These rules are individual to me. They have been developed and revised over a lifetime of experiences. Although they can be applied to anyone, I believe that we each discover our own path to happiness. Make your own rules to happiness, but feel free to use my rules as a starting point or to get ideas.
1. Don’t put off a good thought.
This is a combination of a few of my favorite quotes and philosophies. “Never suppress a generous thought.” “Never postpone a prompting.” And “write down the thoughts God gives you right away.”
2. Don’t watch, read, listen to, or do anything that you wouldn’t be comfortable thinking about in the temple.
Sometimes this one can be hard because a lot of good movies, etc have bad parts to them. But I try my best to stick to wholesome recreation.
3. Separate yourself from your anger.
When someone does something that upsets me, I try to stop and think about it before I react. I try to see things from their point of view before letting my anger out.
4. Don’t wait until you have the time or energy or peace of mind to help someone.
Be kind when you are broken; be patient when you are in pain; reach out to others when you are lonely; listen to others when you are hopeless. You find yourself by losing yourself. We will never have the perfect circumstances to help everyone. So we must choose to help when it’s not convenient.
5. Always take the time to be grateful.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. I have a lot to be grateful for. I just have to consciously think of those things every day.
6. Surround yourself with positive influences. From music to movies to people, do not allow negativity to occupy your time.
This includes news and current events. While it is important to be informed, I can get dragged into depressing thoughts if I get too many details about negative current events. If I want to stay positive, I have to consciously decide to avoid any unnecessary negativity.
7. Remember you are the same person when you make a mistake as when you do good. You do not lose worth or value when you mess up.
I’m still working on this one. I’m still trying to remember and remind myself of my worth. But as hard as it is, I keep reminding myself. I am that same person. I am not worthless. There are people who love me, which means I am lovable, which means I must have something inside me worth loving, and if they can see it, I can believe it.
8. See the goodness in people. Even when they hurt you, try to see them as God sees them.
We are all looking for the light. Some of us just lose our way before we find it. Try to help them find that light rather than stepping into their darkness.
9. Don’t be afraid to be sad sometimes.
Pain, heartache, fear, sorrow, and disappointment are all part of life. It’s okay to acknowledge them and live in them every once in a while. The sadness will not last forever. It’s just part of the journey.
10. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Worry about what you’re doing.
I especially apply this when I’m driving. It’s easy to see other people passing me or cutting me off, but if I focus on me, I’m less likely to take it personally or get upset by it. Everyone is fighting their own battles. I cannot control their actions, but I can focus on what I am doing and how I am behaving.