Golden rules

You will agree that there is so much wisdom around, you just can’t use it all. Since I can’t remember all of it, here are the few things I try to use daily (I am not claiming authorship of these; however, I have tried to make these wisdoms as simple to navigate and easy to use for a casual reader as I could):

I have very rarely regretted not having said something. But I have many times regretted saying something. Rationale: shut up. Seriously. Speak less. Let your brain catch up with your always-so-ready tongue by waiting for a second before speaking especially if you are talking with those rare people who are listening to you (see the next item below).

It is not who you are, it is the people you know that make a difference. There is a feedback here: the kind of people you know will depend on what you are. Rationale: pay attention to people you meet and appreciate them for what they are. They all know something you don’t. If you truly appreciate them for that, they will remain your friends for years and the value of relationships is the greatest of all values you can have. Remember the inscription on Andrew Carnegie’s tombstone that reads, “Here lies a man who knew how to enlist the service of better men than himself.”

Opportunities can be missed because they look a lot like work. Rationale: If you don’t shy away from work, you will eventually snag an opportunity even if you didn’t recognize it right away.

Never wait on anything, frustrated, wishing for the time to go by faster. The only thing that matters in life is, life itself. Nothing else matters in the long run, and you will agree with me if you imagine for a minute that you just became aware that you have 5 hours left to live. Do you have anything important now? Any earthly possessions still matter? See what I am saying? If yes, then never spend another minute waiting, wishing for your life’s end to come closer. Yes, you will have to wait for something here and there. But instead of wishing for the wait to be over sooner, find something to like around you, something new, something interesting while you are waiting, and spend the waiting time enjoying even those minutes of your life.

Avoid the Feel Good Trap. There are many times when we can choose to do the right thing, or to do a marginal thing that would look as a fair effort to do the right thing. Be honest with yourself: you might do the latter to save a bit of time and effort and use the saved time for something that is actually quite unimportant. Most of the time you will be able to get away with doing the marginal thing but you will get used to the Feel Good level of effort. Two things will result: a) people who see it will lose respect for you; and b) you yourself will become less worthy as a person. Don’t do it. If you get used to putting in the actual effort to do the right thing, you will realize it is not that much harder than keeping up the pretense that only works on the stupider people or those who don’t care about you anyway.