Rules I Live By

Here are some rules I live by. I had never actually consciously used them, until the last few years, where I’ve learned through greater self-awareness what drives the motivations behind me. I do think that most of these are “positive”, but like Rule #1 on my list, “there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”

  1. There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
  2. Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone.
  3. A bird in the hand may be worth two in the bush. But if you believe you’ve got a good chance at getting those two, go for it.
  4. Knowing how to talk can be used with great leverage during interviews and the like. Therefore, learn how to talk.
  5. Do not treat others as you’d like them to treat you: they may not like the same things you do. Instead, treat them as you’d like to be treated if you were them, and they, you.
  6. If you don’t have time, make it. I once booked in to camp at 11:30 pm. I had booked out earlier that day, during the afternoon, and had actually planned to go for a run in the evening, before booking in. But I spent a little too much time in front of the computer, and didn’t go. By the time I finally decided to go running, it was too late. A case of not enough time? I booked in, sat on the bed, all bothered by my missing this run. Deciding that we have enough time for anything, I decided to sacrifice some sleep for that run, and went to the track to complete that run. I decided to make time for running by taking time from sleeping; this leads me on to the next rule:
  7. Think of things not in mere “cost”, but also in “opportunity cost“. Opportunity cost is the cost of not getting the next best alternative, the benefit foregone from not using a good or resource in its best alternative use. I could buy that $500 PDA , or I could put it in an investment vehicle earning (historically) 5% per year. The opportunity cost would therefore be the income I would get should I have invested it. But if I invested it, the opportunity cost would be my not having the organisation capabilities of the PDA, which could result in greater returns if I were a busy executive in need of the organisation a PDA would provide.

These are just some of the major rules I live by everyday. I hope you find something useful in this list. Perhaps you’ve got your own, and I’d love to hear from you if you do.

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My name is Donn, and you’ll find me working at the intersection of business and information technology, constantly looking for ways to apply IT to business and life to make things better. I’m a big fan of data analysis and its subsequent communication. It always gives me a thrill extracting meaning out of data through analysis, and figuring out the best way to present the findings for maximum impact!

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