Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Rules

Inspired by mnmal.org's 40 rules, I give you Ben Simon's rules for life:

Rule 0: Love your wife.

Rule 1: You're going to die. (In other words: life is short, cherish every minute of it.)

Rule 2: Everything but death is fixable. (Not exactly true, but a solid rule of thumb.)

Rule 3: Time is the most precious resource. (See Rule #1.)

Rule 4: Consider the 1 year test. (Will this event/activity/item be important in a year? If not, consider Rule #3.)

Rule 5: Be Honest. (If you broke it, admit it. If you don't understand it, admit.)

Rule 6: Consider contribution, not blame. (Not "who's fault is it?" but, "how did each of us contribute to this problem?")

Rule 7: Your taste will exceed your skills. (So, practice, practice, practice.)

Rule 8: Go to bed angry. (A crisis often shrinks to nothing when considered on a full night's sleep.)

Rule 9: Find Flow and you'll find happiness.

Rule 10: When communicating with others, prefer pictures over spoken words. Prefer a working model over pictures.

Rule 11: Make a list. Prioritize. Work on the first item. Forget about the rest until the first one is complete.

Rule 12: Be Prepared.

Rule 13: Smile.

Rule 14: Consider it an experiment. (There's no failure with experiments, just more data.)

Rule 15: Always completely pay off your credit cards at the end of the month.

Rule 16: Live your best life. (Don't lament that you can't hike the full Appalachian Trail. Do a weekend backpacking trip or overnight or even camp out in the backyard with the kids.)

Rule 17: If you want to understand a subject, teach it to someone. If you want to completely and relentlessly understand a subject, teach it to a computer. (That is, program it. Computers make now allowance for gray areas.)

Rule 18: my advice to budding programmers: read a lot of code, write a lot of code. Repeat.

Rule 19: The universe owes you nothing. The things you've worked hard for in your life aren't guaranteed. They could be gone next year, next week or later this afternoon. Don't fear this, just know this.

What are your rules for life?

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