Rules are made to be broken, but only if they are bad. A life code is simply shorthand for a theory as to how we should live our lives. Reflecting on your modus operandi is a useful thing to do and certainly better than posting your last lunch on facebook. So pour yourself a coffee and see how yours compare to our Top Ten Rules of Life.
10. Don’t Be ‘That’ Guy/Girl
It’s the Christmas Work Do/Friends Wedding/Bar mitzvah/Book Club Meeting (Delete as appropriate) and because you were nervous, bored or possibly have a ‘problem’ you thought that pre-loading with a quick-fire round of Sambucas was just the ticket. Fast forward 30 mins and you are stripped to the waist on an empty dance floor busting the moves of a brain damaged chimpanzee whilst sobbing uncontrollably. The main topic of gossip the next day is ‘who was that guy?’ Make sure it’s never you.
9. It’s better to regret something you have done, than something you haven’t
Mistakes happen and it’s important that we learn from our own. That said, it’s equally important that they don’t hold us back. Life can go past in a flash and you don’t want to look back on it and see a series of what if’s and if only’s. This isn’t a licence to act recklessly, but decisively. You won’t know until you find out and only by finding out will you be able to decide whether it was time well spent. Try not to fall foul of rule #10 on the way though.
8. Everything in moderation
Whilst there are some things which are worth avoiding (Smoking, Shark Baiting, Jeremy Kyle) life is really about experimentation. It’s important to try new things, broaden your horizons and keep learning. The trick is not to overdo it. There are few things more boring than a one trick pony. Make sure you get the ‘take home’ and move on. Of course if you understand this premise then you know that moderation itself should sometimes be moderated.
7. If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well
If you are going to do something then do it. Half measures lead to half results. If you can apply yourself fully you will achieve what you set out to do. In the event of failure at least you wont be finding yourself at fault. As Yoda teaches, ‘Do not try, Do!’
6. Do what you want, provided you harm no others
Whilst it’s important not to feel constrained by arbitrary restrictions, consideration of others is key. The Ancients teach us, that on reflection, it’s better not to be a ‘Dick’. Have fun but don’t spoil things for others.
5. Be truthful
It’s worthwhile being truthful to others. That isn’t to excuse a lack of tact, but rather to value the truth as something in its own right, regardless of the uncomfortable facts. Similarly, we should strive to be truthful to ourselves. Faking it should never be an aspiration. Counterfeit goods are seen as shoddy for a reason.
4. Never use the excuse,“I don’t have the time”
Unless you are working 14 hour shifts, have no conception of Game of Thrones or don’t have any social media accounts whatsoever, you probably have the time. If something is truly important, you can find the time, albeit at the loss of something less important. After all, you are reading this aren’t you?
3. Try to see the best in people
As the late Harper Lee wrote; “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” That doesn’t mean that you should suffer fools gladly, after all we all know that Donald is a worthless human being. Rather, that only after reflection, the decision is made. Of course, not being a Redneck helps.
2. Have an open mind
It’s surprising just how much we think we know, we actually don’t. The paradox is, the more we admit our ignorance the less ignorant we become. Note there is a difference between having an open mind and an empty one. Just because the Discovery Channel, Six O-clock News or ‘Bloke down the pub’ said it doesn’t mean it’s true. In fact, if it’s on TV it probably is a pack of lies. Of course there are notable exceptions.
1. Don’t become set in your ways
It may be ironic, but adhering dogmatically to a set of rules is probably not the best way forward. It’s important that we constantly challenge our life values on a daily basis, after all, are we so sure that they are right? As a wise man once put it; “The fatal tendency of mankind to leave off thinking about a thing when it is no longer doubtful is the cause of half their errors.”