Submitted by Cora Harrington

cora harrington works with homeless families at a local non-profit agency. she states that "four of the five [rules] are from friends and family, but they're things i live by and remember every single day."

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

1.) "You are responsible for your own happiness."
My friend Karen R. told me this when we went camping one weekend right after an "ex" dumped me. I'd just dropped out of grad school as well and was feeling like a Grade A-failure. Karen reminded me that happiness is a choice, and I'm the only person who can make myself happy.

2.) "Nobody has to live in your skin but you."
This one comes from my Dad, and he tells it to me all the time when I'm wavering on my principles or beliefs. My Dad never tells me what to think, he just reminds me that no matter what decisions I make, I'm the only person who has to deal with the consequences - positive or negative.

3.) "Security is an illusion."
The artist and writer David Mack coined this one, and especially in this economy it's a quote I live by. So many people plan around having a secure future rather than a happy one that, when the rug is pulled out from under them,they have nothing left. This quote tells me to plan for happiness first, and if security follows it's an added bonus.

4.) "The two most important things in life are to be happy and to make other people happy."
This is another quote from my Dad who always told my Mom and I that the reason he works is so his family can be happy. My Dad taught me, by word and example, that making us happy makes him happy - and that's the kind of mindset I want to have in my relationships.

5.) "Everyday is a gift. Unwrap carefully."
The only quote on the list from me. I got a new appreciation for the preciousness of life after I came close to dying a couple of years ago. I don't take any day for granted and I try to live in such a way that I'll have no regrets.

Cora currently resides in Seattle, Washington.