“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

True Rules

Just recently, I have been re-reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, which I have blogged about on here before.

She divides the book up into months of the year, with a theme for each month, and several ideas for each theme. October's theme is Pay Attention, and one of the ideas is "Examine True Rules". She writes: "Instead of walking through life on autopilot, I wanted to question the assumptions I made without noticing. ... I had my own idiosyncratic collection of principles - which I called True Rules - for making decisions and setting priorities."

And this made me wonder about what my own True Rules might be. After a little thought, I have come up with the following list (in no particular order):

  1. There is always enough time.
  2. Appreciate what you have.
  3. Always say 'please' and 'thank you'.
  4. Be open to new thoughts and ideas.
  5. Get some exercise every day.
  6. Never forget to say 'I love you' to the people you love.
  7. Life is too short to spend doing things you dislike, unless you absolutely *have* to.
  8. Do some writing every day.
  9. Live with integrity - be yourself.
  10. Always have a book on the go.
This seemingly arbitrary collection of principles actually has a huge influence on the way I live my life. I was also interested to reflect on where they had come from - a couple from my parents; one from a guided meditation session many years ago; and others from religious and spiritual books I had read, or people I had encountered. I wrote the list quite quickly, without thinking about it too much, but having slept on it overnight, and now re-reading them, I stand by them. They work for me.

Everybody's True Rules will be different. What are yours?

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