Some Rules for 2014

The last few days of December are always a good time to ponder the coming year. It’s also a good time to contemplate changes or improvements in my personal life. Here are a few I’ve been mulling over.

  • Stay positive: avoid being cranky, take breaks and work up to baseline nice on bad days. Recognize low times and counter them. Look forward to the little things.
  • Be professional: keep the talk light, avoid drama, be like water. Remember that supervisor and coworker loyalty is to work first (they’re not friends).
  • Look professional: not just at work but any time in public. It’s a small town and people notice. Appearance is the first sign of quality.
  • Embrace the introvert: consciously turn down any invitation that doesn’t generate an immediate, enthusiastic reaction. Make the first response, “I would prefer not to.”
  • Learn from everyone, even the slimiest of people. Everyone has solid reasons for doing what they’re doing; instead of dismissing try to understand and appreciate where they’re coming from.
  • Avoid criticizing: refrain from sharing negative (that is, anything not overtly positive) opinions or comments unless specifically solicited. Human beings have enough to deal with without having to field unwelcome negativity.
  • Speak only good of others. No one needs details on another person’s failings. If anything must be said, keep it brief and pointed. Otherwise, focus on building others up.
  • Steer clear of ugly people. If they exude or cause feelings of ugliness, meanness, or negativity, keep them at a distance.
  • Don’t take no shit from no one. No position or relationship gives a person the right to be rude, wrong, or ugly. Check them when they are uncouth, or just plain nasty.

This list is a sort of roadmap for improving quality of life in my own brain. Lately I’ve been noticing more and more cranky thoughts and I’ve been listening to myself in less-than-complimentary conversations. I speak the truth but truth alone isn’t enough of a justification for saying a thing.

There are plenty of excellent people in my life, and plenty of regular people with excellent bits, and even some trolls who have breakout bouts of excellence. Every day, hundreds of times a day, life is somehow “up.” I have the ability to maintain a “half full” mindset and I’d like to be more active in doing that. So better cultivation of the up side is in the cards.

Conversely, I agree to a lot of events I’d rather avoid. I spend time with people who are less than good to me. I allow others to speak negatively to and with me. This list isn’t just about seeking up sides, but also about actively avoiding down sides. I have the ability to avoid those things that suck me dry; I’m gonna work on that too.

What about you? Anything you’ve been marinating on for Resolution Day?

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