I remember my mother telling me some things as I was growing up and she changes to her I’m-about-to-tell-you-something-important voice. Some of them stuck and still holds true like:
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”
Of course she said it in the negative and not exactly that way. It was more like this:
“If you don’t want that classmate to hurt you then don’t hurt them. Understand?”
Another thing she used to tell me ALLLL the time – which again has stuck with me and I still use it now as part of my work ethic:
“If you can’t do something right or you can’t finish it, don’t even bother.”
To this day – any work I do I don’t feel right if I can’t finish it. I will lose sleep just to finish something. I would cry and curse procrastination, but dammit I will finish the damned paper.
These days we call mother-isms Life Hacks. I just read a list of life hacks. All 11 of them on what to do when your life is in danger. “Don’t tpull out the knife or that thing that was stabbed into your body until you reach the hospital”. Besides online life hacks I have also been inundated with recommendations of books to read on how to lead in an organisation. Books titled “Tribal Leadership”, “Loose” and others. I still remember when these were called “self help” books. Life Hacks has a better ring to it I have to say.
So, instead of reading the self help books in front of me I am instead writing 11 life hacks that I will tell my daughter someday. When she’s old enough to travel by herself, when she comes to me for advice about making friends, when she comes to me for advice about boyfriends, when she tells me that life is not fair.
1. Be honest. Always. No buts about it.
(Of course there are varying degrees of honesty. But be honest for as much as your conscience and integrity lets you. Mommy never regretted any honest thing she’s said or done, just those honest things she never got to say or do)
2. If you are going to do something adventurous (this includes, alcohol, drugs, and child birth) always do it with someone you totally trust. Like your best friend or siblings or cousins.
One, you will share the experience together for the rest of your life and two, will always have something to talk about.
3. To know who to trust and eventually can become your friends or boyfriend, see how they treat others who are “serving” them.
For example, if you are in a restaurant, how are they treating the waiters? If they are a manager, how are they treating their team? Respectful and fair should be traits that you can use to describe people you’re asociated with.
4. Being nice and polite, though does not mean they are trustworthy. Beware of over-polite, high-pitched voice people. These people almost always also do not listen to what you are actually saying, too because they are too busy being fake-nice to you.
On that note also beware of these other people:
– Those that over-share their life after 5 minutes of meeting them (they will need more attention than a new born baby and will sap out all the goodness from you. Plus they tend to end up as stalkers)
– Those that cheat in games like Scrabble or Monopoly – see Number 1 life hack
– Those who can’t look you in the eye when talking to you – see Number 1 life hack (this especially applies to places where you don’t know anyone)
– Those that offer their help without you asking them (mostly it’s too good to be true. Exception to this, are people you really know who will never ask for help)
– Those who do not drink alcohol, swear, or read books (unless they haven’t had the chance to then you should give them…books ASAP).
– Those that say: Trust me.
5. Be into politics, but never be political. There is no need to be political – ever. Nothing in life is worth hurting or being malicious towards others.
6. When travelling alone, always observe how people are. If there’s a person most of the people in a place seems to be wary of then more than likely they are right. Stay away from the person everyone else is staying away from. Trust group think.
7. Always be nice to EVERYONE. No matter what they look like, or who they are. Your nice-ness also has to come from the heart. If your instinct tells you not to be nice to someone – more than likely your instinct is right. Always trust your instincts.
8. Not all strangers are bad. In fact, strangers can be the nicest, most genuine people you will ever meet – especially in your travels. But please always apply Life Hacks 4 – 7 on this list.
9. If you are crying while doing something then more than likely it is wrong.
(Unless it’s tears of joy like watching sunrise in Barcelona, or sunset over the Ring of Kerry, or catching a train to Edinburgh, after seeing a great movie, or reading a beatifully written book or poem, or smoking pot with your best friend or giving birth – you get the point?)
10. If you feel like doing something the second time around because the first time was so good then DO IT. You will regret not going again if you don’t. (Mommy should have gone to a lot of gigs the second time around.)
11. Things are nice, but life is about people. The most valuable things you will do in life are building relationships with people. And once you build those relationships you have to always look after them.
Now I’ve written those I will start operation putting-on-important-sounding-voice. So hopefully she will remember one or two of these and apply it somehow.
P.S. This post is dedicated to my Mum.