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For 50 years the daily comic strip "Peanuts" entertained millions of readers. Every day, the adventures of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus and the whole gang provided many laugh-out-loud moments while at the same time offering a daily inspiration and lessons on life. With the death of "Peanuts" creator Charles Schulz, I reflect on how much I enjoyed sharing the adventures of the "Peanuts" gang and I remember the many lessons they taught me...
Lessons # 1 : Keep on trying. Don't give up! Charlie Brown is often portrayed to be a failure. The great thing about him though is that he never stops trying. He doesn't give up. This is exactly what we should keep in mind when faced with a stubborn dilemma -- it never hurts to keep trying because eventually, persistence will pay off.
Lessons # 2 : Let your imagination run wild. Open your mind. "You know, if you use your imagination, you can see all sorts of things in the clouds”. To unlock our creativity, we must look at things from a fresh, new perspective.
Lessons # 3 : Don't sell yourself short. Be all that you can be. Don't Be Anything Less Than Everything You Can Be . Don't be a leaf if you can be the tree, don't be a raindrop if you can be the sea, `Cause a leaf may fall but the tree remains, It may never rain at all but the sea remains, Better to be the tree and the sea. Be all that you can be.
Lessons # 4 : Believe in yourself. Or if all else fails, fall back on your friends. It’s about the magic of having friends and the importance of their validation. Having one, yes even just one, person believe in you can be enough to encourage you to believe in yourself too. Sometimes it will have to take someone else's validation to show you how good you are.
Lessons # 5 : Don't force yourself to let go if you can't. Do it when you're ready. Lucy and Sally egg Linus about being a baby because he won't let go of his blanket. Linus attempts independence from it then realizes that he can't, but admits that he may outgrow it someday and indeed he does. Letting go takes strength, determination and lots of time.
Lessons # 6 : Happiness can be found in the little things. Know where to look. You should find happiness in any small thing that makes you smile. Things like "Pizza with sausage", "learning to whistle", "knowing a secret" and ultimately, as the Peanuts cast realizes. Happiness is anything or anyone at all that's loved by you.
Lessons # 7 : Being average isn’t enough! "What shape would the world be in today if everyone settled for being average?”- Lucy van Pelt. People who prefer sunsets are dreamers! They always give up! They always look back instead of forward! Sunrisersare go-getters! They have ambition and drive! Go beyond average!
Lessons # 8 : I only dread one day at a time “I've developed a new philosophy, I only dread one day at a time.” Maybe life isn't really as complicated as we make it out to be. Perhaps a simple child-like attitude would create a less stressful and happier life. Replace one worry with another. Don’t be worried, don't be alarmed.
Lessons # 9 : Happiness is anyone and anything at all that's loved by you Now this is getting at a more real and lasting happiness. Happy people are loved, love, make more friends, and have a richer social life and more fulfilling relationships than unhappy people. We do not know whether love causes happiness or happiness causes love, but, according to the latest research, being loved and loving probably will not hurt you.
Lessons # 10 : To live is to dance. To dance is to live Of course, Snoopy said this quote. This loveable pup is always dancing. A dancing Snoopy, his head in the air and his feet shuffling, would be perfect for a dancer. Whether professional, or just because dancing makes you happy. Snoopy just keeps dancing.