Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued — Socrates
I have experimented a lot with my life. I have built businesses and failed in businesses. I have failed in relationships and had successful ones. I have made money and lost all of it.
Over time, I have developed a few rules. By trial and error. Testing which one sticks and prove useful in the long term. Some are learnt from others.Tested over ages.
Why have rules? Rules help to navigate difficult times. Makes decision easier when in doubt.
The rules cover almost all aspects of life. From relationship to money to career to parenting to health.
Here are my rules:
If you do not step forward you will always remain where you are — Nora Roberts
The rule: Never linger on the past. Spending time wondering what could have happened differently. When something happens, move on to the next chapter.
Sometimes it is because of what you have done. Sometimes it is entirely out of your control.
Nature always move forward. Nature never stops and wander about the past.
Always keep moving.
2. Where possible, delegate and give away
Your home is living space, not storage space― Francine Jay
The rule: Let go. Money, memories, power, possessions.
No one is indispensable. Things will happen even if you are not there.
The moment you are not in the frame, you will be forgotten faster than you can think.
We are by nature hoarder. We are the hoarder of material things, power, memories. Our evolution did not equip us to let go. We tend to accumulate whenever possible.
Delegate responsibilities. Giveaway authority whenever possible. Giveaway possessions at every opportunity. You will have a much fruitful life.
In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility — Eleanor Roosevelt
The rule: Being responsible for all my actions and whatever happens to me.
No one is responsible for our life but us. When evil happens, no one else is responsible. When things go well, we make it happen. No one else.
There are no friends to blame. No family to blame. No society to blame.
Taking ownership of our life is liberating. It gives an extraordinary sense of power. We can only be successful when we take ownership.
A good traveler is one who knows how to travel with the mind — Michael Bassey Johnson
The rule: Be open to experiences and experiments. Always be curious.
New places, new thoughts, new people, new exercise regimes, new projects.
The only caveat is I am careful what I put in my body.
I have found that being open to new experiences open up doors. It helps us connect the dots. Understand the trends. Even when you are not aware of the upside.
Be curious. Be like children. Questioning everything.
The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything — Warren Buffet
The rule: Saying no to requests unless I am certain.
I picked this up later in life. I used to say Yes a lot. Ended up taking too many projects. Accepted too many invites. And later regretted it.
I somehow confused saying yes to experiencing new things. These are not correlated. We need to have an internal compass on what we say yes to.
It is only to the areas that add value to our life or that of others. The value does not have to be monetary. In fact, in most cases, it is not. But the experience adds value in a more profound way. By teaching us something new.
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated — Confucius
The rule: Do not overthink problems.
I have learned overthinking does not help solve problems. Most of the challenges we face in life are simpler than we tend to make it.
We read too much into the leaves. We spend time wondering about others’ intentions. We over analyse to interpret how our colleagues/boss is behaving with us.
Make life simpler. Stop overanalysing.
7.Make decisions, quickly
Are you sure, Gray?’
He lifted his eyes. ‘No . . . I’m not. I’m not sure of a damn thing.’ He slipped his hands free of the monsignor’s and peeled the battery off the phone, cutting the last ring in half. ‘But that doesn’t mean I won’t act― James Rollins, The Judas Strain
The rule: Do not think too much when making daily decisions. If you are making life changing decisions, sleep over it for a night.
I make decisions quickly. I have realized most of the decisions I make do not have a long-term impact. Also, I never will have all the information. And there will always be factors beyond our control.
The best solution is to roll the dice and watch how different forces work together. In almost all cases, you will have a chance to make a new one if you do not like the result of the first one.
8. Don’t hide
Fear is only as deep as the mind allows — Japanese Proverb
The rule: Don’t hide behind fears. Face challenges heads on.
I have learned this rule over time and at a very high cost. Hiding behind fears do not make the problem go away. It only makes the problem worse.
Facing challenges head on, on the other hand, can help solve tough problems. Courage to face adversity is one of the most important disciplines to master in life.
9. Put Family/Loved ones first
All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way— Leo Tolstoy
The rule: Family/Loved ones come first. No questions.
We tend to take our loved ones for granted. We get too busy with our career and start sacrificing on the family time.
Assuming they will always be there.
Children grow up too quickly. The loved ones may not be there when you need her most. Take care of them.
10. Don’t make your money work too hard
The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket — Will Rogers
The rule: Spend less than you earn. Save. Invest wisely. Use compound interest.
We are constantly bombarded with different ways to make a fortune. There is no easy way. The only way build wealth is to work wisely.
Only chase money that you need for a comfortable living. And you do not need much for that.
Don’t invest unless you know all the rules and understand risks.
Save at every opportunity. Compound interest is a powerful tool. Use it at your advantage.
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