I’ve been running on a high recently. I have managed to maintain a positive attitude despite not having a job, not knowing whether I was on the right career path and wrestling with the decision of whether or not I should go back to school to obtain a designation for said career I am on the fence about. (Now for people with common sense, the logical answer would be a resounding, “No”. But for people like me who have no sense, the answer is in fact: “Well gee, I dunno.”)
So what’s going on? Why the high? Despite my newfound need for additional finances, I am not here to introduce you to a new wonder drug. (If only…)
The easy answer is that I was committed this time around to focus completely on what I wanted to do. Now I know that isn’t feasible to others, so give me a second to make my case. I am, after all, here to save you time.
The key to leading a consistently positive and purposeful life is by creating a set of rules on how you should live your life. Even—no, especially—when you live your life on other people’s terms. Whether you’re a teen still stuck at home with overbearing parents or you’re a husband and father of two with a mortgage and bills to pay, chaining you to your job, you need to expose yourself to the things you love to do and take a bit of time getting to know who you are so that you can create a list of principles that you can come back to whenever you start feeling lost. Because at the end of the day, that’s what unhappiness boils down to—losing sight of yourself, your potential, your strength.
Example of rules I’ve set for myself:
- No matter what’s going on around you, keep doing what you want to do.
- Dream up a goal and auto-pilot the hell out of it. Steps to achieve that:
- Dream of the things you want to do, to be.
- Think of it as a goal.
- Take it apart and break it down to something you can do every day.
- Do the step every day. Forget the goal and have faith you will reach it one day so long as you do your daily bit.
- Let the pieces fall where they may.
- Never give up because so long as you are trying, you have a chance.
- Always remember: Work hard. Do good. Have faith.
- You must write.
- You must finish what you write.
- You must include in your writing all the things that make you happy.
- You must include all the things makes you sad.
- You must be telling yourself the story of what made you happy and sad.
- When you’re stuck, remember: the story is real. It’s pre-existing in a world somewhere far off on it’s own. All you have to do is watch and write what you witness.
What are the rules you can come back to in order to remind yourself of who you are when you lose your way?