Sixteen Rules

    Everyone has a set of rules that they use keep their life moving in the direction they chose. Most people don’t actually write them down. I’m just anal enough to make the list and hang it in a frame on my office wall. It’s in a place that I have to pass every time I walk in, so it’s a little difficult to ignore. Some of these rules are taken from Robert Heinlein who is probably the most pragmatic author I’ve ever read. Some come from lessons I’ve learned from people I’ve admired over the years. A couple are actually my originals. Right or wrong, they’ve kept me alive and kicking so far.
      Observations on Life and How to Survive until Retirement
      • NEVER leave your wingman. There is no second chance on this one, so get it right the first time.
      • Don’t give up until they call you off.
      • If you start it, finish it.
      • If you make a promise, keep it.
      • A fine line separates many things in life. Right and wrong is seldom one of them. If you know you’re right, stick to your guns regardless of the consequences. The reward is self-respect.
      • Ethics aren’t negotiable. Many people will put you to the test on this. It’s your responsibility to make them fail.
      • It’s a simplification to say that someone is either a part of the problem or part of the solution, but it’s usually true that they tend to be closer to one than the other. The difficulty comes in determining which way they lean and how to deal with it.
      • Good enough isn’t. No further comment needed.
      • Always sweat the little things. If you get all the little things right, the big things take care of themselves.
      • Never blow off someone who needs or asks for help. If there’s something you can do, do it. This is one of the things that make us human. Besides, when your time comes, most people will return the favor.
      • All games are rigged. That shouldn’t keep you from playing, it should only affect your strategy.
      • Don’t automatically take what anyone says at face value. If it doesn’t make sense, check it out for yourself or make them prove it.
      • It may be better to be a live jackal than a dead lion, but it’s better yet to be a live lion, and usually easier. If someone says or does something that is wrong, stupid or just plain makes your life miserable, tell them about it. No points for being subtle. Even if that has consequences it’s better than the alternatives.
      • The less competent a person is, the more likely that they’ll be a bully. Don’t fret about it. Treat it as insider knowledge and use it to your advantage.
      • When the fox gnaws, smile. Sooner or later you’re going to get the short end of the stick. When that happens, accept it and move on. Revenge isn’t worth the time or effort and smiling will confuse the hell out of the fox.
      • Don’t get comfortable. If you have an opportunity to learn something new, do it.
        TD
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