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Tips to change, control your life; become a better person

One may legitimately wonder who has the arrogance to grant suggestions to those who have never asked for them and who are not personally acquainted with me.

“Hello, my name is Derek. This is what you are doing wrong with your life.”

However, I may honestly proclaim that this column was not born out of egotism; rather, it was born out of a sense of compassion, out of the idea that the lives of some could be improved with a few prudent words.

The quality of the suggestions that I am capable of delivering is limited by the brevity of my experience, the drinks I had last night and the regular ineptness that characterizes all human beings to varying degrees.

The general audience will be responsible for any further thoughts on what is said here as well as whether to act on the advice within. Such is the nature of suggestions.

What follows is a list of what I have tried to do in the circumstances that I have been confronted with. When I have implemented these suggestions, they have worked for me.

Recognize what you do and do not control. Every difficult situation should be viewed in this light; discover whether you can deal with a problem. If you find that your capabilities suffice to change the situation for the better, start planning a solution that can be practically employed. If you should find yourself in the unfortunate position of being unable to affect the situation, learn from it and leave it. Problems without solutions do not deserve our labor and precious time.

Try to be more kind. The decisions that I have most regretted in life have resulted from an embarrassing lack of compassion.

Never stop learning. If you have awareness, you will see that there are lessons to be learned everywhere, every day. Self-improvement is the basic aim of every noble person.

Question authority. It has been wrong before and will be again.

Persevere. Maintain effort despite difficulty. Keep the ideal in sight without losing a firm grip on reality and pragmatism.

Develop a resolute composure. Nothing constructive results from a heated exchange. It only serves to create loathing on each side. If you are truly and reasonably angry with someone, though, keep calm and allow that person to appear like a fuming fool.

Recognize the profound role of luck in your life and especially that of others. People are very often only as good as the world allows them to be. External influences outside one’s control largely govern the changes and composition within.

So, if someone determines to treat you as a cheap character devoid of moral relevance, remember to smile and say, “this is not you, but as the world has made you, and I am purely sorry for it.”

Whatever challenges afflict you now, I hope my suggestions aid you in your honorable struggle. I hope you trudge on and see better times. I really do.

Respond to Derek at

[email protected]

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