to thoroughly extract all the goodness from life...
 to be on a thoroughly... incredibly...rich adventure...
to eventually be able to guide others in their journey in life...
and so... to thoroughly enjoy life.


It all starts at home...
from parent to child.

There is no truer measure of intent...
than that of accumulated actions.

Through a parents dedicated actions...
and demonstrated love...
a child learns a truer and better way of life...
and he will do the same with his children.



Sunday, March 11, 2012

Alex At The 2012 State MathCounts Competition


Song:  Motherland

Group:  Proud Music




Alex just joined his school's math club a couple of weeks ago.

Just last week...Alex's math club instructor asked if Alex would like to 
be part of their math team
 (they were going to the Nevada State MathCounts Competition...
a once a year event).

They had a vacancy and the instructor thought Alex would benefit from
the experience...as well as his being able to contribute to the team.

This was a series of 3 math rounds...
two individual and one team.

The first was the Sprint Round.
It was done individually...
30 problems in 40 minutes.

The second was the Target Round.
It was done individually...
4 pairs of problems timed at 6 minutes a pair.

The last was the Team Round.
This was done by the group...
10 problems in 20 minutes.

The scores were averaged and rankings were determined.

For the finale...
a timed head to head competition involving the top 8 contenders was conducted...
as determined by the top scores averaged from the Sprint and Target Rounds.

This was Alex's first time...
and most of the contenders were competition veterans.

Most were either in 7th or 8th grade.

Alex is in the 6th grade.

There were actually two simultaneous competitions...
one in Reno for the northern state...
one in Las Vegas for the southern state.




We had arrived early and were in the staging area.
Only the competitors were allowed in the testing area in the next room.
The whole front row was filled by the math team from the Davidson Academy.
The Coral Academy Of Science (Alex's school) was in the second row.
The remainder of the schools filled up the other rows.



They served sandwiches to everyone just before the final head to head competition.
The individuals to compete was still to be announced.


The Coral Academy 2012 MathCount Team.
The team instructor Emre Gul and his team.

Alex is large for his age...
he is 11.33 years old.





Alex received his competition certificate after the first 3 rounds.
We were still waiting for the head to head competition announcement.


Of the 8 top scoring individuals...
6 of them were from the Davidson Academy
(the Davidson Academy had fielded 10 members for the competition).

The other 2 had come from Coral Academy Of Science...
Alex was one of them.





The last portion (the head to head of the top 8 scoring individuals)
was open to the public.

Although Alex was eliminated in his competition...
he had done so well to be in the top 8 for Northern Nevada.

I must say that all of these children were phenomenal in their 
problem solving capabilities. 

For the team from Northern Nevada going on to the Nationals...
the Davidson Academy.

As Alex is only in the 6th grade.  
He still has another 2 years of competition possible.

He can only improve from here.

He said he really liked the competition and that he is looking forward
to competing in the future.

Another good day for Alex

(although he had inadvertently committed one faux pas during the competition...
and he had felt very badly about it - 
he hadn't listened to the instructions fully for the contestants...
and he was so excited that he had absentmindedly blurted out an answer while
two others were going head to head.
He was rather heavily scolded by the proctor...
but nothing can take away from the great job Alex had done).

Alex is still learning to observe his surroundings for cues as to 
what other children are doing or not doing...
and to listen fully to instructions instead of focusing too much on his objective.

It was a tough lesson for Alex.
I know he just wanted to show he could answer the problems.
His heart was in the right place...
but he also must learn to observe his surroundings...
to be constantly aware of the full situation and not just a portion.

He was so concerned that everyone thought that he had done it on purpose.

We knew the reason...
and we had told him we knew he hadn't done it on purpose.
However, we also told him it came about because he wasn't monitoring his surroundings.

When we got home...
he felt much better...
and he said he had really enjoyed the competition.

That is the fighting spirit I had wanted to see in him!

He knows that he will stumble in life.

He also knows that it is ok...
 so long as the problem is identified...and rectified.

