Personal Policies

When I was not yet even a teenager, I had this very early DOS-machine computer that could basically only save text files and run text adventure games. The first file I ever created on there was titled “Roccia’s Rules for Life,” and it was basically every little nugget of wisdom I ever picked up. If someone said something clever, or if I read a particularly pithy fortune from a fortune cookie, or if I learned some life lesson the hard way – it would all get a number and go onto this ever-growing list.

I’m pretty sad that somewhere along the way that computer – along with all of those Rules – was lost. I know at some point I had over 200, and I would love to go back now and discover what ten-year-old me thought were such vital nuggets of wisdom.

But the core concept has stuck with me, even all those years later – create personal policies as you go through life.

Life should change you. Yes, some things are just flukes, but most things that happen may happen again, and you should adjust your expectations accordingly. My father always told me to try to avoid repeating mistakes. New mistakes are inevitable, but repeated ones just means you’re taking more knocks than necessary to learn your lesson. As you go through life, the experiences you have should absolutely shape the way you behave, the expectations you hold, and the methods you use.

I mean, there are only so many times Dick Van Dyke can trip over that ottoman before it’s his fault, you know? At a certain point you either have to move it or start coming in by the back door. That’s a lesson you can write down.

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