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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Buyer

#83: Rule #2 Update

My infamous ‘rules to live by’ began one day when I made a joke that rule #1 of my life is that I refuse to get on the plane without knowing where the gym is. This idea was so symbolic of who I am that it stuck. I liked that I could concisely sum up the general principles of my life in a catchy way describe myself to others, and to remind myself who I am, so I added a few more ‘rules’ as they came up. The term ‘rule’ throws people off because it sounds so rigid. I didn’t create these ‘rules’ with the intention of coercing myself into following them. Instead, as I mentioned before, these rules are a framework of the attitude I choose to have and decisions I make to help keep the larger picture in mind.

I officially created rule #2 after the nth time someone hurt me unnecessarily. You hurt me, I get hotter. While it was related to dating at first, the sentiment quickly expanded as a framework for general resiliency. Most recently, it was the piece of plastic that I sprained my ankle on. ‘Get hotter’ meant that I will grow as a person, whether it’s related to my career, in the gym, appearance, or otherwise. It’s my version of ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ The idea of Rule #2 has helped me through so much, and inspired me to push myself to achieve more than I could ever imagine.

The idea for Rule #0 came after Rule #1 and Rule #2. I didn’t want to call it Rule #3, because it’s the most important principle. Rule #0: L is for Learning. If you’re not familiar with the phrase ‘taking an L’, it’s meant as a silly phrase for when you make a mistake, or something unfortunate happens by chance. L is short for loss. The purpose of this rule is to recognize that mistakes (and misfortune) are par for the course, and not inherently bad unless we allow them to be by fearing a mistake or dwelling on it. Dwelling on or fearing a mistake does more harm than good, because it takes the time and energy away from learning. There are no Ls. Mistakes are the best opportunities to learn. Hence, Rule #0: L is for Learning.

Rule #3 only applies on vacation, and it’s the representation of the latter half of my other phrase (aka pink neon sign) ‘Play Hard, Work Harder’ I can’t share the exact language of Rule #3, but the guiding principle is that work and fun are important for continued success and well-being. I understand this, even in times when it doesn’t seem like I do. Basically, if I’m going to work this hard, I’m going to play hard too.

I’ve referenced these rules more times than I can count. However, as I’ve continued to grow over the last few months, someone [close to me] pointed out a flaw in Rule #2: It’s not necessarily healthy that the idea for my motivation sometimes results because someone told me that I couldn’t do something, or I feel like I have to succeed in spite of someone (or something) that doesn’t deserve any influence over me. Even if I’m not doing something because I was influenced by an irrelevant factor, I shouldn’t attribute the reason for the accomplishment to that irrelevant factor, because they don’t deserve it. I [should] do things for myself, and attribute the motivation to myself. The goal of any accomplishment is always to make myself better, and hopefully that helps others along the way – That hasn’t changed. However, he does have a point that the implied messaging from the language of Rule #2 could use an update for maturity sake.

I always knew there would be a day that I’d revise Rule #2, but I didn’t expect that I’d be ready for it this soon. I’m grateful, because I’m running out of ideas to make a statement, and running out of time to make statements. At this point, I’d have to buy a house, get abs, or run a marathon for a Rule #2 in true fashion. If and when (you interpret which is which) I do any of those things, it’s going to be on my terms. This leads me to Rule #2.1: I’ll do whatever the hell I want. It doesn’t sound as good as You hurt me, I get hotter, but the emotional stability and satisfaction it brings makes up for the less exciting phrase, and more. Rule 2.1 means that I’m not doing things for the ‘flex’ anymore. Honestly, I’ve proven to myself that not only am I capable of accomplishing any goal that I set for myself, but that I WILL achieve any goal that I set for myself – No one’s negative opinion will discourage me. Now that I don’t have to prove anything to myself or anyone else, I can focus on what’s best for my life in both the short-term and long-term.

Rule #0: L is for Learning. Rule #1: Don’t get on the plane unless you know where the gym is. (For the record, I am allowed to take a break on vacation if I choose to. I just have to know where the gym would be if I want to use it.) Rule #2: You hurt me, I get hotter. Rule #2.1: I’ll do whatever the hell I want. Rule #3: jfgnjfgn

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