Simple Steps


Ten things you can do to create an exceptional life (2000)
By Dr.Arthur Caliandro with Barry Lenson

I like this book. It is very simple and it gives very straight forward simple steps to live a better life. Good to have a feeling of “lifting up” after reading it.

1. Your attitude is your future

Decide on your attitude. Each of us, regardless of circumstances, has that power. Our attitudes are the little hinges on which the big doors of our lives swing. The wrong attitude brings wear and tear, finally tearing the door down.

Be kind. Everybody is fighting a tough battle. The moment you enter the space occupied by a kind person with a strongly positive attitude, you have a wonderful power directed at you. You feel positive, elevated, inspired. Suddenly, new things are possible for you.

2. Tap your inner momentum

People who patiently persist finally see their dreams come true. For them, persistence makes all the difference. Keep your goals flexible too. Don’t worry. Do something. When we take action – the earlier the better- we nip worry in the bud.

Take it one day at a time. By concentrating solely on one day’s work and shutting out other thoughts, it would be possible to get a day’s work done without experiencing mental distress or worries about the future.

Let hope pull you through. People who keep the faith- who hang on to hope- always emerge as victors. If we can do that – no matter what obstacles confront us – we will bloom again.

3. Transform your life with kindness

Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound. – Goethe

Kindness is a big deal. It may not solve the biggest problems we’re facing on any given days, but it might do something even more important. It might just equip us better to solve the problems we’re facing. 

Cultivate a forgiving heart. The better path in our lives is to forgive, not to judge. It counsels us to set aside our own opinions and direct a constant stream of kindness at others – even when we do not act as they do or condone their actions.  A forgiving heart can free you and free other people too.

Empathy is an extraordinarily focused type of kindness. To have empathy is to feel with another person. Being kind doesn’t mean you are weak. It doesn’t mean that you have no standards or boundaries. It doesn’t mean you fail to differentiate right from wrong or that you allow people to take advantage of you. Kindness means that no matter what happens to you, you take the high road. You do not respond with aggression, even when you are confronted by it. You do not respond to meaness or pettiness in kind.

4. Welcome stillness into your life

Tapping your inner quiet is a simple step that can drastically improve the quality of your life.  Apply silence and flexibility to the next creative challenge you face, and watch the results. You will discover that creativity is directly tied to your ability to be quiet and still in the time in and around your work.

5. Settle with the past and move on.

Many of us run a real danger of becoming crippled by the past, unable to move beyond it. And if that happens, we become its prisoner. As we grow and mature, we have a choice to make. We can choose to remain victims of the past or learn to deal with our earlier lives in a way that serves us, not cripples us. Move beyond your problems.

It’s important to make a fresh start each day. No matter how strongly we feel drawn to live in the past, we need to discipline ourselves to keep moving ahead. It is a critical first step towards a better life.

6. Banish Prejudice from your life

Don’t pass hatred along. Prejudice begets prejudice. Hate begets hate. Don’t let that happen in your life. Chances are you’ve encountered prejudice. Yet you have a choice to make. You can either pass hate along or you can decide, ” Hate stops here.”

7. Risk to a brighter future

Risk is how we grow. It functions as the pivotal point between who we are now and who we are to become. Any time there is growth or chance, it follows risk. 

When we move to a new job or tell some someone we love them, or get married, or become parents, risk is there. If we’re too cautious and ban risk from our lives, we remain stuck in place. We never make progress or evolve.  In fact, risking in the right way is the safest thing we can do. It helps us move away from places in our lives where we don’t belong and into places where can live more fully. Sometimes you can take a spiritual risk. Take just one problem that’s troubling you – the bigger and more sensitive the problem, the better. When you have a moment, ask God about it – or ask the divine, or the spiritual, or whatever presence you prefer. Take that little risk and ask. And don’t be surprised if your life becomes far, far better.

8. Connect with a higher power

Sometimes even a simple word called a mantra to repeat over and over can be helpful to have a positive effect. Praying becomes a way of projecting a thought – make a request or setting an idea before some power that is bigger than yourself. With this approach, connecting with the eternal can be a pleasant, joyful part of each day.

9. Put discipline on your side

Nothing significant has ever been accomplished without discipline. Discipline, simply means doing important things regularly, every day. Live in the present. There is a poem by an annoymous writer :

First I was dying to finish high school and start college.
And then I was dying to finish college and start working.
And then I was dying to marry and to have children.
And then I was dying for my children to grow old enough for school so I could return to work.
And then I was dying to retire.
And now, I am dying…. and suddenly I realize I forgot to live.

That’s the story of many of our lives. Look around you. See the sky. Breathe the air. Feel the world around you. Love the people who share your journey, moment by momemt and hour by hour. Life is now. A cluttered life can obscure our deepest desires and needs. If living one day at a time is too hard right now, deal with one hour at a time. And if that’s too much, deal with each five minute segment.


10. Heed the call to Leadership

There is a major misconception about leadership. Leadership is not an ego thing. It is about giving. Whenever you are in your life, you can be a leader. You become one by serving others. Build your life from your center. Find your truth. There was a reason you were born. Discover it, the purpose of your being.  Your heart’s desire might be to to help people, to live in a way that will inspire your own children to live fuller, deeper lives. It might be to change careers. It might be to write a novel or paint a painting – or simply to love life more each day.

Set resolutions you can achieve. When we move ahead in one area of our lives, we prepare the way for progress in other areas too. The wiest men and women have always known to start small in reaching their plans. Bigger comes later. The key is to get started now, where and when you can.


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