THINGS I'VE LEARNED

Not exactly rules - mainly because I hate rules. But these have served me well.
  1. 1.
    You teach people how to treat you.
    If you set reasonable boundaries, most people will accept them. This applies to work (e.g., I don't work on Saturdays) as well as your personal life (e.g., I won't do the dishes you leave in the sink after every meal). You don't need to make a big proclamation - it's probably best not to.
  2. 2.
    The loudest voice doesn't always garner respect.
    Quiet thoughtfulness can be much more powerful.
  3. 3.
    Don't work just to get the job done. Work to do the best job possible.
    It may sound corny, but this will almost always put you head and shoulders above the pack.
  4. 4.
    You're never too old for ice cream with multicolored sprinkles.
  5. 5.
    Those who proclaim, "I'm a very honest/loyal/ethical person," usually fail to live up to their own billing.
  6. 6.
    How you treat others speaks volumes about you.
    Be kind - particularly to those who don't expect your kindness.
  7. 7.
    Don't take things personally.
    We have no idea what burdens others are carrying. More often than not, that "slight" has nothing to do with you. Most people are just doing the best they can.
  8. 8.
    Sometimes it helps to stick your head in a box of puppies.
  9. 9.
    Don't be afraid to challenge convention.
    This means something different for everyone. When you figure out what it means for you, the tingle of excitement is palpable.
  10. 10.
    Do what you love.
  11. 11.
    At least once a year, celebrate "If You Want Something, Buy It, Take It, or Eat It" day.
    This is exactly what it sounds like. The only rule: don't do anything stupid.
  12. 12.
    Take responsibility for your mistakes.
    It takes a lot less energy to admit you screwed up than to argue all the reasons it's not your fault. As an added bonus, people will come to rely on you more, because they know they can trust you.