New & Old Rules of Life
It might seem cliche or redundant, and you usually don’t realize this until you are well on in life, into your 30s, 40s or 50s, but the rules, all across the board, as simple as it may seem, are the following… just use this in good judgement so you don’t regret it once you reach middle-age:
- Don’t waste time with negative or dramatic people. Its ok to be friends with someone you’ve known for a long time and try to offer positive advice, but if you meet someone new, and they are totally negative, impress upon them that a positive attitude is the better way to go. Same goes with jerks (in place of a more negative or vulgar term). Unless they are Bill Gate or Steve Jobs, jerks don’t have a lot of friends, don’t make a lot of friends, and unless you are 100% sure they will take you with them to the top when they become billionaires – time to cash out and go the other road.
- Don’t waste money. Its fun to be a big shot, and at times, its necessary to be a big shot and not look like a cheapskate. But plan carefully. Sure that bottle of champagne or scotch looks good and will impress friends, that is fine to try it once, but don’t do it every weekend. While it might only seem like $100 here or there, if you save that money and buy something just as good for less, you won’t just be richer financially, but especially in spirit when that unexpected emergency arises and you don’t have that cash on hand – and yes, it will happen each and every time. I can promise you this without doubt. Keep one month of expenses at all times, at nearly any cost other than dishonesty – it will be a life-saver.
- Don’t Waste Time. You have friends that are late for social occasions, and you cut your day short from work or family or significant others to meet them, and you are left at the cafe, restaurant or bar waiting. While this is not a total tragedy, budget your time. If you know you have a friend who is consistently late by 30 minutes or more, simply tell them lunch is at 12:30 instead of Noon or 7pm instead of 6pm. Not everyone budgets or spends time like they should money. In today’s world, an hour of time is not just time, but money wasted. If you have to leave the office one hour early and not get paid, thats lost pay. If you have to show up to a job one hour early but client is not there, thats an hour lost which is not paid for. This is not about being a time control freak but just simply being realistic. I am a photographer, and I do a lot of weddings, but for me to come home at 2am and wake up at 9am, not eat breakfast and have to be at a bride’s home by 11am when she is still at the salon doing her hair and makeup until 1pm, its not just a waste of time (and her money since we can’t take photos), it means I didn’t get the sleep needed or the meal necessary to do the best job for her I set out to do when I woke up.
- Take Vacations 1-2 times each year. We all burn out, regardless of what we do, and regardless of if you know its happening. Unless your life is one big vacation (if you are a bartender on a beach resort and your days start at 1pm and end at 1am), even then, you need to be the guest, not the waiter. You need to go where you can ski, visit family and/or friends and be the one being fed, waited on, etc. You can always make more money, but you can never make up time or make great memories. So if a friend is getting married in the Caribbean and you really don’t have the money, go. Go because it could possibly be the last time you had a week on an island with great friends, food, and fun in spite of the fact that there were bills waiting to be paid once you got home. I used to vacation only when I can afford it, and I can’t tell you how much I wished I had actually vacationed just once in those 3 years while I was struggling to get ahead. Economic and personal goals are important. But nothing is more important than life and living.
- Friends, Girlfriends & Foes. I have some friends from childhood I wish I were closer to, but they simply don’t have the same priority to engage to meet as I do. That is fine. If calling or emailing or whatever works for them, but not for you, no harm in that. Wait for the time is right. This is a less sensitive matter for men than women, however, if you are like me, I easy get discouraged when someone does not have the same ambition I do to keep up or in touch. The old saying stands true, don’t make someone a priority when to them you are only an option. This can be when you are 25 and in love with someone, or 45 and sentimental about an old friend. If its that important, call or message someone every few months… if its as important to them, they will respond, if not, on your end, nothing is lost when you only contact them once ever 6-12 months, just don’t try to recapture the glory of the old days. Leave those memories in tact because you won’t ever get them back nor be able to re-create them.
- Don’t Stress, have a Alternate Plan. There will be traffic, there will be delays, there will be problems. If you account for this and are prepared, you can work fast when you need to. Realize that any day you wake up there might be that problem, whether it be a clogged sink, no hot water, traffic, or a late client. Organize in your head (or on paper) how the day might play out in a worst-case scenario so you have Plan B or even Plan C. You can never plan for an emergency, but you can certainly plan for an anticipated problem.
- Lastly, nothing is a failure. Accidents, mishaps, even bad judgement happens, its life, without it, its a sterile environment which does not happen, at least not on this planet. Even if it seems a complete failure at the moment, its still a crash-course learned and never forgotten. If its a live event, think about how it can be recreated. If its an important meeting, follow up with an apology and/or even a gift basket to emphasize your sincerity and dedication to that event. Just showing another person, party or even yourself, that you want to make up for that short-coming speaks volumes, the forgiving will embrace it, those who don’t care are not worthy of you giving it a second chance, in fact, its only a second opportunity for them to bash on you. Remember that, but always do the right thing and try to make up for it, its better for you and your reputation, and regardless of your beliefs, Karma really does go a very long way even if you are atheist.