Thursday Thirteen – Rules To Live By

My Thursday Thirteen this week is inspired by a post over at Outfit Inspirations called Five Life Rules Girls Should Learn in School. In it Simone gives her 5 “never evers” which are her life rules, and she invites others to blog about their’s. Now, I’m not really one for “never evers” (although I fully approve of all the “never evers” Simone includes), so I thought I would give you 13 of my life rules, but phrased as aspirational goals, rather than as things not to do. I find I’m at my best when I’m aiming for something, rather than abstaining πŸ˜‰

  1. Be Early – I’ve never been one for being fashionably late; I’m too enthusiastic for that! I tend to get to every appointment at least 10 minutes early. Often I’m there even earlier than that, and I used to get frustrated at myself, for not being able to time my journeys correctly, as it meant I was always sitting around waiting for things to start, people to turn up, doors to open etc. But, I’ve discovered that turning up early can actually be a good thing. You can help the organiser set up. You can meet new friends in the queue. You can have a little quiet time to settle your nerves i.e. before a presentation. Things happen when you turn up early, and opportunities which may not have presented themselves, had you arrived on time, can be seized and enjoyed.
  2. Be Patient – This seems like a logical follow on from “be early”! I’ve had to learn that sometimes what you want doesn’t just drop into your lap, and that you have to wait. Some things (like babies!) come in their own sweet time, and no amount of longing will bring it any sooner.
  3. Be Authentic – You know, if you’re not true to yourself, then others pick up on it, and this affects their response to you. Not only that, but you’ll never be completely happy as you won’t be living life the way that you feel it should be lived. Authenticity, in this day and age, is of growing importance, and it’s something that I strive for in all I do.
  4. Be Confident – If you don’t show confidence in yourself, then no-one will have confidence in you. It’s as simple, and as complicated, as that! When I walk into a room of strangers, when I give a paper in front of influential people in my field, when I’m attempting something for the first time, I try and do it with confidence. Now, here’s my secret about confidence: It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel confident inside, as long as you try and show confidence on the outside. Pretty soon your inner confidence will match up to your outside confidence.
  5. Be Aware – This awareness is on many levels, but I’ll just touch on three: the social, the environmental, and the political. Socially, it’s important to be aware of those around you. Make sure you listen attentively, and pay attention to body language. Environmentally, you’ll find that your everyday life will be greatly enhanced by paying attention to what’s around you. As I’ve already stated in this blog, and as I hope this blog is testament to, I strongly advocate carrying a camera everywhere with you, as I find that I’m constantly looking for photos, and because of this my awareness is continually being heightened. And lastly, I think we all need to be aware politically, as to be uninformed about what is going on around you, can leave you in a very vulnerable position.
  6. Be Selfish – Not all the time, obviously, but every now and then, it pays to be a little selfish. We all need to make sure that we are looking after ourselves, as only then can we look after others. Selfish indulgences that I treat myself to are a glossy fashion magazine, chocolate and a home manicure, but that’s just me! Your indulgences may be far healthier and loftier than mine!
  7. Be Gregarious – If you are the life and soul of a party, you will be remembered. If you are remembered, you will be invited to more parties! Seriously though, by living life enthusiastically and passionately life becomes more fun, and you attract similarly like-minded people into your world. Which can’t be a bad thing!
  8. Be Supportive – The giving of our support to a loved one, a work colleague, a charity etc, can be one of the greatest gifts we are capable of giving. Not only does it feel good at the time, but it also feels good when you see your support making a difference as they strive towards their goals. Their success is also your success. Also, I’ve noticed that when you are a supportive person, when you in turn need support, you can find it fairly easily. I’m a big believer in what goes around comes around, and the giving and receiving of support is one very clear example of this phenomena in action.
  9. Be Engaged – Throw yourself into things, whole heartedly and passionately. That way, if things don’t work out, then at least you know it wasn’t for lack of effort on your behalf. People more often regret what they don’t do than what they do. Also, by engaging more you can ensure that you’ll have more fun, more opportunities and more memorable experiences. Life’s too short not to be engaged (see number 13).
  10. Be Inspired – I love to be inspired by art, by philosophy, by technology, but mostly by people. People amaze me! Their achievements and their creativity appear to have no bounds, and in turn I find that I am encouraged to strive to achieve and to create. Only by being inspired can we go on to become inspirational.
  11. Be Creative – People often assume when I talk about creativity that I’m referring to some artistic endeavour, but more frequently I’m actually talking about ideas. I would call myself an idea person. Sometimes, it could be argued that I have too many ideas to possibly follow through on them all! But I get a lot of pleasure from thinking creatively and coming up with new ways of doing things, new ways of thinking, new ways of being in the world, and I like to think that others do to πŸ™‚
  12. Be Your Best – This is probably one that we were all told as children, and which we probably all tell our own children, but it still rings true into adulthood. If you always do your best, be the best that you are capable of being, then, not only will you get that deep-seated sense of satisfaction, but you will also inspire others to be the best that they can be. I like being around people who do their best, don’t you?
  13. Be In The Moment – I posted about this earlier this week, so forgive me for returning to it again here. I do think it’s a terribly important one though, which warrants this return. Living for today is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Release your thoughts from the past and your constant striving for the future, and enjoy the moment – the one you’re living in right now.

