There are a million rules or guidelines that govern our lives each day. The government gives us some. Employers give us more. Churches have their rules, too. But have you ever stopped to think about what your own personal code of conduct is? How you will choose to act in certain situations. What kind of person do you want to be in this life?
Let me share some of the things I strive to live by.
1. Make the most of the present moment
I’m a dreamer. I have a very vivid imagination. I’m exactly who they’re talking about when they say introverts have such a rich inner life that they often prefer their own thoughts over external interaction.
This ties in with the fact that I’m often so future-focused. I love planning, goal-setting, ruminating on my three-year plan, five-year plan, ten-year plan (yes, I have those) and basically just plotting world domination.
But it’s good to be still and know that God is looking down, watching me, orchestrating my life. It’s good, critical even, to look at the beauty around me, get present with my children who are growing so fast it makes me dizzy, and appreciate everything I’m blessed with in this present moment.
2. Focus on imagining a bright future rather than replaying memories of the past
The past is not a good place to live. So many of us can’t move forward because we’re bound by memories of the past. Learn from the past and move on from it. Nobody can move forward looking in the rearview mirror. On the flip side, if you think about the past because it’s better than the present ask God for a new vision for your future.
3. Be grateful for even the ‘little’ things
What I consider little things: food, water, electricity, etc. are NOT little things. So many people in this world don’t have these things.
4. Know your purpose and get after it
Purpose gives life meaning. Impacting other people’s lives has to be one of the greatest blessings there is. And when your desire is to leave this place better, even if in some small way, than how you met it, you won’t have time for drama and negativity. Which leads me nicely to the next point.
5. Tune out negativity
There is enough negativity in the world. I want to be someone who stands out when God looks down. Someone He notices because I’m being Godly, shining His light and making the world a better place with my attitude.
6. Discuss ideas not people
When you discuss people it’s very rarely positive. Ideas usually center around something that doesn’t yet exist in the world, at least not in the way that you are envisioning it. Ideas/creativity are part of what make us resemble God’s image.
7. Send the naysayers love and keep moving
Jesus said love your enemies. Bless those who curse you. Enough said. Hate them and you become like them.
8. Understand that life is a journey
Everything isn’t going to happen all at once. It’s about taking another step each day and letting God work everything out according to His plan. Humans haven’t yet figured out how to teleport. We still have to travel through time and space. It’s the same with God’s plan. There’s no teleporting to the end of the road. You must walk each step.
9. Refuse to make decisions based on emotion
Take time out. Read a book. Talk it over with a trusted person. Go for a walk. And only when you have gained control of your emotions should you decide. This is huge.
10. Know that consistency is usually more important than speed
I used to feel like I’ve wasted a day if I haven’t added 10,000 words to my current work in progress. Then I decided I was going to ratchet that up to 13,000 words a day. And…life sucked. I was mentally drained. Exhausted. Tired. Then God led me to this concept of how consistency is better than speed.
Writing just a manageable number of words a day is better than overstretching myself to write an insane (for me–some other authors manage it) number of words and then burning out and having to keep stopping and starting. I can think of so many areas of life in which this one applies, but I’ll leave it there.
11. Forgive others
Forgiving that person who hurt you isn’t saying that what they did is okay. It’s saying that you no longer give them and what they did the power to hurt you or the right to dominate your thoughts. Let it go.
12. Forgive yourself
Sometimes this is harder than forgiving someone else. Release your self-judgement and self-criticism. Stop remembering what God has forgotten.
Which ‘rule’ most resonates with you? What would you add?