First of all, let me tell you, there are no set rules in life. You make your own rules. Or you can live a fun chaotic life with no rules at all. As long as you are happy and you don’t harm anyone else, you are good.
That said, there is a set of rules or principles I’ve been living by for the past ten or so years. They have served me quite well. So, I thought I’d share them with you. If you have your own rules or principles, I’d love to hear about them too❤️
Rule #1: If You Take Risks, Be Willing to Put in the Work
In many things in life, failing after you take a calculated risk is much better than the regret you feel after not trying at all. However, it is important that you take risks only if you are willing to and capable of putting in the hard work and effort needed to overcome it.
Once you set your mind on something, put your head down and do the work in the best way you can. Expand your comfort zone. Push through the difficulties.
There is still a chance that you might fail. If you do, take pride in the fact that you were brave and strong enough to risk so much, get up, dust yourself off, and move on.
Dwelling on your failures takes up too much mental energy, and you just do not have time for that in life.
Rule #2: All Life Deserves Unconditional Respect
Respect involves care, consideration, and a sense of admiration. When I say all life deserves unconditional respect, it includes all animals—snakes, cockroaches, and all. And all humans, all races, genders, sexual orientations so on and so forth—even your enemies and haters.
Unconditional respect that is due to everyone simply as a function of them being alive is the most fundamental kind of respect. Once you master it, you will find it seeping into non-living things as well.
It can be tricky to accept this rule and practice it since our minds are often conditioned to value ourselves as greater than others. Practicing mindfulness is a great way to extend kindness and love to yourself, and everyone around you.
Rule #3: Be Aware Of the Way Your Actions Affect Other People
Your life is yours to do as you please, until what you do start affecting someone else. In this massive web of life, we are all intricately connected in ways that we cannot even imagine. Therefore, you should always be mindful of the way your behaviors affect others.
Even the smallest and seemingly insignificant things that we do can make a great impact on someone else, and not always in a good way. You cannot help if it happens unknowingly, but to knowingly act in a way that hurts or harms someone else is disrespectful to your humanity itself. Cultivate kindness in your heart, and follow the golden rule of all—“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
Rule #4: Apologize When an Apology Is Due
Everyone makes mistakes. The complete acceptance of the inherently imperfect nature of us as humans is probably one of the most liberating things that a human could do. When you know that you have your share of flaws, it is easier to apologize to someone when an apology is due. Trying to pretend that you are perfect and flawless can be debilitating, especially in your relationships. There are too many relationships that deteriorate just because one person refuses to apologize when it is due.
It is important that your apologies are always genuine. Just uttering the words “I’m sorry” would not do. Genuinely accepting when you made a mistake and offering an apology is one of the most mature things you can do in a relationship. Moreover, it can really soften your loved ones who may have put their guards up during an argument. It is similar to holding up a white flag of truce in a war—they will lower their defenses and try to understand you more, rather than trying to keep on an argument just for the sake of winning it.
Rule #5: Know What Makes You Happy and Content When You Are Alone
You make great company for other people. Why not be that for yourself? Too many people are terrified of being alone which makes them force themselves to be in terrible company. Learning how to truly make yourself happy and content without having to rely on someone else to do that is extremely important.
Get to know the funny person with awesome interests that lives within you. Learn how to keep them entertained. You will see how many great opportunities open up when you do not need someone else to tag along with you.
Rule #6: “This, Too, Shall Pass.”
You have probably heard this one before, but take a minute to fully take in the meaning of this golden phrase. “This, too, shall pass” is not only about tough times in life. It is about great times, too. Being aware of the volatility of human experience can humble you, and keep you grounded.
That way, it does not matter how many highs or lows you have, you can stay in a comfortable midpoint where you won’t get hurt too much during fluctuations. Change the only constant in life. Embrace it, and live your life to the fullest.
Rule #7: Your Extended Family Is Optional
A loving and supportive family is one of the biggest blessings in life. If the people you are biologically related to, especially your extended family, are stressing you out or making your life unpleasant, do not feel obligated to keep them in your life. Protect your sanity and peace of mind by distancing yourself from them.
Your family is supposed to nurture you, protect you, and love you. If they are not fulfilling their purpose in your life, go ahead and replace them with a chosen family of friends or those who truly love you.
Rule #8: There Is No Such Thing as Perfection
I was 25 when I bought my first domain to start a website. It took me five long years to finally get over my crippling perfectionist ways and put something out. The truth is, there is no such thing as perfection. There will always be ways to make something better. If you long for perfection at all times, you will never get anything done.
Rule #9: Allow Yourself to Feel the Entire Emotional Spectrum
There will be days filled with joy and there will be days filled with sorrow. Most days, however, will be filled with a mix of these emotions along with numerous other emotions in varying amounts. You need to learn to be comfortable with feeling all these emotions. Resisting how you feel and suppressing your emotions can be incredibly bad for both your physical and emotional health.
This does not only apply to negative emotions such as anger, grief, and frustration. If you are overly familiar with negative emotions, you may tend to sabotage yourself when happiness comes your way. Allow yourself to deeply feel sorrow as well as happiness.
Life is a beautiful succession of different experiences. Gently embrace all that it has to offer for a healthy and well-rounded life.