May 30, 2008

Faithful Lines / Shirley Vogler Meister

Tips for better life: Plan and live each day well

Shirley Vogler MeisterBecause my husband, Paul, is a baritone with the Indianapolis Maennerchor, I’ve been privileged to hear countless concerts through the years so naturally certain songs have become favorites.

One of them is “I Want to Be a Better Man.” No matter who we are—men, women, teenagers or children—don’t we all strive to better ourselves? Age is irrelevant when it comes to improving who we are.

With that in mind, I especially took notice when Pat Coriden—a member of the discussion group which I monitor at the St. Augustine Home for the Aged in Indianapolis—shared some printed advice about how to make our lives better.

We don’t know where these words of wisdom originated because anonymity often is the nature of Internet writing.

That doesn’t matter. It is the advice that is relevant. I share here some of the pertinent ideas with the hope that at least a few readers will find this information helpful. I certainly did.

Tips for a Better Life
  • When waking up in the morning, complete the following sentence: “My purpose is to ____________ today.”
  • Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day and pray.
  • Live with energy, enthusiasm and empathy.
  • If possible, take 10- to 30-minute walks daily and smile while you are walking. This is the ultimate anti-depressant.
  • Play more games, read more books or listen to music. (I added the word “music.”)
  • Practice prayer, meditation, yoga and/or Tai Chi.
  • Dream more while you are awake.
  • Try to make at least three people smile each day.
  • Clear clutter from your environment.
  • Don’t waste energy on gossip, issues of the past or negative thoughts about things that you can’t control. Invest your energy in the positive, present moment.
  • Realize that life is a school. Problems are part of the curriculum. Lessons learned will last a lifetime.
  • Smile and laugh more.
  • Remember that life may not be fair, but it is still good.
  • Don’t take yourself so seriously.
  • Don’t try to win every argument. Instead, agree to disagree.
  • Make peace with the past so it won’t spoil the present.
  • No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
  • Forgive everyone for everything.
  • Stay in touch with friends and keep in touch with family.
  • Envy is a waste of time.
  • No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  • Each night at bedtime, say “I am thankful for ____________,” and “Today I accomplished ____________.”
  • When stuck in traffic or otherwise aggravated, say “I’m too blessed to be stressed.”
  • Always do the right thing.

It is a privilege to be a volunteer at the St. Augustine Home for the Aged. I applaud the Little Sisters of the Poor and their competent staff for bettering the lives of their residents, volunteers and visitors.

I see Christ in action there!

(Shirley Vogler Meister, a member of Christ the King Parish in Indianapolis, is a regular columnist for The Criterion.) †

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