One Rule to Live By: There Is No One Rule (Downloadable)

Download a free cheat sheet I made for myself about navigating the world. I like reminders. Maybe you’ll like it too. Full-text below. Download a PDF: One Rule To Live By Cheat Sheet

One Rule To Live By Cheat Sheet

One rule to live by: There’s no one rule.

I love saving many tools and models for navigating the world. The devil is in the details of course. There are no absolutes, only thoughts to try. This takes practice and it’s not magic.

Frameworks and models I’m a student of:

Negative Emotions:

  • Look at your own thoughts and beliefs first: State many good outcomes. Stay specific and answer “how…?” Positives matter. Stay present. Ask don’t guess. Avoid comparison. Encourage not demand or submit. Identify not label. Focus toward want, hope, and choice, rather than obligation, duty, and correctness. (Feeling Good)
  • Negative events have specific temporary causes; good things have permanent reasons. Problems can be contained, while solutions can be applied throughout our lives. Our contributions to good things matter, while we’re still not solely the cause of our misfortunes. (Learned Optimism)
  • Develop, learn, persist, be inspired. Can not can’t. Better, not best. Learn, not failure. Next step not ignoring. Hard is better than easy. Strategy not giving up (Mindset)
  • Process Versus Outcomes. Consider as many facts and influences on outcomes. Define terms. Be specific and in the present moment. (When Panic Attacks)
  • Convert problems into strengths. Use workarounds and reminders. Accept and acknowledge negative emotions, you can handle them. Take action, don’t wait. (Superbetter)

Relationships:

  • Choose in place of resentment. Challenge in place of blame. Coach without fixing. (Karpman Drama Triangle)
  • Share information, note consequences, and give options. Customize. Limits give us freedom. (The Four Tendencies)
  • Listen and express what truth you have in common, acknowledge the feelings of others. Share your feelings. Say positive and respectful things about others even when you’re upset with them. Encourage sharing of ideas, thoughts, and feelings. Fix your own patterns, don’t fix others. (Feeling Good Together)
  • Consider and respect all involved while also being honest. (Awesome Etiquette)
  • Care personally AND Challenge directly. Try to avoid unkind criticism, sugarcoated help, and unclear harshness. (Radical Kindness)
  • Soft heart, strong limits. Act on our own values. Opt out of negativity. Ask without judgment. Choose generous interpretations (BRAVING)
  • Every one of every person’s qualities has a positive and respectable value to them. (Transactional Analysis)
  • Observe yourself and others. Need, value, ask, and feel without demanding. (Nonviolent Communication)
  • Say good and appreciative things. Show interest, encourage others to talk, and sincerely show that they’re important. Value opinions. Admit mistakes. Ask especially when you know they’ll say yes. Let them choose from their POV. Challenge them, Share stories about ideas. (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
  • Vent your concerns when in the middle of a crisis. It helps more to vent to someone who is in a less difficult position that yourself. (Ring Theory)
  • Observe the ways others express love, what they request, and what they express dissatisfaction with. Encourage and affirm often. Use body language. Small items matter, receive with gratitude, and mark special occasions. Spend time one-on-one without distraction. Say you’ll help and do it. (The Five Love Languages)
  • Express Regret. Accept Responsibility. Take action to make things right. Try not to do it again. Ask for forgiveness without expectation. (The Five Languages of Apology)
  • Interrupt bigotry, simply say “Stop”. Question bias. Educate when you choose to. Echo and highlight positively when others speak up: “I agree and thank you for speaking up”. Ask authority and peers for change. (Tolerance.org)
  • Learn to walk away with no hard feelings. Your courage and confidence lets everyone win. Courage without consideration forces others to lose. Empathy without courage chooses others over yourself. (7 Habits of Highly Effective People)

Productivity:

  • Find more options. Test. Get space before making a decision. Prepare to be wrong. (Decisive)
  • Write your ideas down – writing exists to help us store and organize information. Look for the smallest step. Organize. Schedule, delegate, save for later, decide what not to do. Focus on important and time-sensitive tasks. (Getting Things Done)
  • Is your thought true? Can you absolutely know that it’s true? How do you react and what happens when you believe that thought? What would you do without that thought? (The Work)
  • Our schedule is our life. There is no right time. Create habits rather than relying on decisions, effort, and self control. We can only change ourselves. Others may or may not choose to change if we change. Create convenience for good habits and inconvenience for bad ones. Create momentum. Self-compassion creates a habit. Self-guilt creates struggle. (Better Than Before)
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I'm a graphic designer (portfolio), classical pianist and artist in Baltimore, MD. I host the Uncanny Creativity Podcast helping to demystify the creative process and creator of Funlooksfun.com, an online shop for apparel and games. Twitter: @sketchee

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