Do You Have Any Personal Commandments?

In an effort to get my head together and focus on what is essential to me, as opposed to flaking out on the couch and blowing everything off, I recently participated in a 21 Day Project hosted by none other than happiness guru, Gretchen Rubin. Those in the Petosphere maybe be more familiar with the fantastic piece of work Ms. Rubin inspired, The Puppiness Project, over at Something Wagging This Way Comes. But I digress. Whether you have heard of her before or not, I think the she has a worthwhile perspective and insights almost equal to the writer of the aforementioned dog blog.

Throughout the 21 days, Gretchen (after the therapeutic journey she put me through I feel like we should be on a first-name basis) asked many probing questions to help me learn more about myself, my motivations, and how my brain works. It wasn’t always easy to come up with an answer. Though the project is long over, I am still puzzling over some of them. Okay, all of them.

As I say, it’s been a process.

One of the questions that has most preoccupied me is the one that asked me to come up with twelve personal commandments. Twelve! Gretch – yep, we’re tight enough for nicknames too – wrote in great length about her own on her website as well.

I love the idea behind it, having mantras to return to when things get stressful or confusing, but I think I might be a six or seven commandment kind of gal. Here is what I have come up with so far:

1. Always, always, always be kind

2. Dealing is better than delaying

3. In order to get to the end of it, you have to go through it (I ripped this from Suzanne Collins’ Catching Fire)

4. Chill

5. The more I put myself out there and authentically be myself, the more I give others the permission to do the same (I ripped this from the brilliant author of The Daily Dog Blog)

6. Revel in the moment

7. Do it anyway

8. You can handle it

9. You are not alone

10. You are capable of helping

11. Be grateful

12. Nothing changes if nothing changes

Hmm… Not sure I am happy with them. But it’s a start!

Do you have any personal commandments? I’d love to hear them!

11 thoughts on “Do You Have Any Personal Commandments?

  1. 1. Family first
    2. Be kind –
    3. Watch what you say – you never know when your words can be the last straw for another person
    4. Don’t be afraid to tell someone you love them – you never know when it will be your last chance
    5. Being sick or hurt and being on the mend beats the alternative
    6. Hug someone or something everyday


  2. It’s very cool that you took time out to work on a personal happiness project. I’m a big believer in regular retreats and projects.

    Obviously you know I’m a Gretchen Rubin fan (although I don’t yet call her “Gretch”). But I haven’t yet tried to come up with 12 whole commandments.

    But one that has given me enough value to justify replacing 11 others is “when you hurt someone, even accidentally, apologize, don’t explain.” It wasn’t easy, but pushing back my first reaction to get defensive and replacing it with humility is probably the best thing I’ve ever done.

    Thanks for the shout out to my little homage. I wonder if Ms. Rubin would be flattered or horrified by it? 🙂


    • I’d like to think, if she is as lovely as she is in her writing, that she would greatly enjoy your Puppiness Project. I am surprised, actually, that she hasn’t reached out to you. Your wisdom complements one another’s so well.

      It is still a work in progress as I am lazy, especially when it comes to things benefitting solely myself. But after this year, I do think it is work worth doing. Blogging again is a big part of that.

      Thank you for all of your inspiration. This one comment alone has given me much to reflect upon.


  3. I love these! (And I love Gretchen Rubin, both for the Happiness Project and for the Puppiness Project she inspired.)

    I think one of mine is: “You can’t always control what happens to you, but you can control how you choose to react to it.”


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