This post contains my personal notes from the book: The Gem Collection- A compilation of Wisdom by John T. Bismark.
1. We cannot choose the things that will happen to us. But we can choose the attitude we will take toward anything that happens. Success or failure depends on your attitude.
2.Always be grateful; contentment is the key to peace and happiness. As the Irish poem sums it: Count your blessings, not your crosses, count your gains, not your losses, count your joys instead of your woes, count your friends instead of your foes, count your health and not your wealth.
3.If you have nothing good to say to anyone, then it’s best to shut up. Only open your mouth if you have something good to say that can inspire or correct someone to be a better person.
4. Welcome people who argue with you or have a contrary opinion. Their opposing views will often broaden your perspective and help you see things from different angles and understand other perspectives.
5. Seek feedback from others and reflect on it. Challenge yourself beyond your comfort zone. Support yourself and others by encouragement and advice. These three things: assessment of feedback, challenging yourself and supporting yourself will lead to growth and development.
6. Make sure you spend time recovering. This means sleeping for 7-8 hours a day. If you just keep working, you are likely to become ill. Balance is essential.
7. Be a giver and not a taker.
8. No matter how insignificant we are, and no matter how insurmountable the challenges we face, we must never give up. Fear should not stop us. Difficult tasks become easy to execute if one has determination and remembers God. But if one does not remember Him, even an easy task becomes difficult to achieve.
9. If we are arrogant and close minded, we will disregard anything that we have not experienced ourselves, to our own detriment. This is the process of learning through ascending. But if recognise, listen to and learn from the great authorities we can learn things that would be otherwise outside the realm of our experience and knowledge. If we can allow knowledge to descend to us from the higher authorities, we can learn through the process of descending.
10. The earth is our temporary home and the home of our future generations. Let’s treat it with the care and importance it deserves.
11. Be like the bee which feeds on flowers rather than the fly which feeds on garbage. Focus on the good and positive things rather than the evil and negative things in life.
12. You will be judged on what you have built; not on what you have destroyed. If we achieved something and have helped, raised or built others along our way, then our achievement is truly a milestone. If we achieve something but destroy others in the process, whether it their possessions or hopes, it cannot be considered a milestone.
13. We are here for a purpose and we should embrace the search for that purpose. You must seek to fulfil your purpose. Only then will your journey become worthwhile.
14. Never be afraid to confront matters before they become conflicting issues.
15. The true significance of things that happen in our lives can never be totally understood at the time they are occurring. Every event holds elements of both good and bad, and the true implications of the event may not be truly known for many years.
16. Real success and wealth lie in nothing other than good health.
17. One should think oneself lower than the straw on the street…one should be more tolerant than a tree…one should be devoid of all false prestige. Then one can constantly think of the Divine and be happy and at peace with yourself.
18. Be loyal to true principles and not to personalities.
19. Beware of the comfort zone. Remember you can always evolve. Accept yourself but continue to aspire for greater things that will benefit you and the world around you. That will keep your drive and passion intact.
20. Arise from your slumber. Awake from your ignorance. Aspire to ‘be’. Assimilate wisdom.Assess what you have acquired. Analyse its worth. Apply this worthy information. Then you will achieve. But do not stop there. Appreciate what you have. Attribute your success to the people and things that led you to that success. Acknowledge those who have helped you along the way. Then you will be truly applauded.
21. Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. This is the secret to happiness. You need to have a purpose and have to be passionate about that purpose. But no one can find your purpose for you. You must decide what it is you want to do. Knowing it will go a long way towards clarifying your attitude towards how you live your life.
22. Many things can change if you rise up and face your fear. Be humble enough to listen to authority and respect your leaders. Never run from challenges. Face them head on and use the knowledge of others to help you fight your own challenges.
23. Seek out a coach in your life to push you to the limits. Associate yourself with the type of person who will teach you never to give up and who will never let you give up.
24. Invest in yourself. Invest in your own name, reputation and integrity. Invest in your studies and invest time to better yourself and to absorb all the information and knowledge that you can. Invest in your appearance and image. Invest in other people. Invest in relationships. Invest in trustworthy alliances with people whom you respect. Invest in friendships.
25. When making decisions do the following: Stay calm. Remain detached and objective. Consider all possibilities. Make decisions only when you are ready.
26. Always have the beginner’s mind and not the expert’s mind.
27. Stop complaining. Stop blaming. Look within for the change that needs to be made.