Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tuesdays with Morrie - Mitch Albom


Since my last book on secrets to know before you die and the last lecture, I would like to share with you one more title that talk about the same topic as well. The book was written based on the account between Mitch (a previous student of Morrie) and Dr Morrie who diagnosed with ALS at the age of 67. Mitch discovered his lecturer disease while watching the Nightline show. To cut the story short, he managed to get in touch with Morrie on his final months and make amends with his brother who long had resentment.

What comes next was a series of interview with Morrie every Tuesday on various topic about life. Prior to his discourse with Morrie, his life of running a rat race in reporting and having to juggle between his family was taking his toll about view of life. Come to think of it, we do suffer burnout if we burn both side of the candle at the same time. At least that's happening to me at some point of my life. We all are a creature of habit. As an analogy, we are just like a frog put inside a pot of water. The pot was heat up until the frog was cooked alive unaware of the surroundings. Same as life, we slowly add on additional responsibility in our career, in a family, relationship, finance, community etc. We need to find a balance out of this or we'll be too.

Here are some of the important lessons that comes out from the conversation with Morrie and my view on it. Got this from here
1. “Accept what you are able to do and what you are not able to do.” (p. 18) - Know your strength and weaknesses. That reminds me of Marcus Buckingham on NOW, discover your strengths. The world now value someone who can do excellent work on specific stuff than mediocre work on all the stuff.
2. “Accept the past as past, without denying it or discarding it.” (p. 18) - We have our memory, it's how our life story are made of. It's neither +ve nor -ve
3. “Learn to forgive yourself and to forgive others.” (p. 18) - It's been mentioned in many motivational books. We can move ahead further/better without resentment.
4. “Don’t assume that it is too late to get involved.” (p. 18) - It's never too late
5. Find someone to share your heart, give to your community, be at peace with
yourself, try to be as human as you can be. (p. 34) - Contribute back to society instead of keeping it to yourself...
6. “Love always wins.” (p. 40)
7. “The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.” (p. 42) - Have your own opinion. Don't be afraid in voicing out if that doesn't fit.
8. “So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” (p. 43) - That reminds me of a good quote from Dr. Mark Albion that in a rat race, if you win it, you still a rat.
9. “ . . . if you really want it, then you’ll make your dream happen.” (p. 47) - Don't forget about your dream remember Dr. Randy Pausch
10. “The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.” (p. 52) - That's so deep. We sometime not able to do it rationally :)
11. “Love is the only rational act.” (p. 52)
12. “I don’t allow myself any more self-pity than that. A little each morning, a few tears, and that’s all . . . . It’s horrible to watch my body slowly wilt away to nothing. But it’s also wonderful because of all the time I get to say goodbye.” (p. 57) - That's so strong and brutal fact from someone is dying
13. “Sometimes you can’t believe what you see; you have to believe what you feel.” (p. 61) - Follow your heart. As you hear from Star Wars movie - Use your force
14. “What if today were my last day on earth?” (p. 64) - Such a powerful tips. Time is the essence.
15. “Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.” (p. 82) - Another metaphor for me I guess is once you learn to let go, you know how to receive
16. If you accept you are going to die at any time, then you might not be as ambitious as you are. (p. 83) - The feeling of surrender to norm when going get tough.
17. There is no foundation, no secure ground, upon which people may stand today if it isn’t the family. (p. 91) - That's so Confucius....
18. “Don’t cling to things, because everything is impermanent.” (p. 103) - That's so Buddhist like statement
19. “ . . . If you’ve found meaning in your life you don’t want to go back. You want to go forward. You want to see more, do more. You can’t wait until sixty-five.” (p. 118) - Live a wonderful life and you'll not regret any of it.
20. “Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness.” (p. 125)
21. “ . . . love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.” (p. 133)
22. “Love each other or perish.” (p. 149)
23. “ . . . the big things—how we think, what we value—those you must choose yourself. You can’t let anyone--or any society—determine those for you.” (p. 155) - Another reinforcement from Morrie on own decision/judgement
24. “Don’t let go too soon, but don’t hang on too long.” (p. 162) - Find balance on things that you do.
25. “Be compassionate. And take responsibility for each other. If we only learned those lessons, this world would be so much better a place.” (p. 163) - Another Buddhist like philosophy.
26. “Forgive yourself before you die. Then forgive others.” (p. 164) - Another point on forgiveness.
27. “As long as we can love each other, and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without ever really going away. All the love you created is still there. All the memories are still there. You live on—in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here.” (p. 174) - Feeling that's created will always be there and will never be destroyed.
28. “Death ends a life, not a relationship.” (p. 174)
29. The important questions have to do with love, responsibility, spirituality, awareness. (p. 175) - Those intangible feeling are what thats matter.
30. “You’re not a wave, you are part of the ocean.” (p. 180)
31. “ . . . there is no such thing as ‘too late’ in life.” (p. 190)

I'm giving a 9 out of 10 due to the content the book I have on my life after reading it. I hope you feel the same too. His idea on love, forgiveness, hope/dreams and having own judgment is very touching and personal. The book was initially published in 1997. Some may think it's dated but it's still a gem till now. There's even a movie adaptation to the show as well. Another Morrie Schwartz - Lessons on Living video was available online too. We surely learn something new and remember it's never too late...

Youtube video on Tuesdays with Morrie
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9

I hope someone can share how this book impacted your life and hopefully we can come out better out of it.

1 comment:

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