Salutation to the Dawn

November 18, 2005

Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence:

The bliss of growth
The glory of action
The splendour of beauty

For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow only a vision
But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore to this day!
Such is the salutation to the dawn.

- Kalidasa, Indian Poet

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Quote of the Day — Harpo Marx

November 8, 2005

“I don’t know whether my life has been a success or a failure. But not having any anxiety about becoming one instead of the other, and just taking things as they come along, I’ve had a lot of extra time to enjoy life.” – Harpo Marx

I am told that Harpo’s autobiography is an excellent example of Goal-Free Living in action. I bought a copy today. You can find a snippet of it on positivesharing.com

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Alan Alda’s Goal-Free Quote

October 7, 2005

In Alan Alda’s new book, Never Have Your Dog Stuffed (And Other Things I’ve Learned) , he tells a story about “The Apple Tree,” a mid-’60s Broadway play, which resulted in a Tony nomination. What he recalls in the book is wondering where his career was going.

In a recent CNN interview, Alda is quoted as saying, “The story I tell about standing under the silk shroud in ‘The Apple Tree’ and my career had come to nothing so far, and then realizing that I was looking at it wrong — instead of thinking about what I ought to be doing, I should be thinking about what I’m doing,” he says, “and make the most of what I have in front of me.”

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Quote of the Day

October 5, 2005

I met someone this weekend who, after a major tragedy, decided to take the goal-free path. His life is now one of adventure and exploration, always trying new things. He says that he still makes plans. But the purpose of the plans is to tell him what NOT to do. He and his buddies have an expression they frequently use:

“We have a plan. Commence deviation.”

I love it!

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Quote of the Day

September 26, 2005

From a button I purchased in a store in California — “I used to DREAM of making the salary I’m now STARVING on.”

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Quote of the Day

September 22, 2005

“I dread success. To have succeeded is to have finished one’s business on earth, like the male spider, who is killed by the female the moment he has succeeded in courtship. I like a state of continual becoming, with a goal in front and not behind.” – George Bernard Shaw

Although he says he likes to have a “goal” in front, his description is totally goal-free!

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Quote of the day

September 19, 2005

“Giving up the pursuit of retirement has a great many practical and psychological advantages. But it also has an added spiritual bonus: by eliminating the finish line, life stops being a race. With all of us on our own path, there’s no way your progress can be compared to anyone else’s. No one–not your parents, your friends or Money magazine–can look at your life and say you’re not as far along as you should be. More important, you can stop measuring yourself against an arbitrary standard and feeling inadequate for not meeting the grade. You’re on your own unique self-charted journey. Where it ends only God knows, so until then all you can do is keep rowing.” Stephen Pollan from Die Broke

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Final Thoughts — Post #5

September 16, 2005

Here’s another final reflection heard by Professor Tony Komaroff (M.D.), Professor at Harvard Medical School.

She was born and raised in Jamaica, had a 5th grade education, and earned a living as a seamstress. When her daughter first brought her to my office in 1972, she was 52, and I was the first doctor she had ever seen. Eventually, she lost her terror of me, began to ask about my family, and she became quite free with advice. For example, early in our relationship, her daughter took her on Boston’s Duck Tour. When she learned I’d never been on it, she instructed: “Take your wife.”

In December 2000, nearly 30 years after she first came to my office, she had a heart attack. I returned to town from a trip, and learned she was in the Intensive Care Unit. I went to her bedside and called her name. No response. Then I put my hand on her shoulder. She opened her eyes, smiled and whispered: “Don’t forget the Duck Tour.” Those were her last words.

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Final Thoughts — Post #4

September 15, 2005

Here’s another final reflection heard by Professor Tony Komaroff (M.D.), Professor at Harvard Medical School.

A 65 man, with end stage lung cancer, leaving the hospital to spend his last days at home. We pushed him in a wheelchair to the front door of the hospital where his family was waiting in the car, their faces lined with pain. As they opened the car door, the family dachshund bolted out of the car and jumped into the man’s lap, tail wagging furiously. The man turned to me and said: “Reminds me of that prayer. ‘Lord, help me to become the man…my dog thinks I am.’”

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Final Thoughts — Post #3

September 13, 2005

Here’s another final reflection heard by Professor Tony Komaroff (M.D.), Professor at Harvard Medical School.

She was woman in her 70’s dying from colon cancer. “We remember the past so much better than the present. They say it’s aging but I don’t think it’s that simple. I think it’s because when you’re young, everything is new. You’re always living in the present. When you’re living life like that, regardless of your age, you burn those memories deep into your brain.”

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