Caution: this post contains cussing and some consider that distasteful. You were warned.
This post isn’t about starting a software company, or selling products, this one has more to do with my personal operating system, and the way I live my life, and who I will live it with. I did not write this post to tell you, the reader, how you should live your life, but am choosing to share a simple articulation of how I’ve chosen to live mine.
These are the Ten Rules that have allowed me to outlive setbacks, find the right opportunities, and stay true to who I am in the process.
1. Break the rules
The rules are made to keep people and ideas organized and thus controlled. If you want to live an exceptional life, you will have to be willing to be unpopular to those that enjoy the safety of an ordered and predictable outcome. In the process of doing anything important, you will be told that the things you do break some rules or culturally acceptable norms. You will have to examine your life to find those rules you’re following simply because everyone else does. These are not those rules that bring order to potentially harmful chaos, but are the ones that have for one reason or another outlived their time or relevance, yet still are being adhered to out of tradition. Break them immediately and purposefully. (Caveat: always obey the law of the land, or those designed to keep you and others safe from harm)
2. Don’t be a pussy
Exactly what it says. If you’re scared, that’s OK, it isn’t the fear, it’s how you respond to that fear. Do you run from anxiety filled decisions and situations and get lost in the lights and wilt or worse, run and hide, or do you step up in the moment? Continuously and perpetually stepping up and beyond natural fears is maybe the biggest factor in living the life that you chose.!
3. Be yourself (no matter what)
This dovetails from point two. The only way to reach your potential, is to reach YOUR potential. People who you are scared to be yourself around, are people you will eventually disappoint. Life is time. Don’t waste any of yours creating personas that you think people will like. Be who you are and this will allow you to build a network of friends, colleagues, and mentors that will stick for life and that you will be comfortable growing with. The opposite is also true, it will ward off assholes from becoming a part of your life.
4. No excuses
Excuses are the gateway to weakness and softness entering your life. The only way to reach your goals in your academics, business, family, morals, spiritually, and health is to eliminate weakness and softness. Excuses are like carbon monoxide poisoning. They sneak in with no odor and kill you by slowly putting you to sleep unawares. Work diligently to identify when you are making excuses for yourself and counter act it with honesty and counteractive measures. When you screw up and wrong someone (and you will) you must own it. Don’t lie to yourself, but keep it real. Your apology isn’t in words but the actions that follow.
5. Think big
If you don’t think big, and I mean really fucking big with everything you do, imagine or envision, then it’s hard to work towards creating the necessary conditions where exceptional opportunities and experiences can happen in your life. Mindset is always, most of the battle. The belief in very big things will change your odds. This is not motivational speaker bullshit.
6. Discipline yourself
As my mom said to me, there are no free lunches. Be hard enough and tough enough - Be willing to work harder, and endure tougher shit than anyone else. Do the extra rep in the gym, work the extra hour, take the meeting. Discipline your diet, your intellectual habits, your intentional relationship management, your exercise habits, your spiritual management etc. this discipline will produce a code, and this code will set you apart from your peers and create a moat around you and those you are building a future with.
7. Get yours
Understand what’s supposed to be yours and take it. if you have discipline, think big enough and are not scared, then this should produce healthy and balanced ambition in you. There is such a thing as unhealthy and misguided ambition, and you do not want that. Many times, when people are handed too much too early, they exhibit signs of being misguided and spoiled. In this case pigs get to eat, but hogs get slaughtered. It’s OK to be a pig, but don’t even hang out with hogs, once you recognize them. Hogs are dirty people with no code, and their ambition will turn on you. If you love right, and for the right reasons then it’s ok to go and get yours!
8. Give back
Again, there are no free lunches. If you’re doing the above, you will likely be successful. I do not measure success in dollars, but yes money is one of many well known byproducts of success. The fruits of success are however not success unto them-self, or we’d be living life as a means to an end, and of course, we aren’t. Your responsibility to success, whether your fruits are money, love, or power, is to give back and to give back in a way that seems to exceed where you are in each of the three aforementioned areas. giving back, also includes forgiveness. Be big enough to let it go. Some grudges actually need to be held onto, in cases of unmet justice, that’s for you to decide. In most cases this isn’t true, and giving back will include letting your beef go.
This is where your soul is! You are the how’s, who’s and where’s of where you come from. Even if you had to burn the boats that got you to shore for good reason, create balance and intentional tribute to those places and people. Keep where you come from at the forefront of your remembrance every day.
Never forget that no one will get out of this life alive, so don’t take it all too seriously and have fun. Make humor, practical jokes, and fun a focus of every day. You will live longer. If you’re loving right, you should be laughing a lot.