When I was twenty-four, I started working at a theater company. In an attempt to remind myself of where I’d been and everything I’d learned along the way, I made a list of twenty “Rules to Live By,” and taped it up inside my locker at work.
While some of these rules have aged well and others haven’t, I still have a copy of this same sheet taped above my desk.
Back when I was running a much earlier iteration of this same blog, I decided these rules required more examination. I began a series of posts dissecting these rules and recounting how I’d come to understand them. As was the case with much of my creative efforts back then, I never finished these blog posts, but the list remained in my periphery for quick reference.
As I prepare to transition seasons of life, I thought these rules might bear examination once again.
Here’s the list for quick reference:
- You are enough.
- Be fearless.
- Head down, mouth shut.
- Don’t dream it, be it.
- Ask for what you want.
- Do the work.
- Make every mistake you are meant to.
- There is no box.
- Earn your paycheck.
- You are doing your thing. They are doing theirs. One has nothing to do with the other.
- Dare to be great. (Really, I dare you…)
- Succeed on your own terms.
- Channel the disappointment back into the craft.
- Breathe deep.
- Be in love with your life.
- Stay awake.
- Don’t look forward. Don’t look back.
- You don’t get a life. You build a life.
- Leave this all better than you found it.
- Finish strong.