I don’t really have a lot to teach — just random bits of info that I’ve picked up along the way. This list wasn’t created for adults. My peers understand these rules all too well. But because I have no children, at some point I thought it might be interesting to put together a set of life rules for my godchildren and younger relatives who might like a perspective that doesn’t belong to their parents, and since I’m reluctantly allowing some of them to follow me on social media, I feel a responsibility to impart good information every now and then (as opposed to my endless selfies with wine).
So, my little people, these aren’t absolute truths, but they’re things that I’ve found pertinent to my life. Some of these might be a little crazy, but consider the source. :-) Here are the first 20 (it was going to be 10, but I got carried away):
- Your parents are meant to be frustrating, but they always mean well and they’re often trying to keep you from making their mistakes (or the mistakes they’ve witnessed during their lives). Just listen to them with the understanding that your parents have the most honest intentions of anyone you’ll ever encounter. You might decide to take another course of action, but realize that they only want to be heard and considered.
- You might not be excited about iambic pentameter, but there are a lot of life lessons buried in the words of Shakespeare. My favorite is “Neither a borrower nor a lender be” from Hamlet. Borrowing and loaning money — or anything really — will go wrong the majority of the time. Decide if potentially losing your friendship is worth it before entering into such an agreement.
- Since we’re learning life lessons in poetry, check out The Ten Crack Commandments by the Notorious B.I.G. I’m certainly not suggesting that you sell (or smoke) crack — or any drugs whatsoever — but he does make a few good points when it comes to business in general. And as a bonus the song has a great beat. Enjoy.
- While driving or biking, stay away from the following drivers: a cabbie (especially one without a fare), a U-Haul truck driver (they are generally untrained and don’t know how to manage their blind spots), a Zip Car driver (they don’t tend to drive frequently enough to be good drivers). There are others that we can discuss offline, but staying away from the big three will be a great start when it comes to road safety.
- Whether you’re a male or a female, know how to cook and clean. There is not ONE good argument for filth and the inability to feed yourself. Also, nobody is excited about dating a dirty dependent person. And if they are, you don’t want to date them.
- Driving is 30% skill and 70% managing everyone else’s lack of skill. Similar ratios apply to life in general.
- Options are everything. Try to have as many as possible, and then learn to properly choose among them.
- If you are the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. Look for opportunities to learn, and always make sure you’re in good company.
- Money doesn’t solve all problems, but it determines your level of problem. Life is much better when you’re not worried about keeping the lights and heat on. You would much prefer to have trouble choosing investment accounts than trying to figure out how to pay your rent. This is realism rather than materialism. Know the difference.
- Enter each relationship with the thought of what you are able to offer rather than receive — whether it’s work, friendship, or romance. Don’t be influenced by takers, because nobody wants to be around those who seek to suck the life out of everyone they encounter. Call to say hello without ulterior motives and do nice things just because. Sure, you will encounter a taker along the way and you might learn hard lessons, but those people are only sent to show you who’s worthy of your gifts. Ultimately, givers reap great rewards.
- Embody the qualities of the person you want to attract.
- Don’t get caught up in other peoples’ opinions of you. If they’re not paying your bills — or enabling you to pay your bills — their opinions are generally biased and irrelevant.
- Life can be a game, but everyone has their own style of winning. You won’t win at someone else’s game, but you can be expert at your own.
- Don’t talk about yourself; allow others to ask. That way you’re certain they’re interested.
- You’ll spend a good percentage of your life figuring yourself out. Get started on that as early as possible. You’ll spend another percentage of your life trying to determine the motives of others. This will be a waste of time. Focus on yourself instead.
- In school, study for the CLASS rather than the TEST.
- Try to avoid being judgmental, but definitely be discerning about whom you choose to have in your life.
- Per #17, stupidity and laziness can be contagious. Don’t get infected.
- If you don’t want to get in trouble, stay away from places where trouble resides.
- Be beyond reproach at all times. If you’ve performed well and checked all of the boxes, nobody can criticize your style.
If there is interest in more, I’m happy to continue this list. I welcome any questions. Within reason. :-)