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:
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."
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.
50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.
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!
TECHNORATI TAGS: Clay Aiken, Life Lessons, Regina Brett, The Plain Dealer, Jaymes Foster-Levy, Parker Foster Aiken, The Bubel/Aiken Foundation, UNICEF Ambassador, Official Fan Club, Clay Nation