Constantly thinking about what we did yesterday or what we will do tomorrow distracts us from what we are doing right now. But actually, the choice given at the moment is the only one we should consider. To avoid mental time-travelling and take ownership of the present moment, consider “The Every Rules”.
1. Every day is an interview. All forms of hope and fear race through our minds on interview days. We stand at a fork in the road facing two alternate realities: one if we are chosen for the opportunity and one if not. But isn’t every day like that—pregnant with possibilities, filled with uncertainty? Each morning we may not know exactly when, but we can be fairly confident that at some point life will offer a new person or situation that will shed light on our paths. The key is to remain open so we can take advantage of the opportunities presented.
2. Everyone is always keeping score. Unspoken does not mean unnoticed. Just because others don’t call us out on our actions doesn’t mean what we have done hasn’t affected them. They may choose to avoid the confrontation, or it may not even be a conscious decision by them to ignore, and it just unknowingly drifts into the unconscious, which never has an off-switch. Always recording, our minds absorb every experience filing them away for later use.
3. Everything is on the record. Like ripples from a splash, all our words and actions have consequences. The things we do today will determine tomorrow, just as what we did yesterday made today. Before speaking or acting, we must imagine how we want the record to reflect afterward. A life without consequences would be a suffocating prison. We would feel completely isolated and alone, desperately wanting to connect with anyone or anything to feel the result of our action. Without interaction between subject and object, neither knows if they really exist.
4. Every situation is a negotiation. All interactions are transactions, exchanges of information and emotion. Entering situations, we must be honest about what we want and what we are willing to give in return and be flexible enough to find a middle path that leaves the other party satisfied. In the end, there should not just be winners and losers. A negotiation should never be a competition but always a dance of compassion and compromise.
5. Every experience ends. Regardless if it is a positive or negative experience, nothing lasts forever. We must resist the urge to desperately clutch to the good times and flee the bad times. Be comfortable with the dream-like quality of our lives. Each passing second exists only as a memory, and the next second arrives as a new experience. Better to just watch with curiosity as life unfolds. We are not expected to change the past or predict the future, only to deal with the present.