Monday, June 16, 2014

Some simple rules.

I'm coming up on one year as a mental health counselor (it will be this August 19, precisely) and I have made up my mind to write down a few simple rules that I've discovered make almost every aspect of life much easier.

Part of this is, of course, because I've discovered a lot of people end up in my office precisely because they don’t know the rules and don’t follow them. Furthermore, I’ve found that many of my friends don’t follow my rules, much to my exasperation. It’s not like I feel that I can demand that they do; my exasperation is much the one of someone who sees a simpler way to do things and sees a good friend struggling to do it the hard way.

Here are the rules.
  1. Say what you mean, mean what you say.
  2. Other people should inform you, but not form you.
  3. Emotions are messages, not commands.
  4. You are responsible for your own feelings; no one can make you feel anything.
  5. You are not responsible for other people’s actions; you are responsible for your response to them.
  6. Your obligations to other people are what you decide they are or have made yourself committed to by your words or actions.
  7. You can’t give what you don’t have.
  8. You can’t give if you don’t get (any rest, peace, support, etc.).
  9. Don’t try to fix what you can’t change.
  10. Forgive, but don't forget; or forgive, and then forget 'em!
  11. Only plan ahead as far as you must.
  12. Worrying is a useless emotion – just do what you can and what will be, will be.
  13. No one can demand better than your best.
  14. If you fail, you either do better next time or you find another solution.
  15. Arguing with an idiot makes you a bigger idiot.
  16. If you act like a fool, you give others permission to treat you like one.
  17. You can either warn people , give them chances, or save them over and over, or let them suffer the consequences of their own actions once.
  18. There is no written rule book for how you must feel about something.
  19. Relaxing and enjoying yourself is really just recharging your ability to work.
  20. The words of family and friends can become our inner voice.
  21. No matter how many times a falsehood is spoken, it will not make it true.
  22. A good attitude and cheerful spirit can be all you need to succeed.
  23. Ask more questions.
  24. Listen more than you talk.
  25. We belong with other people – no one can make it through life alone.
There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream that guides me through.