1. Don’t be a sheep. Baaah. Oh yes, the enormity of conformity; it permeates every corner of our society. Sometimes in our desperation to fit in, to belong and to avoid rocking the boat, we lose us. If you’re part of a group (organisation, company, church, team, gang, club) that discourages independent thought, freedom of expression or a contrary opinion, start running and don’t look back. Think for yourself. Learn your own truth. Be your own person.
2. Make the hard decisions. Some of us have spent years perfecting the skill (yep, it’s a skill) of not making the decisions we should. You know what I mean. And by the way, by not making a decision, you are making a decision.
3. Be a treasure hunter; consciously find (and appreciate) the good in your world. If you’re determined to find (and focus on) the negative, you will. And many people do. For me, the misery mindset has never been a particularly attractive option.
4. Choose your attitude every morning. It’s kind of liberating and empowering to know that a good or bad day is completely in our control and that while the happenings in our world might influence us, they don’t need to determine us.
5. Be proactive, not reactive. A person who spends their life being reactive not proactive is always playing catch up, is rarely happy or fulfilled and will never maximise their potential. Wouldn’t you prefer to be the Captain of your ship rather than the deck hand?
6. Seek to be wealthy, not rich. The kind of wealth I’m talking about here is all encompassing and may or may not have anything to do with money. That depends on you. People who are emotionally, socially, mentally, physically and spiritually wealthy have a distinct advantage over their counterparts whose entire life focus has been about building a bank balance and accumulating assets. And yes, it’s possible to be wealthy and rich; they need not be mutually exclusive.
7. Don’t hang out with toxic people. Spend enough time with toxic people and pretty soon you’ll be one. Their crappy attitude, pessimism, self-pity, negative language and their ability to ‘find the bad’ is contagious. If swine flue is your only alternative, take it; it’s less harmful.
8. Don’t let your past become your future. Unless you want it to, of course. If you want to create different results, do different things. If you want to step out of your own version of Groundhog Day, then stop hoping things will work out and start doing what you need to. It really ain’t that complex.
9. Strive for improvement not perfection. Perfection is a myth and a very destructive pursuit. It doesn’t exist – not in human form anyway – yet strangely, we are obsessed with it.
10. Don’t become your parents. By all means love them, appreciate them, respect them and learn from them but please don’t be them. It’s kinda creepy. And sad.
11. Under-promise and over-deliver. A great principle for business and for life in general; unlike many people who talk the talk and then deliver donuts. Zippo. Nada.
12. Don’t eat what you don’t need. Crazy concept I know. Imagine if we actually gave our body what it needed rather than giving it what our mind wants. What obesity epidemic?
13. Don’t rely on Motivation. Like all emotional states, motivation is temporary. It comes and goes. Kind of like flatulence. The person who only does what he should be doing when he is ‘motivated’ will never succeed over the long term because when the (feeling of) motivation subsides (and it always does) so too will the (change) behaviours. This is the time when our ‘non-negotiable’ behaviours should come into play – the ones that keep us doing what we need to, even when we don’t feel like it.
14. Do what scares you. Control your fear or it will control you. Within reason of course. I’m not suggesting that you run in front of a truck any time soon, but I am suggesting that you stop always choosing the easy, comfortable, convenient and safe (but ultimately unfulfilling and unrewarding) path. What scares us teaches us.
15. Stop looking for approval and permission. You’re big now; you don’t need it.
16. Don’t give away your personal power. You’ve done that for long enough.
17. Deal with problems quickly. Minor challenges become monumental problems (in our mind) if we wait long enough.
18. Learn to control your internal environment. Being as we do most of our ‘living’ in our head, it’s in our interest to make it a nice place to inhabit.
19. Ask the right questions. You know those questions; the ones that put you in a productive, positive, creative and solution-focused head space.
20. Be adaptable. Easier said than done but definitely something we need to develop. Living in a dynamic world along side unpredictable people in an ever-changing environment and situation means that adaptability is a prerequisite for the would-be success story.
So which of the above principles resonate for you? Feel free to add your own number 21…. 22, 23…