I’ve been around for a lot more than a few years. And, stubborn as I can be, I’ve learned some things along the way. Oddly enough, it’s not the big lessons that have made a difference in my life, but a series of small rules for happy living that I’ve learned to make a part of my daily life.
1. Do at least one thing a day that gives you pleasure.
2. Live your life in chapters. Focus on the chapter you’re in now. You don’t have to do/have/be it all now!
3. Don’t get overwhelmed. Break everything into baby steps. One page a day is a book in a year. Fifteen minutes a day on any overwhelming or distasteful task adds up and eventually will lengthen on its own. The ordinary kitchen timer is your friend.
4. Always clean up your messes.
5. Be kind to yourself and others.
6. Give something back.
7. Use it, appreciate it, or lose it. Your body, mind, belongings. Remember, unapplied knowledge is wasteful (if not tragic).
8. Make time to do often what you do well and enjoy. Spend time with people who think you’re great. When the world isn’t noticing you, notice and reward yourself. Give others recognition, in turn.
9. Make quiet time for yourself alone every day. And a corollary is have a place, even merely a spot, that’s just for you. Use it for devotions, meditation, journaling, or just reading. Give yourself 10 minutes of silence every day.
10. Pay attention to your breath. Conscious breath control can help you control stress, worry, and fear and replace them with calm and peace.
11. You create the path you’ll walk on in life with your words. Think before you speak. Remind yourself that, to a great extent, you are creating your reality when you speak.
12. Pay attention to your own emotional needs and desires.
13. Decide what you want your life to look like. Write it down. In detail.
14. Act “as if.” Imagine if your desired life were here now, if you could not fail. What would you do? Do it.
15. Conserve your energy. Rid your life of energy thieves—negative people and habits.
What about you? What rules would you add to my list?