Defining Your Rules for Life: A Journey of Self-Awareness and Responsibility

In a world filled with advice, expectations, and societal norms, finding your true path, and defining your rules for life can be a transformative journey. Mostly, we look to external sources for guidance, whether it’s self-help books, podcasts, or motivational speakers. In this case, Jordan Peterson’s “12 Rules for Life” and Mark Manson’s views on this topic are great examples of sources that keep Steffany and I inspired to remain committed to the exploration of our values, actions, and mindset.

Several years ago, Jordan Peterson’s “12 Rules for Life” gained a ton of attention for its wisdom and practical advice. While not all the rules may resonate with everyone, the book sparked introspection and was nutritious food for thought. It prompted readers to question how they navigate life’s challenges, make decisions, and engage with the world around them. It’s a reminder that life isn’t a predetermined path; instead, it’s an evolving journey of taking responsibility for mindfully and thoughtfully define our own rules.

Recently, Mark Manson shared a unique spin in one of his videos on this concept by encouraging individuals to consider their personal rules for life. Manson’s message challenges us to look beyond the external rules and expectations set by others, even those as wise as Peterson, and instead, delve into our inner selves. By adopting a framework that starts with an introspective question—what are my rules for life? —this simple question is not so easy to answer as we embark on a path of self-discovery, gaining resilience, and empowerment.

This call to action resonates with the work of our coaching in the context of professional and personal development at its core, this journey revolves around intentionally creating the context of our lives, exploring who we are, and understanding how we interact with the world. This journey aligns with the idea that defining our rules for life requires us to take responsibility for our choices and actions, as well as the way we respond to emotions and circumstances.

A valuable framework that ties into this exploration of personal rules is Don Miguel Ruiz’s “Four Agreements.” These agreements provide powerful guidelines for leading a more intentional and fulfilling life:

  1. Be impeccable with your word: This agreement is a pathway to honesty, encouraging us to strive for honesty in every aspect of our lives. It reminds us that our words have the power to shape our reality and impact those around us.
  2. Don’t take anything personally: In a world where judgments and opinions abound, this agreement reminds us not to internalize external perceptions. By letting go of personalization, we free ourselves from unnecessary emotional turmoil.
  3. Don’t make assumptions:  This agreement challenges us to seek clarity through communication instead of jumping to conclusions. It’s a reminder to approach situations with an open mind and a willingness to understand.
  4. Always do your best: A commitment to doing our best in all circumstances fosters growth, self-compassion, and a sense of accomplishment. It’s an acknowledgment that our best efforts can vary from moment to moment.

As we navigate the nuances of our human emotions, it becomes clear that emotional awareness is a crucial aspect of defining our rules for life. Emotions are neither good nor bad; they are simply feedback mechanisms that provide insights into our thoughts and experiences. Learning to manage and respond to emotions, rather than being controlled by them, is an essential skill on this journey.

While it might seem challenging to take responsibility for our emotions and reactions, doing so empowers us to respond thoughtfully rather than react impulsively. It’s a realization that while we can’t control every external circumstance, we can control how we choose to navigate and engage with them. This rule of self-awareness encourages us to pause, evaluate, and choose our responses consciously.

Another fundamental principle is the importance of choosing our perspectives. By examining the lenses through which we view the world, we can identify the values, beliefs, and biases that shape our experiences. Shifting our filters, if necessary, allows us to approach situations with fresh eyes and consider alternative viewpoints.

Ultimately, the journey of defining our rules for life is an ongoing process that requires patience, introspection, and a willingness to evolve. It’s an invitation to take the reins of our lives, recognizing that our actions, choices, and responses contribute to the reality we experience. By embracing self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and a commitment to intentional living, we empower ourselves to create a life aligned with our truest values and aspirations.

Ultimately the quest to define our rules for life is a transformative endeavor that leads us to self-discovery, empowerment, and intentional living. It is an integral part of creating a life design whereby we commit to being our greatest selves and living our best life.

Drawing inspiration from the wisdom of thinkers like Jordan Peterson and Mark Manson, guide us on our path as we learn to navigate life’s complexities with self-awareness, emotional resilience, and a commitment to responsible action. By embracing foundational principles such as the “Four Agreements” and the power of perspective, we embark on a journey and follow a path that shapes our reality from within. As we define and refine our personal rules, we open the door to a more authentic, purposeful, and fulfilling life.

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