Some years ago, I read a tweet from a professor at Cambridge University which quoted 5 tenets to live by. The surprise was that he wasn’t quoting a self-development guru, but Leo Esaki, Nobel Prize winning Physicist. I can’t deny that I loved it even more because of this fact, for it reinforces my belief that if we limit ourselves to a narrow source of inspiration, we risk closing our minds to the vast range of wisdom and experience available to us.
So, on to those five tenets and, of course – me being me – I’ve added my own commentary to each one 😉
Don’t allow yourself to be trapped by your past experiences.
The obvious take is we should avoid being trapped by the negative, but I’ve a sneaking suspicion Esaki also intended we shouldn’t be limited by the positive either. I can’t help thinking that just because one option has been easy or proven to be successful, is no reason to be limited to solely that one route. If opportunity or enthusiasm leads elsewhere – it makes sense to me that we should open our minds to the possibility.
Don’t allow yourself to become attached to any one authority in your field.
I absolutely love this one, for I don’t want to be a knock-off of anyone else, no matter their success or fame. With age has come the knowledge that relying on only one source can only be limiting. Reading, studying and engaging widely ensures that ideas and information come to me from a variety of backgrounds and points of view. The danger of one single source is that it re-enforces what I already believe and know, leaving me unaware of new developments and concepts, or simply skewed to one train of thought.
Or – and because I’m a lover of fiction – in the words of Haruki Murakami “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
Don’t hold on to what you don’t need.
My personal take on this one, as a life coach who also suffers from depression, is the tendency of individuals to hold on to thoughts and emotions which are unhelpful, even debilitating. For thoughts which prove limiting and prevent a person living the best life possible, are not needed. Oh but were it as easy to let them go….
But I suspect the wider take home here is that modern day lifestyles have become skewed towards the material, and about possessions rather than experiences.
Don’t avoid confrontation.
I like that what it doesn’t say is seek confrontation. I read it as encouraging anyone who holds a belief that is well-formed and deeply held, to be willing and prepared to stand by it and to defend it. In our current world, this one feels more important than it did when I first read it.
Don’t forget your spirit of childhood curiousity.
This is such a great one to close on, for there’s so much we had as children which is now lost to us, but also because you never know what is going to “feed” you.
For example, I’m not scientist (indeed, I’m as far away from one as you can possibly be) but I discovered late in life that I enjoy the challenge reading science fiction provides to my mental capacity. Whenever I read it, I look forward to checking out the seemingly out-of-this-world sciency stuff with my friendly neighbourhood scientist.
Boundaries are great for keeping people safe – both physically and emotionally – but I believe minds are meant to roam freely. I enjoy doing so, and to let what it finds – surprise me 🙂
Do any of these Tenets speak to you? Do you have any Tenets, rules or guidelines of your own that you try to live by?
© Debra Carey, 2022