Submitted by Michael Pelham

michael pelham is a 16-year veteran of the computer industry; he is currently a core team leader with hewlett-packard. he has an mba in global management, but his greatest pride and inspiration comes from his loving wife and two boys.

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

1.) Focus on my relationship with God.
When I focus on my relationship with God and truly work towards what he would want me to do, most everything else falls into place. It's amazing how many questions are answered and situations become clear when you try to look at or answer them through the filter of a relationship with God. And the better that relationship, the better husband, friend, and father I become.

2.) It is what it is.
In the last five years I have really embraced this lesson, and it helps (when I remember it!). Life/situations/relationships are not always fair, not always fun, nor are they always bad and negative...but at the end of every moment or even the beginning of every moment, no matter how much you wish it to be otherwise - it is what it is. That does not mean a situation is static or cannot be changed, but often recognizing it as a simple fact can really help ground you and give you a great starting point.

3.) Choose happiness.
This is a great lesson I learned from Dennis Prager. Happiness really is a choice more than anything else and happy people really do make for a happier world. Bad things will happen, life will throw you curve balls, and it can get downright rough...but even in the midst of the problems you can choose to remain positive and happy.

4.) Don’t judge your insides by other people's outsides.
This is a wonderful rule I picked up from some Al-Anon friends. In our appearance-based and “keep up with the Jones” society, this is such a simple expression of what we should do. Just because you think your neighbor has it all - or your friend has everything and appears perfect - just remember you really have no idea what is going on in their world or inside of them. Things are rarely what they seem on the surface, so to compare your inner-most self to some external reflection of something you see is only going to lead to frustration and disappointment.

5.) Be part of the solution not the problem.
It is so easy to get stuck in a mode of complaining about things. Whenever I realize I am complaining, I force myself to look around and determine (a) what is my part in the situation, and (b) what steps can I take to fix the situation or remove myself from the situation.