jason d. barr writes "start being your best", a blog about creative personal development. he has a wife and son, and enjoys road biking, baseball, reading, and hiking, as well as writing and playing video games. you can see more posts from Jason twice weekly by grabbing a subscription to his blog here or by finding him on twitter here.
Here are Jason's "Five Rules For Life":
1.) There's more to this life than just trying to make it through the day.
So many times, I find myself eyeing the clock, or checking things off on my list. I'll get so action-oriented that I lose my focus on what really matters - relationships with other people. I believe that God has put me here on this earth for one purpose only, and that's to love other people. When I lose my focus on others, and instead look toward myself, I become bitter, terse, and generally not fun to be around.
2.) Find something that makes you happy, and do it often.
For me, this has become writing. I enjoy sitting down at the keyboard and letting thoughts rush out of my fingers. It's a release, you know? It feels like I've got all this stuff pent up inside of me, but I can't identify what it is until I let it out. It's cathartic. Find something that makes you feel the same way, and do it often. Don't do it for other people, though. If other people like it, great. But your main audience is you. If you're proud of it, then it's all good.
3.) Find something that makes someone else happy and do that often, too.
Serve. Try to make it something you enjoy as well ('cause you'll stick with it a lot easier), but give of yourself. Each and every one of us is good at something, or has something that someone else isn't or doesn't. Look for ways you can share the gifts you've been given with other people. If you can do this without identifying yourself, that's even better. Anonymous action, with no possibility for acknowledgment by anyone else, is a great way to make sure your motives are pure.
4.) Believe in something.
I'm a Christian, but I know that other people aren't. I respect any person who admits they don't have it all together, and that there are questions out there that can't be answered easily. Have a system of belief in something or someone greater than yourself. If it's Jesus Christ, awesome. If you find comfort in another system of beliefs, or in science, or whatever - that's your call. Just don't float through life without asking big questions, and looking for big answers.
5.) Quit lying to yourself.
Finally, if I had to boil all my five rules down to one, it would be this:
Quit lying to yourself.
Quit telling yourself that you're happy in a situation that you're not, and start working on making it better. Quit telling yourself that you have all the answers, when you haven't even asked any questions. Quit telling yourself that you can't do something awesome because there's nothing inside of you wanting to get out. Quit trying to be something you're not because you think it's more socially acceptable or you'll have a better "personal brand". You'll never be able to keep up the charade long enough to fool everyone, and you'll make yourself miserable trying. Self-deception is easy, because it allows us not to change. Be uncomfortable, stretch for something, take a risk. Just quit sitting on the sidelines.
Jason currently resides in Boise, Idaho.