Originally written and posted on MySpace March 24, 2006
Some time ago I was in a class at church and an assignment was given. It was to write down your rules for life. Now, I never did home work when I was in school, what made this teacher think that I would do it for him?
He had triggered something, though. My mind tried to chew on it, for though I had no real intention of doing the assignment I did want to have some seemingly smart answers just in case I was called upon to participate the next week. What I found really distressed me. There was nothing to chew on.
I was a man in his 40's with a successful job and a good family. From all outward appearances it would seem I had it all together. I did not. I simply could not answer the question "Who is Paul". I kept coming up with answers like "A computer programmer" and "Father" and "Husband" and "Christian" and a list of other adjectives but they were all so nebulous. They were the pat answers; not the real answers. I did not have any real answers.
I found that my life was one where I was being lead by events as they happened. I had no real guiding principles. I had no way to say "this" or "that" fell within the bounds of who I am. I had no goals. I had no definition. I was simply a rider of life and a slave to whatever was the current situation.
So I decided to give the assignment a try. It was not easy. I will tell you, though, that it was worth it. After completing my "Rules for Life" I had a better idea of who I was. I found I liked me :)
I have these posted on my wall in my office. I read them to remind myself of who I am. It is also there so that others can read them and that gives the a feeling of accountability; if others know who I am, I need to reflect my values consistently.
Anyway, this preamble is much longer than I had planned. So, I will post my rules in a new post. I hope you will read them and then be challenged to come up with a list of your own. It will be time well spent.