8 Keys to a Better Life

This is a little bit different from my usual no-messing fitness and weight loss posts.

On New Year’s Eve, social media gets flooded with reflective looks back on the year ranging from, “Wow, that was a great year!” to “Don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out!”

Instead, I decided to write up what I called my “8 Rules of Life”.

I’m 36 right now. So in reality, I’m only a third of the way through my life. Touch wood…

Compared to some, my experiences are microscopic. But they are what has lead me to today, and my “8 Rules of Life” post seemed to touch a lot of people.

So here I’m going to expand on it, and hopefully it can help you too. And if it does help you, I’d be incredibly touched if you pressed a couple of those social media buttons and shared it around for me so it can help even more people.

1) Lead with the giving hand:

“What’s in it for me?”

Sound familiar?


That’s the normal response to everything in today’s me, me, me society.

Instead try asking yourself what you can do for the people you meet, your friends, and your family, not what can they do for you. Everyone has something to offer, and what you have can enrich someone else’s life.

And like Zig Ziglar says, help enough people get what they want, and you’ll get what you want.

Yes people will take advantage. Yes people will use your generosity as a weakness to exploit. But the people who appreciate, and sometimes outright rely on other people’s selflessness FAR outweigh them.

And you know what? You get back far more by giving without expecting anything in return than by actively seeing other people for what they might be able to give you.

So ask yourself, how many people have you helped today?

2) Take action:

Even imperfect action.

I’m notorious for doing stuff at the last minute. In just the last 6 days I’ve had two ideas and arranged them on less than 24 hours notice. I have no problem with winging it! In fact some of my best creations have been the result of winging it!

Things aren’t going to happen on their own. The planets aren’t going to align and drop whatever you want in your lap.

If there’s something in your life you don’t like, change it.

If you want something, take the necessary steps to get it.

“Don’t wish for it – Work for it.”

3) Be grateful for what you have:

One of my best friends recently said to me while walking over the bridge at Brighton Marina, “I’ve never heard you complain!” I’ve been blessed with knowing both of these awesome ladies for around 5 years now, and they are (like most women!) always trying to get me to spill out my grievances. They just care about me, and I love them dearly for it. But I always tell them (and they’ll happily attest to this if you ask them!), “I’ve got two working eyes, four working limbs, and a roof over my head. I have nothing to complain about.”

Truth is, my life’s not perfect. Who’s is? It was pretty hellish at times last year.

I’ve been lied to, stabbed in the back, lost people I cared about from my life because of it.

Who the Hell hasn’t, right?

But my gratitude for what I DO have is of much higher importance to me. That’s where my focus is. I have amazing friends who I love dearly, and I’ve got “Two working eyes, four working limbs, and a roof over my head.”

The fact is, compared to some, my life’s pretty f*cking awesome, and I’m grateful for every bit of it.

4) Don’t worry:

I’m very laid back. In fact it drives the missus up the wall on a daily basis that I don’t worry about pretty much anything. I’m a very typical man in that I’m a problem solver.

If I have or you come to me with a problem, I’ll find a way to fix it, therefore there’s no need to worry about it.

If I can’t fix it and it’s out of my hands, then there’s no point worrying about it.

Either way, guess what? There’s no point worrying.

“Don’t worry, be happy”


5) If you’ve wronged someone, apologise:

And believe it or not, it’s never too late.

There was a great news story recently about someone who mugged someone 35 years ago, and then in a great moment of serendipity, found them on Facebook and apologised. As well as a great lesson in how social media can be used for good, it’s also a great lesson in human nature.

Even after all this time, the apology was met with forgiveness.

6) Forgive:

This one could also be “Rise Above”

Everyone deserves a second chance. If someone has wronged you, when they’ve apologised, listen to their side of the story, consider it, forgive and move on.

If someone had wronged me in the past, probably not more than 7 or so years ago, I would go out of my way to take them down. For example, if I’d been treated badly in a restaurant or shop, I’d go on a mission to ‘get my own back’. I could write the most eloquent complaint letters you’ve ever seen, and I would be like a dog with a bone going right to the top, and even through the courts sometimes.

forgive-the-annoyance-of-othersAnd don’t even talk about if you were just someone who’d pissed me off in day to day life. You could just cut me up at a roundabout or disagree with me on the internet, and you might as well have slaughtered my family with a rusty fence post.

I was the nicest person you’d ever meet, up until the point you crossed me.

True, it would all be very literary and non-violent, but ultimately, you’d wish we’d never met.

I was an arsehole in those situations.

The fact is though, this would take weeks, even months of my life, just dedicated to getting one up on someone. That’s a lot of time and energy wasted.

Now I rise above.

If someone doesn’t agree with you, fine, they don’t have to, and you may even learn something from their opinion.

If someone tries to drag you down (which is SO common when you try to improve yourself in some way! It takes a lot less energy to pull someone down to your level than work your way up to theirs.), rise above, and move on.

If someone’s wronged you and shows no remorse or humility, just cut them cut of your life and move on. Life’s way too short to spend time around crabs and energy vampires.

Time is precious. You’re not going to get it back. It’s much better spent with your family and friends than seeking petty revenge.

7) Surround yourself with awesome and inspiring people:

Earlier in the year, I had a huge rant on Facebook (ironic when I’ve just bashed on about how I don’t complain…) about why we’re elitist at PW Physique and Fitness, why you have to jump through a whole bunch of hoops before we’ll take you on, and why I’m the same about the people in my own life.

You might remember it.

I kind of wrote it then battened down the hatches to fend off the (what I thought was) impending shit-storm, and then it actually turned into a bit of a love-in in the end!

What I was explaining was, they say you’re the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time around.

To take that further, you’re the sum of ALL the people you surround yourself with. So surround yourself with people who are inspiring and everything you want and aspire to be, and don’t be scared to cut out the people who just drag you down.


8) Spend time wisely:

One of the best things someone ever told me was, “You can always make more friends, and you can always make more money, but you can never make more time.”

Time is just a unit of measurement. It’s finite. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Spend it with your loved ones. Use it to help people. Don’t waste it because when all’s said and done, you’re not getting it back!

Go forth and be awesome!

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