Question idea from Todd Brison, in Quora, all other ideas are mine.
Almost everyone has a set of rules they follow for how they live their lives. Some of these may be unspoken or not even really thought about much. Others are more purposeful about making sure they follow their own rules for their lives. Here are the rules that I strive to follow for my life and why I believe that they are important for success in life.
Rule # 1) Work as diligently as you can.
One of my pet peeves is seeing people who are not doing their very best in their day job or career, or in life. They are just doing x activity just because they “have” to, or a loved one, forcing them to do that thing. They overburden others and are just in it for themselves and their own selfish desires. Another one of my pet peeves is feeling bored. These are just two of the reasons why I strive to always work as diligently as I can. Even though my day job isn’t glamorous, I still strive to do it to glorify God and with all my heart, soul, and strength. When I see another person work diligently at something, I admire their drive and passion. I also have more of a desire to imitate them! So, when you work as diligently as possible, as a general rule, in life at whatever life throws at you, you not only will live a more successful life, but you will also inspire others to do the same.
Rule #2) Don’t waste your life.
You were given a life–Don’t waste it on things that are not important or that you will later regret. For instance, when I was younger, I was preoccupied with a.) myself and b.) was in “survival” mode. I did not think much about the connection to what I did then, and what would be in the future. Now, I aim to be less preoccupied with myself and things that I feel don’t matter to me as much, and focus more on what does matter, such as God and eternity, and the quality of my relationships that I cultivate in this life. Make your life count! You can do this by a.) Thinking about and writing down a life purpose (which I recommend to be about a sentence or two), and think about how you’re living now fits in with it. b) If there are parts of how you’re living life that don’t fit into your life’s purpose, make the necessary changes so it does fit!
Rule #3) Care about others.
When I was a child, I did not know how to care about others as much as I do now, and yes, I am still learning even more about how to best care for others. I was a very selfish person. As a consequence, I feel that I wasted most of my life then. I failed to speak up for others suffering from injustice in my school because I was too absorbed in my own problems to notice or care. I regret this to this day. However, I slowly learned about the blessing of caring for others, especially in the past five years. I learned that we should not care for others only so we can get something, but also for the benefit of the person we are caring about. We should aim to make a positive difference in others’ lives not only to feel good about ourselves (though it is certainly not wrong to feel good when we do something nice for someone else!), but also to put a smile on someone else’s face and to improve the quality of their lives. Everyone has gone or is going through something tough. If we can lift off some of their burdens, the people we are helping will be better equipped to cope with life.
Rule #4) Hate evil.
Hate all forms of evil. This may be as minor as hating strife and slander, or as major as hating murder and rape. This does not necessarily mean hating the people who do it, though that is most people’s natural response, but more so the sin or sins that they committed. I strive to hate evil because it is against God and everything I believe. When we accept or acquiesce to evil, we not only compromise our morals, we slowly become monsters inside. I would hate to succumb to any of the evils that I was rescued out from. Never go back to the bad, from which you were saved.
Rule # 5) Learn as much as possible about other people and about the world around us.
In order to truly love and understand others, we need to know about them. Even three years ago, I admit that I did not really follow this rule by heart! When I joined a blogging community online and had to read other people’s blogs, I learned much more about the world around me and about other people’s life stories. When you have a thirst for learning, you not only benefit others because you are trying to understand them and their world, but you also benefit yourself by growing in knowledge and wisdom. Learning not only takes place in scholastic institutions, it takes place at work (if you are employed), at home, and even at a grocery store, to name just a few.
Rule #6) Love others, even if it sometimes breaks your heart to do so.
This is a tough one to follow, even for me. There are several people, with who I have worked and in other parts of my life, that I had a difficult time loving as God would. However, I learned that loving others, even when it is tough to do so, often helps strengthen the relationship. Every time I had wanted to give up on loving someone, I believe God worked things out so that I would persevere instead. This lead to me eventually forgiving these people and letting go of the bad times we had together, and cultivating some good times instead. When I intentionally love someone, even if I don’t initially “feel” like loving them, I realized that, oftentimes, that person that is tough to love: a. ) begins to open up to me emotionally and b) gives hope to the possibility of forgiveness and reconciliation in the relationship. When we persevere in loving someone who breaks your heart, we show the durability and authenticity of our love. Love, even when it is difficult to do so.
Rule #7) Forgive others for their mistakes and sins.
Along with Rule #6, which says to “Love others, even when it sometimes breaks your heart to do so,” forgive others for their mistakes and sins. This is especially true when someone hurts us unintentionally. For instance, if someone we know at work does not acknowledge or greet us because they are busy, do not hold it against them. This is probably not because they didn’t “care” about you, but because they were too absorbed into what they were doing to notice what is around them. Also, even if someone is upset at you, and, thus, does not want to talk to or acknowledge us, also try not to take it as an affront. When I am upset at someone, I don’t want to talk to them either, not because I want to “punish” them with my silence, but because if I did talk to them, I would most likely say something I would live to regret. This may be true for others as well. Also, instead of seething in anger at their apparent indifference, you should ask them with compassion, “What is wrong?” or apologize if you know you have upset them. Even forgiving others for more serious sins, such as if your significant other was cheating on you, or if someone who abused you, has a freeing effect for you, not just for the offender. When I truly forgive another, I feel like a burden has been lifted off me. Reconciliation may not be possible or even wise if a person sinned seriously enough against you, but you still can let go of the anger and bitterness towards them.
These are the seven rules that I try to abide by in my life. If we strive to abide by these rules, I believe we will have true success in life because we will not only be able to cope with whatever life throws at us better, but we will also have a more enriching and purposeful life. What are the seven rules for your life which you strive to live by? Are these rules difficult to apply to your life sometimes? Please feel free to discuss in the comments.