Maktub-Air of Resignation or Sound Advice?

One of the words that really interested me in The Alchemist by Paulo Cuehlo was the Arabic word “Maktub” which apparently means “so it is written.”  I think it really loses it full flavor when translated from the Arabic.  Even the pronunciation of the word gives it more meaning than you can get by literal translation, but I guess thats what you lose when you translate one language to another.  All the pronunciations of the word I can find on the internet sound like an American or European reading the word MACK-TUB.  I would love to hear it from an Arabic speaking person to get the full flavor.

Does the word mean “so it is written” as in “there’s nothing you can do about it” or does it imply “young man or women, take life one step at a time.”  I would prefer it to imply the latter, but thats probably my own personal bias.  Life seems much more hectic than it used to be.  Every event and statement has taken on an air of so much importance and relevance.  But perhaps as Charlie Munger might ask “what is the incentive for these peoples motivation and behavior?” I tell my kids there are only 3 or 4 really important things or events in life, kind of like the 10X inflection points that Andy Grove wrote about.  These include controlling your mind and thinking, when and to whom you get married, and when and if you have children.  A loving atmosphere at home is the foundation for your life.  The rest of it is probably nonsense.  The other thing I tell my kids is what my Dad told me years ago, and it has always stuck in my mind.  He said “I can tell you about a man by the people he hangs out with.”  Thanks Dad, that was good advice.

Principles of Life

I looked through my old notes that I had taken on my laptop this morning, as I thought about what I was grateful for.  I try and start out the day by spending a few minutes being grateful, it really does change something inside me, no matter how I feel when the alarm rings at 5 am.  I found some old notes that I forgot I had made.  Instead of writing something about medicine, I have copied them down here.  My apologies if they are plagiarized from someone, I don’t know what I was reading or thinking or even when exactly I made these notes, but they are just listed below

THE FOUR OVER-RIDING PRINCIPLES TO LIFE

  1. There is only one important time, and that time is NOW. The present moment is the only time over which we have dominion
  2. The most important person is always the person you are with, who is right there before you (including yourself if you are alone), for who knows if you will have dealings with any other person in the future
  3. The most important pursuit is making the person standing at your side happy, for that alone is the meaning of life
  4. In whatever situation you are in, whether good or bad, have fun and be happy. That is a conscious decision we all make, for in between any stimulus and response there is an infinite time period; it is up to us and us alone to decide that response