This is my sincere attempt to write a life manual; a present to those who would accept, the presence of a supernatural peace, wisdom to live a meaningful life.

While I had intended to give this inheritance at the end of my life, I realized that I could give more if I started to give now while I’m still alive.  The words of this Life Manual are what my last words would have been but now unwinded for you as “unlastwords”.

Dedication:

To God, my family, and my friends and all who would want to receive my inheritance.

I can’t pretend I know how to write a perfect life manual, but the purpose is to give an inheritance to my children that I did not have — all of my actual and adopted grandfathers died before they could give me any life advice. I find that I have to figure out how to father and parent myself as I lacked healthy instruction — God bless my parents but they like me are casualties of war and an evil world. This Life Manual is my death parting gift to give what past generations did not give. I do not blame them as I believe they gave what they could. I forgive you all. Out of gratitude to God, I write this Manual to take responsibility of my own life and to give a legacy to you. I am not perfect and I’m sorry when I failed you. Please listen even if you don’t totally agree nor fully understand. This world needs fathers and I want to be one for you.  I’d rather had been there for you, be present to you and actually love you the best way possible (instead of just giving you words but be a hypocrite).  My debt is to God — I feel God has given me so much I have an obligation to share.

A warning before you continue reading: “To whom much is given, much is expected”:

  • It may be bad to give gifts to those who are not ready — if you decide to receive my gift, much may be expected of you; my hope is it changes your life. Out of love and out of justice you may be “forced” to pay it forward; woe to those who would abuse this
  • Be ready to accept this gift — I assume you are an adult as you might not have enough life experience to responsibly accept this gift
  • I may and can be wrong and this manual is in constant revision — It is like life where it is always a work in progress. Ultimately Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life and I plead that you submit to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church (the Church that He founded) if I am in error

A procedure to organize your life — an attempt at how to become a saint:

A saint? Really? Isn’t becoming a saint for someone else?  NO! Everyone is called to be a saint. I can’t convince you by mere words alone on why becoming a saint (i.e. being who God created you to be) is the highest ideal, but once you have been convinced and fall in love with the beauty of God who is Love, you will perhaps be open to what St Thomas has to say about how to become a saint: “will it” — discover your own reasons whyhow, and what is necessary to live life to the fullest. Life is beautiful and anything beautiful is a mystery. Mere words are a bit useless if it does not lead you to take real action. I don’t have all the answers yet an attempt to give one seems better that attempting at none. If I were to desire for you to live a certain way, it is expected that I need to lead by example. The more I write this the more I realize I’m unqualified to write this — the more I know, the more I know I don’t know much.. yet I know the love I put into this manual is worth something and while what I say may be of little value compared to the legacy of God through the Catholic Church, it is something little I can give.  To borrow from Mother Teresa, sometimes we think we have to do great things, but we don’t have to — simply do small things with great love, and that is great in itself. What is more important than the [worldly] understanding of “success” is the success of the human person.  Part of this is realizing that I can’t do it alone and I need help.

Reflect for a moment: If you knew you were going to die in 6 months, would you be at peace?

