Rules to live by

Today I thought I’d share with you some of my personal rules that I do my best to live by, and thoughts that have kept me going when I’ve needed them most…

It’s not what you say, but what you do that’s important…
This is a big one for me. My Dad instilled this in all of our family – he believed that it was not what you said, but what you did that was important. It speaks for itself really. There’s an awful lot of people around who say a lot of things but never actually act on them – ‘big talkers’ my Dad would have called them, but don’t we all just want to deal with people who are straight with us and can actually get the job done and deliver the goods?! For me, it translates simply – if you say you’re going to do something, you have to follow through and actually do it. Be known for what you do, not what you say you’re going to do and if you are going to do it, make sure you’re doing it to the best of your ability – whatever it is. Always go the extra mile.

Treat others how you wish to be treated…
I think Dr. Seuss summed this one up nicely in Horton Hears a Who with “a person’s a person, no matter how small”. It’s something that people sometimes seem to forget. To me, it doesn’t matter who someone is, what they do for a living, or where they come from – at the end of the day we’re all the same, just trying to get by in life and make a living as best we can so why can’t we all just be nice to each other?! It makes the world a much nicer place to live in and at the end of the day, it makes sense to think before you speak – how would you feel if someone was speaking to you in a certain way? If that thought makes you uncomfortable or you don’t like it then there’s your answer – don’t treat anyone else like that either. And if all else fails and you still just can’t help yourself, bear in mind that what goes around comes around…

Everything will be ok in the end – if it is not ok, then it is not yet the end…
My favourite line from the film The Exotic Marigold Hotel, but how true is this?! How many times in your life have you been in a place that you thought there was no answer or no way out, or that things just seemed like they couldn’t possibly get better? We have all had these times of course, but look – here we are now, in one piece! Things may not always work out the way we would like them to, that’s just not possible, but the one thing we can always be sure of is that we will always make it to the other side, and when we do make it out the other end, whatever it is we’ve been through can only make us stronger too. We’re tougher than we think we are, we’ve just got to believe in ourselves, get up and get on with it. What else can you do?

Just because you’re outnumbered doesn’t mean you’re wrong
Ah, I love this one! This is a phrase I came across years ago when a friend of mine presented me with a birthday card that said this on the front of it. I don’t think that to this day I’ve ever had a birthday card that was better suited to me! It was around the time in school when we were learning about Herbert Hoover’s time as American President and his idea of ‘rugged individualism’. This is something that has always stayed with me, I was just captivated by the idea that everyone can succeed on their own and be independent. I guess I’ve always been a fiercely independent person and the type of person who is comfortable to speak their mind and do their own thing, and clearly this came across to my friends at the time also! I’ve never been a go along with the majority just for the sake of it type and there are many occasions since having received that card where it has served me well to remember this advice – it’s also worth noting that the inside of the card was printed with the words ‘to a rugged individualist’. Best. Card. Ever. 🙂

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Never be on time – always be ten minutes early
I’ve always been a bit of a stickler for time keeping. I think I got it from my Dad – he was always pacing the floors at least ten minutes before it was time to leave for anywhere, hurrying people up! It’s a hard habit to shift – and despite now having lived such a long time in the UAE, it’s a habit that has never left me. Even though we live in a region that is notorious for terrible timekeeping, it’s something that I just can’t bring myself to relax over – and quite honestly it’s served me well. Yes, of course, I’ve found myself at numerous meetings over the years in Dubai and Abu Dhabi where the appointment time has come and gone and I’ve still been left waiting, and of course that’s irritating to say the least – but for me, what’s important is to make a good impression and to show the person I’m meeting with that I have respect for their time. That’s just good manners if you ask me. And as I say, more often than not my tactic of not only being on time, but being a little early has served me well. I have actually found that my attention to timekeeping has made me stand out, and as a result, I have been able to form some great, strong business relationships as a result. I remember one particular meeting I went to in Dubai where I was not only greeted with pleasure, but absolute surprise: “Of all of the years I have lived in Dubai, never, ever has someone turned up to meet me on time, let alone come ten minutes early” was the introductory line my associate began our meeting with. Well – where can you go from there?! Needless to say that we had a very positive meeting and a good business relationship was instantly solidified. And of course, I never had any problems getting future meetings confirmed with this particular person again!

What are your thoughts? Do you have any personal rules for living you like to live by? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

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