Wednesday, February 16, 2011

10 Rules I Try to Live By

1. If you have something bad to say, think really hard before saying it. If you have something nice to say -- ALWAYS SAY IT.
It sounds cliche, but you never know what could happen tomorrow... so if you have something nice to say to someone, say it! It might make their day. Don't hold back on saying something because you worried about how the person is going to take it (unless, yanno, it's something not-so-nice). Normal people like to hear nice things.

2. Take an invite from a group you aren't close with.
We all get offers from time-to-time that we really don't want to take because we don't know the people well and we feel it might be awkward. Well, take the offer. Instead of coming up with excuses, just commit to it and get excited because you'll actually have something to do! I'm not promising that it'll be the best night of your life -- it may actually be awkward or boring -- but you never know. Some of the best nights I've had have been with people outside of my social group. That's how you meet new people and experience new things. Do something different for a change!

3. Always tell the truth, no matter how hard it is.
I'm an avid believer in telling the truth. In fact, most times I find it more difficult to lie than it is to tell the truth. When you lie, you generally feel at least a little bit of guilt, and who wants to feel that? I know it's easier to lie sometimes than tell the truth, especially when its something that could hurt someone or something that is generally not that important. Still, from my perspective, I'd rather know. If people view you as honest, than they are more likely to cut you some slack when you make a mistake, because they can trust that you're telling the truth about it.

4. Don't let school kill your curiosity.
My professor brought up a good point the other day -- we are all victims of the vicious grading system. We learn in class to get good grades, and therefore put those good grades on our resumes, and therefore get a good job. It's not our fault we want those things, we were trained to want those things since we started school. We also need those things for survival. After putting so much work into learning information for class to spit it out on the next test, at the end of the day, we're not very interested in learning anything else. We aren't curious -- we just want to spend useless time on Facebook or watching TV. Who wants to think after they spent so much time thinking about something they don't even care about?

But don't fall victim to this. Keep your curiosity alive. Wonder, think, imagine. Learn something new, something that you've never imagined yourself trying, and do it for no reason at all. When we were learning to walk, it probably sucked, but we did it anyway because we wanted to. We got no reward as we learned, in fact, most of the time we just fell. It didn't matter though, because we wanted to know what it felt like to walk. Apply that to your everyday life.

5. Raise your hand in class.
For me, it was intimidating to raise my hand in class at first. What if I asked a stupid question? I still worry about that, but not as much. As cliche as it sounds, no question really is a stupid question, but it's true. Besides, twenty minutes later the dimwit sitting next to you is going to succumb to their own stupidity and forgot you asked the question anyway. So who cares?

6. Talk to people, ask them about their lives, really listen, and CARE.
Most times when I really like a person, it's because I feel like they really like me (I know, sounds selfish). But humans are selfish a lot and it's the truth. The reason I think these people like me is because they really seem like they care. When I see them, they ask about things going on in my life, and seem like they are really listening when I speak. I think everyone can take a lesson from that. When you take an interest in someone else, you learn new things and get different perspectives than your own -- it helps you grow as person. Also, next time you see them, you won't have to sit in awkward silence thinking of something to say -- you'll actually be able to ask them about something relevant to their lives. Hello, new friends!

7. Learn something new every now and then.
A year ago, cooking was something I thought I'd never learn. But after you actually try, it gets so much easier! You can learn anything. It's fun to try something new, and it gives more options on what to do with your spare time.

8. Don't give advice unless someone asks for it.
I think this one is a biggie. If people want to hear your opinion, they will ask for it. Sometimes even if they ask for it, they might not want to hear it. Sometimes a person just wants to talk things over, so if they are coming to you with a problem, it doesn't always mean they want your two cents.

9. If someone says something bad about another person to you, keep quiet.
The last thing I want to hear in life is that someone said something bad behind my back. I'm not in denial, everyone talks about each other... but do I really want to hear what they are saying? No. That's the reason they are talking BEHIND my back. Everyone talks. So when I hear that someone is talking behind my back, I get really angry. But if I were to knock every person out of my life that has said something bad about me, I'd probably have no one left. Same for everyone. So if someone says something bad, just keep it to yourself -- telling the person about it will just make them feel bad and will definitely lead to bigger problems.

10. Loving someone doesn't mean you have to be perfect.
Relationships are hard sometimes. You want to do your best to be perfect to the person, but since we aren't perfect, it does not always work that way. So just because you make mistakes doesn't mean you love the person any less. Keep that in mind when a person makes mistakes around you. Just because they made a mistake doesn't mean you should take it personally. Unless all they do is make mistakes, well, that's a different story.