The 7 Rules to Living a Better Life
To live a life with more purpose, following these rules will set you up for a better life.
There is ultimately no specific way for someone to be living their life. But if there is one thing that we can all agree upon is that there are many rules to how society thinks we should be living our lives.
These are unspoken norms that dictate how the vast majority of us think.
Some of these particular rules are questionable ones, (like how women have to be prim and proper or men expressing emotions like sadness is a big no-no) however there are some genuinely good ones underneath that are good to know.
These are spoken about amongst those in the self-improvement world and many have heard of them. But as I always say, some things are worth repeating and sharing. After all, as one develops, there is new understanding to those foundational things.
Make Peace With The Past
All of our pasts are painful in some fashion. There are things we wish we could go back in time and fix. Some of these things are minor while others are larger life decisions.
As much as these things are painful, the first most important rule is that we make peace with our past. The wording here is most important as some people think ignoring the past is a means of healing.
One does not simply move on from their past as simple as that. As I can attest to with the various flashbacks I’ve had for the past decade.
Instead, what I’ve learned is to make peace with your past that involving two things:
- Accepting your past.
- Using the messages of your past to propel you forward in what you want to do with life.
Acceptance isn’t just accepting that it happened, but having the willingness to process the emotions that stem from it. Whatever those emotions may be, it’s a crucial part of accepting and healing.
By understanding your emotions you develop empathy and the ability to face more of your emotions and understand other people.
This helps the second part of making peace with your past as you’ll be able to notice common patterns in your life. These patterns can come in handy in developing a more fulfilling life as they can present paths for you to take your life moving forward.
Beyond this, accepting your past will allow you to look forward to change and live in the present rather than cling and resist change.
Be Indifferent To Opinions
One of the growing problems with the world today is that people are only looking out for themselves for survival and only seek aid when it serves them. It’s a sense of individualism that’s truly toxic as Jessica Wildfire points out.
People are refusing to help share the burden of their own responsibilities.
They’re more easy to shift the blame.
Or double down on being the victim when it serves them.
It’s easy for us to slip into that way of thinking. But another aspect that Jessica didn’t mention is that this way of thinking also makes us frail to our own insecurities.
It’s to the point where we rely on victimhood and do nothing to change our situation. We become paralyzed by others opinions and yet are comfortable with being offended whenever people bring up that aspect of our lives.
It’s a backwards way of thinking that doesn’t really serve you at all.
I recall being so worried about what people think of me because I was single for most of my life with very little dating experience. I used to be on the defence and offended if people criticized that part of me. It was this logic that got me to stop sharing relationship advice to people out of worry that this fact would get brought up.
Now I’ve stopped caring less about that. It doesn’t even bother me if people ask me whether I’m single or not as if it’s some kind of touchy subject.
While there is nothing wrong to have resentment or any other emotion when people ask you about our insecurities, it’s one thing to have your emotions in check and another to blow up in someone’s face about it.
The difference between those extremes is having an indifferent stance to things and not taking personal attacks or jabs as personally.
Remember Time Heals Almost Everything
A few years into my own journey I learned that “this too shall pass.” It’s a phrase that gets you into the mindset that everything is fleeting.
Happiness, joy, ecstacy, fear, sadness, anger, hatred, pain.
In order for us to experience the happiness and positive aspects of our lives, being able to move on through past pains is crucial for all of us. One such technique is reminding ourselves that whatever we’re feeling in those hurtful moments is temporary.
The reason this is crucial is that our brain is wired to think that whatever we are experiencing will persist for the rest of our lives. This leads us to not retrying things on the basis of we’ve been burned by it in the past.
The problem with that way of thinking is just what I said above: it’s actually a temporary emotion that we feel.
Similar to pushing heavier weights, going up to heavier weights in exercises, it’s more of a mental battle than a physical one.
By reminding yourself that everything we are experiencing is a temporary thing, it’s easier for coping but it can branch out to many other things. For example, knowing a positive experience is fleeting can lead us to seeking more thrills. It can drive a sense of purpose in your life.
You Control Your Happiness
While we aren’t in control of everything that happens around us, we are in control of ourselves at all times. We get to choose how we feel about certain situations, who we spend time with, what activities we do and everything else in between.
Stemming from the previous rule of being indifferent to people’s opinions, reminding yourself that you control your happiness you’ll be more able to handle situations where people rock your boat.
Whether it’s a genuine insult or just a playful jab from a friend, if you’re in control of your emotions, your more equipped to handle those kinds of situations.
Another trait many people lean into is comparing their lives with others. It’s a terrible habit to get into that can lead to people making bad decisions in life.
For example, banks prey upon this behaviour in order to push their various services. Mainly loans, and credit cards.
This creates bad decisions because if you’re someone who compares your lifestyle to that of someone with a more lavish lifestyle, you can easily live that lifestyle with those tools. But at the cost of foregoing your financial freedom.
The banking industry these days stays afloat mostly on the backs of people who are in massive debt. It’s sad, but it all starts with people who are stuck comparing.
If you want to be living a life with more purpose, you’ll need to not get in your head to compare your journey with others journeys.
Even if you are in the same sort of field, doing the same kind of work, there will always be things in the background at play. There’s someone’s entire life story up to this point. Their upbringing, their own experiences, their values.
No one person is exactly the same and every time you’re comparing yourself to someone, you’re not making things better for yourself.
It’s like comparing the amount of vitamin C there is in a banana and an orange. One will clearly have more than the other, but you’re comparing two completely different fruits.
Each person has their own strengths and weaknesses. The important thing is to not compare but also look at what those are for you and to lean onto those strengths to grow.
Don’t Think Too Much
Another mental trap that so many people run into is inflate problems. Recall that I mentioned before that when we experience one emotion, our brain thinks that emotion will be permanent for life?
Well we do the same sort of thing with our own problems. Sometimes we inflate a problem needlessly when it’s not necessary. This leads us to being paralyzed and not believing in our own skills and abilities to overcome these challenges.
It can also lead to unwarranted behaviour too. It can be where conspiracy theories start and can spiral out of control.
Being in the mindset to not overthink situations and to sometimes let things be presented as they are can lead us to can allows us to spend time and energy on the things that matter most in our lives.
The final rule is to smile. Even during these difficult times, there is a lot of power to smiling — even smiling with our eyes. There are tonnes of benefits to smiling for ourselves and for those around us.
It’s a generally good thing to be doing when you can.
Living a better life relies on the rules that we bound ourselves on. While there are no particular set of rules we should be living our lives on, having these particular rules can allow us to avoid some of the various common traps that people fall into.