(I don’t own rights to «Peanuts» pictures – I spread them for non-commercial wisdom & enjoyment!)
There are comic & children's books that echo through life. They remain a source of wisdom & comfort for children of all ages across the globe. Like Snoopy & the «Peanuts Gang». We never really knew whether «Snoopolino» was a human, a dog or a furry Superman – but we always knew he was a wonderful friend! In good times and in bad times, and in all the times in between.
Here are some of my favorite pictures & words of wisdom – for the new year and every year to come!
The Meaning Of Life Is – To Live!
Charlie Brown is not one of those «Happy Honey Kids» who sleep on a rainbow and get up in the morning inspired and full of expectation. He’s more the melancholic kind of guy – not only on Monday mornings. One evening Charlie sits by the water with Snoopy and reflects on things that go wrong: «Some day, we will all die.» And Snoopy replies: «True, but on all the other days, we will not.»
It’s the core sentence of all Snoopy stories. And it’s the core sentence of our own life. Living a «full-fledged life» is not easy, as we all know. We often struggle, not only on Monday mornings.
But sometimes a furry friend leads the way to a lively new week!
No Positive Thinking Terror!
Snoopy is very present, he lives in the «Here & Now» and not in the «But & If» like so many of us. But he doesn’t force himself into convulsive positive thinking. We should stop with this esoteric «Happy Pressure». That's terror – self-made terror. Sometimes we feel good. Sometimes we don't. That's life, that's ok. No need to think positive all the time. No need to fight against our own feelings, against ourselves actually. Suppression makes things worse in the long run. Some 100 years ago my fellow countryman C.G. Jung put it that way: «What you resist, persists, grows in size, takes longer.»
Just don’t stay in the pits. Move on when it’s time to move on – joyfully! There are many goodies out there to discover!
Take A Positive Stance Towards Life!
Snoopy reminds us again & again to live a life full of joy, humor, courage, power and intensity.
«I Hope You Dance …» – what a lovely song. And what a lovely motto of life, in every sense …
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder / You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger / May you never take one single breath for granted / God forbid love ever leave you empty handed / I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean / Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens / Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance / And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance / I hope you dance ... / I hope you dance ... / I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance / Never settle for the path of least resistance / Livin' might mean takin' chances, but they're worth takin' / Lovin' might be a mistake, but it's worth makin' / Don't let some hell bent heart leave you bitter / When you come close to sellin' out reconsider / Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance / And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance / I hope you dance ... I hope you dance / I hope you dance / I hope you dance / I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean / Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens / Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance / And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance / Dance ... / I hope you dance / I hope you dance ... / I hope you dance / I hope you dance / I hope you dance …
Give Your Best!
You don't have to be THE best – but give YOUR best! Otherwise you'll end up wasting your life.
Success simply means living your life to your full potential! Be your own «Breaking Story»!
Use Your Imagination!
Do we look more often at our screens or at our surroundings?
Every day is a good day to fuel our inspiration & creativity in a broader way. And one of those days we might understand Ray Bradbury: «I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me!»
Take A Different View!
See things from a different perspective every now & then. Maybe it's better – maybe not.
But it widens your horizon and gives you the opportunity to experience new things.
We are Family!
There is a lot of love, friendship & empathy in the «Peanuts universe».
The world can be a cruel place, unfair, pitiless, dark & cold as a bad dream. We all know that. But in the arms of loved ones we can find a little warmth, comfort, tenderness and love.
And you might know the old saying that «dogs are God's way of apologizing for your relatives».
Let The Sadness Leave Your Body!
The following picture speaks for itself.
«Turn your wounds into wisdom», as the Indians used to say.
Mind The «Web Of Life»!
We all form a greater whole. One big worldwide «Web of Life» – worldwide & beyond. We all depend on each other, people on people, people on animals & plants, ultimately everybody on everbody. In the long run, we can only exist hand in hand, with each other and not against each other.
We are all connected. Just remember that «half of our lungs», so to speak, is hanging outside in nature ...
Don’t Be An Actor In Your Life!
Working on our body, mind & image, i.e. «Personal Branding» gets more & more important, if not essential in the modern society. «Brand Yourself!» is the modern battle call, show who you are and how you differ from the crowd. As a person and as a «Brand». As an employee in the supermarket, in the advertising business or in financial services, as a start-up entrepreneur, on a media stage or wherever. Many people seem to be some kind of an actor in their own life. And have completely pushed aside the fact that our self-perception ultimately is nothing but an illusion. So often a painful illusion.
In the modern «self-improvement treadmill» we forget about being a voice, not an echo. We forget to express – we are too busy to impress.
