Living by Your Personal Commandments How Creating Your Own Set of Rules Can Act as a Personal Barometer Throughout Your Life...

For today’s post, I want to talk about a practice I adopted thanks to author Gretchen Ruben. Ruben often comments on the importance of having “personal commandments.” In this case, personal commandments are a set of rules or values one lives by. I learned about these as I was reading her magnificent book series on happiness, The Happiness Project and Happier at Home. Throughout her books, she kept going back to her twelve personal commandments.

1. Be Gretchen
2. Let it go
3. Act the way I want to feel
4. Do it now
5. Be polite, be fair
6. Enjoy the process
7. Spend out
8. Identify the problem
9. Lighten up
10. Do what ought to be done
11. No calculation
12. There is only love

That got me thinking. These commandments are just like a personal compass. Since I had previously blogged about the personal self-portrait (the image version of a personal compass), this list of personal commandments was deeply appealing to me. As an exercise of growth and self-discovery, I embarked on creating my own personal list of commandments, which acts as my private barometer to hold myself accountable throughout my day. What’s more, I’ve discovered that by referring to these commandments daily, I have started to live a much more meaningful and authentic life.

Here’s what I came up with (inspired by Ruben’s list but with my personal touch).

Daphne’s Thirteen Personal Commandments

1. Be Daphne
2. Let it go and lighten up
3. Fake it until you become it
4. If it takes less than 5 minutes, do it now
5. Practice segmentation
6. Enjoy the process
7. Done is better than perfect
8. Focus on what’s in front of you
9. Identify the problem
10. Give more than expected
11. Focus on details
12. Be present and in the moment
13. Set boundaries

Your thoughts…

Try listing your personal commandments. What values and beliefs resonate with you? What guides your decision-making process? If you want, share them. It’s always interesting to see what pops up for different people!


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