True Rules

I finally finished reading The Happiness Project. There was one more thing that struck me about the book that I wanted to post about – Gretchen Rubin’s “True Rules.” These are the rules you live by, things you repeat to yourself while going about your day or making life decisions. They could be significant or small. A mantra, or a simple reminder. They may have come from your parents, your siblings, your friends, a teacher, a book. It’s a neat exercise to think about the “true rules” you’ve created for yourself. And it’s actually not all that simple to bring them to the forefront of your mind. Here are some of mine:

  • If you commit to go through when the light turns yellow, don’t turn back.
  • Don’t go grocery shopping hungry.
  • You never know what kind of pain someone else is in (so be nice).
  • Drink more water.
  • Don’t leave food below waist height (most other beagle owners probably use this one, too).
  • One thing in, one thing out.
  • You’re the only person who will never leave you.
  • You become what you think about.

I asked a few friends for some of theirs, and I got a few great ones:

  • Don’t send drunk texts.
  • Don’t punch as many people as really do deserve it.
  • When shoe shopping, you must put both shoes on and do at minimum a lap around the store, then be complete honest with yourself and only buy them if they don’t cripple you, no matter how cute. (This friend then said, “I’m bad at following my rule though since my closet is full of shoes that kill my feet.”)

Sometimes it can be a good idea to think about the rules you’ve set for yourself and evaluate whether they’re still “good.” The rules sometimes just creep in there whether we’ve thought about if they’re good for us or not. I remember some old food rules I managed to banish from my rulebook, for example.

What are your True Rules? Have you added any lately? Have you deleted any?

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4 thoughts on “True Rules”

  1. One of my rules applies to music, and the iTunes folks probably don’t enjoy it too much:

    If you like an artist’s song enough to buy it, buy the whole album and listen to what else they have. This way, you’re not just getting a song you know and like, but perhaps taking a risk and exposing yourself to some music you might actually like!

    Or something like that….

  2. A few from your mom:
    *Honesty is (usually) the best policy.
    *Never have more than 6 cats and 3 dogs at one time.
    *You get what you pay for.
    *It’s not what you say but what you do that matters.
    *Never go swimming in the lake without putting on Bullfrog.

    From Dad:
    *Don’t attribute to malice what could be attributed to ignorance or stupidity.
    *Pick up your pants.

    I’m not waiting for Dad to contribute any more – he could go on forever.

  3. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

    At the end of the day, only you can make yourself happy. Also, you are the only one standing in the way of your own happiness. Other people can make you unhappy, but only if you let them.

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