I’ve been re-reading a book I got about 8 months or so ago, one you may have heard of called The Happiness Project. It’s a book written by Gretchen Rubin recounting her experiences of being…well, happier. She takes you through a year in her life as she puts different happiness theories to the test and her results.
The book appeals to me in so many ways. It’s humorous (very important to me), practical, and real. I started following Gretchen’s blog and her website The Happiness Project Toolbox Site and one of my favorite things that she has is The Twelve Personal Commandments.
The Twelve Commandments are just that…the values and principles that you want to guide your thoughts and actions. I did a post about 2 years ago about the Essential Ingredients in your Life Recipe (which is same concept as The Twelve Commandments) and thought it would be fun to list mine and give you tips for coming up with yours…(whether you call them Ingredients, Commandments, Credos, Tools), whatever.
The list is really made up of your values and the ideas that are most important to you. It’s a Recipe for how you want to live your life on a daily basis.
So here are some ideas for coming up with yours:
- Think about what you value most. These are things like: love, freedom, autonomy, integrity, honesty…you get the idea.
- One of Gretchen’s tips (and one of my favs) is to pay attention to quotes, what other people say, and phrases that really resonate with you (you’ll notice a few of those in mine).
- There is no set number of Ingredients or Commandments. When I was teaching middle schoolers and gave an assignment I was also asked “How long does it have to be?” My reply was always “Til you’ve said everything you wanted to say.” And then I proceeded to give guidelines because we like that. We want parameters and guidelines. So, however many Ingredients do the job, then that’s how many you write down.
- Make sure your list reflects YOU!
- Your list will change and that’s OK!
- WRITE IT DOWN!
Danielle’s Essential Ingredients (my Recipe for Life)
- Treat others as I want to be treated
- Be kind
- Be truthful without being hurtful
- Just Do It
- Laugh Every Day
- Be grateful
- Be part of the solution
- I accept responsibility for all of my choices
I would love for you to post your Ingredients or Commandments! If you find this activity really difficult, I cover this exercise in depth in Cravin’IT, my program designed to help you define your mindset, mission, and message
Paul Tran says
Ingredients For The @PaulTTran Secret Sauce (that no one will buy =P)
1. Being normal is NOT what I’m here to be
2. Laughter is the cure for everything – hate, depression, sickness, boredom, you name it
3. Time is more valuable than money
4. Don’t spend your health trying to gain wealth, only to spend your wealth trying to regain (and usually fail at it) health
5. Change your lens of how you see the world; change your outcome
6. Love conquers all – in relationships, business, giving back, etc.
7. Second only to God, I am the single most powerful being in this universe – i can dictate happiness/sadness, poverty/wealth, everything
8. Don’t mistake urgent for important
Not sure if I did it according to spec, but it was fun, and it’s always powerful to write down your affirmations, goals, thoughts, etc. any way! I love your list, DM! My faves are:
“Be grateful” – the world is yours when you decide that you are and have enough; and
“Just do it” – don’t think, just do it! Shoot first, ask questions later; better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission; experience is the best teacher!
No wonder I love who you are and what you write. This is a great interactive post; looking forward to seeing everybody else’s!
Oh Paul…I love your list! Thanks for playing along:-) I think my favorite of yours is #1. I love the idea of not being ‘normal’…it’s more like extraordinary!
I think you have some amazing ingredients that will inspire others:-)
J Steele says
You guys are a hard act to follow- this is great for knowing someone better!
OK (deep breath)
I LOVE this exercise/conversation! Over the years I have had lists that would continually modify and i found that the essence of the big picture was getting lost in the details. I’m also not smart enough to remember 8 or 10 or 12 things so I’ve boiled it down for myself into 3 words:
PERSPECTIVE: Everything rises or falls on my perspective so the closer I align my perspective with truth, the healthier and more productive my life is. Also, allowing and embracing others’ perspectives makes for a richer life and deep conversations.
SHALOM: This is a Hebrew word that translates PEACE in English but it is SO MUCH deeper and more profound. It is a wholeness and rightness that is present when relationships are functioning as designed. The four major relationships are: 1) w God 2) w myself 3) w others 4) w the rest of creation. I seek SHALOM more when my perspective is good.
INCARNATE: This is intensely personal and spiritual so… without going into great Theology, but also hoping that a brief summary doesn’t mislead, it is the RADICAL idea that my true identity is found in God and that my ideal state is when He lives through me to the extent that the line between God and man is blurred.
Obviously I am a work in progress but these three ideas light me up and motivate me to continue seeking to live the life I was created for!
Thanks for asking 🙂
John Lusher says
Wow, talk about a post that makes you think!! Thanks Danielle, loved it!!
Okay, here is my list:
1. Freedom – bought and paid for
2. Laughter – An incredible tool
3. Honesty – In everything you do
4. Treat others How you want to be treated
5. Give to others, with no expectations of a return
6. Never take anyone for granted
7. Love – tell those you love them everyday
8. Accept no excuses from yourself
9. Be Genuine
10. Be thankful
Glad you enjoyed it John…and that is an amazing list you have there my friend…(love the freedom one)