Rules to Live By

A few weeks ago I posted 10 awesome life lessons from Jack Dorsey (CEO of Square and Chairman of Twitter)... and today there's a few more great ones courtesy of a guest post over on Leo Babauta's Zen Habits.
Guest poster Craig Ballantyne shared these nuggets that I find really applicable to my life:

I do not engage in confrontations with anyone, in-person or online. This is a waste of time and energy. If I have caused harm, I apologize and fix the situation. However, if someone simply doesn’t like something I have done or something that I do or disagrees with me, that is fine, but I’m not going to get into an argument about it. For any confrontation-like situation, I simply take a deep breath, relax, breathe out, and re-focus my efforts back on my work and goals.

This is an aspiration for me. I've been in my share of Internet arguments (over politics usually, which is why I rarely post on politics any longer) and in the end, it's a complete waste of time. Every time. Even in-person arguments can get to that point very fast. The key to this is owning up to your mistakes and fixing them... and not taking differences of opinion as a personal attack. Both are hard, but both are worth working toward.

“It will all be over soon.” – This serves me in both good times and in bad.In hard times, such as bad days, troubled times, or intense physical effort or discomfort, I know that it will all be over soon. A small amount of suffering now will be forgotten later when I will enjoy the rewards of my work. And in good times, I will remember that life is short, and I must make things count now, and no matter how good things are going I must never let myself become soft and lazy, because I have too much to accomplish in such a short time.

Impermanence, plain and simple. Bad and good things both end eventually. When I read this, I think of Jack Dorsey's 'Be OK with Endings' lesson. So, so true. It's still hard, but it's a good reminder that life will go on and to appreciate everything good in your life.

Everything that happens to me – good and bad – is my personal responsibility. I blame no one but myself. These are the choices I’ve made – this is the life I’m living. I will accept the consequences of my actions.

Buddhism 101. For me it boils down to this: Make the best choices you can in the moment and own the mistakes you make... learn, adjust, and grow. If you aren't failing, you aren't taking risks and growing.

I will not be a person I don’t want to be. I will not be petty, jealous, or envious, or give in to any other of those lazy emotions. I will not gossip or speak badly of others, no matter who I am with or what environment I am in. I will not be negative when it is easier to be positive. I will not hurt others when it is possible to help. I will know the temptations, situations and environments in life that I must avoid, and I will, in fact, avoid them, even if it means loosening relationships with others who “live” in those environments. It’s my life and that matters more than what other people think of me.

Another aspiration and a very important part of Buddhist belief. And SO hard. I've certainly had brushes with jealousy, speaking badly of others, and other lazy emotions and cheap actions. I do try very hard to run all of my big, important choices through these basic guidelines though. And when I don't, I own up to my mistakes.

I will laugh every day.

Laughter is key to so much, in my opinion. I am so thankful to be with such a hilarious (and beautiful) person.


How is the new year, so far, for you? What big ideas are you working on or living your life by this year?

Author: Jason

I am a patient boy.