No, this isn’t a post about how to become one of the nation’s highest income earners. Not that kind of one-percenter. I’m talking about those tenets in life that probably fewer than 1% of us actually follow.
I like lists. I’m also a rule follower. So during my slow, snowy commute home today, I jotted down some rules about how to live a more meaningful and deliberate life. I’m not going to pretend I follow all of these to a ‘T’ but as I sit here and reflect, they certainly would lead to a “rich” life in the top 1% as I define it. And none of them have anything to do with money.
I’m not sure why I’m feeling obligated to jot these down now but I suspect it has something to do with the latest holiday we just celebrated. My feelings around Thanksgiving tend to be all over the spectrum. I try to reconcile the goodness the holiday inspires as our family gets together with the worst of it – Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
What makes me most sad about our consumerist society is pretty well summed up in this GMC Black Friday TV commercial.
I don’t know what makes me more bonkers – the tired woman who would rather get up at 3am to go shopping than spend time with her family or the perky woman who “saved thousands” by financing a $51,000 monster truck.
- DO go forward with a focus on helping others and you’ll ultimately be helping yourself.
- DO value experiences over stuff. There is no such thing as retail therapy.
- DO NOT care what others think of you.
- DO be thankful for what you have and not resentful of what you don’t.
- DO NOT worry about things outside of your control. Rather, focus on the influence you have within your immediate circle.
- DO work with full effort and ‘good luck’ will certainly follow.
- DO have self-confidence and trust yourself. Take in and evaluate different perspectives but ultimately do what is right for you.
- DO NOT feel like you ‘deserve’ anything.
- DO know when you have enough.
- DO make decisions with the future in mind.
- DO have integrity – do what you say and say what you do. You’d be amazed how far you can get by simply showing up when you say you will.
- DO NOT fear failure. Learning from mistakes is the best education.
- DO be impressive, not impressed.
- DO NOT procrastinate – persist.
- DO treat each day like a gift, it will help filter out the noise.
- DO live intentionally, not by chance or with regrets.
- DO be a bucket-filler and not a bucket-dipper. This terminology was taught to me by my kids when they were in kindergarten and helps separate friendly from unfriendly actions. I’ve used it ever since.
I’m sure I’ll think of others as time passes and may update this as I go.
What would your list look like to living life in the top 1%?