Seemingly Simple Rules in Life
Seemingly Simple Rules in Life
Too often the good life is perceived as adhering to a particular way of living, which involves the observance of a specific set of rules. This notion is accurately depicted in the case with all religions.
For instance, in some variants of Islam, the focus is very much on daily prayers, dress code and abstinence of alcohol and pork among others.
On the other hand, Christians adhere to the rule of living for Christ and not for themselves, clearly stated in this particular scripture in the bible - “And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died
A devout Christian myself, I have not even come close to digesting all the scriptures found in the Bible. However, in writing this piece, I turn to the Bible for guidance and it has inspired me in ways more than one. Hence, allow me to quote certain scriptures found in the Bible that clearly resonates with the subject matter to give you a better understanding of the significance of rules.
Rules set the tone for orderliness and prevention of chaos and thus Jesus told his disciples this - “Teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20)
The meaning behind this verse indicates that God will be with those who obey the rules set by Him, which no doubt is there for a purpose. We are to obey him not out of fear of punishment, but simply because He is our Savior and He wants only the best for us. The implication of rule can be observed even from the very beginning of time, since the time of Adam and Eve.
From having free access to the vast Garden of Eden and living under God’s full grace, both Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden and forced to live a mortal life and go through worldly sufferings when God reclaimed His blessings, as a result of Adam and Eve breaking the simple rule of not eating the fruit borne by the Tree of Knowledge.
Apart from examples quoted from the Bible, there are plenty of examples in our daily life which illustrate the idea of how rules impact and affect our lives. Take for example driving; there is a set of rules that apply to the act of operating a motorized vehicle.
You cannot do as you please, driving at whatever speed you fancy and simply on any side of the road and most commonly one rule of thumb we can all agree upon - that is you cannot just park anywhere you want to without failing to cause nuisance or obstruct traffic.
To live and function in a society, there must be rules we mostly all agree upon. Sometimes these rules are informal rules like the ones we have at home, whereby breaking these rules may not have serious repercussion except for a time out probably.
However, should a parent fail to discipline a child when this happens, the behavior will repeat itself and could translate to the kid growing into an adult that has no regards for rules and the importance of it in their life and to others as well.
Evidently, rules are a crucial part of life and it serves as an important mechanism to ensure orderliness and to prevent chaos. Seeing the significance of rules and how it impacts the entire structure of society, I choose to believe that each person should have their own set of rules in life, depending on the outcome of the life you seek.
These rules that you choose to believe should be the pillars governing your way of living and there is no clear cut way of determining what it is and should be. As for myself, having gone through a roller-coaster of a journey in this lifetime– good and bad, sweet and bitter, ups and downs, highs and lows, I look back and reflect on the moments that have shaped the person I am today.
Hence, I have compiled a list of rules that I have and will continue to live by as long as breath still fills me, by God’s grace.
Karma is Real
Coming from a Christian, this may seem odd as this concept is mostly upheld by those in the Hinduism and Buddhism religion. However, the idea of karma is gaining more and more recognition as a universal rule that is the law of karma. The law of karma is really about the positive and negative balance of our words, thoughts, and deeds. In essence, this simply means everything we do create corresponding energy that comes back to us in some form or another.
It is natural for us as humans to encounter challenges in life and it is an individual approach of response that will determine the payback in the future.
Have you been in a situation where you know of somebody that has performed a bad deed but seems to escape judgment or penalty?
Well, I believe it is not up to us to dictate the punishment on others’ deeds but instead be more conscious of our own actions as what comes around goes around.
Never be Intimidated
In life as you know, there will be good times as surely there will be bad times. To put things into perspective, life is like a wheel on a bicycle. When you pedal forward, the wheels will turn. It’s just like in life when you move forward, there will be times in life when you are way up there, living the good life and there will be times when you will have to go through your lowest point in life to get back up again.
There is a quote by Rocky Balboa from Rocky VI that sums up this rule – “The world isn’t always sunshine and rainbows".
It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, I or nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But it isn’t how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” Always remember that there is light at the end of every tunnel.
Don't let an intimidating person or situation knock you off balance. Just like William Arthur Ward puts it - "The experienced mountain climber is not intimidated by a mountain, he is inspired by it. The persistent winner is not discouraged by a problem, he is challenged by it. Mountains are created to be conquered; adversities are designed to be defeated; problems are sent to be solved. It is better to master one mountain than a thousand foothills."
Have you heard of the phrase ‘an idle mind is the devil’s workshop?
It translates into the idea that a person who has nothing worthwhile to think about will usually end up thinking about something bad or non-beneficial to them. The mind is a great instrument with limitless potential. When harnessed in the right way, it can lead to great discoveries, inventions and eureka moments.
However, you have to also be mindful that being busy does not necessarily mean you are being productive. As Alfred A. Montapert puts it - “Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.” Hence, you need to be able to assess and evaluate the situation and progress that you are making by the act of engaging in a certain activity.
Ultimately, the idea of keeping oneself busy and productive is a rule that I impose on myself to make the most of the time I have been blessed with.
Give More than You Take
It is really just that simple. Giving in this sense could include but is not limited to monetary, talent or even time. There are countless ways and means of giving and contributing to others. Some people are afraid to give because they worry that their resources might deplete and the thought of parting away with something that belongs to them bothers them.
This is because they have a limited mindset. Contrary to that, an abundance mindset does not see it this way. They view the act of giving as a form of blessing and it can be even therapeutic for some. This abundance mindset is the way to unlock the true meaning of giving and you shall be receiving. This particular scripture in the Bible has it on point about the act of giving- “Give, and you will receive.
