Learning for Life

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“You don’t have to believe me, but think, and make choices.  Believe what you want to believe according to what I say, but only if it makes sense for you, if it makes you happy.  If it guides you into your awakening, then make the choice to believe it.  I am responsible for what I say, but I am not responsible for what you understand.  We live in a completely different dream.  What I say, even if it is absolutely true for me, is not necessarily true for you.” ~ Don Miguel Ruiz, The Mastery of Love

Malcolm X’s Alma Mater – And How Choosing Between ‘Dead Time’ and ‘Alive Time’ Can Change Your Life.

Malcolm X's Alma Mater - Books.

Malcolm X was a criminal.  He wasn’t Malcolm X at the time – they called him Detroit Red and he was a criminal opportunist who did a little bit of everything.  He ran numbers.  He sold drugs.  He worked as a pimp.  Then he moved up to armed robbery.  He had his own burglary gang, which he ruled over with a combination of intimidation and boldness – exploiting the fact that he did not seem afraid to kill or die.

Then, finally, he was arrested trying to fence an expensive watch he’d stolen.  He was carrying a gun at the time, though to his credit he made no move to fight the officers who had trapped him.  In his apartment, they found jewelry, furs, an arsenal of guns, and all his burglary tools.

He got ten years.  It was February 1946.  He was barely twenty-one years old.

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“Too often, convinced of our own intelligence, we stay in a comfort zone that ensures that we never feel stupid (and are never challenged to learn or reconsider what we know).  It obscures from view various weakness in our understanding, until eventually it’s too late to change course.  This is where the silent toll is taken.” ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy

“Success is intoxicating, yet to sustain it requires sobriety.  We can’t keep learning if we think we already know everything.  We cannot buy into myths we make ourselves, or the noise and chatter of the outside world.  We must understand that we are a small part of an interconnected universe.  On top of all this, we have to build an organization and a system around what we do – one that is about the work and not about us.” ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy

“Why is success so ephemeral? Ego shortens it.  Whether a collapse is dramatic or a slow erosion, it’s always possible and often unnecessary.  We stop learning, we stop listening, and we lose our grasp on what matters.  We become victims of ourselves and the competition.  Sobriety, open-mindedness, organization, and purpose – these are the great stabilizers.  They balance out the ego and pride that comes with achievement and recognition.” ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy

“The enemy is the necessary condition for practicing patience.  Without an enemy’s action, there is no possibility for patience or tolerance to arise.  Our friends do not ordinarily test us and provide the opportunity to cultivate patience, only our enemies do this.  So, from this standpoint we can consider our enemy as a great teacher, and revere them for giving us this precious opportunity to practice patience.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness

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