Your Own Rules
One of the very first pieces of advice that I remember receiving was live by your own rules.
It sounds like a good idea. After all, if you don’t live by your own rules, you’re living under the rules of someone else, which can be problematic for a number of reasons.
But the advice should have been: figure out how you will decide on your own personal rules. Before you can follow your own rules, you have to have them to begin with.
Here’s what I do. I collect, in a digital notebook, all of the turning points in my life. Major conflicts, the end of struggles. Joyous occasions, whatever it might be… and then I figure out, from those big events, what my values are, and what my rules should be. I add a new rule to the list, and maybe remove an old one that no longer resonates. It’s almost like those huge moments are like little marks on a map, and I’m writing the field guide.