A few things to learn from Don Quixote

He may be one of the most famous characters of all times. He fascinated generations and generations of readers with his extraordinary adventures which existed only in his mind. But who was Don Quixote after all? A skinny old man with a rather peculiar view of the world (just not to call him a little mad). But maybe these characteristics allow him to give us some valuable lessons of life, lessons about being ourselves after all!

Don’t be afraid to be a little different…or maybe more. Don Quixote went out in the world wearing something that looked like an armor and riding maybe the funniest-looking horse in history. He was immune to anything the others would say and to their mockery as he had a goal to reach- to be the best knight ever. There is of course a huge difference between being different and being silly. However, in this uniform world where everyone acts following the same pattern and cares about the same fashions the ones who break the barriers may be the losers but are definitely the ones to remain in history. Don’t break the rules just to show you are tough or a badass, try to break the thought rules, try to change the world to suit you and not to adapt totally to something that does not represent you!

Have some strong values! Don Quixote would fight an army for his beloved one even if he had never seen her. Being faithful and fighting in her name was what interested him most and no matter what beautiful ladies he met, he never ceased to talk about her beauty. Our knight was also in pursuit of justice and could not see people suffering. He even attacks some dolls during an improvised show in order to make justice in the story.

Someone with a strong personality should always find some values to believe in even if he or she takes them from religion, moral law or just from their soul. It’s a matter of making good decisions and treating the others correctly. Unfortunately we cannot be superheroes even if there are a lot of villains everywhere around us. However, every little thing we do can change the world.

Don’t forget about your innocence! Don Quixote lived like a child seeing things just the way children do when playing. A flock of sheep was a great army, some windmills were terrible giants. An ugly servant girl with not so great moral values was one of the noblest ladies. So why not do something similar? Try to see the beauty and the good aspects of everything, try to become so optimistic that your friends will get mad! (Ok, maybe not that much). Transform your dull life by firstly working at your mind’s level. Life was not meant to be dull, we make it like that, so go to parks, to funfairs, take a ride in a rollercoaster, go run with some friends and have a leaf fight! Have a hot coco in the evenings and watch a children’s movie especially as the ones made nowadays are some truly something. Don’t be ashamed and don’t hide your inner child! We all miss being talked off for entering the house dirty.

Rediscover literature (if you haven’t already). Don Quixote did not have many possibilities to read but he took advantage of everything he could find spending his entire fortune on volumes filled with the adventures of the greatest knights in the world.

Nowadays we have so many possibilities to enjoy literature that one can hardly resist. Nothing stimulates language development and imagination like reading does. Live with your favorite heroes, hold your breath when something bad happens to them and enjoy the end of a good book. Reading can help you see the world in another way as it shows you how others great thinkers used to see it before you. Fly to places you’ve never been before and strengthen your mind. This is how great ideas can come to your mind and proves to be one of the best pastimes ever invented by people. Get to know Don Quixote right from the source!

Don’t let failure discourage you! When Don Quixote was defeated by another knight returned home saddened but no matter what happened he did not give up. One time he even decided to make a switch of plans and thought about becoming a shepherd together with his friend Sancho Panza. Until his end he kept his attitude positive.

So this is why you should remember that no matter how tough life can get there are always solutions and something good will happen in the end. If you feel like you’ve lost your direction then maybe there is another way. It’s just like Columbus did: when asked to place an egg in balance on a knife’s blade he hit it to it, thus cracking it. However, it was balanced. Maybe the solution to your problem is near. Or maybe a dramatic change is needed. Think it over: if being a shepherd brings your happiness then do it!

So in the end what do we have? A book, a man, a legend and a whole lot to learn from it.

7 role models from the animal world

The shallowness of the world can bring discouragement and frustration to many. Not succeeding or just finding it difficult to have a purpose in life can easily bring you down. You’re looking for ideas. Most role models prove to be exactly the opposite of what they claim to be, so where is the key? Maybe looking just a little further may give you the necessary impulse. Discover new values within yourself!

1. ELEPHANT

Elephants are known to live in groups which are lead by an elder female. The babies are practically raised together with no discrimination and if one of them hurts his or her leg for example the whole group will walk slower with no complaints. Elephant families are also famous for adopting lost or orphan babies and especially for returning to their old cemeteries.

Family- Most of us consider it to be the most important value of all but not everyone actually takes this idea further. A stressful, time-consuming job, some new prospects, the lack of time, the competition… Family life has changed in the last years quite dramatically especially in the powerfully industrialized cities. Many young people even refuse to start their own family for the reasons mentioned above. But is it all worth the effort? Neglecting your family can have severe effects for everyone involved especially from a psychological point of view. With a little respect, affection and…time just for a short visit or a phone call you can get rid of depression, loneliness and sadness also bringing joy to the ones you care about. Also married people are known to live more and they are more likely to have a stable life. Give it a second thought! It’s not necessarily about legalizing but about offering and receiving affection!

