Rules of Thumb

Rules of Thumb 150 150 Jason Lauritsen

As my thirteen-year-old son prepared for his basketball game this past weekend, I asked if he was ready to play.  He said, “I’m going to take my anger out on the game.”  You see, he has become a die hard Duke basketball fan like I am and our beloved Blue Devils had just been taken behind the woodshed by a very determined St. John’s team.  It was a brutal loss and my son was mad about it.  I looked at him and said something to the effect, “If you go out there angry, you’ll make stupid mistakes.  Getting angry means getting stupid.  What part of that do you have control over?”  Her replied, “I shouldn’t get angry.”  Bingo.  We proceeded to have a chat about how letting our emotions get the best of us prevents us from being our best.  He was able to calm himself and play a good game.  

As I thought about this exchange, it reminded me of the power and wonder of these “rules of thumb” that we use to remember some of the most important lessons of our lives.  
Here is my list of my top Rules of Thumb:
  1. Get angry, get stupid. 
  2. You can’t control what happens to you.  You can’t control how others respond to what happens.  The only think we really control is how we react to what happens to us.
  3. You teach people how to treat you.  
  4. When Momma’s happy, everybody’s happy.  (And the corollary: Happy wife, happy life.)  
  5. Better to be lucky than smart most days.  
  6. If it hasn’t been done yet, that’s probably just because no one has had the guts to try.  
  7. One person with an idea is a dreamer.  Two people sharing an idea is a movement.  
  8. Leadership isn’t about you, it’s about them. 
  9. Persistence is a virtue.
Some of these might only make sense to me, but they all hold pretty powerful lessons.  
What are your best “Rules of Thumb?”
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