My brother died when we were little kids.
At the time, my mom was too steeped in sorrow and pain to say much of anything to me: It seemed that breathing, itself, was excruciating for her.
But there was this one thing …
It was something that I was far too young to understand, but not too young that I didn’t know it was important to remember. “I did everything right. I read every book on how to raise a child. I kept you on a schedule, fed you healthy food and made sure you got enough sleep. He died anyway.”
She followed up with, “So I threw out the rule book and started doing things my way.”
Growing into adulthood, I followed her lead but not her lesson: I did everything ‘right’.
I got the right job at the right company. I worked 70 hours a week demonstrating that I was the right hire. I wore the right clothes, worked out at the right club, ate at the right restaurants and earned the right income.
THE RUB? Instead of being someone who made a difference in the lives of others, I was constantly trying to prove I was perfect. While my life looked wildly #successful to others, I felt like a complete failure.
This “follow the rules” formula didn’t work out for me any better than it did for my mom; like her I was in excruciating emotional and mental pain. Unlike her, I brought it on myself.
Then there’s the little tidbit about watching my soul wither away for 17 years, at the same time wondering if it could ever be revived. Oh, that.
Yes, we must learn our own lessons.
My big lesson?
At thirty-seven I pulled a do-over card. I deduced that if I did everything right in my #career and in my life, and I was still so unhappy, then it was time to do things my way: In alignment with my purpose, my passion and my personality. In my ‘one-of-a-kind’ voice.
Can you relate? Has something like this ever happened to you?
- Have you ever ‘followed the rules’ only to realize that you need to create your own?
- Do everyone else’s ideas for your life bump up against everything you know to be true about yourself?
- Have you ever woken up in the morning wondering, “Who’s life am I living?”
If so, then maybe some of my NEW RULES for being happy will apply to your life too. Go ahead… try them on. See if they fit. Experiment with them. Adjust as needed.
- Trust yourself
- Love comes first
- Listen to your inner voice
- Ask for what you want
- Make a difference
- Keep your focus on the solution
- Work your tush off
- Be authentic
- Do what you love 80% of the time
- Don’t compare yourself to anyone else
Finally, know this one thing:
“There is a difference in the world that only you can make.” –Solomonism # 341
The degree to which you’re out there making that difference, is the degree to which you will be happy.
If you think that my rules would be helpful, feel free to drag the image at the top of this article to your desktop, and email it to your friends and coworkers.
What do you think? Have you ever found yourself in a job or career that someone else thought was a great fit for you, but it wasn’t? Do you have your own list of ‘rules’ to work by? I’m sure our community would find it quite valuable to know they’re not alone.
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