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The 10 Things I Learned This Christmas Season

By December 25, 2014Self-Improvement
Reading Time: 2 minutes
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“I got the fortunes of heaven, diamonds and gold. I’ve got all the riches baby, any bank could hold…”

Bruce Springsteen

I think there are enough people writing about things they “know,” and want to teach, or share out here in the inter-ether, and I don’t think anyone wants me to add to that body of work with what I “know,” mostly because it would make for the worlds shortest blog post.

Likewise, were I to write here about all that I don’t know, it would probably make for the world’s first endless document.

With that in mind, I’ll simply share the ten things I learned this Christmas season. Here goes:

The 10 Things I Learned This Christmas Season

1. We’ve become a culture of rules. We now have so many rules around giving, and caring for other people that more and more the consequences of breaking the “giving” rules deter people from even trying to help others.

2. Isn’t it interesting that while we live in the safest era in the history of human existence, we are more afraid than at any time in human history that something, or someone bad might visit us for doing the right thing, the wrong way?

3. The overwhelming majority of people in the world will always try and help each other.

4. If nothing else in the world inspires hope, there will always be children at Christmas who will.

5. Holding the hand of a perfect stranger, looking them in the eyes, and saying the words; “Peace be with you,” “Shalom,” or “As-Salam- Alaykum,” I think might be the realization of G**ds fondest hope for all of us.

6. If I live to be 100, I will never forget the uncontrollable tears that would stream down Bill “Yoshin Roshi” Jordan’s face every Christmas when he would read the Polar Express at the Santa Monica Zen Center.

7. I had no choice in the family I was assigned, and they are my best teachers.

8. I am forever grateful for the family that chose me.

9. Not being near airports at Christmas is a really good thing.

10. Thinking about taking down the Christmas decorations while putting them up is proof that we are all at least a little crazy.

The 1 Thing I Know From This Christmas for Sure

1. I think my life lesson so far is that the first, last, and best gift I will ever have is every Christmas I get to spend with my wife.

I hope everyone who reads this loves someone that much, and if you don’t yet, know that at least one person in the world is rooting for you to find them. Happy holidays!

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Michael Stanwyck
Michael Stanwyck is the co-founder of The Whole Life Challenge, an idea that developed during his seven years as a coach and gym manager at CrossFit Los Angeles.

He graduated from UCLA with a BA in philosophy as well as a degree from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, and feels food is one of the most important parts of a life - it can nourish, heal, and bring people together.

Michael believes health and well-being are as much a state of mind as they are a state of the body, and when it comes to fitness, food, and life in general, he thinks slow is much better than fast (most of the time). Stopping regularly to examine things is the surest way to put down roots and grow.

He knows he will never be done with his own work, and believes the best thing you can do for your well-being starts with loving and working from what you’ve got right now.