The Top 3
1. Do no harm – to any living thing, especially other people and including everything on our fragile planet; and if I do inadvertently cause damage, own up and try to repair it.
2. Do what I love as much as possible – and be sure to clean up my own sh*t! The key to achieving this is knowing what’s important to me, and always acting in ways which fit with that. Then my work will feed my heart and bring real happiness, and lead to strong relationships and friendships
3. Make the world a better place in whatever way I can – starting with the people and places I am closest to- without looking for gratitude or recognition. That will always come back to me in one way or another anyway, even if it’s just in feeling good that I’m doing my best.
The other 12
4. Forgive others (and myself!) for any ‘mistakes’ – intentional or otherwise. And don’t take it personally when people aren’t nice to me, or be disappointed when they don’t act like I think they should. (They may have serious challenges in their lives which I know nothing about). This requires standing on a strong inner foundation of knowing and unconditionally accepting who I am.
5. Love at least one other person, and take care of my dependants (and anyone else who needs me) in a way that is empowering as well as supportive for them. In other words, I try not to use any dependence on me as a way to boost my own ego. That will always end in tears!
6. Be modest – whatever stories my ego might like to make up, the reality is I have no more, or less, value than anyone else. By avoiding illusions’ of self-importance I become immune to the risk of ever being humiliated or embarrassed. And that’s a very good place to be.
7. Look after my self, mentally, physically and emotionally. When I value myself, other people are much more likely to do the same. And independence is overrated – I try to let anyone who cares support me. At the same time, I have clear boundaries about what is acceptable to me.
8. I try to ignore my fear of failure, and just follow my heart in how I live and love. When things (inevitably) don’t turn out as planned, I try to think of it as positive learning experience rather than a disappointment – and to never worry about what other people think. They are bound to be far too caught up in their own worries and concerns to give much thought about what I am up to.
9. Tell the truth – to others, and to myself. Deceiving other people and making them second-guess my intentions is just an admission that I don’t have the courage to follow my heart. Lying in order to get respect is the most self-defeating and contradictory thing I can do. And I try to be kind in how I communicate and to avoid misunderstandings.
10. I remember that who I am is much more important than what I do (or what I own). Attachment to some external identity – whether it’s a job or status – has always brought me disappointment and frustration, because all I thought about was be getting to the next stage – and the golden ring of happiness was always be out of reach.
11. I try to remember the craziness of being a human. Some things are serious, but what we do is often ridiculous Learning to laugh at myself as well as anyone else, is the best way to enjoy life more – as well as making me better company. And there are few things more ridiculous than the man who takes himself seriously!
12. I don’t waste time regretting what I’ve done in the past, I can’t change it. And I probably learned a lot. Things may not necessarily have always happened ‘for a reason’, but I can choose to extract lessons from everything, and act as if what happened was exactly what I needed at the time.
13. I appreciate what I have and try to be grateful. It’s almost certain that I have much to be thankful for once I start to look at the world that way – even if it’s only the adventure of being alive. And if I make room for more happiness – life has a habit of fulfilling or matching our expectations.
14. I need to be passionate about something and/or someone. A life without commitment is a life without meaning. I may not be able to change my external circumstances, but I do have the power to make my inner life the way I’d like it to be.
15. I work hard, always do my best and accept my limitations. There is no ‘achievement’ scorecard at the gate to happiness – the only marks are for effort.
16. I keep my life as simple as possible, and try not to let worrying and analysing get in the way of what’s really important – love, friendship, family, meaningful work, having fun, serving others. I’ve found that if I am focussed on these things Life will take care of the rest without me needing to ‘manage’ everything or look for illusions of safety.
What’s your take on what you just read? Comment below or write a response and submit to us your own point of view or reaction here at the red box, below, which links to our submissions portal.