Simple Lessons

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Joel’s newsletter on Simple Lessons, October 14, 2009

An ezine about Creative thinking, Coaching, and Making a difference 

I receive several other newsletters, and one of them recently listed Things we can learn from a dog. Here are a few of them.

  • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
  • When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
  • When it's in your best interest, always practice obedience.
  • Take naps and always stretch before rising.
  • Be loyal.
  • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

Now these sound simplistic and cute, but when I think about them and you might agree with me, they really do make sense.

You may have also come across, All I need to know I learned in kindergarten, from the book by Robert Fulghum. I love these. Here are just a few simple lessons. (You can see the full list here).

  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don't hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don't take things that aren't yours.
  • Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.

These simple lessons make a lot of sense to me, too. Our lives can get very complicated, and we often forget the simple principles that we learned when we were young. There's a lot of trouble in the world, too, much of which would likely be resolved if people would follow some of these simple rules.

Now, my purpose for pointing out these out is not to try to convince you or anyone else to change their ways. I do believe that there is much wisdom in these simple lessons, but it's up to each individual to decide how they want to live their life.

The reason I'm writing about this is that I find it interesting that valuable lessons and principles can be found in places we tend to overlook. Who would think to learn from a dog how to live life? Perhaps dog lovers are more aware of what dogs can teach us, but most of us would probably look somewhere else first for our life lessons.

It is interesting that we can recognize simple lessons and valuable truths from kindergarten that apply equally well to us as adults, although we might express them in slightly more sophisticated language (or maybe not).

Similarly, I've heard of coaches and trainers that offer courses based on horse wisdom. While I haven't been able to find a nice clever list like "things we can learn from a horse", apparently horses are excellent mirrors of thoughts, emotions, and body language, and therefore have much to teach us.

I believe that the deeper lesson here is that there are fundamental principles to be found just about anywhere - all we have to do is to look and recognize them. And then apply them. Perhaps it's easier to recognize such principles in things that have not become too complicated, such as animals, kindergarten, children, nature. But they are still to be found even in complex systems, too.

Does that mean that you could learn useful principles and concepts from a stone, or a blade of grass, or a computer, or a game of tennis, or a comic book? I strongly believe the answer is Yes!

It might be interesting (and fun) to make a list such as, "Things we can learn from a stone / computer / etc." Actually, having worked with computers and software for many years myself, I've noticed several interesting principles about computers that could apply to life. Maybe I'll write about them sometime!

In the meantime, you might also enjoy these: 

20 things I've learned from my cat
All I need to know I learned from my chickens
Everything we need to know we can learn from Batman 

As a life coach, I wish I could make a list of everything one can learn from coaching. But it would be too long to include in this article. In another issue I'll list some of the benefits and expand on them. If you'd like to find out now, please give me a call. I'll be waiting to hear from you! You can reach me at 973-701-1007 or

Creative thinking tip

Look for simple lessons in ordinary things. This is a more advanced creative thinking technique, but it can be very useful. Creative thinking is about finding new connections, and one way things are related is that they share underlying principles. They can be physical, economic, social or any other kind of principles.

Let's take an example. Consider a tree. What simple lessons does a tree illustrate? Here are a few:

  • What starts as a tiny seed, when fed and nourished, can develop into something big and strong. (Mighty oaks from tiny acorns grow). How can this apply elsewhere? A single idea can turn into a whole project or innovation. A minor suspicion, when fed, can turn into a major fear or phobia.
  • The tree exhibits a structure in which little twigs are connected to larger branches, which grow from major limbs, which come out of one main trunk. This principle of hierarchy can be found in all kinds of situations, from organizational structure to classification schemes.
  • The invisible (the roots) greatly determines the health or quality of the visible (the tree that's above ground). How does this principle apply? Think of how the subconscious mind impacts our conscious mind and our actions. In a car, it's the engine and all the parts under the hood determine how well the vehicle runs.

Let's take something even simpler. How about a candle? Here are a couple simple lessons I came up with:

  • A tiny light can dispel darkness. This could be related to: A single insight based on truth can dispel many myths. A drop of stain can ruin a whole shirt.
  • When used in a controlled way, stored energy can last a long time. Where else might this apply? A salt shaker lets out just as much salt as you need for seasoning. Budgeting can make your money last until the next paycheck.

Looking for the simple lessons and finding other examples of them can really stimulate your creative thinking. Have fun with this!

Visioning Lab - are you ready!

Last week's Perspectives was about Visioning Lab, a teleclass series for developing your vision (life vision, career vision, or anything else that's important to you). There was an introductory call last night, and the series will continue on Tuesday evenings at 8 pm ET.

If you believe that having a clear vision can make a significant difference in your success, then I urge you to join! The cost is minimal for what you will get from participating.

Please go to to register. I look forward to working with you and helping you to make your vision become real!

If you have any questions about Visioning Lab, please contact me,, or 973-701-1007.

Add a comment.

Quote of the week

"A hidden connection is stronger than an obvious one." - Heraclitus of Ephesus

This quote made me think. I do believe that there are many more connections than are immediately visible. That's a basic principle of creative thinking. But are they really stronger? Perhaps, because we can't see them, the hidden connections could grow to be very strong and we'd never know it. Maybe in the case of secret organization, the members intentionally keep their connections under wraps because otherwise they would not be able to easily carry out their mission. If this quote is true, then it would be a worthwhile effort to seek out where hidden connections lie.

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This newsletter is written by Joel Remde, to receive this newsletter via email contact I welcome your comments and feedback; that will help me learn what you’re interested in and also make this a better newsletter.

Learn more about The Creative Thinking Coach at

MORE Perspectives by Coach Joel Remde

7 Habits Of Highly Creative People
Creative Thinking and Life Potentials
Ways To Respond To Problems
Potential and Possibilities
Making A Difference
Finding Greatness
Perfect Alignment
Meanings And Opportunities
A Vision Makes A Difference
Invisible Connections
Creative Individuals
A Tribute To Don Hewitt
Lessons From The River
What Is Creative Thinking?
It's All About Energy
More On Energy
Place Of Power
Visioning Lab
Simple Lessons 
Buildings And Values
Small Town Trauma
Voting And Choosing
Veterans And Gratitude
Creative Apps
Thanksgiving, Thankfulness And More
Everyday Heroes
Remembering Jim Rohn - A Great Philosopher
Holiday Rituals
Love One Another
A Look At The Year
Happy New You
Creativity And The Economy 

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