One great rule to live by, 3 that work for me, and one that will make you fat.
Prompt o' the day is : List 5 life rules to live by that are uniquely yours.
"Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men". -Douglas Bader
I've never given any thought to the idea of "having rules to live by".. But, after some thought I realize that over the years I have indeed adopted a few ...
1) The Golden Rule: "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you".
My grandma Evelyn Smeby always quoted this rule, and I have often stopped myself from saying or doing something that is not very nice when this rule has popped into my head. I taught this rule to my children also, particularly when they came across kids that were "loners" or had difficulties or special needs, by saying "well, how would you feel if someone said or did this to you?" This one rule is incredibly powerful the more I consider it and the world would truly be a better place if we all (including myself) worked harder to live by it. It is so simple, yet so difficult - as it requires Christ-like attributes of patience, humility, forgiveness, compassion, and empathy vs. my own rapid-fire responses based on hurt feelings, ignorance, judgments, or desire for justice among other misguided justifications for my treatment of others.
2) "Put things away, right away"
I have found over the years, that "later" never comes for myself, or most people. It is sooo much easier to take a few minutes to do things "now" then wait until later. I've tried to teach this idea to my kids also. They were taught to put a toy away when they were done with it before they could take out another, or to toss the Christmas wrapping as we opened gifts. Yes, this certainly seems like not as much fun - but when asked if they'd rather go do something fun on our Saturday or stay in and clean the disaster of a bedroom, that was a pretty easy choice. As a cook, along the same lines - the "clean as you go" rule is just as helpful. Many hate to cook, because they hate to clean the mess, but if you put away and clean as you go, it is so much easier and enjoyable. Now that I have the worlds tiniest kitchen, it is imperative that I put things away, right away or there is NO room to cook! :) Now, as a Professional Organizer for the last 7 years - I have come to realize how powerful this simple rule is. It is about creating good time management habits in avoiding procrastination, and in reducing clutter, since the majority off clutter is really nothing but a delayed decision. Think about it. If you tossed your junk mail as soon as you walked in the door, would your desk be so piled with mail? If you hung up your clothes when then they are dry, put the groceries away, hung your jacket up, put the tool back to the garage. In short, by delaying mere minutes of proactive actions - these tiny actions ultimately become hours of dreaded tasks.
3) Fake it until you make it"
So the trouble with this rule is you sound like a liar or fraud. But for me, when someone asks "Can you do this?, I think to myself "of course I can!. .. I just haven't done it YET. But if you ask me to, I know I can". Seriously, if I waited until I KNEW I could do something before I accepted the challenge to do it - I'd never say yes to anything. I guess without thinking about it or realizing it - I guess love a challenge, I don't always proactively go learn to do something, just in case, -but once I am faced with the need, I'll do what it takes! Can you cook that? Oh Sure. Do you speak in front of groups? Yep, you betcha. I'm not college educated or formally trained in much. I'm more of a seat-of -the-pants kind of gal. I just get busy reading, experimenting, and faking it until I make it! As they say, necessity is the mother of invention.
4) Work Smarter not Harder
For me this pretty much means that I don't always need to re-create the wheel in my life and at work. It's 99% likely that everything I would like to do,or trial or challenge I have had has already been done or experienced by someone... or is on the internet :) I can learn something from their successes or failures. Before I start a project or want to know something - I go searching or asking to see what has already been done. Sometimes what is out there is just exactly what I needed. Done. Other times, I take that idea and tailor it to my needs. As a single mother, and as a small business owner I have learned to be "resourceful", if anything. I'm no genius and have always had little money, but have learned how to barter, swap and make. I've also surrounded myself with people and resources that possess time, talents and ideas that I do not havel to help my business, children, friends, clients, and myself. And IF I use and share someone's work or idea - I try to make a point to to never falsely pass it off as if it was MY idea.
5) Bacon makes everything better.
Many years ago, I had a co-worker who once said "Cream Cheese Makes Everything Better" and yep, it does take certain dishes to a decadent new level, but of course not "everything" is better. As a life-long cook, Cub Scout leader, and mom of two boys - I've pretty much decided that bacon truly does make everything taste better. Salads, sandwiches, burgers, eggs, casseroles, appetizers, are all good... but with bacon - seriously, so much better.(with the exception of MOST desserts) No matter how true this rule may be, it''s not a recommended rule to live by or your body will look like mine!
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These are really fantastic rules to live by, not only for you but they can work for anyone.... some I really should adopt and I keep trying, but maybe I,ll wait on at least the do it now one...Just kidding. Thanks for sharing.
Sandy, I truely enjoyed your rules to live by and they made me think of many things that I could improve organizing my life methods. I especially enjoyed "Bacon makes everything better." Bacon, one of my favorite foods!