7 Surprisingly Simple Rules to Change Your Life

By CHRIS DANILO — This first appeared on my personal blog.

How many times have you gotten to the end of a list like this and felt like you’ve heard it all before?

Did you feel like you wasted your time?

Did you feel like you only got ONE thing out of it?

Be critical of this list.

I’ve spent a long time revising this list in my own life, and this is the first time I’ve decided to share it with the world.

Is it helpful?

What have you heard, in this list, that you’ve heard a million times before?

What’s something you know exactly how to do? What’s something on which you want more clarity?

Think: how can I take action on each of these rules in my life?

1. Question Authority

By questioning authority as a species, we hold leaders accountable to the people.

The more we question the transparency of policy makers and authority, the more likely they are to serve the people they were created to serve, rather than becoming a nucleus of concentrated power that we know corrupts.

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

2. Think for yourself.

The only person who can drive your life to avoid regret is you.

Be curious. If you discover the world in your own way, by following your own genuine interests, you’ll never forget what you learn.

The NUMBER ONE REGRET people have at the end of their lives is:

“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” (citation)

3. Question yourself; you could be wrong.

Even if you really think you’re right, you could be wrong. It might not even be your fault, but considering this small likelihood can help you in negotiations, relationships, and in your general empathy with others.

And once you’re open to being wrong, you might find that it happens more than you initially thought. 😬

“This is the very perfection of a man; to find out his own imperfection.”
Saint Augustine

4. Don’t make assumptions, test ideas and follow the evidence.

Here’s a link to the original article that published this image.

That goes for TV news, Facebook posts, and all of those Instagram marketers who post about how easy to make $1 million, as they stand in front of the $250,000 car they rented for the day.

You’re going to see it out there, for sure, but don’t internalize it. That part is up to you.

Instead of looking for evidence to support your idea, look for evidence that disproves it.

Use your gut as a ‘bullshit detector’ first, then make a guess and try to disprove it.

Operating around biases is how science works, and it’s the most reliable tool we’ve developed as a species to figure out the truths of the world and avoid our known psychological biases.

5. Don’t take anything personally.

Everyone is fighting their own battle in their own little world. You have no idea what happened to them and made them the way they are.

When people say hurtful things, remember how much pain they must be in.

When people say critical things, remember how critical they must be of themselves.

6. Do your best, where you are, with what you have.

This is the thing you have the most control over in life; your effort.

You can either choose to roll over, or you can choose to endure short term pain for the hope of a long term benefit. There are almost no guarantees in life, but choosing complacency is a close-to-certain death sentence.

“Adventure and risk may harm you, but boredom will kill you.”

7. Make time for play. No excuses.

You can’t perform your best if you’re not in the right mindset.

If you’re not in a habit of creative thinking, you will become a slave to the pattern of ordinary thinking. If you’re not building a habit of change and progression, then you are already building a habit of lethargy and stagnancy.

A creative mind is a productive mind. A complacent mind only consumes.

Plus, your body is biologically connected to your mind. You literally need to move your body around to create the hormones necessary for growth and brain health.

You might have a short-term surge in output by avoiding play time, but your long-term productivity and output quality will suffer.

Thanks for reading!

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