We are so proud of Alex.

He continually accepts new and challenging learning opportunities.

He had also learned the far more valuable lesson of being more aware
of his surroundings, and to reason out the meanings of the actions...
and inactions, of others.



Friday, March 9, 2012

Alex - A Member Of The School Math Team


Song:  Emily's Theme

Group:  Fired Earth Music




Alex on the night before the State MathCounts Competition.

Alex is part of a small group of students (from the school math club)...
competing in a statewide math competition tomorrow.  Each competing school
will have their teams representing them for honors.

I don't know much about it, as this will be Alex's first one.

We were fortunate in there being an opening on the team when Alex 
started the math club last week.

This will be good practice for Alex.
There will be many highly gifted children there.

Alex is going to keep active in the math club...and in the competitions.  
As Alex still has much time to grow and learn...
he can only improve with each event.

Alex loves competition...
it seems to spur his spirit to learn.

This is for grades 6 - 8.

The practice tests we had seen seemed heavily weighted toward
Abstract Reasoning and Geometry.

As Alex has only just started learning Geometry...
my wife has been preparing him by going over similar problems...
and giving him explanations.


Here is to the spirit of competition...
and the excellence it engenders in our children.

In my next article...
I will cover the actual event.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Battle Against Disorganization



Song:  Worlds Apart

Group:  Immediate Music



One of the frequently inherent conditions which presents itself
in children on the Autistic Spectrum...
is one of disorganization.



( Part of our daily routine...double checking that all his homework is
in his accordion folder.  We must get him used to operating by routine...
to always do things in a certain order so forgetfulness is taken out of the equation ).

While Alex is filled with many strengths...
his major weakness comes in the area of organization.


He knows he has a problem with forgetfulness due to distraction
( his mind is very active...if he doesn't take care of the matter at hand
immediately...he will often forget about it because he is thinking about
something else ).

What we are doing to combat disorganization in Alex...
is to do things in a predesignated and immediate manner.


We are teaching him to engineer a method of organization
so he may be able to organize himself in whatever future situation
he may find himself in.


It involves writing everything down in an organizer...
and then remembering to check with it... without fail.


He has forgotten to bring back papers from school.
We are countering that by having him immediately write down...
upon receiving notification of it from his teachers...
 any homework...the assignment, the due date...
and then to immediately place it in his accordion folder.


He is improving.
The key is to always do things in a certain way...
immediately... and without fail.

It will then become habit.




I cannot be too upset with Alex.

One of his greatest attributes is his drive to learn.


 While Homeschooling has been a great facilitator in
his advancement academically...
we were actually hampering his organizational skill development
due to our organization of everything for him.

What he lacked was practice, as he had no need to organize 
anything for himself.

That was our fault.

One of the great things about his new school...
among all of the other great things...
is it is forcing Alex to learn to be organized.

Through steady practice...
and an intelligently engineered method of memory mitigation...
he should steadily improve with his organizational skills.


Another reason I cannot be too upset with Alex....

( me taking Alex to school )

While I now remember to park the van in our garage
(see...no snow or ice! :)...


I had forgotten to bring in the trash can after trash pickup
from the day before  :)

( a storm blew in that night, and the trash can had blown over and up the street.
Ours was the ONLY trash can still out  :)

As you can see...
I am also very forgetful  :)


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Quotes From Zen Moments - II



Song:  Quest For Freedom

Group:  Future World Music



This is my second installment of the Twitter page of Zen Moments...


a page devoted to the quotes of the wisdom of the ages.


--------------------


To do... is to be. ~ Socrates


It is simply not enough to merely believe in something.
It is what a person does or does not do...
that ultimately matters.

The surest indicator of a person's soul is how he leads his life...
not in just what he says.


In order to effect a purposeful change in life...
you must know the correct direction and path (correct thoughts)...

you must walk that path...
sustaining the necessary pace for the whole of the journey (correct actions)...

regardless of the pain or pleasure not to (correct emotional fortitude).


