Photo by James AllanHere is Part 2 of the 12 Laws of Life, an article by a man named Tom Hoobyar, who was an inventor and high tech CEO. Tom Hoobyar died on September 25th, 2001. I really don’t know much about him or his life, but I very much appreciate his wisdom. I hope you do too. To read part 1, click here.
12 Laws of Life (Part 2) by Tom Hoobyar
7. EXPECT LESS FROM OTHERS AND MORE FROM YOURSELF. Most people expect way too much from others while they themselves actually get very little done. Inertia and distraction are insidious and damn near universal — expect it in others but guard against it in your own behavior.
Everyone listens to his or her favorite mental radio station — W.I.I.F.M., which stands for, “What’s In It For Me?” So don’t take it personally when you’re overlooked, your call goes un-returned, and you go un-thanked. Most of your fellow humans are so distracted and disorganized that they only get around to the most essential, familiar or urgent things in their lives. They’re on “autopilot” most of the time — aren’t we all on occasion?
This self-interest is natural and healthy. Use this knowledge of other’s desires in your plans and proposals. Here’s the big principle. If you want something to happen, take control and do it yourself. Don’t get bitter if perhaps someone else didn’t keep a commitment to help you.
It is a waste of time to criticize others, and a bigger waste to pay attention to anyone’s criticism of you. Just know that you can get better at doing things on your own. It’s a LOT easier than trying to get someone else to change.
8. NOBODY WAKES UP IN THE MORNING CHOOSING TO BE THE VILLAIN. Everyone alive thinks that they’re the “good guy.” He or she is the hero in their version of the story. They have a reason for what they do — even if it’s impractical or unworkable or has evil consequences.
People who are troublesome aren’t worth changing. Don’t even waste time complaining about them. If someone hurts you, it’s not about you and you shouldn’t act like it was. People do what they do because of their own inner reality. Learn what you can do differently the next time, then forgive them and move on.
Really. Forgive them completely. And then, figure out how to manage, tolerate or avoid them in the future. By the way, forgiving doesn’t mean that you think whatever they did is okay. It’s NOT okay. But here’s the thing — if you don’t forgive someone you can’t ever let it go. Then you have to go around with this burden of anger and sourness. Wasn’t the original hurt enough for you? Why would you want to preserve it and remember it? Or them?
Carrying grudges ties up brain cells that you could use to make life sweeter for yourself and those you love. So, after you forgive them, forgive yourself for getting hurt — and then LET IT GO!
9. THERE IS NO “HAPPILY EVER AFTER” IN THE REAL WORLD. Friends and mates may change or leave, luck comes and goes, and there are no guarantees. The only certainty is that someday your life will be over, and only you can decide how it will be lived. If you want a happy ending you need to create it.
Think about it. When would “Happily Ever After” start?
After you win the lottery? — Most lottery winners are broke within three years.
When the wedding bells ring? — Over half of all marriages fail.
When you retire? — 95% of those over 65 live from check to check.
Stories have to have happy endings, because the story ends before their characters do. Real life is different. You’re going to live until you die, so you need to have a plan for every day of it. Choose your goals, write them down, and track them daily. Your life will happen by accident unless you have a plan for it. Either way things will happen to you. On every day of your life, after every climax, every tragedy and every triumph, the sun will rise again.
You get a new day every morning of your life. And as long as you’re alive you’ll have to prepare for that next day and the one after that. So respect reality. Think as if you have a future, because that’s where you’re going to spend the rest of your life.
10. THERE IS A HELL, AND IT STARTS EARLY. People create their own personal hell with moral shortcuts, regrets about lost opportunities, resentment, and guilt. Then they add jealousy and envy, and they’ve paid the toll to enter Hell’s suburbs.
What toll do they pay? They give up their peace of mind, and sometimes their self respect. They trade it for short-term pleasure. Those who avoid doing anything that requires effort — physical exercise or forgiving or doing something for someone else — grow more narrow and less flexible day by day.
Stunted ambition strangles their dreams and their enthusiasm dies. By the time they enter “downtown Hell” they’ve got a bad attitude about most things in life. They complain and criticize because “life has let them down.” The truth is life didn’t let them down — they quit trying. Pretty soon their immune system gets the message and then their physical afflictions begin — their relationships are desolate and life becomes an ordeal. They start looking and acting older than they really are. When these people look ahead, the future looks just like the past. Stretching on and on, day after unhappy day.
And that is truly Hell.
11. YOU CAN CREATE PARADISE ON EARTH. MANY PEOPLE DO. You can make your life sweeter bit by bit. It doesn’t take much, just some daily practice.
Spend some time in solitude each day renewing your peace of mind. Invest in good memories by managing your behavior so that you enjoy looking back on your life.
You create your Heaven by small acts of generosity to others, making them smile and feel better. You create it by little acts of courage — doing the right thing when no one but you will ever know you did it.
By making promises to yourself and keeping them, which builds your self-respect.
You create it by telling the truth even if it’s inconvenient or embarrassing. It makes you careful about what you do, or what you commit to doing. And that brings credibility and trust. And most important, you will know you’re liked for who you are instead of for some lie you’re living.
You’re in Heaven’s neighborhood when you notice the amazing number of things in life there are to be grateful for, especially as your gratitude becomes a constant part of your being. Humans are the most flexible beings on this planet, and you build Heaven by stretching sometimes to try something new or a little scary.
Your reward is learning that you are more than you thought. And you can always stretch more. As you become older your personal Heaven becomes a bigger influence on those around you. Your life will expand faster than your physical abilities contract.
You will laugh a lot more than most people, and enjoy more contentment and peace than you ever thought possible. And it just keeps getting better and better.
If you choose to follow this path, you’ll be in Paradise long before you leave this life.
12. IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO CHANGE. Everyone alive gets the same amount of time. 1440 minutes a day. 168 hours in each week. As long as you live. The only difference is in how you spend those hours. You decide how to spend your time and you make that choice each minute.
You can begin to turn your life around in a second. The only thing you need to do is decide to make it better. You can start to change immediately, beginning with a simple act and letting the acts pile up on each other, creating the change almost effortlessly.
You know the scriptural quote, “By their deeds you shall know them?” It was talking about us. It doesn’t really matter much what we think or what we intend, until the thought is expressed as action.
The quality of our lives comes from what we actually do.
Experience comes in moments — and the moments will keep coming for you until they finally stop. Each moment is a gift, and the chance to make your life different comes to you during each one of them.
Each of these “Facts” boils down to a single principle. Decide. You can decide how your life will go during any moment you choose. This may be that moment. It’s okay to dream big. Where do you want to go from here? How do you want your next moments to be? It’s up to you.
IN CLOSING I’d like to leave you with a personal note.
Odds are I’m older than you and I’ll confess something. I wasn’t born knowing these Facts of Life. I got them one by one, over decades that would have gone better if I had known all of these rules earlier. But the bottom line is I eventually got them, and with each new breakthrough every area of my life (health, wealth, relationships and happiness) has gotten better and better.
The very few regrets I have are mostly not about the “sins” I may have committed. No, they are about the things I didn’t do when the opportunity arose. I invite you to avoid creating regrets in your future by embracing opportunities for growth as they appear.
This article may be one of those opportunities. And who knows? You could decide to use these rules as guidelines, and spend your life turning your dreams into reality.
If you try it, I think you’ll like it.
Tom Hoobyar, StreetSmartCEO.com
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Your companion on the path to transformation,
Ted A. Moreno