  • Why even organize your life?  Why desire to become a saint?
    • Who are you?
    • What is your purpose in life?
    • You are created with dignity to love God: the purpose of life is to love, know, and serve God (Piety, Study, Action)
    • What is Love?
    • Death is certain; at any moment your life can be taken. You are accountable to God; would you be ready if you died at this moment?
    • Would you not organize your life so that you can better love God, love family, and love your friends?  Would you not want to love the best way possible?
    • We go on retreats and get inspired yet we often fail because we don’t ask for the necessary grace nor have the discipline to execute the tasks necessary to obtain our goals. We are forgetful and need reminders; sure it is easy to say “I already know all this” yet can we honestly say that we are living the best way we can according to what we know? Do we really appreciate core fundamentals of our faith?  Give credit to the creator of everything we often can take for granted?
  • How would you organize your life?  How do I will to become a saint?
    • It seems the problem isn’t that there isn’t enough good information out there, the problem is finding the good information and processing the information in a way that can be applied; My goal is to write a manual that would be read and practiced.  (Read Concepts, Methodology, and Principles to get some insight on how I created this Life Manual)
    1. Open your heart to God’s will (Uniformity with God’s Will)
    2. Consecration to Mary, commit to prayer; at minimum pray the Rosary (33 Days to Morning Glory, De Monfort consecration)
    3. Get a spiritual director, receive the Sacraments, especially Confession and the Eucharist so you can see the clearest as possible
    4. Build the vision on Love and Truth  use mindmaps and GTD or at least in written form with good discipline (How do you make goals and have a direction in life without a vision?)
      • Start with “Why”.. Why informs “How”..  How informs “What”..
      • Choose a framework on how to manage your life or adopt mine — software project development describes a framework (e.g. Agile vs Waterfall); GTD frees you from “open loops” and allows you to be more in the present moment
      • For me I chose 12 areas of focus (Feynman Method) — “Richard Feynman was fond of giving the following advice on how to be a genius. You have to keep a dozen of your favorite problems constantly present in your mind, although by and large they will lay in a dormant state. Every time you hear or read a new trick or a new result, test it against each of your twelve problems to see whether it helps. Every once in a while there will be a hit, and people will say: “How did he do it? He must be a genius!” (the goal isn’t to be a genius but to make significant progress in one’s life)
      • Know thyself — you cannot give what you do not have
        • Why would a man want to give half of a self to others? To God? To a woman?  Would he not want to give a complete person to her?
        • Who are you?  How are you unique?  What are the gifts that God has given you?
        • Do you not want to give a legacy, something that can persist to the next generation?  Family and Culture can do this.  A culture consists of (but not limited to):
          • Life Principles
          • Fine Arts
          • Systems of Knowledge
          • Core Values
          • Core Rules
        • Reflect: what are your core values, principles, and rules as practiced in your daily life and how do they compare to the Catholic faith?  Don’t be ignorant; look it up.
        • In what ways are you created in the image of God?  What is Love?  Look at the 5 love Languages as in a way this is a refection of God since God is Love; In what ways do you give and to who?:
          • Quality Time — How do you spend your time? Do people find you a loving person? Authentic?
          • Acts of Service — What skills do you have you can offer to God and others? Am I revealing Christ’s love and not just getting value out of relationships?
          • Words of Affirmation — What is your story?  30 second elevator statement?  If God communicates through events, by my unique life events what is He trying to communicate to me?
          • Gifts — what can you give?  what do you give?  what is your identity from God?  Personality tests (e.g. DISC, BIG5, Myers Briggs, Strengths Finder).  Even your weaknesses can be gifts
          • Physical Touch — how do I realistically touch the lives of people?  What are your metrics and “Key Results Areas”?
    5. Develop the vision – visualize your dreams
      • For your vision and goals to have a long-term positive impact they must include the Wheel of Life:
        • Spiritual
        • Physical
        • Intellectual
        • Family
        • Social
        • Career
        • Financial
      • If the Wheel of Life does not include God at its core, your vision is not complete thus manifest goals would be incomplete, lacking, failure-prone
      • The 7 points of the Wheel of Life consequently are 7 of the 12 areas of focus; discern God’s will for the other 5 areas of focus; use these points as GTD contexts in your framework
    6. Get organized – Get things done and accomplish your goals
      • set daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly, yearly, 3-year-goals, 5-year-goals, 30-year-goals
      • remember the only failure is to not trust in God; when you fail it is an opportunity to learn and grow
      • Remember: we are forgetful and need reminders — commit to the GTD system, learn to love by developing will power
      • Revise your vision as necessary; why wait until new years to make a resolution?  you can make a resolution every day of your life – commit to a “to do” list to develop daily habits; don’t over load it with too many things but make it integral to your daily schedule – if you fail just keep going; it’s a reminder you need God.  Be response-able:
        • Daily review – Always be ready do die (go to confession and receive the sacraments, this is only the beginning — be consoled we are all beginners)
          • Daily Rosary and Prayer are important, 30 minutes is 1% of the day; mediate how action is a real form of prayer
        • Weekly Review
        • Monthly Review
        • Yearly Review
  • What would you do?
    • Be who God created you to be.  The most important thing is to be one with God’s will to reach heaven
    • I’ve heard life is about people and, out of love creating memories and building relationships
    • Give the best legacy you can — What is the best inheritance that will last unto eternity?  I’ve searched my entire life and I found the best inheritance is gift of the Love of God and the gift the Catholic Faith

What matters most in life?

What I give you may seem so obvious and this Life Manual all so logical so before I list what matters most in life as if it were a solved problem, let me say from my heart.. what matters is you love from your heart. Only God can fill the aching of our hearts. God is Love yet He is beyond love; God is so beautiful and like anything beautiful it is a mystery. God is eternal and we are finite; what we can understand is only a glimpse. At the same time, mystery can yield deeper understanding and meaning. Suffering is a reality of life – learn to love amidst suffering. Find the purpose in which God has created you. Go on your own journey; I hope to be there with you and if not in person at least with this life manual. I’ve found that as a man, I am called to be a father, either literally receive children from God with the blessing of a wife, receive spiritual children from God or both. I wanted to be the father I did not have then I realized I want to be like that Father I have in heaven. I desire to be formed by the Mother that formed Christ, Mary who makes the love of Jesus real to me and not just some idea or philosophy.  Always be in love; only when you love God with all your heart can you genuinely love another to the fullest extent possible.  Strive to be humble. Be real – seek Truth: strive for God’s greater glory. Appreciate simplicity. Appreciate beauty. Be creative. Be grateful. Be pure in your love. Jesus thirsts for your heart; give it to Him, trust your heart to Mary.  See Jesus in everyone and all creation.

Don’t get too comfortable. Be an adult; take responsibility for yourself that you can care about the world, care about the poor, care about the orphans.  See how much of the world has either forgotten about basic things such as the dignity of the human person through Jesus on the cross.  Real orphans are those who do not know Jesus and Mary. Accept people where they are as God does – forgive, be merciful. Enjoy life and God in the present moment.  God the Father desires you. He wants you to experience joy in the greatest way possible.

