In The Happiness Project author Gretchen Rubin talks about “True Rules.” According to her, True Rules are the little personal rules we all make to get through life. I think of them as sort of a personal code of conduct. They are what we use to make decisions on a day to day basis; and so engrained in our psyche that we don’t even think about them anymore. They aren’t always logical, nor do they always make things easier, but they do exist.
I read about her True Rules last week while traveling for business. I couldn’t get the idea out of my head and started thinking about my own. I thought I would try to put together a list of some of them:
When in Rome – eat what the locals eat. This is a big one for me since i do a lot of traveling, but it is also true for dining in my hometown. I try to go to places I haven’t gone before and order the items off the menu that have I’ve never eaten before. If I haven’t even heard of it before, all the better!
When you are going somewhere new, always give yourself more time to drive somewhere than you need to. Okay, this has resulted in me being fairly early, fairly often, but has also saved my butt more times than not. On the other side though, I get really twitchy if I am running late and can drive the people with me a bit nuts.
When traveling, dress up a bit. You never know when your luggage isn’t going to arrive with you and you are going to have to give a seminar in what you traveled in. So far, (knock on wood,) I have never had to test this out. I do think, however, that I do get better service from airlines and other personal when I am dressed for business, so that makes it worthwhile.
Keep your lawn mowed.
Don’t pry. If someone wants to tell you something, they will. This one has backfired on me more than once – especially when what I considered prying was someone else’s version of showing that I care.
Overdress. This goes along with the one about traveling in dress clothes. When you are unsure of the dress code – being overdressed is more socially acceptable than being underdressed. (Although I am starting to wonder if this one is true anymore.)
Write it down. I’m a big fan of todo lists and notes to myself.
Tidy room = tidy mind. I feel more calm in a clean house. Unfortunately, the flip side of this coin is that it becomes a source of stress when I don’t have time to clean and things get cluttered. I am far more anxious about it than I should be.
You have a responsibility to complete your commitments. True, but a major source of stress when I say “yes” to something I am unsuited for. I have painted myself into several corners this way.
Make your bed. (Hmmm… pretty sure I forgot to do this one today.)
The best defense, is a closed mouth. AKA if you don’t have anything to say… shut up. Sometimes I can be way too chatty, but when it comes to things that matter, I tend to keep my cards close to the vest. I share my real self with only a select few people.
I know there are a lot more of these, but they are so instinctive they are hard to pin down. I’ll keep thinking about them and add more to this list as I think of them. What I would like to do is take a look at some of these and see if they are really helping me in my life, or if it is time to let a few things go.