10 Ideas on Rules for Life
Goals, we're told, are the thing to have - personal goals, fitness goals, career goals - have a goal. But what if we're so busy pursuing our goals that we forget how to live?
Whatever your goals, and even if you don't have any at all, here are 10 suggestions of rules to live by. See what you think and add to the list.
When we're honest with ourselves and others about a situation, we can see it more clearly and broadly. Sometimes it takes a while to reflect, sort through an issue and see the facts, but realising what's right and not who's right can be a process for growth.
Being honest but kind with others can be a fine line. Temper honesty with diplomacy and do as you would be done unto.
No one likes fake - fake Rolex, fake smiles, fake antiques: there aren't many good things about fakes. Being genuine takes some courage, honesty and confidence.
Focus on the up-side and balance this with realism. Never let what you can't do get in the way of what you can do because even the darkest situations may have a positive side somewhere. We just have to see it; sometimes it takes time and perspective.
We all know people who can vacuum the positive energy from a room with their negative energy. Don't be that person.
4. AND, not OR.
We seem to spend our lives having to decide between one thing or another when if we thought about it there may be a way to have both. There are few things in life that are truly mutually exclusive, so have your cake and eat it.
As Stephen Covey tells us, some things are more important than others. Getting your tax return done before the deadline, getting to hospital if you have crushing central chest pain, losing weight or giving up smoking if you need to are examples of things that are more important than watching TV or surfing the 'net.
Stephen Covey puts the concepts of 'urgent' and 'important' into quadrants.
Urgent and important things are those that we've mentioned above and come under the 'do it right now' category.
Not urgent but important things are often those which will serve us in the longer term. Looking after our health, getting some exercise, nurturing our family lives and keeping up to date with our learning needs are examples. We should aim to do these regularly because if left unattended they can become urgent and important and then we feel like we're fire fighting.
Other things are urgent but not important, such as other people asking you to solve their problems. Dealing with these can be difficult and challenge us further with our ability to prioritise. Options include learning to say no, helping them to deal with their problems themselves or asking the person to come to you with a solution to discuss rather than a problem.
Some activities are not important and not urgent. They are often time-wasting activities so avoid them where possible.
Look here for additional inspiration from Bud Gallant.
6. Give of yourself.
There's more to your life than just you. Counting our blessings and looking for even the smallest ways to help others makes a difference to each of us. And it's good karma too.
7. Keep moving - both body and mind.
The evidence that keeping active as we age will help us lead happier, healthier and longer lives is overwhelming. A little light exercise that we enjoy, doing the crossword puzzle and spending time with family and friends are what we need.
8. Don't judge. We don't know the battles that other people are fighting every day, just as they don't know ours, sometimes even those closest to us. Be kinder than you need to be and tread gently; the rude neighbour (his wife has just been diagnosed with cancer) or the couldn't-care-less shop assistant (who's just been threatened with redundancy) need some understanding.
Grudges are heavy; they weigh us down and make us weaker. Letting go of the hurt from the past isn't an instant process but it is worth doing.
Write a letter than you don't send, expressing that hurt and anger. Call the person up and arrange to meet and talk with them about what happened. Write in your journal or write on note paper and burn it to symbolise your letting it go.
10. Don't waste time.
Wasted money can always be re-earned. Wasted time can't be re-earned or recycled. Our days are numbered so be present and enjoy every moment and fill them with life well lived.
Keep moving towards goals with mindfulness of our own rules for life.