One of the things that surprised me in THE HAPPINESS PROJECT was Gretchen's assertion that deep inside, we each have something called Heuristics we use to navigate daily life. Heuristics, she explains, are mental rules of thumb--the quick, common sense principles we develop & use to make decisions. She goes on to point out how highly personalized our individual heuristics are. Hers, for example, included things like, "Never eat hors d'oeuvres" and "I'm in a hurry." So as a general rule, she'll pass on the scallops wrapped in bacon at a cocktail party, and move quickly through her daily tasks to get to the next thing on her list. Time has shown that she's happier with her life when she follows these simple principles, rather than making in-the-moment decisions each time a choice is called for.
This got me thinking: what are my rules? It took me awhile, but I came up with three:
1. Smile at people.
2. Never get on a subway or an elevator if I have to go to the bathroom.
3. If I see plain white t-shirts in my size, buy them.
There you have it, my hard-won rules for better living. They're rather self-explanatory, so I won't elaborate :) But I'd love to add to the list. Suggestions?
What rules do you have for everyday life?