Johnny’s Rules for Life #1: Take Your Life Seriously

June 8, 2021

What could be more important to you than you?

Too many people drift and lose focus of their life.

It is easy to get caught up in the rat race.  We grind every day battling traffic to get to a job we do not enjoy.  We come home exhausted, scramble to take care of family obligations, go to sleep, and then rinse and repeat the next day.  It is no wonder so many of us just want to blow off steam on weekends to relieve all of the stress.

We can get caught up serving many masters.  Our boss demands so much from us.  Our family depends on us for financial and emotional support.  Even members of our community are pulling us in different directions to serve at church, youth sports leagues, and the next important cause.

How can you take your life seriously when it seems you do not have the time or energy to really focus on you?

If we are not paying attention to ourselves, we can drift from one crisis to the next and lose sight of the importance of our own life.


How do you begin to regain control of you?

Sometimes it takes a dramatic experience, or a pattern-interrupt, that rocks your world and reorients your focus back on yourself.  Other times people seek therapy which can be helpful in taking charge of our lives.  Mentors can help with good advice and counsel.  Ultimately, we have to get to a point of being aware of ourselves and valuing the life that we have.


Here are 7 key ideas to focus on the value of your own life:


#1: Time is your most valuable resource. Do not waste it.

You can make money, but you cannot make time.  It is critical that you view time as that precious resource that will one day reach an end.  There are no do overs.  YOLO.  You only live once.  Fight “the drift” and stay focused on making every minute count pursuing your happiness.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.” -Steve Jobs



#2: Your life’s objective should be your own happiness.

Happiness is not some fleeting whim or temporary state of joy.  Instead, happiness is living a life that is consistent with your own values.  It is that contentment you feel when your thoughts, your actions, your morals, and your principles are all aligned.  Happiness is that state of bliss that you create.  You cannot get happiness from someone else.  Happiness comes from you. 

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” – Dalai Lama

“Learn to value yourself, which means: fight for your happiness.” – Ayn Rand



#3: Do not be a people pleaser. Instead, please yourself.

It is foolish trying to make other people like you.  Your principle in life should not be the happiness of others.  Instead, focus on your own happiness.  Do not be the guy on his death bed wishing you spent more quality time with your family than late nights grinding away in an office for a boss that you don’t like.

“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” – Lao Tzu

“I think people who don’t have conflict in their lives are just trying to please people and not really living life to the fullest.” — Hope Solo



#4: See your life as a great adventure.

Imagine you as the star in an action movie or the hero in a novel.  That shift in perspective can be all that you need to see that your life is worth living.  Do not waste your life going through the motions.  Have clear goals.  Do not be afraid to take risks to achieve your dreams.   to achieve your goals.  Instead, borrow the slogan from the US Army: “Be all that you can be.”

 “Be All That You Can Be.” – US Army

 “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist.” — Oscar Wilde

 “Success is loving life and daring to live it.” — Maya Angelou



#5: Do what is right for you.

It is OK to be selfish.  Yes!  Let me explain.  There are two types of selfish.  One is the lying, cheating, stealing SOB that we should never aspire to be.  The other is simply taking care of yourself.  Selfish is pursuing your own rational self-interest.  Your needs should come first.  After all, this is about your life and your happiness.  Do not compromise your values or principles.  Stick to your guns.  Your life does not exist solely to benefit society.  Your life should benefit you.

 “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.  You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball

 “You always have to remember to take care of you first and foremost. Because when you stop taking care of yourself, you get out of balance, and you really forget how to take care of others. And I think that we’ve been taught that taking care of yourself is a problem.” – Jada Pinkett Smith



#6: Do not sacrifice yourself for others.

There are always people that want some fraction of you, but do not intend to return the favor in kind or at all.  Artists hear this frequently when they are asked to offer their services for free or in exchange for “exposure”.  Do not sacrifice your values.  Think instead in terms of Win-Win outcomes.  Rather than sacrificing, seek instead to have a mutually beneficial outcome.

 “Don’t set yourself on fire trying to keep others warm.” – Penny Reid, Beard in Mind

 “When you give to others to the degree that you sacrifice yourself, you make the other person a thief.” – Iyanla Vanzant



#7: Take pride in your achievements.

Your achievements, no matter how big or small, are key milestones on your road to happiness.  Pat yourself on the back.  By taking pride in your accomplishments, you are building self-esteem that helps fuel your efforts to reach the next goal.  Keep moving the football down field by staying productive.  Your big score of higher levels of happiness is within reach.

 “You should be proud of what you’re doing, but not conceited. If you can’t be proud of yourself, you’re a failure. And discipline. To do anything in life you have to have discipline. To accomplish anything, you have a goal, challenge yourself, and work until you accomplish that goal. Practice what you preach.” – Jack LaLanne

 “Honor yourself and your accomplishments. Take pride in them.” – Cathy Lomartra, Awaken Your Magic



Johnny’s Rules for Life #1:  Take your life seriously.  You are depending on it.