More Rules I Live By
Yesterday, I shared 26 rules to living a better life.
My life was turned upside down by an event I couldn’t control, and it caused me to lose sight of who I was. I stumbled to John Romaniello’s blog about the list he lives by—an idea inspired by George Washington, a rather successful gentleman who happened to write a list of rules that governed his behavior.
I decided to give this an exercise a shot, to clarify my ideals and standards. I stopped at 26 last night, but decided to add some more today. You might want to read 1-26 first, and some more background on why I did this, before clicking ahead.
27) Put others first.
Before you bitch about your day at the office, ask your roomie or partner how their day was.
Pet-owners: Before you do anything for yourself, acknowledge your pet. Greet it, rub its belly, take it on a walk—it’s been home all day, eagerly awaiting your return; so devote some time to your pet-friend immediately when you get home.
…unless you REALLY have to pee—then you can do that first.
28) If it’s difficult to say, say it in person.
If you have something to say that might hurt someone–a break-up, or bad news of any kind–do it in person. A phone call is okay if you must, but don’t even think about texting it.
29) ALWAYS apologize when you’re wrong.
NEVER apologize for who you are.
Did you say something insensitive, or do something bitchy/dick-ish? Own up to it. Apologize. Explain yourself, move on, and don’t do it again.
But never say “I’m sorry” in response to critiques of who you are. If someone gives you shit for a life decision or character trait, they can STFU.
30) Create something.
Arts, crafts, gardens, painting, pottery, cooking music, acting, photography, writing, designing… find a creative passion and get to work. You can share the result with as few or as many people as you like.
31) Watch Saturday Morning Cartoons.
They still kick ass, and they ALL of your child-hood favorites are on Netflix. Sweet!
32) Lazy internet activism isn’t really activism, because you’re not acting.
If you’re not actively doing something about your cause-of-choice, you have no right to bitch about it on the internet.
Note–I think sharing articles is okay if the goal is “to inform,” but I’m more concerned with people who think clicking “like” counts as doing something (KONY2012).
33) Talk to people you disagree with.
You’re not going to change their opinion, nor are they going to change yours. But you’ll better understand the other side of the issue. You’ll be strengthened, because you had to defend yourself. Hopefully, you’ll learn to accept people vastly different from you.
34) Be confident, not cocky.
Being confident in your abilities and proud of what you’ve accomplished is healthy—an inability to stop talking about yourself makes you look selfish and insecure.
35) You can work out ANYWHERE for ANY LENGTH OF TIME.
“I don’t have a gym membership!” Bullshit. Run around a track. Do sprints on a hill. Do some yoga. Do some push-ups, lunges, squats, jumping jacks, burpees. If you’re a beginner, this will do wonders; if you’re advanced, it’s better than nothing.
“I don’t have the time!” → Also bullshit. ANY AMOUNT of physical activity is beneficial. Even if you took 30 seconds out of your day to do some push-ups, it’s something. If you did this several times a day, it’d add up to a lot of calories burned.
36) It’s okay to fall off the horse, but you have to get back on it.
At some point in your fat loss journey, you’re going to be thrown off the horse. Something horrible, inconvenient, or fun is going to prevent you from working out for a week. Maybe a MONTH.
You get dumped, fired, laid off; maybe your favorite band broke up–whatever, you’re severely bummed and don’t make it to the gym for 2 weeks.
You go to Disney with the fam and come back 5 lbs heavier.
You’re out of town for a work conference and the hotel happens to serve free booze in a happy hour gala. Oops.
Don’t beat yourself up. I’ve been guilty of all 3 of these things, and I still manage to lose 50 lbs. If you fall off the horse, all you have to do is get back on it. It’s that easy. Of course, you should stay on the horse as much as possible, but no one’s perfect.
37) Before you buy something, ask yourself: “why do I need this?”
If you can’t answer this question, fucking put it DOWN. “It’s cool!” is not an answer.
38) Take pictures.
If you don’t, you’ll regret it.
39) Look at a tree—a cloud—a bird—a flower—the stars.
Nature puts me at peace. I’ve needed a lot of that lately, so I’ve been taking my dog to the park all the time. She LOVES IT, and it eases my mind. Beauty is everywhere. Look at a tree and marvel at its size–lay in the grass and see what shapes you can find in the clouds–listen to the birds sing. Start paying attention and you’ll be amazed by the beauty in your backyard.
40) If you finish off the coffee, make some more
You got the LAST CUP OF COFFEE IN THE BREAK ROOM! Ha! Suckers!!!
Um, no. If you get the last cup, you’ve gotta fix some more. Think about it. Don’t you HATE IT when you find an empty coffee pot? It’s a terrible thing. If you brew the next pot, you’ll spare someone this moment of terror.
Another note–in general, look for ways to be kind and courteous in the office. It’s much more fun to work in a positive work environment.
41) Couples: remember “your thing”
If you don’t have “a thing,” find one. Maybe you have a song. Or this really awesome inside joke no one knows about. Or maybe you like to make-out in any elevator that crosses your path. Another idea –> goofy photo-booth pictures. Whatever. Find a “thing.” It’s a blast–it’ll help you bond–and you’ll come out with positive memories.
42) The lowest price isn’t necessarily the best deal.
The ticket price doesn’t matter in the grocery store –> instead, look for the per ounce price. Buying in bulk will save you TONS of money. If you use protein powder, do this.
43) Don’t meet standards. EXCEED them.
“Well, I got my girlfriend a flower for Valentine’s Day.” → Yeah, so did everybody else.
Do something AWESOME. Homemade card. Surprise dinner. Candles. Marvin Gaye if you’re feelin’ down. Whatever. Don’t do what everyone else does. Impress the shit out of her.
A polo and khakis to a wedding? → Obviously, you skipped Rule #1. SUIT UP.
This is unacceptable–especially for single guys. Why? BRIDESMAIDS!!!
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