Now, I am by no means suggesting that I manage to live by these rules on a daily basis, or indeed that anyone else should live according to them. They do give me something to strive for though. I’d love to hear what your rules are, what goals you aspire to.

My other TT posts: My Life in Scent, My Family, New Habits and Memorable Moments


October 10, 2007. Inspiration.


  1. CandyQ replied:

    This is such a wonderful T13! :o) I strive for everything that’s on your list now that I think about it… especially about “being in the moment”.

    By the way, my T13’s up early, too. :o)

  2. amypalko replied:

    Well, there you go, CandyQ! We’ve both managed number one on the list – Be Early!

  3. SusieJ replied:

    But, wouldn’t it be nice if we could.

  4. Ellen replied:

    Be in the moment…That’s one I have to keep reminding myself of. Happy TT!

  5. Yuriko replied:

    I’m always early… I hate being late.. and often I find myself cursing the bus for being late, even if I have no control over it… I’m better at it now though. I just leave even earlier. πŸ™‚

  6. Nicholas replied:

    Being early is a very good idea, except for social occasions. No one wants guests showing up before they are supposed to. Be engaged is truly excellent advice.

  7. Tink replied:

    I’m often too early because I’m afraid to be too late! Good goals to strive for!
    My TT shares 13 quotes by W.B. Yeats.

  8. outfit123 replied:

    Hi Amy,
    Thanks for taking the rules to a whole new level:)
    Really inspired by your viewpoint – #9,10 and 11 are my mission at the moment!

  9. Susan Helene Gottfried replied:

    I loathe being late, and I have a few friends who are always, always, dependably, always late. Makes me nuts.

    The rest of your list is a wise list, indeed. Thanks for the reminders.

  10. jenn replied:

    What a wonderful post. Words to aspire to.

  11. morgan replied:

    Great TT! πŸ™‚ #1 has gotten me a few times, I’ve shown up an hour early for an appointment, by accident! LOL

  12. Lori replied:

    I need to work real hard on #2…that is something Ive never been very good at:) Happy TT.

  13. Gabriella Hewitt replied:

    This is a great list. I really like #3. I think of all those years in high school with everyone worrying about how this or that will be perceived by your peers. And then you reach my age and realize how little it really meant. As long as you are true to yourself and those around you–that’s all that matters.

    Happy TT.

  14. Rae replied:

    I love your list I hate being late it drives me crazy your list has some wonderful rules happy TT

  15. Marcia (MeeAugraphie) replied:

    Number 11 comes naturally to me, a few of the others I have to work at. This is a great list, each item is important, combined they allow a person to become all they can be.

  16. Damozel replied:

    These are wonderful! You have surpassed yourself!

  17. amypalko replied:

    It would be, wouldn’t it, SusieJ?

    I find I have to continually remind myself of that one, Ellen!

    Chelle, have you heard the saying, “Patience is a virtue, Catch it if you can, Often found in woman, Seldom in a man.” I don’t know if its a common one, or a Scottish one, but when my grandad says it he switches it around: “Seldom in a woman, often in a man”. Regardless of gender, I think patience is a hard one. A lifetime aspiration, perhaps…

    Yuriko, late public transport is the bane of my life! I don’t drive, so I go everywhere on the bus, or the train, or by foot. Public transport in the UK is quite often late, so I get plenty practice at number 2 on my list πŸ˜‰

    Nicholas, you are quite right, of course! Nobody wants an early dinner guest, and it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve gone around the block so as to arrive on time instead of early.

