- Be passionate: about something, anything, many things, but avoid becoming obsessive.
- Be angry and do something: they can always pretend there is nothing wrong if nobody tells them
- Pursue knowledge and information but think about where you get it from: the internet, the news, books, and people are all great sources of knowledge and information, but always ask questions. Interrogate your witnesses/sources and think what might be influencing them and their opinions.
- Be yourself (or many selves), but always be true: we can all have - and sometimes need - different personas, but don't be untrue to your overall self. Other people may be unhappy living with the consequences in the short-term; you have to live with yourself for longer
- Life is too short to to just keep doing things out of duty or fear: obligation and feeling scared of the consequences are not particularly good reasons for doing stuff you hate or maintaining a front for the sake of it (see above for related points). If you really HAVE to do something you have always loathed, find some reward for yourself for doing it. And, as a non-believer, for me that has to be something more concrete than 'I'll get my reward for being so selfless in heaven'.
- Try to enjoy things on their own terms: if you don't come out of a gig full of excitement and delight, it's probably been at best mediocre. In the high of something immediately finishing you should feel exhilerated by the experience. The critical faculties will come back, but the delight should suspend them temporarily. Basically, if you start reading a chick lit book to be intellectually challenging and deep there is a high chance of disappointment before your critical faculties ultimately return. Be sensible and engage with it for what it is or don't start. Why waste your time and money?!
- You can never go back: less a rule, more a statement to be aware of. Life goes forwards, as much as we may wish otherwise. We have to live with events and find ways to move on. Otherwise we end up like Dark Willow*, trying to bring Tara back to life and taking it out on the world when we cannot. Mind, I really wish she hadn't ended up with irksome Kennedy.
Less serious rules (but nonetheless to be considered as mine):
Hmm. Those were my first thoughts. They probably suck and I may change my mind about any or all of them! But I hope you enjoy them!
* Sorry about the music, not my choice but the clips are great.