1/3 – The year of you: Rules for Living

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This year, I’ve been writing along with “The Year of You,” a series of daily reflective prompts. Not sure of the origin; ran across them here when a friend recommended it (and the author, who’s part of the NACADA / life coaching realm). I plan to leave my responses private most of the time, but I may share one here and there.

I like this question a lot – I invite you to make your own list sometime this week. It was a healthy exercise.

January 3, 2021

Question: What are some of your most important rules for living?

  1. People are more important than things (or events or tasks or projects or goals).
  2. Teaching is about relationships, not information or tasks — and that maxim holds for most other endeavors.
  3. Anything worth doing will probably be hard.
  4. Just because your thing failed doesn’t mean it was a bad idea or you were wrong. Sometimes good ideas fail. Learn and move on – and perhaps try again.
  5. The only rules you really need are the Great Commandments: Love God as hard as you can with everything you are, all the time; and Love your neighbor like you (should) love yourself. Every ethical standard flows from these.
  6. It could always use more garlic, unless it’s a dessert, in which case a touch of spice often is quite nice.
  7. If you made it to the plane on time with at least your wallet, passport, and a toothbrush, you can work out the rest when you get there.
  8. “Good people” aren’t those who stay out of trouble; good people are the folks who are actively doing good for people around them. “Goodness” is not the absence of evil, it requires effort.
  9. It could always be worse.
  10. It is what it is.
  11. The “truth” can handle your questions, your doubts.
    Corollary: tell yourself the truth. Stop lying to yourself.
  12. Moderation in all things. I’ve never seen an “extreme” that wasn’t in some way harmful if turned into a habit.
  13. You need money to live, but it does a piss-poor job of providing anything else like satisfaction or joy or fulfillment. For me, fulfillment is tied to doing meaningful work alongside people I care about.
  14. Irony makes the world go ’round. Have you seen the Universe lately?
  15. As much as you are able, live at peace with all people. But not all peace is worth keeping.
  16. Don’t be too weird.

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