Keep The Balance!
We don’t have to «play it cool» all the time.
Better be cool & balanced inside!
We Share Certain Interests & Values!
The «Peanuts» loved watching TV – and not much has changed since then. Only the screens got bigger & flatter – and we got wider! And the media consumption has expanded to numerous devices, has become much more mobile & individual.
But people still like to watch certain programs in company – for instance sporting events!
Just Hit The Ball!
Of course «Snoopy & the Gang» are not just spectators when it comes to sports!
In sports, no one has to tell us about presence & mindfulness – as it’s being preached everywhere nowadays. If we hit a ball, for example, we simply have to be present & attentive, otherwise it won't be a good game.
A little tip: If we increase the intensity (of whatever we are doing), we automatically become more attentive – in all areas of life!
Eat To Live – Don't Live To Eat!
Thanks to enough exercise & activity, the «Peanuts» don't have to worry about getting back in shape. And yeah, they love junk food! Of course healthy nutrition is a good thing, no question – but the constant mental occupation with (healthy) food is nonsense. No, the «biggest sin» in our life is not some pizza & pasta every once in a while!
Move and become a «WalKing»!
Attitude Of Gratitude!
Ralph Waldo Emerson advised «to cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes along.» More & more people cultivate an «attitude of gratitude» to improve their well-being. Gratitude helps us connect with other people, it strengthens relationships. Research shows that expressing thanks can lead to a healthier, happier and less stressful lifestyle.
And to even more reasons to be grateful for!
Take Your Pleasures Seriously!
We all know the old saying. However, in the daily routine we usually find something more important, more urgent to do. At least we think so – and very often pleasure & recreation fall by the wayside.
But next year … we will remember!
Fall Into Presence!
Of course we know that presence, that living in the moment is the center of our existence. But usually we are (too) busy, too much stuff to do, too much noise in our heads. What kills us isn't one big thing, but thousands of tiny obligations we can't turn down for fear of disappointing others (and ourselves).
Take a break from time to time and enjoy the beauty of nature, for instance. Try to «fall into presence»! Words & work tend to fill the mind, nature tends to clear it. According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, «The real meditation is how you live your life». Amen.
Move – In Any Weather!
Sitting for numerous hours is sometimes called «the asbestos of our days». The human body needs exercise to stay healthy.
No problem for/with a furry friend!
Laughter has a proven beneficial effect on our body, as countless studies show. However, adults only laugh about 15 times a day on average, whereas children laugh some 400 times a day!
Is there a better way to cope with life than with love & humor, Charles Dickens asked. Hardly.
Turn Every Day Into A Little Adventure!
Too much habit & routine are long-term killers. We have to break new ground every now & then – not least in our heads. The constant mental «rumination» that accompanies so many people is a huge obstacle. Let me remind you of two old sayings (dogs just know …):
«Give up the hope that the past could have been any different.»
«Give up the need to know what happens tomorrow.»
Helps a great deal.
And Turn Some Days Into A Big Adventure!
«Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage», Anais Nin recognized. It really does. In retrospect, one is usually more annoyed about not having tried something. Because many things seem sort of impossible until we have done them. Anyway, just keep in mind: «Fall down. Stand up. Straighten your crown. Carry on.»
«I would like this to signal the end of wasted angst in my life», was a New Year's resolution by Italo Calvino a long time ago. There is a reason why «Don't be afraid» is the most common sentence in the New Testament.
«My Time» Instead Of «No Time»!
We control space – but we are strongly controlled by time. Despite the fact that we know from Einstein & others that time is ultimately just an illusion. But it feels of course very real in everyday life. We need time as an essential construct for our workaday life, for our living together in society. We need time as an essential construct for our thinking which includes past & future as we can only think in processes, in stories. And we constantly think we don’t have enough time, time just flies by, turn over twice – and you face the end of the year. And once again so many important things have fallen by the wayside. We usually are in the «no-time-mode» and rarely in the «my-time-mode».
«The measurable side of the world is not the world», so Martin Seel, «it’s the measurable side of the world.»
All The Best!
There is magic in every beginning, as we know from Meister Eckhart (Middle Ages) and have heard since then again & again – from poets like Goethe or Hesse for example. And of course there is magic in the beginning of a New Year!
May the coming year be a joyful & blessed one!
PS: Some more inspiration
60,000 Reasons for Decluttering with Master Morris
10 inspiring Thoughts & Videos
Sopranos & Mobsters
Episode 87 – The Final Countdown
At the Captain’s Table
Donald Trump, Frank Costello & Mobster Inc.
10 Songs for Life
My Songs – Audios & Videos
«Sun Deck Avenue»