My 50 rules for life that I try and live by, put on paper for the first time
By John Winning
28 October 2014
Be Cheeky, have fun with whatever you are doing - just try not to offend anyone.
Try to know when you are welcome and when you are not.
Think before you speak. I was told this a lot growing up and I feel that since leaving school I have become better at it and it has really changed the way I am perceived.
Always try to treat people better than they treat you and watch at how they change the way they interact with you over time.
Start relationships with everyone equally; whether they are the cleaner in your office or your favourite actor on TV. Do this and you will be surprised at how often you enjoy getting to know one as much as the other.
Hug a friend rather than shaking hands, it just feels better.
Surround yourself with people that you want to be like and you will find that you naturally will.
Speak to strangers in elevators and queues, you will be surprised at the little joy it will give you and the interesting people you will meet.
Help those that want to be helped, as you will find it a better use of your energy than those that don’t.
Shock people by changing things in your life, it feels good to keep them guessing and I think they enjoy the surprises too.
Know that you can do anything you want to. If you think you can’t do something just remind yourself that it’s not that you can’t do it, it’s just that you have chosen not to dedicate the time it would take to do it. This has been something I have been doing in my life for as long as I can remember and it has worked wonders over the years and I have noticed that most people I respect carry a strong ‘can do’ attitude.
Break rules, just not ones that will get you in too much trouble, offend or insult anyone.
Enjoy what you do and if you don’t, change what you’re doing today not tomorrow.
Don’t make excuses and admit when you’re wrong.
Put yourself outside of your comfort zone deliberately and regularly. Whether it’s talking to someone you are attracted to or wearing a piece of clothing that you think you can’t pull off.
Take calculated risks and lots of them. Just measure them and make future risks more calculated as a result. A good friend of mine calls this failing forward.
Don’t try to be perfect; close enough is more often good enough. The last 2% normally takes the longest and returns the least. Obviously there are exceptions such as if you are sending a man to the moon or doing brain surgery but in general life I find doing lots of things well is more rewarding than a few things perfect.
Trust people, you will get burnt and let down, but over time you will get better at knowing who to trust and all the time in between feels so much better.
Don’t dwell on your mistakes, learn from them and move on.
Try new things, I promise there are better things out there than what you currently know, you just need to find them.
Make new friends, there are great people out there and you are passing them everyday wherever you go. Talk to someone and see what you have in common.
Listen to music when you get a chance, it can inspire great thoughts, can make a good time feel better or cheer you up if you’re down. Plus it opens up parts of the brain that otherwise don’t get used.
Partake in random acts of kindness; it’s amazing the feeling you get by doing nice things for people that don’t see it coming.
Worry about what people think about you, not everyone but the people that you are close to and respect because if they think less of you then it’s probably time to take a look in the mirror.
Opportunities are all around you, look for patterns in the things that you are most happy with in your life and how they came about and you will start to see trends of how to recognise and create these opportunities.
Take opportunities when they present themselves, even if it doesn’t seem convenient at the time.
Always keep moving forward, you might get set backs but don’t stop, just pick yourself up and keep pushing forward.
Set bigger goals for yourself; whatever goals you have set are not big enough, I promise you that you are selling yourself short. Set some goals so big that there is no way imaginable that you could ever possibly reach them. By doing this you will be surprised at what you will be able to achieve by reaching higher than you currently are.
Try not to always have an agenda.
Spend less time watching TV and on social media.
Spend more time outside, the sun is good for more than a tan.
Try to exercise at least twice a week. I struggle with this but when I do I feel noticeably better.
Gain the respect of the people you work with, if you don’t then your work life will be miserable and won’t go far.
Be confident all the time, even if it has to be a fake confidence. You will eventually find yourself not needing to fake it.
Ask dumb questions, not only will you get the answer and quickly become more knowledgeable but you will be surprised how often others were also wanting to ask but didn’t have the guts. Plus if it’s a really dumb question you might make people laugh and you can join in, sometimes it feels good to laugh at yourself.
Don’t take life too seriously.
Don’t lose sight of what makes you happy, it’s easy to get stuck in a routine chasing something that isn’t that important and lose years of your life.
If you feel that you aren't good enough for something just act as a person that is and over time you will find that you aren't acting anymore.
Take holidays and make an effort to reset, re-evaluate and re direct what path your life is on.
Be the best at what you’re doing, there is no point in doing a job for the sake of it even if you feel it is below you. Plus it’s more fun being the best or striving to be the best at something. You will find that it will open many doors to things you might prefer doing.
Help out a co-worker even if it isn’t your responsibility.
Try to be the most knowledgeable person in the room on the topic you are talking about and if you are not, think hard before you speak.
Work with friends and if you don’t, make friends with work colleagues. Not work friends but real friends you would enjoy spending time with outside of work. If they aren’t your cup of tea try a new tea or change jobs. Work without friends would be miserable.
Actions speak louder than words but intentions are far more important than actions. As time goes on I find that the people with the best intentions prevail.
In life always pick the secret prize behind the curtain rather than the known prize that's shown, unless of course you are at a casino.
Simplicity is the greatest form of sophistication.
Coincidences are rarely that.
At your lowest lows stay hopeful and at your highest highs stay humble.
Realise that you can influence the world around you, just don’t live within your surroundings.
Ask yourself everyday, if I was gone tomorrow how would I be remembered. If you don’t like the answer then change how you act.