A new workweek is upon us and it is essential that we start the Monday with the right mindset. We don’t have control over whether good things or bad things happen to us, but what we can control is how we perceive the situation. No matter what the outcome is there is always something to learn from the situation which, may be a nuanced observation or an epiphany, could turn into a valuable piece of information for life. To learn well is to be a good student and being a good student takes constant effort. Here are 10 rules attributed to John Cage, a pioneering musician, composer and writer, and his sister Corita Kent, who is also a well-known artist and educator. The rules were constructed with the conventional teacher and student in mind, but as you read it, I am sure you will agree that it can easily be expanded to apply for human kind’s longest class in session – life.
1. Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for a while.
2. General duties of a student — pull everything out of your teacher; pull everything out of your fellow students.
3. General duties of a teacher — pull everything out of your students.
4. Consider everything an experiment.
5. Be self-disciplined — this means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.
6. Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail, there’s only make.
7. The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things.
8. Don’t try to create and analyze at the same time. They’re different processes.
9. Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It’s lighter than you think.
10. [We’re] breaking all the rules. Even our own rules. And how do [we] do that? By leaving plenty of room for X quantities.
General Strategies: Always be around. Come or go to everything. Always go to classes. Read anything you can get your hands on. Look at movies carefully, often. Save everything — it might come in handy later.
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