Your gift will return to you in full--pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back." (Luke 6:38) The act of giving, which stems from pure intentions of doing so, can be rewarding by creating an abundance of experience, connections and wealth.
Keep it Simple
One of the very first life lessons I learned from my mom at a very young age is to keep it simple. This key principle has been my guiding light ever since and I hold on to it like a crutch to remind myself to just step back and keep it simple when things get too overwhelming and overly complex. Certain things may not be what it seems and there is always a solution to the problem if you just sit down and think it through clearly.
It is when you can break things into smaller parts that you will be able to clearly pinpoint the issue and formulate a solution to the problem you face, to achieve the desired outcome. Life is short and we should not waste it by complicating things. This goes for every single thing you do - if you want that promotion, speak to your boss. If you miss someone call them. If you don’t like the way you are treated speak up. It is just as simple as that.
Work to Live, Not Live to Work
Sometimes in life, we often get too caught up with our daily activities and tasks that we lose sight of the purpose behind it. And when you reach the age to start holding down a job and start earning that is when it is easy to lose sight of the reason for working in the first place. This is true for adults in the working arena, who are constantly bogged down with work and spend most of their waking hours at the office.
On average, a working adult will spend 1/3 of their life at the office, and that is 90, 000 hours in a lifetime. It is not a laughing matter that some people even call the office their second home. Sometimes it is not by choice but, if the job that you have is not contributing to your growth and giving you the means to lead a fulfilling life, then it is time to start reconsidering another job. Take the time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. We work to provide for our families, and the reason for that is because we love them.
So does it make sense to neglect your loved ones and spend hours on end committed to the job that can replace you the very second you drop dead?
Personally, at the very end of my journey in this world, I want to be able to look back on the relationships and lives that I’ve been a part of. This contributes more to my overall happiness than checking off a never-ending to-do list.
This is one very important rule that I cannot begin to express how much it has helped shape the way I choose to live my life. There is no concrete research data to back up this rule, but from the response I have received by simply observing this rule, it has made me appreciate the value of being considerate. Being considerate to others has resulted in me receiving the same treatment in return. People are willing to go out of their way to assist me whenever possible.
The offer of assistance does not come from me demanding it, but because they choose to. By treating others with interest and respect, I more often than not receive the same back. Relaying my own personal experience, when working at a clearing firm as a procurement manager, I took the time to talk to the office staff, ask about their families, and generally take an interest in them.
What I noticed was that they responded to my requests much more quickly than requests from other managers who just treated them like office help and not with any care or interest in them as another individual. Being considerate towards others doesn’t require much effort and it does not mean that you are being accommodated without considering your own needs.
In this seemingly materialistic world, people often end up using one another for their own personal gain and cherish material things, when it should be the other way around. Expressing love should not be confused as making yourself vulnerable. In a relationship between two people, love should not be viewed as a transaction; meaning that you measure the depth of love by how much your partner is able to contribute to you.
In fact, it should be the very opposite, whereby your love for each other will drive you to perform feats or favors that sometimes defy the logic of those who do not understand the bond an connection between you and your partner. Love can be expressed very simply just by words of encouragement and compliments. Never hold back from uttering words of a compliment as long as it’s sincere.
There is never a right time for it and when you get into the habit of doing this, see how it can transform your relationship. People can go to extreme ends for the one they love when they feel appreciated and loved.
As a matter of fact, this rule of thumb does not only apply for couples in love but generally on the way you treat others as well.
Who doesn’t like to be complimented?
Try it out and be amazed by the result – people will love you for it!
Learn to Cook
This may seem ridiculous but do not take it lightly. With the increasingly busy lifestyle that we lead, most of us choose the easy way out by ordering in or indulging on take-outs. The amount of salt, sugar, and grease we consume from the bulk of the food we eat outside over long periods of time may lead to the rise of health issues such as high blood pressure, hypertension, and diabetes and so on so forth.
With a long and bright future ahead, you would not want to cut short your life by feeding yourself with garbage food and expecting to lead a healthy life. This does not mean that there are no healthy options out there. There certainly is but of course at a much more premium price.
Unless you can afford to eat out every day, it is best to learn how to cook for yourself. If you are approaching 30 and cannot put together a decent meal, then you should start to dedicate the next month to learn and practice.
Complacency is the enemy of success. Anyone with a great vision to succeed will not let laziness and procrastination to stand in their way. However, having the discipline to keep you on track should also go hand-in-hand with being able to prioritize.
There is always a lot to accomplish every day and sometimes we feel that the 24 hours we are blessed with is never enough.
But how do the rich and successful people able to accomplish more as we have the same amount of time in a day?
Prioritizing comes in handy to keep you grounded and allows you to filter the essential from the clutter.
Dedicate time and energy wherever necessary to ensure that important areas of focus, be it personal or professional are not neglected. With that being said, knowing your priorities and acting on them are entirely two different things.
Thus, in order to reach a certain level of success in life, make sure that you set yourself a benchmark and work towards it.
Having listed out all my top ten rules in life, I hope to inspire you to also come up with your own list. As mentioned in the opening of the article, there is no fixed way of determining the exact rules that you should apply in life.
There is no one fix mold for everybody as it is very subjective and each individual is unique as is their purpose in life; so should the rules they apply in their life. So, go on and explore life and decide what should be the basis of the rules that you will abide by and allow it to guide you throughout the journey of fulfilling your destiny.