Should you not have the Correct Thoughts...
you are merely a cork on the ocean.
While you may eventually end up in the correct harbor...
most of the time you shall not.
You are subject to false paths.


Should you not have the Correct Actions...
you are merely a dreamer.
Without the action...the thoughts are meaningless.


Should you not have the Correct Emotional Fortitude...
you lack the passion of purpose necessary to complete the journey
in the face of the many obstacles and difficulties 
one encounters in search of change.


What you live...
is who you really are.


I sum it up in the following from an earlier post of mine - 

A man defines himself through his actions in the face of duty...
and, in his inactions in the face of temptation...
day by day...
moment by moment.

An inescapable truth and obligation
that is the threshold of simply being male...
to that of being a man.

                            --Shiroi Tora

----------



Unless you're willing to have a go...
fail miserably, and have another go...
success won't happen. ~ Phillip Adams


Another popular saying from Japan
also illustrates this point.

Fall down 7 times...
get up 8.


Alex used to get very upset when he made mistakes

To never make an error means that you are not pushing yourself hard enough.
(I am, of course, not referring to making errors due to a lack of preparation).

Any fool can go through life never making an error by not 
expanding beyond his comfort zone...
never really testing himself.

It is precisely the fool who does so.

What we do with Alex is find out where...
and why (important) he had erred.


Problem identification is crucial to problem correction.

It is not merely in the getting used to making errors where the person grows...
but in the getting used to the identifying and correcting of the problem
(the fundamental concept)
that the person grows.


Have 100% understanding as your goal...eventually.

To have 99% correct...
is to mean that you need to find and correct that 1%

( This is not to say that the child will always perform at this level.
People forget and also make careless errors. 
 However, with correct concepts understood...
what he forgets...he can always reason out to a high standard ).

Just as a one degree error in azimuth is measured in inches
 when the path walked is measured in feet...
when one walks for great distances...
the error is measured in miles.


It is not so much perfection as an expectation...
so much as a goal (again, eventually).

Again...
a major point to impress on children is to not fear an honest failure...
but to fear stagnation.


---------------------------------



Being realistic is the most commonly travelled road to mediocrity. ~ Will Smith


People of accomplishment rarely let things happen to them. 
They happen to things. ~ Leonardo da Vinci




What is reality...
is what you make it... through your intelligent efforts.

It is not so important to see your world as it is ( a monkey does that ).
It is crucial to see your world as you will have it.

It is so important to look into the future...
the one you wish to have...
and to constantly walk towards that future.

You will still enjoy the present through your past efforts.
With the knowledge of more to come through your present efforts...
your future is preloaded with ever giving satisfaction.

With this knowledge...
you may enjoy the present.

You will have true peace of mind...
not merely because of accepting whatever comes
(anyone can merely lower his standards and expectations)...
but through your solid preparation...
you are prepared for whatever comes.

This is how life becomes an ongoing pleasurable journey.

It is to look at life with a passion...
and of the constant realization of what were once merely hopes and dreams...
is your new ever expanding reality.



-------------------




It is the eye which makes the horizon. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


If you want to be happy...
 set a goal that commands your thoughts...
 liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes. ~ Andrew Carnegie




You will only go so far as that which you envision.


Envision a life of great heroism and beauty...
you are setting to sail on a life journey of 
great heroism and beauty.

Envision a life of fear and pain...
you are setting to sail on a life journey of
fear and pain.


Always strive to have expansive horizons...
prepare you ship for uncharted waters...
and with a heart of courage and wanderlust...
set sail.


Childhood is the time to fully explore passions and possibilities...
and to prepare for them.

The amount of intelligent effort expended in preparation...
determines plausibilities. 



Through Alex's daily study habit...
we are encouraging him to be fully prepared 
to chase his passions...
whatever they may be in the future.

It is in the love of learning...
and of the path to learning...
a daily habit of study...
that he will have the freedom to open
his doors of opportunity according to his passions.







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