How old would you be, if you had no idea how old you really were?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cup a Coffee - The Most Important Thing I Know

Took a few minutes this morning to reshelve some books I had lying around and stumbled on to a copy of a book titled The Most Important Thing I Know. It's a collection of handwritten letters from famous people (75 of them) telling in a sentence or two what they felt was the most important thing they knew.

I'm a sucker for that sort of thing, so diverted from my clean-up campaign, I thumbed through the book and read most of the seventy-five entries. (They're short.) I was looking for the gem, the needle in the haystack which was exactly right. The one that said it all.
Maya Angelou, Poet, wrote: My grandmother told me that every good thing I do helps some human being in the world. I believed her fifty years ago and I still do.

Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States, wrote: True excellence requires a worthy dream, a good idea of how to realize it and the courage to risk failure to achieve it.

Eileen Ford, Founder, Ford Modeling Agency, wrote: My parents always believed that I was The Best! With thoughts like that behind you, it's impossible not to strive for excellence. No one wants to disappoint their parents.

Greg Norman, Golf Champion, wrote: The journey is the reward.

Julian Bond, Civil rights pioneer, wrote: Excellence and equity are inseparable - a good society cannot have one without the other. Any society that abandons either is imperfect.
The longer I searched the more futile the search became. My grandmother was the mother of 15 kids, a good lady, but not a great source of inspiration. I am one of nine kids. My parents liked me but I was not the BEST. I am always dreaming. Are my dreams worthy dreams? What does it matter? The most important things these 75 people knew were not the most important things to me.

So just what is the most important thing? For me, today is the most important thing. Today I have to exercise, and then pay attention to what I eat, so as not to shorten my time on the planet, my time with my sweetie, my kids, my grandkids, my friends. Today I'm going to enjoy the clean, thin mountain air and the incredibly clear blue skies. Today I am going to work on a canoe I'm building in the garage.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cup a Coffee - Live 30.9 Years Longer

Fill up your cup, sit back, enjoy the aroma, and take a moment to have fun with some great information from . . . studies.

Statistics can be a constant source of amusement. A little newsletter titled Bottom Line/Health showed up in the mail yesterday, with an article called Drink Coffee... Eat Chocolate... & Other surprising ways to Live Longer. Michael Roizen, MD (coauthor of You, Staying Young) was interviewed and here is what I learned we need to do.
  1. Sleep deep. Deep restorative sleep can add 3 years to your life.
  2. Dance at least 30 minutes a day. Live 6.4 years longer.
  3. Learn stuff and do puzzles. Good for 2.5 more years.
  4. Get a dog and live for another 3 years.
  5. More sex. Twice a week, 2 more years. Once a day, 8 more years.
  6. Rest more often, (Seems to me like you'd have to) 8 more years.
Other good news is that studies have found that caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee are a main source antioxidants in the average American's diet. Caffeine in your coffee decreases the risk of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases by 30% to 40%.

Roizen also recommends eating one-half ounce of dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) twice daily. Chocolate has powerful antioxidants know as flavonoids. You can also find these flavonoid guys in your brussel sprouts. Wonder if anyone is making chocolate covered brussel sprouts?

These look like great recommendations to me. I don't have a dog (wouldn't be fair to the dog), but I am going to work on 1, 2, 3, and 6. Number 5 ? . . . that would be just TMI. So do the math. Looks like another 30.9 more years are possible (if you are up to it ;-).
Apologies to Dr. Roizen and Bottom Line for messing with some really good recommendations. Don't you just love studies and statistics. Anyone know where I can get some chocolate covered brussel sprouts?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Cup a Coffee - The Last Lecture

Coffee this morning wasn't from Starbucks, not today. The nearest Starbucks is in Show Low, an hour and a half from here. It's been a great morning here in the White Mountains. It is starting to look like spring, at least it hasn't snowed for almost a week now. Fill up your cup, and be sure it's at least half full, not half empty and consider this.

My friend Mike, one of my one of kind friends writes to me and says,
how are you doing
we are having a heck of a blizzard, cant see across the street.
so I need more to do today, just playing at the computer and I run into something that makes me think of you. .......... go to YOU TUBE and watch the LAST LECTURE by Randy Pausch. It will take about 76 min, but I really believe it is worth every bit of it.
So last night I was responding to Mike's note. I really didn't want to watch a 76 minute You Tube thing, but I decided just to take a quick look so I might at least know what Mike was talking about. I got hooked. Randy Pausch is a Carnegie Melon professor, who at age 40 (?) was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given three to six months to live. His Last Lecture is actually his last lecture and is about what he has learned in life and what he wants to pass on. He has an amazingly positive, humorous, inspiring outlook on life. I spent 4 hours on the internet, tracking down all I could find on Randy. He has a web site where you can find his Last Lecture , a time management lecture (for all of us time is a finite commodity, especially Randy), and postings that track the course of his illness and treatment.

We all know that our days are numbered. It is interesting to see how our perspective and priorities change when we realize our number is getting smaller. Yes, Mike, The Last Lecture was worth spending 76 of the 1,440 minutes I had to play with yesterday.