I often get asked about how I live my life and if I follow any set pattern of beliefs or rules.
While the answer is most definitely yes; there are concepts and ideas that I strongly believe allow me to live a happier and more successful life, I also believe rules are meant to be broken.
And they’re not forever.
A rule that may inspire and enlighten me now, may no longer serve me in the future.
So my take on it is this; have rules if they are useful but be careful they don’t end up controlling you or limiting you in any way.
After all you’re the one who empowered these ‘rules’ in the first place.
And I have to say, it can be easy to end up blindly following rules for the sake of it rather than because they are actually useful for you (cue almost every organized relgion 🙂 ).
So, here are the 7 rules I live by (for now anyway 🙂 )
1. PMA (positive mental attitude)
This one is VERY important. I’m a yogi, so I get the importance of the mind. And it was said best by someone (I’m not sure who), that said this:
“The mind is a wonderful servant and a terrible master.”
In my experience, pretty much all successes and all troubles stem from the mind.
It’s a double edged sword.
And it’s really a choice to decide if you’ll use your mind to your advantage or allow it to sabotage your goals.
So, I try to make it a priority to continuously work on my mindset.
Well, I do lots of things.
I have a regular meditation practice (which is by far the easiest way to control the mind), I also practice yoga and I do other mindset techniques too.
I make a point of reminding myself what I’m grateful for each night before I go to sleep (OK not every night – but when I remember to….rules are made to be broken ahem!).
I also try to keep a level of awareness of my behavior and my thoughts…and when I catch a thought that’s not empowering me, I choose not to listen.
Most of the time.
Of course there’s the odd rogue thought that slips in and then I have a bad day…but most of the time I catch them.
I have to say, in the past I’ve allowed some of these practices to slip and it’s not been pretty!
Life gets ugly real quick when you’re not in control of your mind.
So I prioritise this.
2. Less thinking, more action
I used to be a chronic over-thinker.
Still am a little bit now…if I’m honest.
And the biggest thing I’ve learned is that over-thinking is severely detrimental to success and happiness.
So, I attempt to think less and do more.
But not always easy to implement.
This is something I am getting better at though.
The ironic thing is that often the answer will only come through action.
We can think and think and think it to death…and then wonder why we can’t find it?!
Action is usually the answer.
3. Failure is a pre-requisite for success
Pretty much anyone who’s achieved anything great will back me up on this one.
Failure is probably one of the most useful things you’ll ever encounter.
In-fact it’s a pre-requisite for success.
Think about it.
How do you reach success?
By figuring out what does NOT work, so you can figure out what DOES work.
I try to think of my goals as one big experiment.
Strategise > Take Action > Tweak > Take Action >Tweak > Take Action > reach goal
And besides who are we to judge what is success and what is failure?
Often there is so much dogma and there are so many cultural beliefs caught up in this that none of it even makes any sense anyway!
The bottom line is, I am prepared to fail because I choose to attempt success.
And I know this is a part of the deal.
In NLP there is a guiding principle that states this:
“There is no failure, only feedback.”
Failure is nothing but a compass directing you where to go next.
4. Past events, circumstance and your behavior do not determine what you are capable of
This is a big one.
I believe that many of our doubts and insecurities come from too much focus on the past.
It’s like we use the past as a benchmark for what’s possible.
Which is nonsense.
Just because you failed at something last week does not mean you will fail at it next week.
This is nothing more than a form of screwy negative thinking wrapped up under the guise of ‘being realistic or logical’.
Nobody ever did anything great by focusing on all of the stuff they did wrong.
And this leads me quite nicely to my next rule…
5. You get what you focus on
THIS ONE is one of my favourite ones.
If you remember just one of these – remember this one.
Why do so many of us fail to attain what we want?
We focus on what we DON’T want, instead of what we DO want.
We pinpoint what’s not working, what’s missing, what’s gone wrong and we hang onto it for dear life…moan about it to everyone who will listen, replay it over and over in our heads like a bad movie!
