understanding life (from jamie’s perspective)


I don’t read a lot of other people’s blogs.  I am typically overwhelmed with The Economist, The Guardian, Foxsports.com and maybe a couple other news sources in terms of reading material and content.

I do have a couple of exceptions.

One is a fantastic little writer named Jamie. I have cited her before but its been awhile.  She is a 20something with a great perspective on life. she moved to Paris to pursue .. well .. I am not sure she was sure what she was pursuing so I cannot tell you exactly what she went there to pursue.

But I do know one thing for sure … she figured out one of the great lessons in life … if you move toward something you are more likely to get closer to it (regardless of what “it” is).

And I have always liked how she wrote about life because she has always seemed to capture the inexactness of life.

And that life is often discovered in the gaps – those spaces that are in between what you have and what you will have.

And the discovery found in the unknown of where you are and where you will be.

She has come through for me one more time.

She has written what she calls a “mini-manifesto’ but in reality it is just a nice list of how to live life.

Unfortunately for Jamie I have inserted some thoughts of my own (here is her post if you want to read it unaltered by lil ole me … http://www.alifeintranslation.com/2011/08/today-i-wrote-a-mini-manifesto-11-things-to-live-by/

Anyway.  Here you go.

(Jamie) This is what I’ve come to understand about life:


1. The best way to feel like a fool is to make a plan. To be even more foolish is to believe said plan will actually go according to – well – plan.

– This was a perfect beginning to the list.  Mostly because every one typically starts their life list with “develop a plan” or “figure out what your goal is.”


2. The key to happiness isn’t more money, more love, or more smiling (though these things don’t hurt). The true key is flexibility, the ability to adapt and acclimate to change, to disappointment, to your plans being shoved into the fire to burn as kindle. The better you are at adapting, the more likely you’ll be happy, to enjoy what’s in front of you and not live within the regret of what could have been.

– While there are several outstanding points in this one the main one is “embracing change.” I have written so much on this topic but I doubt I have ever managed to communicate the idea as succinctly as she has. Change is good. Adapting to that change is the key to success.


3. Before making any big decisions, ask yourself one question, “Will I regret doing or not doing this thing in one month?”

4. One month is about the amount of time it takes for the dust to settle or for the excitement to wear off.

– I love this because it is the mature bookend to #2. Flexibility. Adaptability. Don’t make a plan.  But avoid random chaos by judging actions within a realistic based horizon.  A 5 year assessment? Bullshit.  One month. Keeps your eye on the prize.


5. Love makes absolutely no sense. Rationalizing it will only kill it. Hate is not the opposite of love; logic is.

– “Hate is not the opposite of love; logic is.”  Kahlil Gabran is somewhere out there wishing he had said this.  As well as any person who loves smart insightful quotes. Aw.  Fuck ‘em. I wish I had said this.


6. There’s always enough time for the things that truly matter. If the time isn’t there, the thing doesn’t matter.

– This is an insightful life/business/personal/professional thought. People will find that they will debate this thought … but they can only do so with nuances and caveats and excuses. Time has the ability to expand for those things that truly matter. Time is funny that way.  In fact Time is like #2. It is flexible and it adapts to meaningful change.  And it does this despite whatever plans you have made for Time.


7. The hard part isn’t getting what you want; it’s deciding what you want in the first place.

– amen.


8. A contented life can feel boring and a chaotic life can feel exciting. Both feelings are untrue.

– I wish I understood this lesson because it rings true. Mainly I like the thought you that cannot judge life in terms of chaos or boredom.  They just don’t measure the true capacity of what you are experiencing well enough.


I hope that is what she meant because I kinda like what I wrote.


9. Love can come unexpectedly, sure, but let’s not kid ourselves: we are/were all looking for it.

– Spoken from the soul of a woman who is a die hard romantic that never let the struggles she had with love up to this point kill what she knew could be … just because what had been had been all wrong up to this point she never closed her eyes to what could be right.


10. Listen freely to everyone’s advice, but trust only your intuition.

– Because, in the end, you will only be judged by the reflection in the mirror and not by any of the people who shared the advice.


11. Break all the rules. Do what feels right, even if it’s stupid or crazy or ridiculous. Forget everything people tell you that you can’t do.

– This is a perfect lead in to my next post “try to accomplish something” using a Thomas Edison quote. Suffice it to say here that I agree with Jamie. 100%. No ifs, ands or buts. Well.  Let me say I agree if you truly want to accomplish anything. For if you simply follow the rules the only thing you will accomplish (other than never breaking the rules) is mediocrity.

I encourage people to stop by her blog on occasion.

While I am envious of the fact she picked her ass up and just went to Paris to live I am more envious of her ability to capture a thought in words.

Mark my words.

One day you will be reading one of her books or a column in a magazine.  And you can say you heard it here first.

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Written by Bruce