3 Rules to Live By
After looking into what makes people happy, confident and successful, I started drafting up my own rules to live by, based off of common principles that I found in strong people. It has been several months since I started with the first rule, and I have found that though these rules are quite simple, it much more difficult to follow than I imagined.
I am writing this for two purposes: share what I have learned, and remind myself to continue with these rules, even in tough times.
Rule 1 – Always be Positive
Not knowing what I was looking for, I drove into the realm of what makes people confident. The first place I looked was several great Hollywood actors. What gives them the confidence, the organization and drive to continue despite the odds being against them. Hollywood is one of the most difficult industries to break into and “making it” doesn’t happen by chance. Searching the Actor’s Studio for interview and Wikipedia biographies, I began uncovering a laundry list of people that continually proved success in their multiple endeavors. Many of these people were confident to a level of almost zen-like proportions. How is this possible, and what do I have to do to get it?
A general theme began to emerge with each person, one after another. They were all superstitiously positive about even the most dyer circumstances. Ironically, at the time, I was also diving into the book, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. In Frankl’s book about his experiences in concentration camps of WWII, he stated that it was quite easy to tell the people who were not going to survive much longer. The hope had shifted. All the thoughts about a positive outcome had withered and they became like walking dead. But the people who remained positive despite the innumerable amount of days they would spend imprisoned were the ones that were healthier and happier.
The rule began as “No Negativity” but everything I told myself that it pointed out the fact that I was being very negative. So to lighten circumstances, I constantly told myself to “Always be positive”, never taking in consideration the tone of the situation – good or bad.
Rule 2 – When You Feel It, Act Immediately.
This rule began playing a part in my dreams several years prior. I was constantly ignoring my emotions and the signs of pressing situations that needed my attention. Looking back these situations could have been avoided if I had just acted sooner. Problems left unattended began to fester like unclean wounds.
When I was youngster, my Nana taught me the term, “preventative maintenance.” This idea was somewhat foreign, given the way my immediate family treated situations. My parents were always busy and rarely took the time to maintain the health of their possessions and sometimes relations. It became time to fix the problem only when the situation interfered with everyday status quo. Their cars broken often due to lack of maintenance and we all considered it just bad luck.
I have found that your emotions and thoughts are often indicators of the changing world around you. They are meant to cue your attention and pique your awareness, so that you will make course changes and decisions that can better your situation and often avoid negative outcomes. If we showed a little TLC to our own life everyday, I think we can drastically control each situation to the result we want.
Rule 3 – Attack Your Fears Head On.
The most difficult rule in my mind, and the reason why I am even writing the posting. Confronting you fears is often the hardest thing for anyone to handle. I’m not referring to your fear heights or dark alleys per se, but your everyday happening that keep you from progress in you life: that phone call you avoid making, that meeting you don’t want to have, that person you are afraid to confront. Our lives are waiting for us to take a hold of the reigns and direct where we want to go. Unfortunately, many of us are insecure with the unknown and build a wall around that fear thinking we can just avoid it.
I always used to tell myself that the only way I could fail is if I never showed up. Even if you crash and burn in a situation, you will still take away that knowledge from it, which will help you the next time around. If at each fear we asked ourselves what exactly we are afraid of, often reality dictates that those fears are unfounded and never played a role in the circumstance at all.
For all these rules, I sincerely hope it helps someone, if not just myself. As for me, I aim to practice what I preach. Today, I am tackling Rule 3, and by the end of the day, I hope I will be wondering what I was worried about.