I wrote this post about a month ago. I held off from publishing it because I thought each of these “rules” should be second nature by now. Apparently they aren’t. I know they aren’t because when I came across it today, I found that I have been breaking several of them. I can’t imagine I’m the only one…

1. You only get one body. Treat it well. You don’t realize how fragile your body really is until it’s too late. And too late may be just one bacon double cheeseburger away. Be healthy. That doesn’t mean you should overdo it and just eat rabbit food either. Just take better care of yourself. Eat a healthy diet. Exercise a few times a week. Maybe even meditate. That would be a pretty good start.

2. Apologize the right way. If you need to apologize to someone, do it right. Saying “I’m sorry if that upset you” is just a backwards way of blaming the other person for being too sensitive. I’m talking about a real apology. A real apology goes something like this: “I’m sorry. I did not mean to (insert whatever crummy thing you did or said). What can I do to fix this?” I’m working on this one.

3. Write something. It doesn’t matter if it is a public blog, a private journal or something in between. Write. Even if you say that you aren’t a good writer. Just get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper. It will change everything…spark new ideas, introduce you to new people, open new doors and give you somewhat of a legacy to look back on years from now.

4. Give back. Not everything in life can be just about you. Give back. Somehow. Find a way. You can donate money, volunteer, teach others or mentor someone. There are so many ways for you to give back to others and so many people out there that need you. Don’t wait until you are rich or retired. Start now. Do whatever you can.

5. Treat everyone as an equal. Throughout history certain groups were not given the same rights as the rest of us because of the color of their skin, their sex, their religious beliefs and a host of other reasons. We eventually smartened up. Most of us anyway. But it’s still happening. There are still people out there that don’t have the “luxuries” you have because of stuff like sexual preference. Stop it. Eventually, the older generations that are against it are going to be weeded out and replaced by the younger generations that don’t care. Don’t leave behind a legacy of hatred towards another human being. Especially ones you don’t know.

6. Have a plan. Let me rephrase that. Have a well thought out plan. Having no plan is still a plan. Just not a very good one. Figure out what you want to do with your life and develop the plan that will get you there. Don’t float through life without one. You’ll wake up in 10 years wondering what just happened. Squeeze all of the juice out of the orange. You only get one shot at this life. Do everything you can to make it a successful one.

7. Be a lifelong student. Never stop learning. Regardless of whether or not you are still in school. Knowledge is your personal equity. It increases your value to the world. The more valuable you are, the more you can make a difference not only for yourself and your family but for humanity as a whole.

8. Recycle. Eventually you are going to be gone. Leave this place a little better than how you found it. There are other people that are going to need it. Some of them might be your children. Don’t leave them your mess to clean up.

9. Do the things that scare you. You know that funny feeling you get when you are about to do something that scares the heck out of you? Do those types of things more often. Standing on your chair and singing to a group of unsuspecting diners (or something equally as mortifying) should be a right of passage for every human being. The more you challenge yourself to do the things that scare you the less you will find that scares you.

10. Love yourself. Get your mind out of the gutter. There are too many people on this planet that hate themselves. They have eating disorders because of it. They hurt themselves because of it. They hurt others because of it. They kill themselves because of it. Stop! This is who you are. If you don’t like something about yourself, change it. If you can’t change it, embrace it. Then move on.

11. Under promise and over deliver. Make it a habit to go above and beyond. Give more than people expect from you. Always. For example. if you say you are going to give 10 rules, give 11.