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IWSG – Golden Rules

I find that insecurity commonly raises its ugly head during times of strife and instability.  When life is making me feel like a tiny plastic piece in one of those vibrating electric football games, I focus on the basics in order to ground myself again.  And part of those basics are the guiding principles (I call them Golden Rules) that over the years I’ve built my life around. They're nothing special, in fact most of them you've might have seen scribbled inside a public bathroom stall at some point, but they all mean something to me.  We all have them (in some form), but maybe you don’t have them written down like I do.  When I looked at them again the other day I realized that quite a few of them could pertain to a writer’s world, so I am offering them to you as part of my IWSG post (brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh) today.

DL’s Twenty-Five Golden Rules

1.    Even though I’m not religious, this still applies.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
2.    Work before play, but a good break every now and then never hurts.
3.    When you receive criticism, always consider the source.  The same is true for praise.
4.    Sometimes it’s easier to just agree to disagree.
5.    Where there’s a will, there’s a way…but there’s also a cost.
6.    Respect your elders, until they give you a reason to do otherwise.
7.    If you’re paid a day’s wages, then work an honest day’s work.  Sick time is for when you’re SICK.
8.    Guys don’t hit girls.  Period.
9.    Too good to be true, usually is.
10.    People who believe in Santa Clause receive more presents than people who don’t.
11.    In for a penny, in for a pound.  There's no such thing as a part-time friend.
12.    SELFISH is not a four letter word.  It’s OK to think of yourself first sometimes.
13.    If you’re going to do something, do it right the first time.
14.    Never say never.
15.    Relationships are HARD work!  For better or worse isn’t just a catch phrase.
16.    Pick your battles, then fight to the death.
17.    If you can’t look at yourself in the mirror, then how do you think other people see you?
18.    Making love and having sex is not the same thing.
19.    Shit happens.  Why spend so much time looking for someone to blame?
20.    Your beliefs are your beliefs.  Don’t try to push them on somebody else.
21.    Pretentious people give the phrase “keep things simple” a bad rap.
22.    Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23.    Silence is a response not used often enough.
24.    The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
25.    What goes around, comes around.  Just make sure you're not bending over when it does.

And here's a bonus rule:

26. I'm responsible for my own smiles...but I'm willing to share! :)

What about you?  What are some of your golden rules?


  1. A great list all true for a happy and carefree life.
    Here are a few of mine.
    1. Unless you have respect for yourself how can others respect you?
    2.Laugh as much as's contagious.
    3.Have a positive outlook on life even if the odds are going against you.
    4.If people criticise your work take it on the chin but at the same time don't take abuse.
    5. Treat others as you would like to be treated.


  2. This is a great set of rules. Wow! I live by #9 & #14 without thinking but I want all these pasted on my wall now:)

  3. Great rules. I especially like number 5.

  4. I especially like 3 and 22 ... and 25 just cracked me up. But they're all great and some we learn more of as we go. As basic as it sounds, I've always thought Forrest Gump is a prime example of how life should be lived. :)

  5. Golden Rules - all!

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. I love that last one! Being positive is a choice. #22 speaks to me too, and it's something I have to remind myself of quite often :)

  7. You are a very wise man, DH. I can't think to add anything.

  8. These are wonderful. Love them all but I laughed at #10 -- so true!

  9. These are some great golden rules, and all true.

  10. I always believed in #1 and #19. Great Rules.

  11. I'm printing these out! These are great rules and true for everything in life. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Love these :) I like that you have them written out as a reminder. One of my golden rules is to remember that everyone is a person. That might sound weird, but what I mean is that everyone has emotions, feelings and reasons behind their actions. If someone is giving you a hard time, don't retaliate immediately, but rather, look for the reason and try to address that.

  13. This is a fantastic list! Thanks for giving us permission to think of ourselves, sometimes. You're right; it's really not being selfish.

  14. These are awesome! #23: I think silence is a much more powerful response than words.

  15. Great rules for life, thanks for sharing them with us today.

  16. I'm in for the bonus. I really like #26.

  17. As I was reading through, I thought each one was my favorite. I might be stealing some (most...all) of them.

  18. Your rules are fantastic. They're all good things to remember and practice.

  19. You know, the "golden rule" is not actually in the Bible, so it's not really a religious thing. I wonder, now, how that whole thing got started. I mean, I know it comes from "Love your neighbor as yourself," but that's not quite the same thing, and how did the whole "golden" bit get attached?

    When I was in high school going on youth trips and stuff, our operating principle was always "leave the place in better condition than we found it." I think that's pretty applicable all around.

  20. Cool rules.

    I have a few that I like:
    Choose curiosity over anger.
    Do not live an unexamined life.
    This is good to know: Life is not fair.

    I'm new to IWSP. Hi!

  21. Pick your battles then fight to the death. I like that one.
    Shit happens. Yeah, that's true as well!

  22. Great rules, all of them. I like also: Never give up! Never surrender. Have a great holiday!

  23. DL, this was a really cool post. Thanks, bud.

  24. "Pick your battles and then fight to the death." Those are golden words. I'll be sure to remember them. (:

  25. Some of those are hilarious! Thanks for sharing. One of my faves is "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Some of the stuff I read online kills me. Imagine if people actually lived by this. Not to say we all have to be all rosy and sweet all the time (bleh), but, going along with the agreeing to disagree thing, some things are just better left unsaid. Oh boy, now I'm on a roll LOL.

    Meredith’s Musings

  26. These are great. Thank you for sharing. I love #5 and #16 but they are all awesome.

  27. The only one that is outright wrong is number 13. Don't worry about doing it right, just do it. I can't even begin to tell you all of the things I've learned, because I decided to do something, and I did not get it right the first time.

    And remember this mistake also. "All that is necessary for evil to thrive is for good men to do nothing." Wrong. The reality is, good people always do good, because that is their nature. Bad people always do bad, because that is their nature. It is the rest of us who count. Don't be slippin' into darkness, but also don't be blinded by the light of goodness.

  28. Great set of rules!
    No's #1 #7 and #9 are part of my philosophy.
    Also - Laughter is the best medicine!!
    Writer In Transit

  29. Good rules, but I especially like #25. Half the time when payback comes, we don't realize it.

  30. Lovely list. I probably need to print this one. :)

  31. You have some cool rules. Bet they've helped you during tough and good times.

  32. I like all of these...I don't know if I could pick a favorite. For me, it's Karma is a b****. Make sure she has no reason to look at me!

  33. These are famous and truly golden rules to live by. You are wise, my friend.

    I like the rule, it takes more courage to just walk away (or turn the other cheek, what have you).

  34. You've got some good ones there. One rule I try to live by and I preach to my older kids is "Work hard. Play hard." The playing's more fun when it follows honest work.

  35. These rules are the key to living a full and rich life! You've got wisdom and perspective in spades, my friend. I especially like the "second mouse gets the cheese" saying.

  36. Loved the list. You don't have to be religious to be honest and kind, so your #1 Rule works no matter what or who you are.

  37. These are great! Mostly I'm in complete agreement with you, but two stood out to me because I have trouble doing them even if I know they're right. #13 - I do this one too much. I can't write a first draft without editing it to death. #23 - There are times when I know I shouldn't voice my opinion, but what's being said sticks in my craw so much that I have to say something back or choke. I have a hard time just being silent and letting it go.

    I loved #26! :-D

  38. DL - This list is just fantastic! I like your added bits. It makes them more interesting. I don't think there is even one that I don't agree with.

    Your blitz choice today was just perfect. It's a good thing you are doing for people.

    Best of luck with Write Club! I know it takes over your life but I still want to read your stories so make sure you keep working on them. Please.


  39. #10...i saw that and screamed I TOLD YOU SO!!! hahahaha...

  40. Excellent list. I'll offer a couple of mine...
    Always make time for your child/children/grandchildren.
    Tell the people you love that you love them. Often. With hugs whenever possible.

    This next one is more of a saying than a rule but I like it:
    The pessimist may be proved right in the long run but the optimist has more fun on the trip.

  41. Happy July 4th!

    Great tips. I really dig #3. And to add to that, I want to say that we shouldn't let our own ego or insecurity cloud our judgement of what's really going on.

    Another rule I consider when I look at other people, and how they change, sometimes unfortunately not for the better when they have been blessed with success in an area, is "Hubris comes before the fall." I believe this might've been adapted from the Bible.

  42. This is a great list! I can't think of anything to add right this second.

    It's funny, but I hadn't heard "the second mouse gets the cheese" before, and now I've heard it twice in two days. I think it was in "Less Than Zero," which I watched for the first time yesterday. Makes you think.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

  43. I love your 25 rules! They are great!

  44. I LOVE these rules! I especially like the one about Santa! Great list!

  45. I believe in Santa!! *<:D

    Excellent list of rules DL, I like them all. (:

  46. I love the Santa Claus rule. That's probably why I got a lot of socks and PJs under the tree. ::)

  47. What a great list! I especially love the response of silence. That's one I need to try more...
    Tina @ Life is Good

  48. LOVE your list. I am really fond of #26. :)

  49. Dude, I just wanted to thank you for being part of "IWSG" aka "I Was Seeking Gary". I'm not sure how much more mention, shy and humble me can manage :) Okay, friend, delusional moment over.

    D.L, I shall reciprocate with a smile :) And I do find that sharing, bringing attention to the work of writers and bloggers, to be all part of a positive ethos. Continued fulfilling writing and positive interaction.

    In goodwill and a peaceful Fourth of July to you and your loved ones.


  50. Great rules to live by, and I love your bonus rule!

  51. Love it! Between you and Joy, you guys are giving me great things to hang on my mental corkboard! Or a real board, if I ever get a writing office...

  52. Wonderful list, D.L. I'm thinking 16 & 22 are my particular favorites. I so much want a tattoo of 16. Oh, but 24 made me laugh out loud - go second mouse!

  53. Yes to #10! I believe in Santa Claus, and there's always a generous stack of presents piled beneath the tree with my name on them! :)

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  54. Love, love, love your list!! My list would be very similar. I've never put it into words, but 'overprepare then go with the flow' could be my mantra! :)

  55. what an awesome list! need more people to adhere to it!

  56. Loved them all, but I think 12 and 24 are my favorites. These made me smile, and nod with agreement.





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