A friend recently asked: “Have you ever taken the time to clarify a set of principles or standards by which you live your life by? Can you define 5 simple but powerful principles for yourself that you choose to live your life by?”
I thought it was an interesting and fun question, so I’m sharing my answer here with everyone…but of course I have a million answers to this, so I didn’t limit myself to 5 but 10 instead. So here goes:
1. Do what you believe is right, no matter how hard or inconvenient. Be able to sleep peacefully at night because you’ve done all you believe you could and what you felt was right. Don’t delay hard conversations, decisions, or situations (they will only get harder with time). Always explain your beliefs when dealing with these things (and be open to learning through out).
2. Respect and cherish time. There is no greater gift to give or receive then someone’s time.
3. Learn to love practice. Most of your time and energy will be spent in practice, enjoy it (or change your goal).
4. Give more than you get. Help more than you are helped. Expect more from yourself than you do of others.
5. Have an insane level of tolerance, forget and forgive quickly. Accept that the world is full of misunderstandings and miscommunication - see them for what they are and always consider the context and back story.
6. Everyone has a story you can enjoy and learn from. Ask questions. Take an interest. Be open to new experiences and ways of thinking. Love is built through understanding and acceptance.
7. Actively decide what you are going to give up (and how much) to obtain your goal. Know the line and your limits (as much as possible) on the way in before the decisions and stress become difficult (doing this makes most decisions easy and most days much less stressful)
8. Don’t pick goals that require a loser for you to be a winner. Focus the competition on where you are today vs. where you want to be tom. (Worry less about where others are in relation).
9. Keep your legacy in mind and perspective. Most of us will be forgotten by time and history (and even our families a few generations out). So laugh, live, enjoy the now and don’t live for tomorrow too much.
10. Travel to places that are diff. from where/how you live. Limit the ‘tourist’ stuff while you are there and try to experience the 'reality’ of the world for the people who live there. This is how true empathy and understanding is built.
…so what does your list look like?
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
If you have comments, thoughts, or want to respond to something you see here I would encourage you to respond via a post on your own blog (and then let me know about the link via one of the routes mentioned above).