What does it mean to be human? We know the answer isn’t a simple one, it’s still one of Mankind’s most philosophized ponderings.
While theories have been argued over forever, many have tried their hands at defining what it means to be human. If you were to look for an answer on Google, like I did, you’d see there’s one person who found some rules about being human that has connected with humans all over the world.
Dr. Chérie Carter-Scott MCC, behavioral scientist, and life coach published nine main rules for what it means to be human, in her 1998 book, “If Life is a Game These are the Rules”. Carter-Scott reportedly came across them while going through ancient Sanskrit texts such as Vedas and Upanishads.
I think we can both agree that humans are complicated, but there’s nothing complicated about the rules Cater-Scott found. On the contrary, they seem to be almost simple. Then again, simple doesn’t mean easy. Take a look for yourself.
1. You Will Receive A Body
You may like it or not, but it will be yours for the entire period round.
We’re all born with one body, and thought it will change over time, it’s the same body we’ll die with. You’ll find more flaws in it than anyone else ever will, but it’s yours. It’s your first impression, your comfort, and your protector. You can trash it or cherish it, tattoo it, sunbathe it, fill it with garbage or nutrients, and allow it to be a reflection of what’s inside. Your body is not you, but your mind and your body represent you.
2. You Will Learn Lessons
You are enrolled in a full-time, informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.
You make choices all day — every day. Each choice brings its own lessons. For example, you choose to wake up and do your job. Because you’ve learned the lesson saying you’ll be fired if you don’t. Most of your choices aren’t conscious decisions as much as they are habits, but they’re choices all the same.
Some of your choices will be good while others will lead to mistakes, both results in lessons you can apply to how you conduct your life.
3. There Are No Mistakes, Only Lessons
Growth is a process of trial and error, experimentation. The ‘failed’ experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately works
We are our own biggest critics. We’re complicated and contradictory even during the best of times. There’s nothing we love to do more than compare ourselves to other people. The thing is, No One is Perfect and Everyone Will Fail — including you.
Mistakes are how we learn. It’s a painful, yet powerful, part of Life because how you handle them will define you. Learn from them and allow yourself to become a better person because of them. If you don’t, well… the next rule sums it up.
4. A Lesson is Repeated Until it is Learned
A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it, then you can go to the next lesson
I’ve written before that Life Will Nudge, Push, or Shove You in the Right Direction. It’s a theory saying Life will increase in intensity until you learn what it’s trying to teach you. It may start off with something small like getting away with a warning after being pulled over after drinking. But if you don’t correct your behavior, the next time you might end up in jail for drinking and driving.
This is part of how you grow as a person, by paying attention to the lesson’s Life tries to teach you. Whether it’s your habits, your job, or your relationship, you’ll find them everywhere.
5. Learning Lessons Does Not End
There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
We’re always learning, it will never stop. There’s a reason the oldest members of tribes and communities were considered the wisest of all. Because they lived through so much more than everyone else, and therefore have learned lessons others can’t imagine.
There are always more lessons to learn because there are endless people, places, and things to learn about. It’s impossible to have a perfect solution for every problem. You will be wrong, and you’ll grow from your mistakes.
6. ‘There’ is No Better Than ‘Here’
When your ‘there’ has become ‘here’, you will simply obtain another ‘there’ that will again look better than ‘here’.
If there’s one thing we humans are good at, it’s wanting things. We crave to be smarter, more attractive, and wealthier. We want to buy all the things and travel to all the places, and it’s no surprise that our wanting never stops.
Yet over the last few years, we’ve learned having, doing, or seeing more, doesn’t actually mean we’ll be happier. It’s about being happy with what you have and allowing anything else to be a bonus.
7. Others Are Merely Mirrors of You
You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.
You may think you have unbiased opinions about other people, but the very definition of opinion is that it’s personal. There’s a reason you have the thoughts and judgments you do. They’re a direct reflection of your internal beliefs.
The self-help genre is popular at the moment, but to be honest, the best way you can learn about yourself and grow is to investigate your feelings of other people. You don’t dislike someone for no reason. Even if you can’t identify the feeling right away, I promise it’s there.
8. What You Make of Your Life is Up to You
You have all the tools and resources you need, what you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
We’re living in the Digital Age now and it might as well be known as an era of knowledge. No other time in human history have we had immediate access to the vast quantity of knowledge. With a literal touch of your finger and internet access, you can learn almost anything you want.
We’re Headed Into Uncharted Territory and the Possibilities Are Exciting. Your choices have never been so broad, and opportunity so endless. The only thing you have to do is decide what to pursue.
9. The Answers Lie Inside You
The answers to life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.
You know more than you think you do. The problem is we tend to keep ourselves too busy and distracted to realize it. We’re used to instant gratification so if an answer doesn’t pop into our heads immediately then we turn to Google. This process works great for most questions but falls flat when it comes to answering personal questions.
The best way to find answers to questions about you, is to sit with yourself. Slow down and listen to the conversation in your head. Wait for your personal judgments to subside because after they clear out, the real answer will surface.
I find it interesting that four of the rules are about learning lessons. Maybe it’s because we spent so much time focused on what’s happening to us, instead of focusing on why it’s happening. It seems simple enough.
Then again, as I mentioned at the beginning, simple doesn’t mean easy. It’s not easy to sit still and listen to your thoughts. It’s not easy to remove your ego from your mistakes to look for lessons. It’s stressful to make difficult decisions, and it doesn’t feel good to honestly compare ourselves to the traits we loathe in others. But it is necessary in order to become the person you want to be.
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