There's a great little box by Kent M. Keith, entitled, "Do it anyway." It's a self-described handbook for finding personal meaning and deep happiness in a crazy world.
The book contains 10 paradoxes of life. What is a paradox? A paradox is something that seems contradictory or against common sense, but turns out to be true.
It talks about the principle (which Jesus also teaches) that personal meaning and deep happiness don't depend on the external factors that you can't control. They depend on your inner life, the part of your life that you CAN control. He writes, "the Paradoxical Commandments are bout loving people, helping people, and doing what is right and good and true. That's where you can find personal meaning and deep happiness, even when the world around you is difficult."
Here are the paradoxical commandments with an actions checklist:
1. People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.
Action step: Which illogical, unreasonable or self-centered people am I going to love anyway?
2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.
Action step: What good things am I going to do, even though people will accuse me of selfish ulterior motives?
3. If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
Action step: In what ways am I going to be successful, even though I know I will win false friends and true enemies?
4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Action step: What good things am I committed to doing, even though they will be forgotten tomorrow?
5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.
Action step: With whom, and about what, am I going to be honest, even though it will make me vulnerable?
6. The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.
Action step: What big idea am I going to pursue, even though it will be shot down by small men and women?
7. People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
Actions step: Which underdogs am I going to fight for?
8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.
Action step: What am I going to build, even though it may be destroyed overnight?
9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.
Action step: Who am I going to help, even though they may attack me?
10. Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.
Action step: Am I committed to always giving the world my best, even if I get kicked in the teeth?