Submitted by Eric Neher

eric neher is an information technology professional for an international restaurant conglomerate (...editor's note - my favorite), a part-time philosopher, and a [soon-to-be] full-time husband [the wedding is scheduled for may 2009!].

Here are Eric's "Five Rules For Life":

1.) Put yourself first.
If you are not centered, then you cannot fully support those around you. This does not mean you get to be selfish; it does mean that you must be aware of your state of mind. If you are unhappy, those around you can only do so much to make you happy. If you are happy, it reflects in everything you do. If you are married, your spouse should be your second priority, and if you have children they should be your third priority. Everyone else comes later...or not at all.

2.) Maintain yourself.
Work out, and go to the doctor and the dentist. If you're healthy then you have spent a few hours and a few dollars to gain that knowledge. If you're not healthy then you know and can take necessary measures. The same goes for your mental health - meditate, take "me" time, or see a therapist.

3.) Maintain situational awareness.
Make sure you understand what is going on around you, and learn to anticipate what is going to happen in the near future. Situational awareness allows you to be more tactically proactive, and means you are less likely to be caught by surprise.

4.) Listen - don't just wait to talk.
The other person thinks enough of you to spend their time speaking to you; pay them the respect due and listen to what they say. The corollary to listening is to be concise with your words. Think about what you want to say, and then say it. Don't waste your time rambling.

5.) Keep your life simple.
More accurately, keep the principle of simplicity top of mind. Simple is not always possible, but it should be valued as an objective. Complexity is often necessary in a system - including life - but complexity adds points of failure and should only be applied when necessary.

Eric currently resides in Dallas, Texas.