Sunday, June 28, 2009

Clay Aiken Personifies 'Life Lessons'

ROLE MODEL -- Clay Aiken "walks the walk" as a successful entertainer committed to a myriad of charitable projects for children. Graphic by Amazing_CA, photo by toni7babe.

Philosophy 101: Life Lessons

Column Recalls Axioms of Clay

Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger ... Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does ... The best is yet to come.

How many times Clay Aiken fans have heard the singer or those close to him reiterate these axioms? "The best is yet to come," attributed to Jaymes Foster, producer, friend, and mother of their son Parker, has become a rallying slogan for fans anxious to hear the next career move.

With a host of food allergies, Clay has no connection to #10 and the worldwide majority's futile resistance to chocolate.

Sunday's sidestep into Philosophy 101 was jump started by my reading the September 2007 Life Lessons column by Regina Brett of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, OH.

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here's an update.

After almost two years, this popular column is still making email rounds and this weekend traveled through Clay Cyberspace via the message board route. As I read the list, I thought of Clay Aiken's commitment to children in need through projects with The Bubel/Aiken Foundation and, since 2004, as a UNICEF Ambassador.

I notice that some readers of the September listing suggested several more "lessons" in their comments. Hopefully, you will, too. Meanwhile, here is the starting point:

Life Lessons and 5 To Grow On

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don't ask, you don't get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Regina Brett's column appears in The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH) on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday. In April 2010, her "lessons" column will be released in book form: "God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life's Little Detours."

A breast cancer survivor, Regina can be heard on WCPN 90.3 FM, Cleveland's NPR radio affiliate. Click on
Regina Brett to read her latest columns.

PHOTO INTERLUDE: Below are clickables of recent graphics by Amazing_CA (1, 2, 3, 4) and Ashes, 5. Featured photographers are Scrpkym, 2, and Kareneh, 4.

As a CA fan, I recognize many more "life lessons" that have found their way into the singer's writings, interviews, and even his spontaneous remarks at live concerts. Some parallel my own road map and, no doubt, yours, too.

Below is a clickable of the opening graphic:

If you have "lessons" to add, please share them in your comments below. Have an awesome week, Clay Nation!


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copingincalifornia said...

Love the Life Lessons! Thank you Caro! And thanks for continuing to run a positive blog about Clay Aiken.

LovesClaysVoice said...

I loved the Life Lessons Caro! When I think of Clay, this one certainly rings true for him.
"Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger." He is a stronger person today after everything he has gone through.

Anonymous said...

Great Blog. Clay Aiken is such a wonderful man.

SueReu said...

Thanks Caro - I have no other life lessons to add (wish I did dang it)

When I read these lists, I usually think of Clay Aiken. He's been through so much in his short life, but he's still smiling, still doing good and charitable works and still entertaining us with his amazing talent.

Gorgeous blends!!

Truth Rules said...

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

Years ago I went to a seminar relating to getting in touch with your inner child. The lessons that day have stuck with me. One of them was don't be afraid to let your inner child out to play.

All the Michael Jackson coverage this week reminded me of how he tried to get in touch with his own inner child by recreating the childhood he lost.

Clay does it by being a prankster and a jokester. He's got a wicked sense of humor and looks like he's not afraid to let go and be a kid at times.

It's healthy.

Ashes said...

Caro, You know I love positive axioms and quotes! I've always found them encouraging. Since Clay Aiken came into my life he constantly reminds me to focus on the positive--that's a good thing!

Beautiful graphics, thanks for featuring mine too. :)

Have a great week!

Kallie said...

Great reading the Life Lessons. Comes home to us after reading the sad life of Michael Jackson. Clay Aiken certainly knows life is precious!!

katy said...

Great blog as usual, Caro. I think Clay Aiken has always been strong but is even stronger today. He has such a bright future.

ImGranny said...

Great blog! Many of these life lessons sound like something Clay Aiken would say!

CLM said...

I love those Life Lessons. They are so true. Great Blog Caro. Love you and Clay Aiken.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic blog....I love the "Life Lessons". Thanks so much, Caro.

jbc4clay said...

What a great positive blog! I love it!

annieg9 said...

Thank you for the beautiful blog on Life Lessons. I love your blogs. I have learned so many great things since becoming a Clay Aiken fan.
Your blog is a positive influence for a most wonderful person.
Clay is a survivor.

fgs said...

Nice blog on life lessons. I do believe Clay has learned a few in the past few years!

Nice graphics, I always enjoy your photo interludes.

Anonymous said...

Love your blogs, always something to learn and enjoy.

PaulaBear said...

I love your Clay Aiken blog! Thanks caro!
Great life lessons to live by too!

musicfan said...

Those life lessons are wonderful. Each one is important in its own way.

And I loved the blends. There are so many talented Clay Fans!!

Thank you for the wonderful blog. I always know I will be entertained when I visit here.

FV said...

Great blog...needed to read something like this now. Thanks. x

Clay and I have a few things in common (sadly not the talent thing), he is a role model for me in many ways. It's great to have people like him around. :)

T said...

It's a delight always to check out your great blog and having Clay Aiken as your main subject. Loved the Life Lessons! Great & inspiring reminders.

Thanks so much for featuring the blends & for the kind comments. Beautiful blend from Ashes too. That Clay smile is so captivating.

Cheers Caro! Keep smiling :)

Anonymous said...

Good Evening Caro,

ANOTHER AMAZING BLOG.....Thank You for sharing all your talents.


CCOL4HIM said...

Great life lessons! Love the Clay tie ins. Love your blogs. Living With A Chronic Illness: also has some inspiring info, as well.

MissSally said...

These are wonderful reminders on how to live a happier life. My contribution to the list is:

Decisions are not about what you do, they are about who you are.

Thanks for the lovely blog, Caro.