Life Rule #49 – Give Up The Short-term Mindset

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” — Mae West

Successful people set long-term goals, and they know these aims are merely the result of short-term habits that they need to do every day.

These healthy habits shouldn’t be something you do; they should be something you embody. There is a difference between: “Working out to get a summer body” and “Working out because that’s who you are.”

Life Rule #47 – Be yourself

Be yourself. Don’t waste time and energy trying to be and do what you think others want you to do and be. And most of the time, your actions trying to be what you think others want won’t make you happy. They won’t make others like you any better. Instead of trying to please others, just be you. Be honest about who you are and what you want. Maybe some of your old friends won’t like who you will become. That’s okay. You’ll make plenty of new friends who do like who you are.

Life Rule #46 – It’s never too late to be great

It’s never too late to be great. It takes time to achieve anything worthwhile. But just because you haven’t started yet — or haven’t reached the level your aiming for — doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t make it happen. Don’t be daunted by audacious goals. Are you fifty and want to run a marathon? Start training. Are you sixty and only now thinking of retirement? That’s okay. Better late than never. Are you seventy and want to write a novel? Do it. History is filled with examples of folks who achieve great things later in life.

Life Rule #45 – Choose happiness.

Choose happiness. Do work and play that brings fulfillment. Spend time with people who build you up, not those who bring you (and others) down. Strip from your life the things that take time, money, and energy, but which do not bring you joy. Focus on the essentials.

Life Rule #43 – Positive reinforcement is powerful

Positive reinforcement is powerful. When pets perform a desired behavior — sitting, coming when called, being nice to the cats — they are rewarded. Pets learns to connect the treat with the actions we wants, and becomes more likely to offer them…even when we don’t reward her. What’s true for dogs is true for people too. Does nagging your spouse actually work? Probably not. (In fact, it probably has the opposite effect you intend!) But if you reward the behavior your want, you’ll eventually see it offered without prompting. The same thing is true with children, co-workers, family members, and so on.

Life Rule #42 – You can’t get rid of a bad habit

You can’t get rid of a bad habit; you can only change it. To change your habit loop, you have to do something different when the bad habit is triggered. If you are a stress-eater, the act of eating soothes your mind. The stress was the cue (the trigger), and the rush was the reward. No surprise, this habit can make you fat. To change the habit loop try walking instead of eating. Now if you get stressed, go for a walk. You get a similar rush for a reward, but your actions are healthier.

Life Lesson #41 – Don’t compare yourself to others

Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparing yourself to others is counter-productive. Generally one of two things happens: You either feel inferior because you’re not as good as the other person, or you feel superior because they’re not as good as you. In reality, nobody is better than anybody else. We’re just different. If you want to compare yourself, compare Present You to Past You — and do what you can to make Future You a better version of why you are today.

Life Lesson #40 – The meaning of life is the meaning you decide to give it

The meaning of life is the meaning you decide to give it. Some people are searchers. They wander through life looking for answers…but rarely find them. Others accept without question what an outside authority tells them is true. The meaning of life comes from within, from the things that you learn to prioritize and value. Nobody is going to tell you what life should mean to you; you have to decide that for yourself.