Imagine being in the underground/tube/metro of one of the world’s metropolises in which you haven’t been before – in the midst of the morning rush. Every single place is packed with people, anxious to move forward, to board and get off the trains. Imagine all the escalators, crossing long corridors, ambiguous signboards and announcements, ubiquitous ads, all the noise from people and trains.
Image that you don’t really know where you need to go. So you just adjust to the masses, get pushed around here and there. You see some signs on the way, and along with the crowd you board some trains whose tags you barely see. It’s difficult and stressful to be there even if you knew where to go. Eventually you notice you’ve ended up in some weird place with a lot less people.
Well, guess what – since you didn’t have a destination to start with, this is exactly where you’re supposed to be! If you never think about where you want to go and just follow the masses, you can find yourself just about anywhere.
As the saying goes:
If you don’t know where you are going, any direction is good!
Plus – you get pushed around a lot along the way.
Now, the very same thing applies to life itself. They say lots of people have regrets on their death beds. More often than not, the regrets seem to be related to making decisions – or more precisely, the lack thereof. Many claim they have lived someone else’s life, while realizing only very late they would’ve wanted to do something different. But instead they have conformed to the outside pressure and norms.
Some reckon this earlier. There are countless examples of people who are unhappy with their life and mentally and socially unstable, even if they seemingly “have it all” and are living the good life. We also have a specific term coined called “midlife crisis.” A lot of the evil in the world as well happens when good people just follow the herd. Don’t be one of them.
The thing is, most of us just don’t bother to think about what it is that they want from life, what are their goals, and how they want to live – what are their values. The feeling of drifting around and not being in control of your life is caused by not having really thought about what’s important to you personally and what living the good life means to you. Then, things go really bad when the “outside world” (or any external power you’re blaming) is “forcing” you to do something that deep inside doesn’t feel right. Enter bitterness.
If you want to enjoy life and achieve what you want, then you better put in some effort and remind yourself every day about your principles for good life. That is, everyone should have a certain set of goals to aim for and rules to live by. Think of it as a code of conduct for yourself.
Similar to the imagined subway, you simply can’t stay focused and keep moving into the desired direction in everyday life unless you have a clear idea of where you are going, and your own values and principles. The good thing is, even if you aren’t so clear about your life goals or are in process of re-evaluating them, it helps tremendously if you at least have thought about your own values and principles of good life. Knowing what you don’t want is very powerful. “If nothing else, I certainly don’t want to board that train, or walk into that corridor.”
When you know your values, you can make sure you are working to achieve the things that matter to you most.
Below, I’m sharing a list I’ve put together for myself.
The 15 Commandments:
- Sleep enough. Make this your #1 priority.
- Exercise regularly. It gives energy.
- Eat healthy. It tunes up your body & mind.
- Love a lot. Start with yourself.
- Always preserve positive mental attitude.
- Create goals for yourself. Make decisions.
- Write your goals down on paper and think about them every day. Visualize.
- Take action every day. Go the extra mile.
- Take a break and breath deep regularly.
- Be present. See the extraordinary.
- Express gratitude daily. Give thanks.
- Share, and help others actively. Do good.
- Keep an open mind. Discourage prejudice.
- Always try new things. Take risks.
- Remember to enjoy life. Stress less.
There you go! I explore these in more detail in separate posts.
If you have any additions or suggestions of your own, post a comment below!