Life is a funny thing. It isn’t predictable and it’s never what we expect, yet it’s still incredible. Even the bad moments teach us something if we look hard enough. We as humans are constantly changing, growing and learning. It makes every day exciting and new. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about life’s unpredictability and I thought to myself what have I learned so far? I’m not trying to say I hold the answers to living a gratifying and fulfilling life, but I feel like I have learned quite a bit in my young life.
My friend encouraged me to sit down and think about my rules (what’s important to me). What internal rules govern how I make decisions or live my life? It’s definitely more of a daunting task than I thought because you never consciously think about what values or pillars rule your life. You just live it. But here they are…. My life rules:
1. Find One Good Thing in Every Day
Let’s face it, we all have our shitty days. Those days when we don’t feel like anything will every go our way. Some people find the negatives in everything because they don’t know any other way. The glass half empty complex. I view life as whatever I want it to be. No matter what horrible thing happens in my day, I always take a step back and think about how lucky I am or what I have to look forward to. Dinner with a friend, going home to my dog or even the book I get to read when I get home. Life is really whatever you want it to be. You’ll also find that viewing at least one positive in life changes the way others view you and changes your overall happiness. I know it did for me. There is always one good thing in your life, trust me.
2. Never Stop Learning and Growing
Never accept the status quo. Challenge yourself to be a better person and to expand your point of view. Learn new skills, go back to school or even have a controversial conversation. Allow yourself to be open to learning new things or maybe hearing a different point of view. Looking forward to learning something new helps me get up everyday. Personal growth is one of the most rewarding things in my opinion
3. Love Yourself First
Loving yourself is the first step to a fulfilling life. You can’t give love without self-love. For example, identifying as gay or lesbian was extremely difficult, but I found the more comfortable I was with it – the more comfortable other people were. Take the steps to learn how to accept your weirdness, nerdiness and uniqueness. Own your awkwardness (which I can be at times) and other people will view it as confidence. There is nothing sexier than someone comfortable in their own skin.
4. Make Mistakes
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes help you learn and grow and become better. The biggest lessons are those learned from our mistakes. Perfection doesn’t exist, so take risks and don’t be afraid to fail. The greatest minds in history failed at least once before they got it right. Life wouldn’t be nearly as exciting if we were all perfect all the time (picture the step ford wives eek!).
5. Love Others Unconditionally
This seems similar to number 3, but it’s different. Once you love yourself, love others unconditionally. Let your guard down (when it feels right) and put all your love into someone or something. Let yourself feel by giving love or receiving love. A life without the love of our friends, family or relationships would be unfulfilling. One of the most rewarding feelings is being able to give the gift of love to someone else and feel that love returned.
6. Bros Before Hoes (Value Friendships)
In case you don’t know what this means – friends before the preferred sex. It could be friends before boys or vice versa. Put your friendships before that new crush or girl you’re dating because in the end, your friends will always be there for you. They will be the ones there for you if you break up or if you partner passes on. Friends are like family. There for you in any time of need.
7. Trust Your Instincts
Gut feelings are usually right. If you meet someone and feel like something is off, something probably is. The same thing goes for iffy situations. Don’t brush off any red flags whether it be related to a situation or a person. Something you may see as a small red flag in the beginning will most likely turn into a major problem. I see this a lot with my friends. They ignore the red flags in the beginning and the relationship fails. It’s never surprising, but it’s also hard to do in practice. Try to save yourself the heart attack and grumbles by paying attention to the red flags. Easier said than done I know.
8. Stand by Your Values
Values are extremely important. They make you who you are and they guide your decisions. They are also play a major role in romantic and platonic compatibility. Values are the basis for any relationship. It’s also a similarity that forms the basis for a lasting relationship or even friendship. Remember what’s important to you and never lose sight of it.Savor the Moment
9. Savor the Moment
My dad’s best friend had it right. The guy knew he wasn’t going to live a very long life and he lived his like every day was his last. He lived it like he would never have another identical moment in time. He made every moment count. We are constantly on our phones, instagramming or doing something on a social network. We constantly document our lives, but are we really living in the moment? We take pictures, but do we really remember what happened in the photo? I am trying to live my life like I won’t have another moment because we all don’t know how much time we really have. We always say there is plenty of time, but that’s not always true. Embrace every moment, take risks and don’t leave any questions. Savor every precious moment with those you love and make every moment count.
10. Follow Your Heart
The brain and the heart tend to be in constant battle, but in the end the heart tends to always win. Decisions made with your heart won’t necessarily make sense to others, but all that matters is how you feel. You have to live with you and your decisions, so follow your heart to wherever makes you happy. Disclaimer: I’m not implying to take all logic out of the equation, but sometimes the things that don’t make the most sense end up making you the most happy. Visualize a scale and let your heart outweigh your head.
One last note.. Remember what’s important to you and put those things first. This is the swiss army knife of rules. My default.