The world is complicated and incredibly fast-paced. That's why we need rules of thumb to help us act sensibly despite the warp speed complexity of real life. That's also why there are so many useful ones out there, governing everything from how to invest to how to not bore your audience silly with PowerPoint.
But what if rather than rules of thumb for various technical subjects, there were broad rules of thumb to help you live a saner, happier life?
In fact, there are. I've covered one or two before, such as WayUp founder Liz Wessel's dictum that young people should always default to 'yes,' but if you're in the market for this sort of bite-sized but actionable advice, a recent Psychology Today piece from UConn professor and author Gina Barreca is the real mother lode.
In it, Barreca blends wisdom and humor to offer a whopping 20 rules of thumb for life. Some you might not wholly agree with, others might just make you chuckle, but the fun post is sure to provide at least a few useful lessons to every reader. Plus, it's a great way to get yourself thinking about your own personal rules of thumb for life. Here are a few example from Barreca's piece:
1. If it's worth crying over, it's probably worth laughing at.
"Cultivate a sense of perspective that permits you to see the wider and longer view of the situation; this will help you realize that although your situation is upsetting, it might also one day become a terrific story," advises Barecca.
2. Other people don't care what you're wearing.
OK, maybe they do sometimes, but those occasions are rare and in general it's wise to remember that you pay a lot more attention to you than other people do.
3. The pinnacle is always slippery.
"No peak is safe. Only plateaus offer a place to rest. Are you ready to stay on a plateau or are you climbing? Decide and pack your bags accordingly," Barecca claims.
4. Be kind, not nice.
"Kindness is both intentional and meaningful. Acts of kindness requires generosity, emotional and otherwise. Perfunctory and superficial niceness is, too often, mere window dressing," says Barreca.
5. You can always stop what you're doing.
That's it -- super simple, but it's strangely easy to lose sight of this powerful truth when you're filled with angst and in the thick of life's complexities.
Let's crowdsource a few more suggestions: what other 'rules to live by' would you add to this list?