Yesterday I was inspired to write a response on Quora that asked the all important question: What are your "Top 10 Rules For Life?" While I limited my answer to 10 + 1 Bonus Rule, I wanted to expand on my list with one of the most important rules that I believe will change your life.
So here we go, followed by my original list below...
You have the Power to Change Your Life. One of the most important thing you own, that no one else does, are the DECISIONS you make in your life. These are things like what you eat, what friends you keep, how much time you spend on things that matter, verses things that don't. And also critical in this thinking is understanding not to feel or act like a victim in whatever your situation might be. A victim mentality is saying "I can't do anything about whats going on." Which gives all your power away. We have to take accountability for where we are today. The successes and the failures. By doing so you empower yourself into action. You empower yourself to think about the future YOU want. You empower yourself to draw up a plan, ask for advice, build your goals and work towards your dreams.
With that said, now here is that post I answered on my Top 10 Rule of Life:
As someone who’s learned life’s most valuable lessons the hard way I’m happy to share my top rules for life list in the hope it can help a few others in their journey. My focus here is on top rules to maximize your happiness and fulfillment in life:
Be grateful to be alive. To be healthy, to be able to move your head, your legs your arms. To see, smell, taste. To feel love and to feel deeply. And if are ill, if you are suffering, know that those around you, those you love adore you too, and are grateful for your presence still here on earth. If you are feeling sad to the point of suicidal tell someone you love. You are not alone. And if you feel you don’t have anyone you can talk to watch Logic's MTV video called 1-800-273-8255
You are an average of the 5 friends you keep. Surround yourself with kind, loving and ambitious friends and family. These are well balanced friends or family you can count on no matter what. These are people that are encouraging you to push yourself further. These are friends that will tell you the truth. Who will give you recommendations or advice even if it is hard to hear and hard for them to tell you. Remove the toxic people in your life. The toxic friends are ‘takers.’ They constantly take your positive energy. They only talk about themselves. They are poor listeners. They show no empathy or respect. They need something from you. And they need an endless supply of it. They may criticize you for no apparent reason. These people have experienced some form of trauma in their lives and as hard it is to hear, understand it’s not your job to fix them. Offer your kindness and support, but reduce or limit your exposure.
Decompress with Routines. Take time for yourself every single day. If you dont it will kill your creativity. Life can be incredibly stressful some days. But by building in healthy routines it will ensure you don't lose it when everybody is watching. There are a few routines to decompress that I swear by. 1. Bedtime routine - always going to bed 30–60 minutes before you sleep to read that favorite book, you will increase the chances that your mind won't be fried or racing when it should be asleep. 7.5–8 hrs of sleep is also essential to living healthy. Apparently that number is now even higher at 8.5 hrs. Another bonus, going to bed early to read helps decrease the chances of eating all those chippy or chocolate snacks you have saved in the cupboard that are slowly killing you from the inside out. Too much sugar, too much salt and too many preservatives will kill you sooner than you probably want to go….. 2. Exercise Routine - Go to the gym. 3–5 times per week. In the morning before work. Or at lunch. Or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk more. Don't eat lunch at your desk. Make it a priority to see and talk to your friends. I'm not talking via txt, WhatsApp or Instagram. I mean in person. 3 Join a team - if the idea of the gym makes you shutter then join a recreation soft ball league, or soccer team or anything you can do with an organized group outdoors. You'll make new friends in the process.
Do not be afraid to fail. If you fail at something that means one of two things. 1. You missed a few steps along the way 2. You gave it your best and it didn’t work out. If you missed a few steps along the way, well then GREAT - go back and find the mistakes, and try it again. Or if you gave it your best but it didn’t work out, know that you gave it your all, and that not all of us are talented in every way. Some of us are great at math and science. Some of us are natural leaders, and some of us are not. Know that in the end the only person we should be comparing ourselves to is our past selves. No one else. Be proud of how far you’ve come, and then realize that the things that are the hardest to achieve come with the potential for failure. That’s ok. In fact, it make its all more worth fighting for.
Mentors will change your life. Find one. Talk to them. Buy them lunch, or dinner, or coffees, and listen to their advice. They have been down the road you want to venture and have incredible lessons to share. Both good and bad. Listen, take notes and when you are ready, if someone asks you, be a mentor to someone who needs your help.
Learn from each day. Reflect on your days when you lay in bed at night. Close your eyes and ask yourself: "What went well today? What did I love about my day? What went badly? What did I hate about my day? And then finish with What gave you the highest level of fulfillment? If we take the time to reflect on our days each night just before we go to sleep, we’ll quickly learn to start prioritizing and planning our days differently for our tomorrows. Maybe it means rising earlier to work on a passion project, or spending more time with our families after work. Taking time to reflect on your days is essential to finding balance when it's lost, or working towards a new life that will give you much more satisfaction and fulfillment.
Never give up in your dreams AND build your network with people who have similar goals. Even if the road is tough, it seems impossible, it’s only a matter of doing this one important thing - taking 1 step forward towards your goal. Work on your dreams every day. If you can’t every day, then do it every other day, but find a way to make it a regular habit. AND, find a community of peoples who are working on the same goals. There are many of us out there who may feel alone in what we’re trying to do, but realize we are not alone. Not by a long shot. It just takes the one google search to find a meet up group, join an organization, and meet some of your new friends in person.
Prioritize your dreams. Take a moment to step into the future. Most of us live in the present. Some of us live in the past. But few of us take the time to sit and think about the future. I mean REALLY think about it, in detail. What will we be doing, what do we need to be happy. Who will be around us in this future? This means pinpointing specific dreams that are important to you. This means not just saying you want something, but finding a way to make it happen as per step rule 9 below. This means prioritizing our dreams starting with 1 and going from there. This does not mean working on 7 dreams at once. Pick one. Pick a good one. Understand why you picked it. Then go. And come back to the others later.
Learn the steps to make dreams a reality. Break your dreams down into smaller goals. Once you have smaller goals, build dates around them. Figure out the steps required. Find out who’s help you need to make them happen. Then work hard, every day, with whatever time you have to make them happen. Stop watching the news, stop watching tv, and spend that new found 1–3 hours per day to do something meaningful for you. No one can do this for you. And no one but you understands how important your dreams and goals are.
Bonus Rule: Give back. It will feel good and you might change someone’s life in the process. Know that the ultimate thing in life, beyond anything else, beyond any and every wildest dream reached, is to give back, to give to others. And it can start with small acts of kindness every single day. See someone in distress at a sandwich shop? Buy them a sandwich without explanation. Little acts of kindness like this will go a long way in added just a little bit extra kindness in this world.
Thanks again for reading the-inspired.com.
Thanks! I hope this helped someone out there! All the best.