“There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard.”
– Sun Tzu, The Art of War
An editor at lifehack.org recently asked me what topics I would choose if I could write about only 5. The question brought meaning and purpose into sharper focus.
These are the topics I chose: Acceptance, Gratitude, Perseverance, Self-Love, and Hope.
And this is why:
- Without full acceptance of present circumstances, positive change is difficult or impossible.
- Without gratitude to help us remember the positives, it is easy to get caught up in the negatives and lose momentum.
- Without perseverance, it’s easy to give in to despair at the first setback, mistaking, as T. S. Elliot put it, a single defeat for a final defeat.
- Without self-love, it is difficult to care enough about ourselves to persevere in the face of obstacles we encounter along the journey to self-actualization.
- Without hope, it’s impossible to start, and starting is perhaps the most necessary thing of all.
I believe strongly in the power of people to become their fullest selves, and in their birthright to do so. I am strongly opposed to repression, manipulation, and the subtle handicapping that often occurs when what is truly great in people is not seen, understood, and encouraged. Helping others to feel seen, understood, and encouraged is the main intent of my work as a therapist and writer, and also as a human being.
What topics would you choose, if you could only choose 5? Why?
Let us know in the comments area of this post.