7 Cardinal Rules

It’s funny how I stumbled across this link to a song that saw me through a relatively tough patch some eight years ago. Although I am a firm believer in Divine providence as I am sure many people are, the test lies in knowing when to push, when to pull, when to hang on or when it is time to let go.

There is, indeed, a season for all things (“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” Ecclesiastes 3:1) although, more appropriately at the time, I was citing Ecclesiastes 8:6 (“For there is a proper time and procedure for every delight, though a man’s trouble is heavy upon him.”)

Now, almost a decade later, I heard the same song and can truly say that God did make a way. Not in a way I would probably have imagined it then but, nevertheless, a beautiful way.

What have been the main ‘learning points’? These are some of them:

1. There are four important ‘L’s in life, i.e.
a. We live to ‘live’ and not to merely exist: Celebrate life’s experiences as you go through them. Also bear in mind that the seemingly insignificant ones may turn out to be more meaningful in the grander scale of life;
b. We live to learn: Let’s face it; we will never ‘know it all’. The humility to constantly ask why, where, how, what, who etc. is indeed one of the greatest virtues. Search an answer for every question and have a question for every answer. Learn also that answers sometimes come from the unlikeliest of sources!
c. We live to love (1 Cor 13): Love is the very essence of life. It is what multiples joy and divides sorrow. Love whether in the form of friends, companions, relatives or more significant partners and family members, sometimes gives sense to even the most surreal situations or exasperating experiences and makes the good times even better.
d. We live to leave a legacy: Knowingly or unwittingly we will all leave a legacy. As much as possible strive to leave a positive imprint as you go through life’s journey. You may not always be understood. When faced by a dilemma favour principles over popularity and then consensus over divide (but never at the expense of what matters most). Overall let your legacy, whether for a year or a thousand years or beyond, be a light for others.
2. One of my favourite songs (part of the staple diet of my car CD for many years actually) was Dido’s ‘White Flag’. There is no such thing as failure or defeat in life. No matter how hard it is, if you have to fall strive to fall forward, to rise again and to push on. A quiet but stoic resolution that ‘there will be no white flag upon my door’ has seen me through many a tough time.
3. Concentrate on what really is crucial. When going through a situation that may seem critical at the time, it is worth asking, “How will this affect me (or people around me) in 1, 2, 5 or 10 years time?” Is this a battle or a storm in a tea cup? Let time give you a perspective of weight.
4. Money is just a means to and end. It should never be made into an end. Money is also a loyal servant but a very bad master. There are far nobler ambitions in life; acquiring money doesn’t even come close. Do not let hindsight teach you this because you may have wasted precious opportunities to live in between.

I hope that this blog will provide me with the opportunity to share more experiences derived from the above 7 cardinal rules. I also hope that it will be interesting for others to read and also to add more insight.

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5 Responses to 7 Cardinal Rules

  1. SCHEMBRI RAYMOND says:

    well done James

  2. Massimo Nappa Licari says:

    Prosit James, minghajr Alla m’ahna xejn. Jiddispjacini li ma nistax nattendi fis-16 ta’Lulju ghax ha nkun imsiefer mit-12 sas-19 ta’ Lulju. Have fun.

  3. RD says:

    I’ve had the privilege of hearing you speak at the Broker Training Sessions which Oman Insurance conducts for its partners in Dubai, so it’s nice to see your personal side here on this blog. Point 3 is a very valuable principle indeed. I’ve also learnt that a good question to ask when faced with daily ‘fires’ is ”Is this a battle worth fighting? Are there any worthwhile spoils??” The answer to that question then acts as a guide to the action one must take.

    • Thank you for your kind comments RD. And, yes, “Is this battle worth fighting?” is a very valid question (Knowing when to push, pull, hang on or let go). I would prefer to use the word ‘goal’ instead of ‘spoils’ because of its wider meaning. Thanks again.

  4. Kriti Bindra says:

    Hi James..i had an opportunity to attend the” risk and insurance awareness” program on 26 july 2010.
    It was great knowing you,and your enriching experiences are icing on the cake.
    Loved your Blog..
    Wish to stay in touch
    Regards
    Kriti

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