After the death of Mother Teresa, on the wall of one of her children’s homes in Calcutta was found the Paradoxical Commandments.  These commandments were then traced back to Dr. Kent M. Keith who wrote them in 1968 when he was a College student at Harvard at the ripe old age of 19. 

They’ve been used in books by Stephen Covey, John C. Maxwell and Robert Schuller and have challenged and influenced the thinking of many people over the years.

What are the Paradoxical Commandments?

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered…  Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives… Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies… Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow…  Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable…  Be honest and frank anyway.

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.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs…  Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight…  Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them…  Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth…  Give the world the best you have anyway.

In more recent years, Dr Keith has added in another commandment:

The world is full of violence, injustice, starvation, disease, and environmental destruction… Have faith anyway.

The full story behind the origins of the Paradoxical Commandments can be found here. 

In addition, here’s a post that these commandments inspired in me regarding being passionate.   

Which Paradoxical Commandment could you relate to the most?

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