I recently became acquainted with Gretchen Rubin, former attorney, now writer. At some point in her life, she became enthralled with this notion of how to become more happy. She also asked, how does happiness engage with habit? (Or, to be more accurate, the other way around: how does habit influence happiness?) She did an interview with Jeff Goins (about 35 mins) which is where I heard about her work.
When I purused her website, I found her personal 10 Commandments – principles she endeavors to live her life by. I loved this idea! Here are hers:
1. Be Gretchen.
2. Let it go.
3. Act the way I want to feel.
4. Do it now.
5. Be polite and be fair.
6. Enjoy the process.
7. Spend out. (This is probably the most enigmatic of my commandments.)
8. Identify the problem.
9. Lighten up.
10. Do what ought to be done.
11. No calculation.
12. There is only love.
For me, this was a thought-provoking moment. As in, what are MY 10 principles to live by? I love hers and say, "Yes!" to most of them. She indicated that it took her several months to land on these, so I'm under no illusion that I can just whip out mine right now … Of course, it goes without saying that I'm going to say the Original Ten Commandments still stand – like, who's going to trump the Almighty? But in addition to Keeping God in His Proper Relationship to You and Not Lying, Stealing, Killing, etc. I'm thinking things (not in any particular order) like:
-Prioritize life-giving relationships.
-Have animals and treat them well.
-Always be growing and feeding my mind and soul.
-Prize mindfulness and intentionality.
-Don't spend money you don't have.
-Value Beauty (in nature, art, music, words, people, food).
-Remember that there is a Spiritual component to everything and things are more than they seem.
-Try to keep things in perspective (let things go, have a sense of humor, don't think of myself as bigger or smaller than I am, or, conversely, the other person either, for that matter).
-Give Grace liberally and freely to others.
-Honor other people's journeys and process. We are not all in the same place, nor headed in the same direction. Just because they don't agree with me does not make them less valuable or less worthy of my respect.
It's a good start.
What are your ten?