Rules for Life

14 08 2011

I am a great fan of NCIS, and particularly the inimitable and somewhat inscrutable Gibbs.

In honour of Gibb’s rules, I present here my own version, born of bitter experience and occasional inspiration.

1. When someone says “no disrespect intended”, they are about to disrespect you. Likewise for “no offense, but…”

2. Desperate people do desperate things. The trick is to try not to make them desperate.

3. Pick your battles. There is no point “dying in a ditch” over something that fundamentally doesn’t matter to you, or that you aren’t ever going to win.

4. Everyone thinks their point of view is rational and well reasoned. People who holding opposing points of view both think their view is well-reasoned. It’s just the way it is.

5. If you are in a bad place at work, at home or in a relationship, get out. You could of course spend a great deal of emotional energy over a long period of your life trying to work through it, trying to change others or the situation. However you know that the longer you are there the more damage is being done to your psyche. You are being changed by the experience. You don’t have to put up with it. Get out.

6. Being bored is good for you. It makes you be creative to entertain yourself. Don’t fill the boredom with mindless television (and other forms of electronic white noise).

7. Some things are not your problem. Some things are other people’s problems. Be clear about what is and is not your problem.

8. There is a difference between “want” and “need”. Or as I say to my children when they say they need something – “define need”. Oh yeah, they love it!

9. Get over it. Its your life, you choose what it is going to be about. If it is going to be about some injustice done to you in your childhood, then it won’t be about all the great things that could be happening now. Yes you were hard done by, now get over it.

10. Optimists call themselves optimists. Pessimists call themselves realists. Its a perception thing.

11. You already know what you need to do. In western society, information is freely available. If you need to lose weight – you know what you have to do. If you want to earn money or get a better job – you know what you have to do.

12. To misquote Marx, Television is the opiate of the masses. It keeps us sedate, passive and inactive. It fills up time that could be productive. Luckily, it does have an off button.

13. Alcohol and all forms electronic communication do not mix. Not with telephone, Facebook, sms, ebay, email – etc. You know its the truth!


It is fair to say this is a work in progress. I am happy (keen!) to consider additions – send them through!