*all commandments are subject to change
1. Don’t follow other people’s commandments.
I know, right? What a weird fucking way to start this off.
2. Question Everything
Including the statement “question everything”, including me telling you to question the statement questioning the statement “question everything”. Are you confused yet? That’s the point. We need to wrap our tiny little brains around the fact that we are not all-knowing and that our minds can only grasp little tiny parts of this big, complex universe.
3. Write Your Own Bible
Whether or not we want to admit it, we’re totally unique. There is no manual for us, there is no one that knows what’s best, and if we want to live an enthusiastically happy life, we have to write our own rule book.
That includes some introspection. What do I care about? What do I value? What happens when I do X, Y and Z? What are some things that other people care about that I don’t give a shit about?
If you don’t write your own Bible you’ll end up following someone else’s — and yes, “The Bible” is someone else’s bible. Go write your own.
4. Share Your Truth, But Don’t Be a Dick
After you write your own bible, don’t beat anyone over the head with it. What works for you is what works for you (and that’s not even certain).
That also doesn’t mean that you need to keep everything to yourself. Go ahead and share what’s true for you, but don’t think for a minute that someone else should adopt your way of doing things. They shouldn’t. Even the people who make choices that lead them to suffering might be doing that for a reason you can’t comprehend.
5. Practice Letting Other People Be Right
Relax! I said “practice”, I know this is hard, especially because you’re so smart and wise. When we practice letting other people be right we’re doing a few important things. We’re expanding our ability to see things from their perspective, and we’re acknowledging that this thing we call “self” is really just a bunch of stories we’ve built up over the years.
6. Be Open To Ideas Without Automatically Adopting Them
Imagine that someone else’s idea is like a stranger who knocks on the front door of your house.
The people who are stubborn and never learn from others are like the grumpy old neighbor who yells “go away!” and “get off my lawn!”
The people who are sheep will open the door and let that person in, take them upstairs and leave them unattended with their jewelry and wallet lying open on the dresser.
You want to be open to ideas, but still maintain a healthy dose of skepticism. In this metaphor that might look like inviting this person in, sitting down with them in the living room and offering them some tea. You hear them out, and when you have a sense of what they have to say, you can then determine if you want to take them to other rooms of your house, or if you want them to leave.
7. Don’t Take Things Personally
Once you stop defending yourself from what other people say, you might find that all anyone has ever accused you of is being human.
8. Go Fuck Yourself
That was a test. Did you take it personally?
9. Most People Are Stupid
There comes a point in our lives when we realize that just because someone is an authority doesn’t make them someone we should listen to. Same goes for your teachers, your parents, your doctors, your government, your friends and just about everyone else you will meet.
Be selective in whom you follow and be discerning in whom you allow yourself to be influenced by.
10. Be Prepared for Resistance
If you choose the road less traveled, make sure you pack a machete.
11. You Can Break Your Own Rules
See? Now there are 11 commandments.
When you make the rules, you’re allowed to change them too.