My Do's & My Don'ts

My Do's & My Don'ts

Principles, non-negotiables, values or no-no's...call it what you want. We all have rules we live by. In the October issue of Glamour magazine, actress Tracee Ellis Ross from the ABC show Blackish, shared her do's and don'ts with readers. Reading her list prompted me to immediately grab a pen to write mine down. Here's what I have on my list. 

Do own your mistakes. Everyone screws up from time to time. It's not the end of the world. Your mistakes don't define you. Admit your mistake, apologize, move on but more importantly, forgive yourself. Harping on mistakes won't change the past and will negatively impact your future.

Don't judge others. This one isn't easy for me because I think our first instinct is always to size people up and judge them without knowing who they truly are.  Here's the truth about judging others, it's unfair! It's unfair of me to judge you. It's unfair for you to judge me or others without knowing our story. When I struggle with this, I think of the following quote: 

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.
— Plato

Do admire yourself in the mirror. Never critically. When looking at yourself in the mirror, it must be with compassion and love. Acknowledge the beauty of your eyes, lips; every facet of your face. It's important to admire these parts of oneself. I do this every morning before applying my makeup. It helps me to remember that the makeup I choose to wear only enhances a beauty that already exists. Remember that you are uniquely beautiful. You are already made to perfection. 

Don't be afraid to disagree with friends. Having friends with opposing views is okay. Friends can disagree with you on just about everything...politics, religion, love, war. What's important is that your beliefs are respected and that you respect theirs. Shared ideology isn't necessary to have a thriving friendship. 

Do take your health seriously. Regular check-ups are important. Health issues can creep up on you if you ignore symptoms and don't make regular doctor's visits a priority.  A couple years ago, I missed my menstrual cycle for six months. I just started a new position which required a lot of time and energy, so I attributed missing my cycle to the stress of the new job. Boy, was I wrong. Several doctor's visits and a MRI later, I was diagnosed with a pituitary microadenoma or prolactinoma. Fancy words for a non-cancaerous tumor of the pituitary gland that secretes prolactin. The elevated prolactin level was wreaking havoc on my body. I experienced severe hair loss, facial hair growth, weight gain and a milky discharge from my breasts in addition to my missed periods. Again, I thought I was stressed out. I had no idea this was going on because my health wasn't my priority. Don't ignore warning signs or symptoms; address them immediately.

Do get a financial adviser. This is especially important advice for anyone in their twenties. It is never too soon to think about retirement and you should always think about saving money. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind: does your employer offer a pension plan? If yes, what are the terms of the plan? Does interest increase the longer you're employed? Do they match your 401K contributions? Do you have your own retirement savings account like an IRA to ensure you reach your retirement goals? Do you have a life insurance policy? Living in the present is great and all but we must remember that preparing for the future is equally as important.

Retirement: Itโ€™s nice to get out of the rat race, but you have to learn to get along with less cheese.
— Gene Perret

Do make reading a priority.  Thanks to technology, life and business are changing rapidly. How can you keep up if you're not acquiring new knowledge or enhancing your skills? Reading is the best way to ensure you're continuously learning. Read blogs, newspaper, books, magazines...whatever your favorite periodical, pick it up and read it.

I'm sure my list will evolve our time, but right now these are my do's and don'ts, my non-negotiables. What are your do's and don'ts? 

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