What rules are you living life by?
The way we choose to live our lives is determined by the rules that we decide to follow. Some we abide by willingly, some we abide by to keep the peace and some we abide by to avoid the consequences of what would happen if we didn’t.
I’d like you to take a moment to reflect on the rules that you are following.
Are you following rules that are restricting how you experience life?
Are there rules that you have chosen to follow that stop you from being your true self?
Do the rules that you follow allow you to enjoy life?
Although I was born in the UK, I had a traditional Greek upbringing as my parents are both Greek Cypriots. When I was young, the men were seen as the providers and the women were seen as the homemakers. I knew from a young age that I would be expected to marry a Greek man and that this would be facilitated by my family.
I could have chosen to follow the rules. But I didn’t. The idea of being set up with potential husbands, who my family had chosen, baffled me. Although I knew they would have my best interests at heart, I wanted to choose who I would spend the rest of my life with. And that’s what I did.
Although this may not seem like a big deal, let me tell you that it was.
So I ask you again to look at the rules that govern the way you live your life. How do they influence your relationships, your work, your money, your health and your well-being?
Do they allow you to be happy?
There is a great book by Don Miguel Ruiz called The Four Agreements that sets out four basic principles to live life by, which I want to share with you as food for thought and that may help you with your life rules.
I regularly draw on these principles when I’m coaching my clients as for me these principles help to take the toxic emotion out of life and help us to see more clearly. We are then better able to make decisions that are right for us.
Agreement 1: Be impeccable with your word
In essence, this means saying what you mean and meaning what you say. And not just with words but with your whole being, which means your thoughts and your behaviour. Having the courage to be yourself, which may mean sometimes standing alone or going against the norm.
However, there are two sides to this agreement. It’s also being aware of the impact your word will have on others. It’s accepting that others may disagree and that’s okay. It’s accepting that others may not be ready to hear what you have to say. In these instances, it’s having the self-control to know how to conduct yourself whilst remaining true to who you are without imposing your views on others.
Agreement 2: Don’t take it personally
This agreement is about being comfortable with who you are.
In life, people will disagree with you, even criticise you, however, it’s not personal. It’s their opinion based on the experiences they have had so far. The stories and beliefs that guide their life.
Similarly, during life, you will receive compliments. However, we shouldn’t seek this as a way of validation.
Instead, it’s about cultivating a strong sense of self which means you can withstand the challenges that come your way and you do not need others to make you happy.
Agreement 3: Don’t make assumptions
It’s easy to make assumptions when we don’t have the answers. Making assumptions helps to fill the gaps but it can also make a mountain out of a molehill.
How many times have you made assumptions about what someone is thinking? Why they reacted the way they did? Why they said what they said?
Instead of using time and energy in making assumptions focus on the facts and what you do know.
Agreement 4: Always do your best
In simple terms, this means being able to look yourself in the mirror every day knowing that you did your best. But also acknowledging that doing your best will differ depending on how you’re feeling.
Doing your best when you are well will look different from when you’re unwell, you’ve had disrupted sleep or you’ve received bad news. So show yourself compassion and do what you can.
There may be rules that we should live by to be a good citizen however there are many more rules in life that are self-imposed. We have the freedom to choose which ones are serving us and allowing us to experience life with joy versus the ones that restrict us and mean we hide who we truly are.
I invite you to become more aware of the rules that govern your life and choose the ones that propel you towards where you want to go in life.
Which rules do you want to live by?
You might also like to read, Having the confidence to deal with life’s events
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