Baba Abdul has taught me many things. We were talking over dinner last night and he talked about two great lessons that I think are important to share with you.

First, it is impossible to know when something happens to you if it will be a good thing or a bad thing. Something may happen to you that, in your mind, is the worst thing that could possibly happen. For example, you don’t get that dream job offer or your boyfriend/girlfriend that you thought you were going to marry breaks up with you. But that terrible event may turn out to be one of the best things that ever happens to you. You simply don’t know the full story and as a result, there’s no way for you to accurately judge if the event was good or bad.  It’s equivalent to a caterpillar landing onto a leaf and thinking “oh I’m so lucky!” But on the other end of that leaf is a bird who’s about to devour his next meal. You only see the events of your life through binoculars that are narrowly focused on one scene. But once you zoom out, the “good” or “bad” actually becomes evident. It is impossible to predict in advance or even at the time that it happens. As a result, it’s best to keep an even keel and open mind.

Second, you should live your life and make decisions with no regrets. What Baba Abdul means by this is you should make the decision today that you will not live to regret in 10 or 20 years. Imagine yourself 10 years in the future, and your future self is looking back on the decision you are about to make today. Will you be happy with your decision? Or will you regret making the wrong decision? Make the decision you won’t regret.

Some examples of things you may regret include when you take shortcuts, don’t do things to the best of your ability, hurt someone else, or do something that you know in your heart is not right. Make the decision today that will let you be happy with yourself in the future. Yes, it may be the harder decision to make today. But when you compare this short-term sacrifice to the regret and anguish in the long term, it makes today’s hard decisions much easier.

Other things your mom and I have learned from Baba Abdul:

  • Be open minded and don’t judge people
  • Times change, and you have to change with them
  • When you read things in the news, you don’t really have the full picture so don’t have too much conviction in your opinion or belief
  • There are three important things to have a good, healthy life: eat well, sleep well, and exercise.
  • Don’t marry a musician, a mullah, or an actor
  • Never let anyone push you around
  • Be fair and reasonable, but when someone starts to want more than their fair share or gets poroo, tell them to beat it.
  • You need to invest time in your kids and family. That will be your most proud accomplishment.
  • You can learn from anyone, at any age. I remember baba used to tell me when I was a kid “I learn a lot from you.”