And then we wonder why we’re not getting what we want!
Are we for real?
Clearly, if we’re intently focused on everything that’s not working, we’re never going to find a solution.
I’m a solutions girl.
Always have been.
Always will be.
And this one does actually come naturally to me.
I still get caught out by this though…All. The. Time.
And I find, the more work I do in this space, the more sneaky my ego gets at catching me out.
So I have to be like a knight on vigilant watch.
Constantly on alert for that sneaky ego trying to trip me up.
Because lets face it – there’s something deeply satisfying about having a moan isn’t there.
It feels good…to the ego anyway.
But it’s not worth it.
That’s what I’ve learned anyway.
Because this kind of poor focus can literally steal your dreams away from right under your nose.
And so I really do live by this one.
I see a clear picture of what I WANT – and I banish all of those thoughts that conflict this.
Most of the time… 🙂
6. Intuition is more powerful than knowledge
OK this one is a FACT sister!
And it’s something I’m working with more and more.
There is just something uncanny about intuition.
It really is a higher form of intelligence.
So the more we can learn to tune into this, the easier it is to make the right decisions.
Easiest way to tune in?
Meditation of course.
It’s like a one way road to your higher self.
And it just takes all of the frustration out of decision-making.
One thing you can do is to get familiar with how you feel when you’re in touch with your intuition.
How does your intuition talk to you?
In my case, I find it’s always very quick – never delayed, it’s like I’ll have a thought that has just come out of nowhere and it’s never charged with any kind of emotion either.
And often it’s accompanied with a knowing kind of feeling.
So, I look out for these signals to check in that I really am connected.
Try it for yourself.
Next time you have an intuitive moment, just notice the characteristics of it so you can more easily recognize it in the future.
I just don’t have time for doing anything other than when it’s aligned with love.
And what I’ve found is that when you approach situations from a place of love, miraculous things happen.
It’s like magic dust.
It makes you feel great!
It’s really our natural nature I believe.
And so whether I’m writing a post like this one, or I’m walking down the street I try to connect to this feeling as much as I can.
And I find the expression of love is a really energising process.
Now I know this may sound a little fluffy for some of you…so just know that there is plenty of neuroscience out there that has proven the positive health benefits of practicing loving thoughts.
So it is essentially a scientific principle.
And I also find that when I’m connected to my heart, intuition naturally flows too.
On another note – I asked a friend of mine to ask her grandfather (who just turned 100 years old!) what he thought the purpose of life was.
Know what he said?
And there’s such truth in that.
You can feel the honesty in that response.
As the Beatles once said: “All you need is love.”
So….what are the rules that YOU live by? I would LOVE to hear in the comments below.
And be sure to share if you got something out of this post today 🙂
PS: go on tell me your success principles for living. I’m dying to hear what nuggets of wisdom you’ve picked up along the way!
PS ~ Sick of working just to pay the bills? Get my most popular, FREE online training here: My 3 Step process To Find A More Meaningful Career.
Join 108,000 beautiful souls on the Simple Life Strategies Facebook page to get access to articles before anyone else!
I liked the 5th one most.
Thanks Saurabh. It’s one of my favourites too 🙂
3, 4 and 6! X
2nd one is the best. I liked it.
Ahhh! I just love these, Zoe. Especially: Intuition is more powerful than knowledge. I grew up in the day when “women’s intuition” was scorned, and had to re-learn to listen as an adult. It’s something I write about often, and even sometimes visualize the doll in my pocket from the Vasalisa myth 🙂
great tips! Thank you
Such a great list of principles for enjoying an incredible life Zoë – it would be hard to add anything to this. perhaps the only extra I can add from my list is having one priority that overrides everything else as this gives me direction whenever I’m temporarily misplaced or unsure of which way to turn – No.1 for me is building an incredible life of love and happiness with my gorgeous hubby. Easy decisions flow every time when I put that first – will XXX add or enhance my No.1. If the answer’s ‘no’ – it doesn’t get a look in. A fabulous read, thank you Zoë.