Life Rules

1. We all want to be listened to.

Everybody’s got a story, everybody wants to tell it, but too few people have the patience to extract it from them. If you listen to someone’s story, they’ll be your best friend forever. You’ll bond. Everybody’s got something to say, something you find of interest, everybody got here on a different path with moments of intersection. But beware of the taker, the person who only talks and never listens. They’re to be avoided at all cost. I’m not sure why these people act the way they do, why they refuse to be reciprocal, why they’re incapable of being interested in you. It’s to their detriment.

2. Tell your story.

Look for the openings. If no one is listening, find a different audience. The myth is we’re all alike. When you sit at home and you feel that you can’t relate to a certain group, believe it. Sure, work on your skills of integration, but even more search out your peers. We’re led to believe there’s a hierarchy, of rich, popular and good-looking, and if you’re not one of them, you’re a loser. Also, there’s all this fake nerddom going around, winners who tell you they’re losers, ignore them. That’s another problem with America, for all the people telling you how great they are there are even more who are self-deprecating, making you wince when they say they’re just lucky. We’re looking for honest connection, if you’re honest, you’ll draw people to you.

3. Life’s too short to do something you hate.

But since money is king, a plethora of people are doing jobs they dislike while others are thrilled just to have a job. That’s the challenge of life, fulfillment. Unfortunately that comes after food, money, shelter and love. But no one is gonna be remembered and no one is judging you in the end and the longer you live you realize it’s all about forging your own path. If you need others for validation life is gonna be lonely. Do what satiates you.

4. Life boils down to dreamers who act and dreamers who are afraid.

The dreamers who take a chance believe it’s easy but complain when they fail. Or, they blow up their life or their world and walk away like there are no consequences. When someone tells you they got divorced yesterday and are over it today, run. Emotional scars run deep. Even if many are afraid to look at them and accept them. Then there are those who are afraid to take a risk. Either they never end up taking one or their back is up against the wall and they do. Desperation makes people do crazy stuff, like lie, cheat and steal. But it also inspires you to jump off the cliff. Dylan’s lyric is correct, when you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.

5. Not everybody can win and there is no scorecard.

This is hard to fathom after years of schooling, after being inundated with the ravings of the social media entertainment complex. America is about making you feel inadequate, so you’ll buy stuff. You’re no more inadequate than the rich and famous, and the sooner you realize this the quicker you’ll be on the road to happiness. What you think you want is often not what you need. What you need is someone who listens to you who’ll support you, who’ll call you on your b.s. but won’t run away from you.

6. He who speaks loudest first is oftentimes wrong.

Some people are incapable of speaking up. Some people are afraid of blowback. And then there are those who always grab the mic and blather on. There might be a first mover advantage, but it’s often squandered. Evaluate people on more than their image, on more than their public behavior. We’ve got an incredibly insecure President, who can’t endure hate in a world where it’s never been more prevalent. Don’t be him. Not everybody’s gonna like you. Let it slide off your back, not inhibit you. If you worry about what others say you’ll never get started.

7. Know when to quit.

Perseverance is key, but it does not always yield rewards. Stay the course until the odds are low and then pivot. Forget all the stories of people who believed but were broke and then triumphed. The key is to always be looking for the pivot. But to honor your commitments. This is complicated, because too many people can’t complete anything, and completion comes first. But for those who can finish, sometimes you shouldn’t.

8. Just because everybody else is jumping off the bridge, that does not mean you should.

Remember the dot com era? You couldn’t find anybody who said it was gonna come to an end, but it did. Which is why Warren Buffett is so successful. He looks at the fundamentals. You can’t be a doctor without going to medical school and if there’s no obvious revenue stream chances are the business will fail.

9. Sex and cunning and flirting will move you up the corporate food chain.

But it won’t make you a success. Stop worrying about those utilizing their assets to get ahead, stabbing you in the back, sucking up to the boss. They’re gonna Peter Principle themselves out of a gig or hit a ceiling. People know when you’re dedicated and do good work. And if you’re dedicated and doing good work and not reaping the rewards, you’ve got to change your situation. The corporation does not care about you, never ever, unfortunately you’re in this all by yourself.

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