September 17, 2012
Liz published this at 7:11 am
How to Happiness
Do You Rule Out Living Part of Your Life?
She showed me her blog post about how she wasn’t doing enough. It listed out all of the things she was inspired to do now. Wow. She said she was going to read so many books; write so many blog posts, go to so many events; meet up with so many friends and family members; and excel at work.
So much commitment … I was wondering where the time was be alive.
Commitments are good things, especially those commitments we finally learn to make to ourselves. Yet, we can throw ourselves off course with commitments and rules until we lose sight of the spontaneous, growing, learning and living human beings we are.
5 Rules to Live By
Can we really make rules to live by? We need the right navigational skills, knowledge, and tools true enough, but making rules for life … Isn’t that sort of like making definitive rules about how to paddle the rapids or drive the back roads? Don’t we have to let the conditions of the rapids and the roads figure in on our choices?
Now, I’m not saying it’s not a good idea to have a few “rules of the road” to guide us. I’m saying we could do a lot fewer of them …
Of course, we need a few stretchable boundaries. A little definition gives us purpose and raises our expectations.
I’d never say take off without any idea of a destination. Gotta know where we’re going.
I’m not even thinking that we should disregard our method of transportation.
It’s even probably a good idea to choose the general route we might be taking …
But, we don’t need to determine how many miles that we’ll be moving while the sun shines, where we’ll be stopping to take a photo, or how long we’ll be swerving to miss an unfilled pothole. We don’t need to be portioning out the hours, minutes, and seconds we’ll be talking to, listening to, or sharing silence with people we love. To do that we need to know what we value and who we care about.
Rule 1: Choose what you value and your values. Like it or not, what you value will define you and attract people who value the same stuff.
Rule 2: Have time and energy for the people who are important to you. Enjoy their successes. Never let them fail. You’ll never fear them when you feel most lost.
Rule 3: Have a destination in mind. It’s okay to change it a few times.
Rule 4: Pick a suitable method of transportation. Don’t try to walk to an island or swim to the moon.
Rule 5: Sketch out a logical starting route that suits you and takes you in the right direction. Often taking the first step is the hardest, so get started soon as you can. Every step takes you closer to where you’re going.
But … remember that humans don’t come with an instruction manual or a rule book for life.
We learn who we are by living our lives.
We’re each a one-of-a-kind experiment.
We all need a few rules of our own.
5 Rules for Living Life
As kids, we all looked forward to growing up for the chance to decide when to eat ice-cream for breakfast and other such stuff. Then we found out those decisions aren’t the ones that count. Even worse, we found out that the rules we thought were guides of our lives aren’t the same for everyone in this bigger universe.
The entire world population can’t meet to decide what makes a life worth living. Who’d be in charge? How would we pick?
Deciding the rules that make your life worth living is really up to you.
For the sake of conversation, here are a few rules you might try out. I think of them of as rules for living life. They’re all adaptable to any size, temperament, time line, location, or living conditions you might design.
Rule 6: Permit yourself to leave space, time, energy, consciousness for unexpected new stuff.
Rule 7: Learn new things from people who’ve been where you’re going, from people who’ve been places you’ve never imagined, from people who are like you and from people who are not.
Rule 8: Find out as much as you can about what you’re good at and figure out how not to care about what you’re not.
Rule 9: Remember old things that you thought you’d forgotten, especially what made you laugh when you were young.
Rule 10: See, smell, hear, taste, and touch what the world has to offer — surprise yourself.
Be open to the opportunity that serendipity serves up. Experience ideas that grab your attention. Realize what challenges you and discover what problems you can solve. Choose a few rules for living that make this life your own.
Knowing where you’re going is irresistible.
Being alive while you go is even more irresistible than that.
–ME “Liz” Strauss