Do not be afraid, or it’s ok to be afraid if you be courageous enough to love more than you fear; courage is not the absence of fear but facing the fear because you love. Life is about many things, and on some level Life is about which risk you are willing to take. Risk to love, risk to suffer, risk to be vulnerable to see things as they actually are. Many implicitly conceived notions of safety are false – the risk of not taking risks is a risk in itself. Death and suffering is certain and one would better suffer in love for God [i.e. purposefully] than suffer meaningless pain. It is okay to cry and experience suffering – at least it means your love is real or that you risk to love well. Remember: If you do not go after what you want, you’ll never have it, If you do not ask, the answer will always be no, If you do not step forward, you’ll always be in the same place.

Be present and be a present to this world, show up. Know your immutable dignity in God and never let anyone abuse you – be who God created you to be. Your presence is needed in this world.

If I had to bullet point a list of what is important in life, here it is:

  • Love God:
    • Two greatest commandments (all of scripture can be summarized by this):
      • Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength; Sacraments (especially the Eucharist at Mass and Confession)
      • Love your neighbor as yourself
    • Humility, Prayer, Trust
    • Dive into mystery, Love the humanity of Jesus through the bible and the rosary
  • Know God to the extent possible:
    • Relationships and creating lasting memories (7 levels of intimacy)
    • Dedication to the Truth:
      • Actions, not merely words
      • Always have a ready defense of the faith
    • Never giving up in Faith, Hope, Charity
    • On Joy, Suffering, and Love, appreciate Beauty, read the Psalms, poetry is the language of the heart
  • Serve God:

 

Time, Treasure, Talent

I’ve realized that everything is a gift from God. This is why I feel like what I give to you is not much but know I put much love into writing this Life Manual for you.  Daily I reflect upon what I can give you as a legacy and write down what comes to me.  I’ve searched and found these treasures that helped me become who I am and hopefully can help you live a good life.

A picture is worth a thousand words, I assume it is more true for mind maps. Below are the mind maps. See the Time, Treasure, Talent post if you prefer to see the entire list; I have summarized them in 3 points.

 

Contemporary Problems and Solutions

The problem of the world is ourselves. Our human nature. We need God. Outlined here some areas I have identified to be challenges for society. Why list contemporary problems and challenges of the world? To resolve a problem the first step is to recognize they exist; each “problem” is an opportunity and often a blessing in disguise.

Contemporary Problems:

There seems an infinite number of things I can write here, and it’s not like I know everything, but I’ll take a number of stabs at this.

See the Contemporary Problems post if you want to see the entire list instead of the mind map. There are many ways I could organize this but I’ll model it after the wheel of life — I summarize all the contemporary, modern-day problems of the world in 7 points:


Solutions:

There are always going to be problems; when we solve some problems we only graduate to a better set of problems. Does this mean we just give up? No! As cliche or silly as it may sound, if we really think about it, problems are opportunities. On a supernatural level we can see this is an opportunity to love. It is in the struggle that we find beauty, it is in the struggle that we find the value of love, it is in the struggle that heroes are forged.

In life we will face many evils, yet ultimately the only real enemy is Satan. Broken human nature causes all the problems in the world. Evil [i.e. “Problems”] will always exist at the hands of Satan. How we fight is where we discover who we are! Why fight? There are many good reasons to fight: We hate injustice, lies, confusion! We hate seeing men and women abused! We hate seeing innocent children die! We hate seeing our loved ones suffer meaningless pain. We hate mediocrity, being used, being put down, chaos, selfishness, arrogance. We know the world can be so much better!

Yet, notice how these in a certain sense can be a self-interested love. Why did God fight? The way God loves is a divine love i.e. God fights in love because he is loving and generous. How about we fight just because we love God?

It is only through the love of the humanity of Jesus that our hearts can be mended, filled with Divine Love that we can be His instruments to make real differences in the world.

A solution that addresses all of the problems of the world, taking into account the reality of human weakness:

  • Be a saint:
    • Focus on Jesus; the divine love of Jesus is a real human love because Mary said “yes” to God’s will:
      • “Here I am Lord, I come to do your will” (Psalm 40)
    • Learn & keep on trying; Face your challenges:
      • Smart people learn from their mistakes, smarter people learn from other people’s mistakes
      • “Do not be afraid I am with you. I have called you by name. You are mine.” (Isaiah 43)
    • Give a Legacy; Love from your heart:
      • Be a father, Be a mother:
        • “The best gift we can give to any child is to make that child feel WANTED, LOVE, and CARED FOR because that child is the greatest gift of God” (Mother Teresa)
      • Be a teacher, share, give from your own experience

 

 


 

 


[license type=”cc__by-nc-nd”]
  1. Pingback: a purpose of purpose | unlastwordsunlastwords

  2. nouveau maillot real madrid 2014

    Bookmarked!!, I like your website!

    3 years ago

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *