Archive for March, 2009

The Paradoxical Commandments

by Lauren Kennedy

The Paradoxical Commandments.

People are illogical, unreasonable and self-centered.
Love them Anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good Anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed Anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good Anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank Anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest mean and women with the smallest minds.
Think big Anyway.

People favor underdogs by follow only top dogs.
Fight for the underdogs Anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build Anyway.

People really need help but many attack you if you do help them.
Help people Anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have Anyway.

These commandments have a curious history. They were originally written by a high school student as a booklet for student leadership in the sixties. There were thirty thousand copies published by the National Association for Secondary Schools.

Thirty years later, the author Kent M. Keith,  discovered the Paradoxical Commandments in a book about Mother Teresa. She had hung them on a wall in one of her children’s homes. They had also made
their  way to a librarians internet site, and to a Professor from the University of Southern California who used them to begin her classes each semester.

Since then Kent Keith has written a short book entitled “Anyway” which briefly explores each commandment. It is a wonderfully insightful book. One of my favorite passages is as follows:

What is important is not whether anyone remembers. What is important is who you are as a person. What matters is how you live. If you are living authentically and generously, you won’t worry about whether anybody else knows or remembers.

We don’t have to prove that we are right, heroic or gracious to the world. In fact the act of doing so is more about our ego than about doing the next right thing. Demeaning or attacking others to gain support for our point of view is akin to shooting someone to resolve an argument. Instead, we must gain our motivation from within, and trust that those who are willing or able will follow our lead.

Here is a short poem by Emily Dickinson that illustrates the importance of a caring act, which is often more significant than leading and promoting a popular movement.

If I can stop one Heart from breaking
I shall not live in vain.
If I can ease one Life the Aching
Or cool one Pain
Or help one fainting Robin
Unto his Nest again

I shall not live in Vain.

If you wish to live authentically, to realize your potential, to give your best to the world, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation.


Phone: 513-889-1870


March 22, 2009 at 6:53 pm 3 comments


by: Lauren Kennedy

Everything changes. It’s impossible to remain the same. Every experience, every encounter, every thought, every action and every feeling changes us in some way.

A leaf must drift with the wind. An insect reacts to its environment. And some animals have little choice but to follow their instincts. Humans have the gift of choice.

It is true that many times circumstances, events and people are beyond our control. Our feelings can arise before we have time to formulate a thought about the situation. But our attitude, our perception and our response is our choice.

We can learn to respond instead of react. We can understand that who we are Being affects our feelings. And we can expand our perception to minimize our fears, eradicate blame, and empower ourselves.

An Impossible Dream? Not at all. Remember every journey begins with the first step. Finding our way requires that we look with fresh eyes, discover new information, acquire new skills, and practice applying what we have learned. We may have to reach out for a guiding hand or an encouraging word to take that next step. It is our responsibility to ask for what we need to proceed on our journey.

Remember, knowing and not doing is the same as not knowing.

And where are we headed on our journey? All of us, every single one, have our sites set on lasting happiness, fulfillment and inner peace. Although our journeys may vary, our destination is the same.

Keep that in mind, when you are setting goals. Immediate happiness may feel good momentarily, but just like the euphoria of a drug induced high, it will quickly fade away to be replaced by a burning yearning inside.

As we choose each step of our journey, we may be unaware at the subtle changes occurring inside. But one day we will awake and notice that the colors seem brighter and the day ahead is inviting. And incredibly, the world, rather than a place full of danger to be avoided or controlled, is instead a wondrous place full of potential and exciting experiences from which to choose.

March 3, 2009 at 5:41 pm Leave a comment

Our life is an evolving creation, shaped by our choices, colored by our desires, and lightened or darkened by our intentions.
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