Jon D. Andre is the creator and editor of Five Rules For Life. I know we would get along, when I saw his profile picture on Facebook:
The caption reads: "I normally hate photos of myself, but this one turned out ok."
At the end of 2008, I was thinking about how fortunate I was and what I could do to give something back. Many ideas ran through my mind…I could:
- end world hunger
- save the environment
- bring peace to the Middle East
I continued to reflect on my life (thus far) and the one constant through many years, many jobs, and many relationships was my study of self-improvement and motivational materials. I figured out at an early age that I can get further in life if I study people more successful than me…those who have already achieved things I want to achieve. The thought occurred to me that I could compile a “database of rules” that people think are important to follow for a happy, successful, and fulfilling life. And “Five Rules For Life” was born!
The value it brings people is twofold:
1.) We get to read the thoughts and rules of people from all walks of life – people with different experiences and different backgrounds. And not just high-profile people with publicists and books (though much can be learned from them), but the “everyday” person like you and me. The people who aren’t famous, but are leading – or strive to lead – a happy, successful, and fulfilling life. The guy that sits in the cube next to you, the waitress at your favorite restaurant, the parents working hard to raise their children, the person who has made mistakes and learned from them.
To have access to that information and be able to process and incorporate it into our own lives has tremendous value.
2.) The exercise of writing your "Five Rules" is itself a positive experience and a great start on self-improvement. It forces you to sit down and think about what is important based on your background, experience, and environment...but more importantly based on who you are now and who you want to be in the future.
Your rules don’t necessarily have to be something you are following at the present moment. They carry just as much – if not more – impact if they are rules you know you need to follow to achieve your goals, but currently don’t. So you commit them to writing and then submit them for the entire world (theoretically) to read. If that isn’t a catalyst for you to take action, I don’t know what is!
Fast-forward to today, and I am excited that what started out as an idea has now grown into a passion and has already garnered tremendous attention and participation. When I launched the site, I had two concerns:
1.) I knew everyone would enjoy reading other people’s rules, but would they be moved to write and submit their own?
2.) Would there be enough diversity in everyone’s rules to keep the site fresh and interesting?
The answer to both questions is a resounding “yes!” It is great to open my Inbox daily and find new, unsolicited submissions from people all over the world. And regarding diversity – there are commonalities in many rules but there are always unique insights in the supporting thoughts. Then there are rules that most people never think of …and those are often times the most intriguing and beneficial to implement; for example:
- Drive with your windows down and your radio turned up.
- Cover your mouth when you sneeze.
- Our lives are the stories we tell ourselves.
- Appreciate death.
- Don’t judge your insides by other people's outsides.
- Learn how to make one recipe really, really good.
- Get a dog.
- Buy a kayak.
And go that extra step – submit your “Five Rules For Life”.