6 RULES OF LIFE THAT I SWEAR BY
- LIFE | NOVEMBER 24, 2019 -
Growing up can be a really exhausting battle at times, as we fall down at some hurdles, get up, brush ourselves off and start again, or we watch and learn as others surrounding us make the mistakes so we don't have to make them too! It would be dishonest of me to suggest that my life has been all sunshine and roses - even though I do live a very privileged life, it's been difficult at times as I've repeatedly experienced feelings of hurt and disappointment as people's wrongdoings have been targeted my way, whether that be from ignorance or intention, and after I've put so much effort into these friendships with the feeling of faith and the expectation of loyalty and truth. Life can be hard to navigate, and I think (or I hope, at least) that we all want to live a happy life and strive to treat people with the kindness we would want to be reciprocated back to us! I'm grateful that I've learnt from the mistakes that either I or others have made, and how I can now live a more positive life with the knowledge that I am doing, or am consistently striving to do my very best, with good intentions. So, with that, I give you six rules in my life that I swear by to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible and so I can contribute, even just a little bit, to the world being a slightly better place to live within.
"Pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense."
If you commit to something, you must follow through.
If you’ve said that you’ll meet someone for coffee at 11am, if you have agreed to take somebody to the hospital next Wednesday or if you have promised somebody you will help them paint their garden gate tomorrow afternoon (I know, random examples!), it is essential that you stick to your word! Unless, of course, a significant issue has occurred. I have experienced the effects of somebody not planning their day right or flaking at the last minute, which has caused me to have to cancel all of my plans for the day, and subsequently mess with the plans of multiple other people who were, for example, dropping me off at the train station before they went to work, or were meeting me for dinner afterwards. If you are unsure whether you can follow through, say so, rather than making the plans knowing that there is a strong possibility of you cancelling – it, unfortunately, only makes you look disorganised and inconsiderate!
I think as you get older you become more intuitive about whether somebody is genuine and has good intentions from the moment you meet them. Even if it’s unintentional, a lack of interest, rudeness, disrespect, deliberately causing problems, dishonesty or only showing interest for personal gain can be described as a steamed-up glass box with the condensation rapidly being wiped off it, with the increasing transparency exposing the contents. You can begin to have a reputation of not being genuine and reputations tend to stick like superglue – you might as well have a tattoo on your forehead saying “I’m not genuine, don’t talk to me” in big, fat capital letters! On the flip side, it’s important not to waste time trying to deal with people like this, as there are plenty of people in the world who are lovely – you just have to find the little nuggets of gold!
Turn up on time.
People being late, unless there are mitigating circumstances, is one of my biggest pet peeves ever! It’s important to show respect to the other party, and it’s vital not to portray yourself as somebody who doesn’t care about the time and plans of others. Turning up late can also be viewed as you only thinking about yourself and your life, and again, it is a reputation which could be difficult to shift. When you are younger, and, for the majority of us young’uns, don’t have many, if any, responsibilities, it is even more crucial that you turn up when planned, as it could also exacerbate an immature reputation, which can hinder you both personally and professionally as you’re starting your career and adult life.
"Words, so innocent and powerless as they are, standing in a dictionary; how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to choose and combine them."
Put the importance of making others feel acknowledged and appreciated ahead of your shyness.
I used to be incredibly shy and insecure, however, I realised that not only was I focusing too much on myself and what others thought about me, alongside an overwhelming sense of unnecessary awkwardness, I was making the person who was trying to converse with me equally as uncomfortable and as if I didn’t want to talk to them at all, which wasn’t the case. I’m lucky that I’ve now developed a confident personality, where I am able to speak eloquently with good amounts of eye contact and warmth, and I’m grateful that I’ve learnt the importance of ensuring somebody feels like you are listening with genuine interest and attention ahead of my own self-awareness and timidity.
Kindness is a trait which isn’t always appreciated when present but is almost certainly noted when it is not. If you are not kind to people, it will only reflect badly on you – if somebody has done you wrong, you can still stand up for yourself without shooting your mouth off and lowering yourself to their standards (even though this is exceptionally difficult at times!). Occasionally, putting somebody back into their place to set the precedent of respect and boundaries is the only way to solve the problem, however, even this can be done with elements of kindness thrown into the mixture of your response. You never know who you are talking to, nor whether the person you are speaking with is going through a rough time, and therefore a kind word, a simple smile or a quick conversation can make all the difference to their mood.
Own your mistakes.
Nobody enjoys making a mistake, especially when it impacts somebody we care about - nor do we like to admit any of our wrongdoings, especially if it was done without intention. However, it is essential for your mind and relationships, whether that be romantic or a friendship, that you take responsibility for your part to play in a situation, if indeed you have actually done anything wrong. However, you always know when you have done something wrong and so, if you are innocent, you should not be forced into apologising - but it is vital that you put your pride aside and accept responsibility for a problem you have either caused, exacerbated or contributed to, and to not wrongly put the blame entirely onto the other person, especially when this person is expressing hurt feelings as a result of your actions. Owning your mistakes is a sign of maturity and opens the door to self-growth and improvement. You will never stop making mistakes in life, but by taking ownership and welcoming the consequent process of working on yourself will help to ensure the next mistakes aren’t as big or impactful as the last.