In early 2017 I read Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life. While I don’t consider the book transformative, it did inspire me to create my own rules for life, which I wrote down that May.
1. Remember that how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. We demonstrate our priorities every day by where we put our time.
2. Be grateful every single day. You are part of the 1%. You do things you love, you get paid well to do them, you create something worthwhile and helpful, you don’t work too much, and you control your time.
3. Protect your mind and heart by being deliberate about who gets private time with you. Be willing to be methodical and ruthless regarding your social circles. This pond is constantly evaporating and needs to be cultivated and refreshed.
4. Be deliberate and intentional in your use of the English language. Slow down, drop the filler words, be intentional, and occasionally use some fun and unusual words!
5. Be aware that everyone is your better in some way. Seek to learn how.
6. Don’t try to be famous. Be glad for all the others who are willing to carry that burden for you. You get more time for yourself.
7. Don’t try to take credit for most things. Find humility in giving the credit to those around you. They will appreciate it and ultimately so will you.
8. Don’t rush. Eternity is a very long time, and what we do now has consequences in eternity. So, take your time, and do it right.
9. Don’t take it personally. It’s not about you. Perceived slights are either perceived – not meant – or slights – not important.
10. Don’t complain or “be annoyed.” When you get the urge to complain, think about why you should be grateful in this situation. When children are crying or people are acting inappropriately, practice patience.
11. Don’t make excuses. Nobody cares for them, and they don’t change the situation.
12. Never refuse food within normal contexts. In fact, you should more than occasionally willfully choose foods you don’t particularly enjoy in order to be more grateful for that very first-world luxury of choice.