The Sound of Silence and the Fury

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A Commentary on Tom Hoobyar’s “Twelve Laws of Life” or No Om, No Ma, No Ni, No Pad, No Me and No Hum.

Posted by Justin Johnson on Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Facts:

I was surfing Lifehacker and came across this (Advice: One CEO’s 12 Laws of Life, 17 Dec 2008 by Gina Trapani) which led me to this (Tom’s Twelve Laws of Life, 11 Dec 2008 by Tom Hoobyar).

Tom Hoobyar is/was CEO of ASEPCO.

Om: Meditation, Ma: Patience, Ni: Discipline, Pad: Wisdom, Me: Generosity, Hum: Diligence. These syllables form the Buddhist mantra “om mani padme hum”.

Opinions:

So let’s analyze these 12 “laws”, mkay? I’ll start off by saying that… some of these do make sense… and some of them are just self-centered, claptrap crap.

#1: SELF-MANAGEMENT AND PEOPLE SKILLS ARE THE KEYS TO YOUR SUCCESS AND HAPPINESS

Agree.

#2: YOU ARE AT THE CENTER OF YOUR UNIVERSE. STAY THERE!

“Inner centeredness comes first; look there for your best self. It is how you will find peace of mind.”

+10 for the idea, -50 for the title.

#3: WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT MOST IS WHAT YOU GET

Agree.

#4: YOU MAKE YOUR HABITS AND THEN YOUR HABITS MAKE YOU

Agree.

Don’t smoke, drink in moderation.

#5: GUILT ENSLAVES YOU. RESPONSIBILITY LIBERATES YOU.

I can’t agree that guilt “enslaves” you. It definitely does slow you down, but a small amount of guilt is healthy. Having guilt about what somebody else did, however, is definitely unhealthy, and not fair to yourself.

#6: “OBLIGATIONS” ARE A FRAUD.

This is one I would expect from a CEO.

Tom writes,

“We’ve all been taught that we “owe” other people all sorts of obligations, and that we should expect lots of things from them in return. That idea, in one word, is bullshit.”

Tom, your idea, in one word, is bullshit.

For those of you tax-PAYING Americans (those who receive reasonable refunds are also included in this), you’ll know that you have an OBLIGATION to pay your taxes by April 15.

Tom continues on to say,

“We waste an incredible amount of time either doing things we don’t want and don’t have to do, or feeling guilty because we didn’t do something we “should” have done.”

Okay, CEO big-wig… when one of your widgets, or what-have-you, ruins whatever I stick your widget in, I know why you don’t feel bad and why you say you’re “taking it seriously” but not really caring about a thing. You should feel guilty. You should feel guilty your product didn’t meet standards. You should take responsibility and you should feel an obligation to the customer to fix it.

Now, on a more personal level. For those of you mothers and fathers (even the deadbeat ones), you have an OBLIGATION to take care of your offspring/children/darling angels/spawns of Satan, as the case may be.

#7: EXPECT LESS FROM OTHERS AND MORE FROM YOURSELF

Everyone listens to his or her favorite mental radio station – W.I.I.F.M., which stands for, “What’s In It For Me?”

Sorry, I’m not familiar with that station, is it on AM or FM? People who sacrifice themselves for others day in and day out must have some signal quality issues or something…

It is a waste of time to criticize others, and a bigger waste to pay attention to anyone’s criticism of you.

I agree with this one, on the face… but, I’d like to add “Don’t criticize the person, criticize their ideas.” If somebody comes up with something that could never work, don’t make it personal.

#8: NOBODY WAKES UP IN THE MORNING CHOOSING TO BE THE VILLAIN

Agree.

Carrying grudges ties up brain cells that you could use to make life sweeter for yourself and those you love. So, after you forgive them, forgive yourself for getting hurt – and then LET IT GO!

#9: THERE IS NO “HAPPILY EVER AFTER” IN THE REAL WORLD

If you want a happy ending you need to create it.  Think about it. When would “Happily Ever After” start?

I can’t agree. There are many people who live full, rich lives… The problem with happily ever after is that it needs an end. Once you’re dead or near death, you can work backwards and find your Happily Ever After Starting Point (HEASP [tm]). Not everybody will have one, but, I’m sure I can find SOMEBODY on their death bed who has died/will die happy.

There are also people who want to die because they are bored or miserable. For those people,  being on the brink of death is their happiness. When they die, they’ve reached their HEASP. It may not be the real world for these people, however, if you believe in an afterlife, your world is never-ending.

#10: THERE IS A HELL, AND IT STARTS EARLY

Those who avoid doing anything that requires effort – physical exercise or forgiving or doing something for someone else – grow more narrow and less flexible day by day.  Stunted ambition strangles their dreams and their enthusiasm dies.  By the time they enter “downtown Hell” they’ve got a bad attitude about most things in life. They complain and criticize because “life has let them down.” The truth is life didn’t let them down – they quit trying.

I agree.

#11: YOU CAN CREATE PARADISE ON EARTH. MANY PEOPLE DO.

If you choose to follow this path, you’ll be in Paradise long before you leave this life.

This is what I mean when I talk about a Happily Ever After Starting Point.

#12: IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO CHANGE.

Agree.

Final Words:

They’re a good foundation… the reasoning behind some of them is something to conjure with but… it’s a good foundation. Tom Hoobyar, I dare say, is a success. If these rules really work, then great and Stephen Covey eat your heart out.

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