A good life is when you assume nothing, do more, need less, smile often and realize how fortunate you are right now. It’s about the simple pleasures that make you happy, the compassionate deeds you perform, the personal goals you strive to achieve, the relationships you nurture and the legacy you leave behind.
So starting today, choose to take control. Here are ten commandments to help you live a good life.
And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count.
It’s the life in your years.
– Abraham Lincoln
I. I am not perfect and I will not try to be.
Think of how many things don’t get done in this world simply because people are waiting for the perfect time, place and circumstance.
The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists. It rewards people who get things done. And the only way to get things done is to be imperfect 99% of the time. (Read Too Perfect.)
ll. I cannot, and will not try, to please everyone.
No matter what you do or how you do it, there will always be people that disagree with what you’re doing. That’s life. So don’t try to please everyone. Simply do what you know is right.
And remember, it doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it, it matters how many people do.
III. I will take part in something I believe in.
This could be anything. Some people take an active role in their city council, some find refuge in religious faith, some join social clubs supporting causes they believe in and others find passion in their careers. In each case the psychological outcome is the same. They engage themselves in something they strongly believe in. This engagement brings happiness and meaning into their lives.
IV. I will prioritize my obligations and do important things first.
Set priorities for yourself and act accordingly. It’s the only way to get things done.
It’s the only way to turn a dream into a reality. (Read Getting Things Done.)
V. I will choose my friends wisely.
Your friends are family you choose. So make sure you choose friends who are worthy of your time and attention.
Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be. Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you – people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it.
VI. I will help others when I am able.
In life, you get what you put in.
When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life. The more you help others, the more they will want to help you.
VII. I will focus on the positive.
Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story. The mind must believe it can do something before it is capable of actually doing it.
The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful. Listen to your self-talk and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Regardless of how a situation seems, focus on the next positive step forward.
VIII. I can only be me.
Judy Garland once said, “Always be a first rate version of yourself instead of a second rate version of somebody else.” Live by this statement.
There is no such thing as living in someone else’s shoes. The only shoes you can occupy are your own. If you aren’t being yourself, you aren’t truly living – you’re merely existing. And ask yourself this: If you don’t like who you really are, why should I like you?
Trying to be somebody you’re not is not sexy. Be you. That’s when you’re beautiful.
IX. I will be here now.
Life is happening right now. Instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, practice being and living in the present moment.
Remember, right now is the only moment guaranteed to you. Right now is life. Don’t miss it. (Read Zen and the Art of Happiness.)
X. Life never gets any better, only my perception of it does.
The world around you changes when you change.
If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right. The opposite is also true. The choice is yours to make.
Photo by: Eduardo Amorim