Notes inspired by “Lessons from Toby” by Ari Gelper

Ari has a Down Syndrome child, Toby. and has written a book on the 52 Lessons he has learned from this amazing child.

Toby is physically healthy, except for low muscle tone, and he learns and does things more slowly than others.

1. Live in the present moment – when you are with Toby, be present. Don’t think of anything besides what you are doing at that time. Focus on Toby and on the task at hand… if you don’t you will lose that connection. When you are in the present moment, you can share in the moment, the delights, the opportunities, the excitement, that feeling of connection. when communicating with someone – be present, stay connected… extract the value from that interaction. Be in the zone. Your goal should be to live in the moment for as much as possible. Living in the moment – only good things can happen… In the moment is the only reality.

2. Treat others the way you and yours would like to be treated. If one can do this, the world would be a better place! Treat everyone like family – show your whole self to people you interact with on a daily basis.

3. Slow Down and Focus – Listen and pay close attention to what Toby says. Don’t speed ahead or you will lose that connection. Don’t multitask when dealing with Toby… Stay focused on the task at hand.

4. Don’t let things get you down – be happy – Toby rarely gets upset and laughs at everything. He takes people at face value.. if they are nice to him, they are rewarded with unconditional love and affection.

5. Don’t Judge – no-one is perfect, everyone has issues. Make the best of what you have got. Be the best you can be. Don’t have preconceived ideas.

6. Look for best Qualities in others and yourself – Everyone is unique with special qualities. Find that uniqueness in each person you meet – let that person know that you are in awe of that special quality. People love to be appreciated and acknowledged. Great inspiration comes from your ability to find the best in others. Everyone views the world in a different way. Listen carefully to their views on how they see the world – listen to understand – don’t listen to respond. When the person you are really listening to feels understood by you, they become open to understanding your perspective.

7. Say only good things about others. People who focus on the good things in people are usually nmore successful in life. If you talk badly of someone , the other person will think “ what will he say about me to others?” Talk nicely of people and rise to another level./

8. Relax your mind – be present – focus on task at hand and people around you. Stop listening to your “self talk” . When feeling out of control, stressed, overwhelmed – take a deep breath, stay present at the task at hand – remember your uniqueness and strengths, and start fixing the problem, one step at a time! Shit happens, its how you deal with it that makes you successful or a better person

9. Listen to yourself – trust your gut – read “Blink” by Mlcolm Gladwell. Your first impressions are invariably right

10. Acknowledge and take care of your “Inner Circle” – Make a list of these people. This is the people who care most about you – and want to see you succeed. Make sure they know that you care and know that they are around and that you appreciate them. Do this regularly! Say hello to your fellow work mates, take your receptionist out to lunch , write a letter congratulating them on a job well done.

11. Out of every negative a positive comes. Toby has brought so much joy to us and to so many other people. Businesses that have failed – they failed because of a factor or a number of factors… people learned from these failures and built better businesses with more solid foundations. For every ying there is a yang! When you come across a problem, accept it, focus on it and solve it. keep a positive attitude and outlook.

12. Be thankful – don’t take life or other people for granted. Acknowledge the things that you should be thankful for on a daily basis.

13. Be a role model for those you care about – “the law of the picture.” People will follow what you do.

14. Keep a diary of all the appreciation/ acknowledgements good things that people have had to say about you… this will give you inspiration from how others appreciate you. Be able to tap into that good feeling

15. Make your world a better place to live in – stand by what you think is right

16. Be empathetic, truthful and authentic – be your true self. Be genuine to others – this will draw good people around you. Lower your mask…. Your true self will always be revealed anyway! The key to any relationship is trust.

17. Find meaning in your work – your work is an extension to yourself. If you can’t connect with it, or find meaning in it , change it

18. Find role models and mentors who exemplify your values

19. Focus on what means most to you… you will probably find that this is not what you are spending most of your time on.

20. Let go of the past – don’t hold grudges .. they are like a cancer. Focus on the future and how you can build from your lessons. Learn to forgive, it will free your mind to be positive.

21. Choose the people you want to work with – get rid of negative energy. Create a positive and productive life from people around you

22. Know that there will always be someone worse off than you and better off than you…. He who is wealthy is “happy with his lot”

23. Always keep an open mind and be willing to learn, At any moment wo only know what we know: there is also much more to know

24. Embrace your uniqueness – don’t be afraid to be different . Most f us want to be accepted – that is how one connects. Don’t give up our uniqueness to fit in. Stay true to yourself. Be proud of what makes you different, because that makes you unique

25. Things take care of themselves. Don’t worry about things that haven’t happened that you have no control over. Focussing on the present will prevent us from anxious thoughts.;

26. Measure success by how you have impacted others not necessarily by the money you make.

27. Have quiet time -Balance your life

28. Have time to unwind

29. Reward yourself on a job well done.

30. Business deals may fail but relationships last forever!


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