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?
- People are more important than things (or events or tasks or projects or goals).
- Teaching is about relationships, not information or tasks — and that maxim holds for most other endeavors.
- Anything worth doing will probably be hard.
- 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.
- 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.
- It could always use more garlic, unless it’s a dessert, in which case a touch of spice often is quite nice.
- 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.
- “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.
- It could always be worse.
- It is what it is.
- The “truth” can handle your questions, your doubts.
Corollary: tell yourself the truth. Stop lying to yourself.
- Moderation in all things. I’ve never seen an “extreme” that wasn’t in some way harmful if turned into a habit.
- 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.
- Irony makes the world go ’round. Have you seen the Universe lately?
- As much as you are able, live at peace with all people. But not all peace is worth keeping.
- Don’t be too weird.