Every human being has a set of rules to live by, and most coaching and change work are really just assisting people to change those rules.
I've got a set of life rules to live by called The Difference Maker Manifesto which is seven things that I like to remind myself of on a regular basis. They provide me with an evaluation system for how to look at the world and how to make decisions.
So, if we keep in mind that time and your entire life is governed by your decision-making process, having a good set of rules will allow you to live a life that you love.
You'll find that religions will give you a great set of rules to live by too. If you're a Christian, you've got The 10 Commandments. If you're a Buddhist, you have the precepts of how to live a contented life. If you’re a Muslim, you have the Qur’an, and so on.
One of the good things you can do in life is you can also write your own golden rules to live by, whatever that may be.
I remember seeing a rule book where someone wrote, “I want to be able to leave a project anytime I want without having to complete it. I want to wear what I want. I want to wear a watch for fashion purposes only.”
They just had these really cool set of rules, and they just did everything they could to live by that set of rules.
So, without further ado, here are some good rules to live by, my 7 rules of life… my Top 7 Rules To Live By to live a happy and fulfilling life.
1. Cultivate A Growth Mindset
My first golden rule in life is to cultivate a growth mindset. When it comes to cultivating a growth mindset, there are two types: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
A fixed mindset says, "I'm either smart, or I'm not."
While a growth mindset says that intelligence is just a skill that you can acquire.
So when I read that, it reminds me that there is no such thing as natural talent. Anything I want to do that anyone else has done, I can develop the skill.
Sure there are physical attributes that benefit people - like I’ll probably never be a professional basketball player. And that’s okay with me.
But can I train myself how to shoot a hoop? Of course I can.
So this is one of my daily rules to live by because I want to remember that anything anyone can do, I can do it as well. I just got to acquire the skill.
2. Replace External Approval With Internal Permission
My next rule of life is I will continue to replace external approval with internal permission. That's something that Dr Wayne Dyer taught me, and I want to always remind myself of that. That’s because constantly, I was looking for someone else's approval.
I sometimes question if my brother will approve this or will my mother approve that – I found myself seeking external approval and permission.
So I replaced external approval with internal permission. And just really learning every day of my life, I'm learning more and more that what people think of me is just none of my business.
I think you’ll know you've smashed this rule when you're out on your front lawn, in your underpants washing your car, and you do not care who drives past!
3. Get Outside Of Your Comfort Zone
My third life rule is I want to continue stepping outside of my comfort zone, regardless of self-belief and fear.
I want to make sure that I feel anxiety every single day of my life. I want to live in a state of anxiety because I don't use the word ‘anxiety’... I use the word expansion.
If there's anything I've learned, when I feel anxious about anything, it's because I'm growing. If I don't feel anxious, I'm doing nothing new in my life, and I'm just repeating what happened yesterday.
So I seek out things that make me feel anxious. I step into them.
If you stop an entrepreneur who’s going to a new business meeting to try to close a deal, and you ask them to describe exactly what's happening in their body, they will describe a textbook description of anxiety.
But if you ask them how they felt at that moment, they'll say excited. They are thrilled for the deal.
So anxiety is a definition we place on a naturally occurring feeling in the body. People with anxiety issues though can have an extreme level of that feeling. Of course, I totally get that.
But quite often, just changing the frame we wrap around anxiety to, “I’m alive because I'm expanding out of my comfort zone”, will allow you to live your life to the fullest.
Sometimes, before big events, I’ll have a large amount of expansion. If you ever see me at the back of a room, standing against a wall, I may look normal, but I’m not. I have extreme expansion occurring.
Or if my hand is in my suit jacket, then leave me alone because that’s a sign that I’m having major issues right now and not coping at all!
But I look for that! I want to feel that feeling because it means I'm growing.
That feeling of anxiety is basically when you do something new, your brain produces two chemicals at the same time - confusion and excitement.
It produces confusion and excitement because you’ve never done it before. So when those two chemicals collide in the centre of your chest, they create a vibration that you're not used to. And if you're not used to it, you give it a negative name like anxiety. But the fact is you can't get rid of it.
After over 10 years of presenting, I still get anxiety every time I present. It's going to be there forever. So, I may as well love it!
It’s just me, growing. It's the price you pay to grow. So, one of the most important rules to live by is to get outside my comfort zone regardless of self-belief and fear.
4. Belong To A Community That Empowers You
I always want to remind myself that I want to be around people that empower me and that challenge me for the purpose of empowerment.
There are people out there that you go up to them and you're like, “Hey! I just grew my business to six figures! I just made 100 grand last year!”
And they'll say, “Excellent! This year, make it seven!” So they're challenging you and empowering as you well.
That's why I like going to workshops where you're surrounded by people that are empowered because it’s an empowering network.
And because of this rule, every six months I go through my phone, and I trim out people that don't bring empowerment to my life and don’t share the same values.
5. Act With A Sense of Urgency
I want to make sure that so soon as I have a thought, I act on that thing. I train myself to do it.
If it’s too difficult to do, I just figure out how to make it easier, or I just break the task down into small pieces and do the first easy step.
By acting with a sense of urgency, you’ll act with more purpose and more determination which will allow you to finish more things and become closer to the goals that you’ve set out to achieve.
6. Invest In Education
This rule is one of the best rules to live by which is I always want to remind myself to invest in education. I never want to forget that education is an asset class and that I will spend money on it.
You must have a budget for education and spend that thing regularly. One of the richest people who lives in Hong Kong believes that you should allocate 15% of your entire income to education.
Now, I don’t believe he does that because that would be a billion bucks or so. I don’t know how you learn a billion bucks.
But I think if you looked at when he started, he methodically decided to take 15% of his income each year and spend it on education.
Definitely, for a large amount of my career, I was spending at least 15% of my income on education, and I never want to stop doing that. I still sign up for online programs, I still go to workshops, I still do all of that stuff because I see the value of it.
7. Possess An "Until Attitude”
This a Jim Rohn philosophy, and an “until attitude” basically means you do something until it works. You’ll continue to be stubborn and do things until they work.
This rule will make you read the books that you need to read until your skills change. You’ll go to all the seminars until you get a handle on it. You’ll listen to that thing until it makes sense. You’ll practice that skill until you are a master at that skill.
Possess an “until attitude” and you’ll never miss an opportunity to grow.
My 7 Life Rules To Live By – In Conclusion
Hope you enjoyed my seven rules for life. They continue to serve me well for my decision-making processes. To recap, the 7 rules of life are:
- Cultivate a growth mindset.
- Replace external approval with internal permission.
- Get outside of your comfort zone.
- Belong to a community that empowers you.
- Act with a sense of urgency.
- Invest in education.
- Possess an “until attitude”.
There are many other rules to live by in life, but these are the core seven that I like to use from a framework of growth, empowerment and transformation.
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Read more about: Mindset