    Glad you enjoyed the list, Tink. I hate that late feeling, don’t you?

    Thank you, S! Being engaged, inspired and creative is what this blog is all about. Whether I’m successful or not is debatable, but I think it’s important to try!

    It’s amazing, Susan Helene, how some people make lateness an art form. I know some people who are always exactly 10 minutes late. That can’t be accidental, can it?

    Thank you for your kind words, Jenn πŸ™‚

    I think the only time I’ve turned up that early, Morgan, is when the clocks move forward an hour, and I forgot about it. I don’t think I’m the only one to have fallen for that one though!

    Number 2 is a really difficult goal, I think, Lori. I also think you can take comfort in that most people have yet to reach that goal πŸ™‚

    How right you are, Gabrielle! If you manage to stay true to yourself during your high school years, you are an enlightened person indeed.

    I’m glad you like the list, Rae!

    Thank you, Marcia! Your kind words are very much appreciated.

    Wow, thank you so much, Damozel! Pleased you enjoyed it so much πŸ™‚

  18. Wolfie replied:

    Hey..tis is a great list..think I’ve to “re-learn” some of these “Be Patient” (I seems to be losing it)..thanks for the reminder..

  19. amypalko replied:

    Do you know, Wolfie, I think that all these rules are things I constantly need to learn and re-learn. The day I stop is when I’ve reached perfection πŸ˜‰

  20. Coco replied:

    This list inspired me!! And come to think of it, I’m kinda trying to follow them too in my life… maybe I should copy them and paste it in my journal!

    Happy TT πŸ™‚

  21. amypalko replied:

    I’m so glad that the list has inspired you, Coco, and honoured that you would consider pasting it into your journal!

  22. SandyCarlson replied:

    This is a super list. They really do all flow from be early! Interesting. If you don’t need to take time to catch up with yourself you can be present and at ease to do those other things.

  23. amypalko replied:

    So they do SandyCarlson! I hadn’t noticed that before, but now you mention it… Thanks for taking the time to comment πŸ™‚

  24. Xakara replied:

    Gorgeous list. Everything you have is on my own list of aspirations and ways to move through the world.

    If I had to sum it all up in just one it would be 13, be in the moment. We spend too much time scattered and trying to contemplate a 100 different things at once. What we think of as multitasking in the end means losing out on so much going on around us. We live in every moment but the one going on until it has passed and then we regret having missed it.

    I’m so glad I stopped by today. πŸ™‚

    Happy TT


  25. amypalko replied:

    Thank you for your lovely comment, Xakara! And, yes, I agree with you on being in the moment; that’s one of the reasons why I put it last. In many ways it seems the simplest, but in actuality it is the hardest to achieve.

  26. Trish replied:

    I would like to strive a little harder for all these things in my life – thanks for inspiring me .I bookmarked this. Thanks for sharing and I am glad I dropped by too.

  27. amypalko replied:

    I’m so glad that you feel inspired by my post, Trish! Thank you for taking the time to comment πŸ™‚

  28. jennifer replied:

    The be patient one I really have to work on. I just cannot wait for things and always get mad.

  29. Laura replied:

    Oh, that’s an interesting TT!!! I love every single one of those points!

    Happy TT!

  30. amypalko replied:

    Being patient can be really hard, can’t it, Jennifer? It’s certainly one I struggle with!

    I’m so pleased you liked the post, Laura πŸ™‚

  31. PJ replied:

    This is a great list – my main problem is not being gregarious enough. I’m usually early, and hate being kept waiting, so I need to work on my patience too.

  32. Alasandra replied:

    What a lovely list. I need to work on being more patient.

    Thank you for visiting my TT.

  33. amypalko replied:

    I’m glad you liked it, PJ. I often think the best way to be gregarious is to have fun. Wishing you lots of fun in the upcoming future so you can practice your gregariousness!