2. DOG

Dogs can create remarkable bonds with their human masters which seem to pass beyond the instinct limit as many times dogs endangered their lives to save someone. There are numerous cases when faithful dogs returned to their owners after traveling hundreds and hundreds of miles or when the death of the master meant the end of the animal as well.

Friendship-next to family is considered one of the most important elements in one’s life as these relationships influence practically every life aspect: spare time, work, way of thinking, the choices to make. Investing in friendship is highly beneficial, of course when the other person does just the same. A lasting friendship brings the best out of someone as it involves deep affection, the unique opportunity to confide without a care, to receive advice from another point of view and also to feel safe and relaxed. Many people all around the world claim to feel alone most of the time but this happens ion most cases because today’s lifestyle can easily affect one’s social skills and even desire to bond. However, investing in what you have or just discovering the ones around you will bring you more benefits than just some time spent in front of the PC.

3. ALBATROSS

The albatross is a sea bird which is known to live as much as 50 years which is remarkable for a bird. But what is the most remarkable is the fact that these birds are monogamous which made them a symbol for sailors traveling far away.

Fidelity- a subject all like to joke about but few actually prefer to take it seriously. We’ve all heard stories from the tragic ones to the most hilarious but the reality behind them may not be as entertaining. Usually in these situations this is a sign that the couple has a serious problem which is definitely not solved the right way. Infidelity is a source of distress for everyone involved leading to negative psychological effects such as guilt, underestimating, frustration, lack of confidence in anyone, adaptation problems. It’s always been there and will probably never disappear. However, putting fidelity behind a glass and calling it unreachable is not where we want to be.

4. PUFFIN

Puffins are sea birds which lay their eggs on cliffs in order not to be eaten by predators. However, when the babies hatch they prepare for a long journey to the beach. When the time comes to follow their parents, they jump from a remarkable height, most of them arriving safe on the beach.

Courage- Desiring is human…but daring? Taking a decision, most of the times risky, is something many would not rather do. Asking for a raise, leaving home for a college abroad, talking about your feelings- not easy. But the torment of deciding what to do is nothing compared to the regret of missing a once in a lifetime opportunity because of fear. We hear of people who could have done so much and so well but were afraid, everyday. The ones who take the tough decisions are on the front page of the newspapers. So when you truly have a feeling that this may be the right decision, analyze the situation (making quick decisions without thinking is not the best thing to do) take a deep breath and go for it. It may be the right thing.

5. SALMON

Salmon

Salmons travel thousands and thousands of miles to get to the rivers they began their lives in. Many never reach their goal, but the ones who do offer the new generation the chance to make the same journey.

Perseverance- Once you’ve made the decision don’t give up on it immediately because of a reason or another! People giving up is a problem maybe not many take into consideration when they should. Many things, some very important remain unfinished just because giving up seems a very attractive alternative. Continuous effort is however the key in many cases as luck rarely strikes. Leaving behind the idea, value or impulse is what causes these things to happen. A few difficulties, some bad comments and it’s hard to go on. And still what if others gave up on their dreams or plans? Would the world still be the same now? Of course, being a Don Quixote is something totally undesirable. Be sure that it’s worth fighting for!

6. Wolf

Wolves are strong and resistant animals, being able to hunt various types of prey. However, a wolf knows that hunting in packs is the key towards reaching a bigger lunch. When hunting together, wolves can even kill a 500 kilo-moose, which is 10 times bigger than any of them and capable of putting tremendous fight.

Teamwork – Trusting your own powers and involving in various activities is something everyone is recommended to do. But only to rely on yourself may not be the best solution. More heads means more ideas. Of course, it’s normal to want to achieve glory and maximum of results by yourself; however, history was rarely changed by just a person, there were definitely others by his or her side. Jealousy can also be there. Still, working like this will show you that you cannot be the best at everything but that collective effort is the key to the problem. So, work with others to achieve a goal, share ideas, give a hand! The results will worth making a change. But teamwork is not just about work and school, it is about your spare time too: socialize, interact, be part of a group! What would sports be without it? Or how would any humanitarian action be successful? Maybe there is some truth in those old sayings…

7. Golden-fronted Bowerbird

One of the most impressing mating rituals belongs to a species of birds from the rain forest and concerns a special care for beauty, called the Golden-fronted Bowerbird. Every male builds some kind of presentation tent where he puts all the beautiful things he can find especially blue things and arranges them so that they will attract a female. The ladies come, analyze what they see and many times are not satisfied so that the males have to start working again until it’s perfect.

Beauty- it fascinates each and every one of us, we have to admit it. Finding and admiring the real beauty can be one of the most amazing things to do. The beauty is everywhere, in nature, in the people around us, in our homes. Becoming more attentive to details, having higher standards, improving the way you see the world is what you should do. Beauty is not a shallow value as long as it is appreciated correctly. Find the beauty around you and enjoy it, learn to smile at all the small things around you like a walk in the evening while the sun sets.

Animals react the way their instinct and senses dictate and still prove to be remarkable role models. Finding the right value in them and using it in real life is what makes people remarkable.