Have you ever wished that life came with an instruction manual?
If so, you’re not alone.
Bookstores carry lots of self-help books for a reason; many of us are seeking a magic formula that will guarantee us success in both our professional and personal lives.
Unfortunately, there’s no single blueprint that works for everyone.
However, there are simple, commonsense rules that have stood the test of time.
If you follow them every day, in every area of your life, you will soon reap the benefits.
Here are 17 rules that will set you on the right path:
1. Be thankful when things go well, and when things don’t go your way
Gratitude is the key to inner peace.
Try to appreciate what you have, rather than what you lack. Even if you lose, there’s a lesson to be learned in it.
2. Expect to work hard for your successes
Behind every successful person is a strong work ethic.
Be realistic when setting goals.
If you aren’t willing to sacrifice time and effort, don’t start.
3. Treat everyone with respect
Manners cost nothing.
It’s simple; treating people well will win you more friends, which in turn will boost your happiness.
4. Don’t hold onto grudges
Life’s too short to waste time obsessing over people who have wronged you.
For your own sake, move on.
5. If something or someone is damaging your health, be prepared to walk away
You have the ultimate responsibility for your wellbeing.
It’s up to you to preserve your physical and mental health.
6. Forgive yourself for your mistakes
No one is perfect. Rather than beat yourself up, find the lessons you can learn from your mistakes, and vow to do better next time.
7. Don’t lie
Honesty is usually the best policy.
Relationships quickly crumble under lies, and deceiving others will make you feel bad about yourself.
8. Don’t gossip about other people
Picking over someone’s faults behind their back or spreading rumors is destructive.
Not only that, but it makes you look petty and spiteful.
9. Remember that you never truly know what someone else is going through
Try to assume the best of people.
Someone who appears distant or unfriendly may be having a tough time.
10. The only way to get over a fear is to confront it
It’s hard, but you need to prove to yourself that you can handle whatever it is that frightens you.
11. Embrace to-do lists and diaries
To get the most from life and reduce your stress levels, find a time management system that works for you.
You’ll get more done, and feel more accomplished.
12. Seek help when you need it
Whatever your problem, you’ll be in a better position to overcome it with help, whether it comes from a relative, friend, colleague, or health professional.
13. Schedule in time for rest and fun
Both work and play are important for a fulfilling, balanced life.
Make time for both.
Find a couple of hobbies you enjoy, and pursue them.
14. Be prepared to apologize when necessary
We all mess up from time to time.
If you make a mistake, be quick to apologize.
People are more likely to forgive you if you are truly sorry.
15. The more comfortable you are with change, the happier you’ll be
The one thing you can be certain of is that life will change.
The happiest people understand this, and are content to go with the flow.
Nothing lasts forever – and that’s OK.
16. Don’t let other people’s idea of who you are shape your self-image or destiny
Your family and friends probably have a firm set of beliefs about your personality, abilities, and preferences.
These might or might not reflect who you actually are as a person.
When it comes to making life decisions or just choosing how to live your day to day life, do what feels right for you.
Don’t defer to everyone else’s expectations.
17. Confidence is more attractive than fashionable clothes or a slim body
Every day, we’re bombarded with messages about how we should look.
We’re told that you can only be attractive if you meet a narrowly defined idea of beauty.
This just isn’t true.
Beauty comes in lots of shapes, and at every size.
What’s more, your personality and confidence is what matters most in the end.
Keep everything in perspective
Life is all too fleeting, so live with purpose and positive intention.
Stay conscious of both your actions and feelings.
Remember, in the grand scheme of things, most of your problems and worries aren’t a big deal.
When life challenges you, hang in there.
Take a proactive, optimistic attitude, and you can look forward to a better future.