    Thank you for commenting, Alasandra. I think patience is something many of us need to improve πŸ˜‰

  34. No Nonsense replied:

    That is such an awesome list!!! πŸ™‚ What a cool idea and how wise and empowering this list is! πŸ™‚

  35. marnini replied:

    Great list, I try to follow these rules as well.
    I have to practice the be early one I am usually right on time.
    Very Inspiring and People amaze me too, I love to get to know a person-there are so many other world’s we could experience by simply opening our ears to someone else’s life

  36. Laura replied:

    This is an excellent read. Great list. I agree, I have to work on my patience. By-the-way, I love the title of your blog.

  37. Emmyrose replied:

    I always fail at #1

    Great list πŸ™‚

  38. Xine replied:

    A very wise and well-written post. Excellent advice. Thanks for stopping by chicken-scratch. I’ll definitely be back – I also did find the “good” in your withered roses below.

  39. amypalko replied:

    Thank you, No Nonsense! It means a lot to me that you liked this week’s list so much πŸ™‚

    I think you are so right, Marnini, about getting to know other people and experiencing new world views vicariously through them. It’s one of the reasons why I like the internet so much!

    I’m glad you liked it, Laura. I’m also glad you like the blog’s name. I don’t mind telling you it took me a quite a long time to come up with it!

    Never mind, Emmyrose! You could just bypass number one and go straight on to numbers 2-13 πŸ˜‰

    Thanks, Xine πŸ™‚ Oh, and I’m glad you found the good in my “Only the Good” post this week. It’s such a great project – I really recommend everyone to check it out!

  40. Sue replied:

    Love your list, especially #2 and #4. Happy Thursday Thirteen, and thank you so much for stopping by!

  41. Irene replied:

    That’s certainly a lot to aim for, but it is also so logical that these steps are good for you.
    Thank you for phrasing them so nicely and reminding me of their importance. And thank you fro your uplifting comment.

  42. Lesley replied:

    What a lovely and inspiring list! Happy TT!

  43. Qtpies7 replied:

    Those are really great things to live by! Wow, I don’t know if I could come up with 13 like that.

    I have have 2 TT’s up. and

  44. Kendra replied:

    very interesting!

    happy TT and thanks for stopping by!

  45. Adelle Laudan replied:

    Be Authentic… keep it real. Wise words.

    Happy T13!

  46. PinkJeweledCat replied:

    These are all wonderful rules to live by. I live by most of them, most of the time. Ta for now dahling!

  47. Lara replied:

    Excellent words of advice — I just wish I could live by all of them!
    Great TT!

  48. Janet replied:

    That’s a fantastic list, I’m going to print it out and tack it to my cork board!

    Thanks for visiting!

  49. mo replied:

    Great list! Number 6,especially; most folks don’t think of that…if *you* don’t look out for you…who will?

  50. Danielle replied:

    That’s an inspiring list!

    I personally need to work on taking more time for me, not always being late, and being more patient!

  51. Lori replied:

    GREAT list! Definately things to live by.

  52. amypalko replied:

    Thank you, Sue. I’m glad you liked the list!

    Oh, you’re very welcome, Irene. And yes, it is a lot to aim for, but I think as long as we recognize that it’s the journey and not the destination that’s important, we’ll be just fine πŸ™‚

    I’m pleased you were inspired by it, Lesley! Thanks for commenting.

    Thank you, Qtpie7! I’ll definitely be checking out both your TTs.

    I’m glad you think so, Kendra. And your more than welcome for the visit – it was a pleasure!

    Thanks for the comment, Adelle. I just find authenticity so important when so many of our interactions are carried out virtually. Blind trust is playing a bigger part than I think it used to, and when people discover that that trust has been misplaced, the biggest loser is the one who has betrayed that trust. I think this intolerance has now spread out from internet use, and is now a far larger factor in all aspects of modern life. Sorry, I’m ranting now… I’ll stop πŸ˜‰

    Why, thank you, Pink Jewelled Cat! I’m glad the list rang true with you.

    Lara, I think the fun is in trying to live by them. I don’t think there are many folk who manage to fully commit to all!

    I’m glad you liked it enough to print it off, Janet. I find that so encouraging! Thank you πŸ™‚

    I’m a big believer in a small amount of selfishness, Mo. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment!

    Thanks, Danielle. I’m glad it inspired you!

    It’s good to know that you’re on the same page, Lori. Thanks for the comment πŸ™‚

  53. mitchypoo replied:

    Good rules to live by. But I’m not so successful sometimes. You have some beautiful pics on your blog. Happy TT!

