My ten golden rules to life

Sell me all your golden rules and I’ll see
If that’s the kind of person that I wanna be
- Courtney Barnett

Like many things, life is something you figure out as you go along. After twenty years, I can’t exactly pretend that I’ve figured it all out. What I did manage to do was to create a set of ‘rules’ to keep me happy. You might not agree with them, the list is not exhaustive and there will of course be exceptions. But for what it’s worth, here’s my bit of wisdom:

Act brave and bold
Don’t stay away from the unknown, simply because it is unknown. Dare to take a chance, a leap of faith. Say yes to things even if they scare you. Luck favours the bold. You won’t succeed if you don’t try and you won’t get anything if you don’t ask.

It will be fine
If something’s in the past, leave it there. Don’t worry about things you cannot change. If you can’t influence the outcome of something, just wait and see. Even if things don’t go as you hoped, you’ll make something out of it.

Share and be kind
Happiness multiplies when shared. Help people, especially when they ask. Offer a smile to anyone who needs it. Make people happy when you can. Give to charity, because yes, you can spare it. Share what you have. Never argue about money. In the end it all evens out.

There is good in everything
Even a bad experience is still an experience. If something crazy happens, at least you’ll have a story to tell. If you don’t get what you want, you’ll get something else. There’s always a way out, you can turn anything into a positive.

Be the best person you can be
You probably won’t change the world, but you might change someone’s life. Just being a positive presence can put a smile on peoples’ face. Find your passion. Work hard, try your absolute best, but don’t beat yourself up about.

Never stop learning
Find out something new everyday. Read books, watch films, listen to the news. Talk to strangers, try to understand their stories. Stay curious. If you wonder about anything, find out. Try to gain new skills whenever you can. Everything is interesting to somebody, so don’t dismiss things too easily.

Choose for your own happiness
Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. If you want something, ask for it. Don’t allow others’ negativity into your life. The happiness of others is not your responsibility and should not come at the cost of yours.

Objects have less value than experiences
Spending money on things can make you happy, but it is better spent on travel. If you do buy something, buy a thing that will allow you to create or share experiences. Most things you need can be borrowed. Property is overrated, it doesn’t need to be yours.

You don’t always need to have an opinion
If you don’t know anything about it you can’t form an opinion. So don’t. Saying “I’m not sure” is perfectly valid. The same goes for people. Don’t judge people you don’t know anything about. Don’t make lazy jokes about the appearance of a stranger.

Try to make a good impression
Be nice to new people. You never know when you might need them. Dress well, speak clearly and appear confident. Don’t be intimidated by power or wealth. Stand up when someone shakes your hand. Fake it, if you need to, but never lie.

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