Ottawa Valley SAGE

Providing a forum since 1998

Jul 15, 2009 - 3 minute read - Comments

Rules to live by

Well, advice anyway.

During the weekly meeting while the usual suspects were discussing things that do not affect the site here, I was getting some information for a project and ran across an odd link that brought me to a page that had an interesting looking link on the sidebar. Clicking on it, I was looking at a personal observation page reflecting on the 5 things the author had gotten from his father:

  1. If you want something, be prepared to work for it.
    Free rides are rare, oftentimes not really free, and should never be expected.  If you are not prepared to put in the time to get it, then you probably don’t deserve it in the first place.
  2. Keep your word
    This comes from a time when your word was one of, if not the most valuable thing a man had.  In a world where we see people break their words too often, it has never been more important to maintain this.
  3. Actions have consequences
    If you screw up, you are going to get nailed for it, period.  Nothing makes you special, nothing make you exempt.
  4. Sometimes you have to break the rules
    Rules are important, but there are times when there are things more important than rules.  The challenge is to know what those are and when to follow this lesson.
  5. Do what you have to, and if necessary, pay for it
    Finally, in a world where actions have consequences and rules sometimes have to be broken, this lesson reigns supreme.  If you have to break the rules, do it, but be ready to stand tall when you get called on the carpet for it.

If you want to visit and see the original:

I resonated with this, although my own view is a little different. For those who have known me over years, I try to operate along the following lines:

  • Accept responsibility for your actions: Seriously, ultimately, you are responsible for what you did, no matter who told you to do it Either you control your life or everyone else does.
  • It’s easier to get forgiveness than permission: If it needs to be done, just do it. Having it fall apart because you wanted to CYA may help you survive, but the result is sub optimal.
  • If it’s too good to be true, it probably is: This has been influenced by vendors mostly… Check the fine print and ask for real examples.
  • Plan for the worst, hope for the best: Probably the one thing that gets me labeled as a pessimist. I prefer to think realist. There is an entire philosophy here that is worth examining. In general, things are never as bad as you planned for.
  • Things will work out: Regardless of what you want, things happen. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Slow down, take a breath and evaluate the situation. No matter what, you will have learned something.

It seems to work for me, but doesn’t work well in a political environment. I suppose that one of these days I’ll start playing that game too. Well, maybe.

Sometimes it's a good day. Once more, a new system

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