These are 12 life lessons from Anne Lamott (wiki). “People are very frightened and feel really doomed in America these days, and I just wanted to help people get their sense of humor about it and to realize how much isn't a problem. If you take an action, take a really healthy or loving or friendly action, you'll have loving and friendly feelings.”
Watch the whole Ted below or click here for the complete transcript and source link. Excerpts below.
Number one: the first and truest thing is that all truth is a paradox. Life is both a precious, unfathomably beautiful gift, and it's impossible here, on the incarnational side of things. It's been a very bad match for those of us who were born extremely sensitive. It's so hard and weird that we sometimes wonder if we're being punked. It's filled simultaneously with heartbreaking sweetness and beauty, desperate poverty, floods and babies and acne and Mozart, all swirled together.
Number two: almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes – including you.
Three: there is almost nothing outside of you that will help in any kind of lasting way, unless you're waiting for an organ. You can't buy, achieve or date serenity and peace of mind….
Number four: everyone is screwed up, broken, clingy and scared, even the people who seem to have it most together…
Number five: chocolate with 75 percent cacao is not actually a food.
Number six: writing. Every writer you know writes really terrible first drafts, but they keep their butt in the chair. That's the secret of life. That's probably the main difference between you and them. They just do it. They do it by prearrangement with themselves. They do it as a debt of honor. They tell stories that come through them one day at a time, little by little. When my older brother was in fourth grade, he had a term paper on birds due the next day, and he hadn't started. So my dad sat down with him with an Audubon book, paper, pencils and brads -- for those of you who have gotten a little less young and remember brads -- and he said to my brother,"Just take it bird by bird, buddy. Just read about pelicans and then write about pelicans in your own voice. And then find out about chickadees, and tell us about them in your own voice. And then geese."
So the two most important things about writing are: bird by bird and really god-awful first drafts.
Seven: publication and temporary creative successes are something you have to recover from. They kill as many people as not.
Number eight: families. Families are hard, hard, hard, no matter how cherished and astonishing they may also be.
Nine: food. Try to do a little better. I think you know what I mean.
10: grace. Grace is spiritual WD-40, or water wings.
11: God just means goodness. It's really not all that scary.
And finally: death. Number 12. Wow and yikes. It's so hard to bear when the few people you cannot live without die. You'll never get over these losses, and no matter what the culture says, you're not supposed to.
If you'd like to feel inspired by commencement addresses and life lessons try: Ursula K Le Guin on literature as an operating manual for life; Neil Gaiman on making wonderful, fabulous, brilliant mistakes; or Nassim Taleb's commencement address; Charlie Munger on always inverting; JK Rowling on the benefits of failure.