  54. JO replied:

    great list! thanks for sharing… happy TT!

  55. Joanne replied:

    This is a GREAT list of rules to live by. Wonderful idea for a 13. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my Bushisms. Have a great weekend.

  56. amypalko replied:

    Thank you, Mitchypoo. I’m pleased you like the post, and I’m also pleased that you like my photos. They’re part of my effort to increase my awareness of my everyday surroundings.

    You are most welcome, Jo. Thanks for commenting πŸ™‚

    I’m glad you enjoyed it, Joanne. I certainly enjoyed yours!

  57. Celticangel replied:

    I am obsessively early, ’cause I can’t stand being late. And anyway, it’s good to build in a little time for unforseen events, such as bad traffic, missing keys, etc.

    Excellent list. I have my camera living in my purse even now.

  58. Damien Riley replied:


    amen sister

  59. Imma (Alice) replied:

    I love your post, Amy. I am in full agreement with you and I love the fact that you choose to present it in the positive. I will be back for future visits, so am adding you to my blog roll.

    Thanks for visiting my T13 today, and leaving me a comment. I have a ‘sweet reward’ for you at my blog. Come on over & pick it up. See you there.

  60. nouveaufauves replied:

    Great subjects for photos!

  61. amypalko replied:

    I can’t stand to be late either, Celtic Angel. And like you say, you never know what might hold you up and slow your journey down! Glad your carrying your camera πŸ™‚

    Glad you agree with so many, Damien πŸ˜‰

    I’m pleased you liked the list so much, Alice. It was important to me to phrase it in the positive, as goals always feel more achievable that way. Thanks for adding me to your blogroll. I look forward to your future visits. Oh, and I’ll be heading over to your blog directly!

    Now there’s an idea for a future TT, Nouveaufauves! If you want to give it a go, let me know. I’d love to see your results!

  62. Autumn Song replied:

    What a wonderful list, Amy. You always seem to phrase things so well, and so positively. I look forward to your next 13!

  63. amypalko replied:

    Thank you, Autumn Song! I do consciously try to stay positive about most things, and I think I’m succesful for the majority.

  64. J. Lynne replied:

    This is wonderful and inspiring! I’ve’d it and submitted it to Digg. Mostly I wanted to bookmark it so I could come back later and reread it.

    Great TT!

  65. amypalko replied:

    Wow, thank you, J. Lynne! I hope your subsequent readings prove as enjoyable as the first seems to have been πŸ™‚

  66. Robin replied:

    What a wonderful list – I don’t try hard enough to follow these. Thanks for the reminder.

    PS There’s a little something for you here:

  67. amypalko replied:

    Thank you, Robin, and thank you for my “little something” πŸ™‚

  68. D³ » Blog Archive » Link Love Monday replied:

    […] Rules To Live By is a Thursday Thirteen post written by Amy @ Lives Less Ordinary; she has provided thirteen excellent and inspiring aspirations to try to live by such as “be patient”, “be selfish”, and “be inspired” as well as reasons for why she chose them. […]

  69. nouveaufauves replied:

    Sorry to use your blog for this but the blog called AUTUMN SONG intrigues me since I have a background in theatre. My Google account was not working and wouldn’t let me sign up for a new one so I am commenting here in the hopes the blogger will know that I like the blog.

  70. Autumn Song replied:

    Thank you nouveaufauves! I’ll pop over to your blog and leave you a message there soon! (and thanks, Amy – your blog is a great blog-meeting place too).

  71. amypalko replied:

    Very happy to oblige πŸ™‚

  72. Thursday Thirteen - Preparing to Speak « Lives Less Ordinary replied:

    […] other TT posts: Rules To Live By, My Life in Scent, My Family, New Habits and Memorable […]

  73. Thursday Thirteen - What I Found in Madrid « Lives Less Ordinary replied:

    […] other TT posts: Rules To Live By, My Life in Scent, My Family, New Habits and Memorable […]

  74. Thursday Thirteen - Blogging Lessons « Lives Less Ordinary replied:

    […] of blogging. What have you learned through blogging? My other TT posts: What I Found in Madrid, Rules To Live By, My Life in Scent, My Family, New Habits and Memorable […]

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