One of my respected colleagues, with a sense of humour, from Beijing, sent me a list of 52 things to do this year that would lead to a happier and more productive 2012. It was accompanied by a long explanation of how these 52 things were supposed to enhance your life if you followed them.
1. Try rising early. I do already
2. Do less. Why? - I actually enjoy doing lots. It makes me happy.
3. Slow down. What - until you come to a STOP? No thanks.
4. Practice patience. But I do practice. I just haven't perfected it yet!
5. Practice compassion. I am more for passion than compassion - but aren't they similar anyway?
6. Find your passion. Ah, okay - still looking.
7. Lose weight. Absolutely, definitely, top of the list
8. Exercise. Part of the one above.
9. Eat healthy. But leave some room for the unhealthy. Actually, I prefer to say "eat anything but always in moderation!"
10. Meditate. Never tried - it kind of seems like you might miss something while you're meditating.
11. Get organised. I am - in a sort of disorganised way. Even if my desk is full of rubbish I usually know where to find what I am looking for.
12. Think positive. I usually do.
13. Simplify your finances. The author obviously has some finances to simplify. Think about those whose finances are so simple they can only just manage to feed themselves.14. Simplify your life. Don't be silly. I love complexity. It keeps the brain working.15. Accept what you have. I go much further than that - I am actually amazed by what I have - so is my Mother!16. Envision your ultimate life. Not sure what they mean by "ultimate life" - if they mean death - nah! It will come when it will come. I would just prefer it not to be painful!17. Set long-term goals. Yes, but be prepared to keep re-setting them. If you achieve the long term goals you have set, what is there left to live for?18. Review goals. Even though the path to the goal may be winding, I would prefer to review whether I am on the right path in the first place.19. Life mission. Now we are getting into scary territory. I have never set a mission in life other than to concentrate on doing well what I am doing at present.20. Plan your big tasks for week and day. In short, prioritise. I get that!21. Maintain focus. …sure, but also expect the unexpected.22. Enjoy the journey. I definitely go for this one.23. Create a morning and evening routine. Not a chance. I hate routine. So boring and predictable. If you feel like going mad - go mad! Spontaneity rules ok!24. Develop intimate relationships. Ooh! What can they possibly mean :)))xx?25. Eliminate debt. 100% behind this one.26. Enjoy the simple pleasures. …and this one.27. Empty your inbox and clear your desk. But if it is totally empty or clear - is that an achievement, an indication that you're bored, or nobody trusts you with the work?28. Build an emergency fund. If you have spare funds - a good idea, but think of the millions who have no funds at all. Who is this person - an investment banker?29. Keep a journal. Why? You are unlikely to put in it anything that might be juicy and controversial.30. Use the power of others. I recognise this one - the secret of my success!!31. Read, and read to your kids. Okay - so I should do more of the former. My kids are old enough to read for themselves.32. Limit your information intake. Oh yes? And how do you choose where to draw the line? Surely what they mean is " learn to filter the information intake!"33. Create simple systems. Simple is good.34. Take time to decompress after stress. …otherwise you will decompose?35. Be present. I guess this means be "engaged".36. Develop equanimity. That sort of suggests agreeing with everything for the sake of peace. Not for me, if I have a different point of view.37. Spend time with family and loved ones. Is there a difference between "family" and "loved ones"? I spend time with people I like.38. Pick yourself up when you’re down. Especially because you should not expect anyone else to do so.39. Don’t compare yourself to others. Good advice. Be yourself.40. Focus on benefits, not difficulties. Same as 12, surely.41. Be romantic. Oh, why not! :-)42. Lose arguments. Excuse me? On what basis? Actually I usually lose arguments anyway - especially to my wife!!43. Get into the flow. These ideas are getting repetitive. See 35!44. Single-task. Easy for men. Only women multi-task successfully and consistently/45. Be frugal. As a Scot I can relate to this one easily!46. Start small and slow. Story of life; we all do - ever seen a 1 meter tall baby able to run a 100metres in record time?47. Learn to deal with detractors. Yep - ignore them (unless they are accurate in their assessments!!)48. Go outdoors. Nothing better than fresh air - but try telling that to people who live in Beijing and Hong Kong!!49. Retire early. That's the problem of the Greek economy, although I suspect in this context it means go to bed early (and if so why couldn't they just say that?). I say, "get the sleep you need". Some people need lots - I don't!50. Savor the little things. Here we go again - see 26.51. Be lazy. Like politicians and others?52. Help others. Bit surprised to see this as the last one. Should have had much greater priority!!