9. Your answers lie inside you. The answers to life's questions lie inside you. All you have to do is look, listen and trust.
10. You will forget all of this.
Items 4 and 7 speak the loudest to me right now. When presented with a challenge in the same arena over and over, you may want to refer to item 4. And if you ever find yourself asking the question "Haven't I learned this lesson?" you may need to re-examine things and adjust your course. Maybe there's a way you could handle things more directly -- or discreetly. Or even spot a challenge before it has the chance to take hold.
The list is distributed by licensed clinical social worker Lewis Quinby of R&M Seminars, who advises that "you define reality by what you know, what you believe, and what you do about it." Quinby's work focuses on the field of transactional analysis, developed by the renowned psychiatrist Dr. Eric Berne.
Item 7 holds particular intrigue for me. I've wrestled with this one over the years. And, though I don't doubt the validity, I find it difficult to reconcile sometimes. No doubt you can relate as well.
Is that person who is getting on your very last nerve a mirror of yourself? When I first learned this concept, I heard a slight variation of it that went something like this: "Those people who bug you the most provide a mirror for you to look at something about yourself you don't like -- or are afraid you will become." I find that weasel clause -- "or are afraid you will become" -- comforting when it's hard to admit I might exhibit some of those characteristics I find so annoying. Yikes!
It may be that we only have a little of that behavior in us, and this could be a red flag to sit up and take notice. On the other hand, we may be totally in denial. In this case, a full-blown wakeup call may be in order. Think of someone who bugs you and test this out. Let me know if you have any "aha" moments. I'll admit it can be hard. Sometimes I get it, and sometimes I don't. Which brings us back to item 4.
You may find yourself drawn to different items at different points in your life. For example, if you're struggling with a physical issue, item 1 could be crying out to you. If you're contemplating a career or geographical move -- or if you're the type who is always thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, item 6 may jump out.
No matter how -- or when -- you look at the list, though, there are some universal theories. We all learn life lessons, and we're all at different places along our journeys. This can often call for an increasing respect for the differences among us.
And I find item 3 the most comforting. "There are no mistakes, only lessons." Whew, what a relief!
Linda Arnold, MBA, is a certified wellness instructor and Chairwoman and CEO of The Arnold Agency, an integrated marketing communications firm specializing in advertising, public relations, government relations and interactive marketing. Reader comments may be directed to Linda Arnold, The Arnold Agency, 117 Summers St., Charleston, WV 25301, or e-mailed to livelifefu...@arnoldagency.com.