10 Personal Commandments

Today, I am thrilled to be hosting Life List Club co-founder Marcia Richards.  Marcia’s 10 Personal Commandments for living life to the fullest really resonated with me. Read on, and when you’re done here hop on over to Marcia’s fellow co-founder Jess Witkins’ place, where I talk about  the Sanity Survival Kits writers and busy people in general need as we gear up for the holidays. Then just keep on going, because what better way to kick off an autumn Friday than a Life List round robin?

Enough from me … onward to Marcia!


We all have a set of rules we live by, whether we state them or not. They may reflect our values and morals, our thoughts on how to be the best we can be or simply lists of things we carry in our heads and use everyday – ‘I will do this, I won’t do that’.

I definitely won’t do anything illegal. I won’t deliberately hurt anyone. I will love my family. I will take care of my responsibilities. I will be accountable for my behavior. I won’t lie, cheat or betray.

These are a given, for me. Let’s go deeper…let’s give these bones some muscle:

1) Eat – Healthy, that is. No diets, no forbidden foods. Just lots of good-for-you-food. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, eggs, low-sugar-fat-free yogurt, chicken/turkey/fish, olive oil, nuts and a little bit of dark, dark chocolate.

2) Move – Reaching for the remote to change the channel does not count as moving. Walking from the couch to the refrigerator and taking a stroll in the park barely counts. What counts most is a brisk walk, a morning run and lifting weights. But you can also count raking leaves, scrubbing floors and digging in the garden. Move enough to break a sweat. Then you’re burning calories and improving your circulation. (Now you can have an extra piece of chocolate.)

3) Love – Love yourself first – love every bulge, gray hair and wacky personality trait. Then love everyone else – your family, your crazy relatives, your nosy next-door neighbor, the bag lady roaming downtown, the grumpy cashier at Wal-Mart, your pet and all the animals outside your  front door…even the raccoon that tips over your garbage can.   

4) Laugh – Giggles are good, but let them grow into roaring belly laughs, the ones that take your breath away, the ones that won’t stop. Those are the healthiest laughs. You’ve probably heard that laughing decreases stress, increases immune cells and releases endorphins. Did you know it also keeps your blood cells healthy and increases blood flow protecting your heart? (You’ve earned another little piece of dark chocolate yumminess.)

5) Live – Simply breathing, working, eating and sleeping constitutes one way of living. Another way is to choose to seek out new experiences everyday. A person’s financial circumstances will determine how far afield one can go to challenge yourself and explore, but there’s something valuable to discover even in your own backyard.

6) Learn – Learning new things is one of my greatest passions. How about you? There are unlimited resources for learning and unlimited things to learn. How to write, how to fix a faucet and how to take great photographs. Historical events, how to use your smartphone and how to grow broccoli. Learning stimulates the brain, fends off diseases of aging, can help you connect with other like-minded people, prevents boredom and encourages creativity. 

7) Give – Helping and supporting others is good for the soul and it comes back to you in unexpected ways. Give money, kindness, love,  time, attention, food or a smile. Send a cheerful card to an elderly person living alone; take a meal to sick friend; babysit for a harried mother; let someone ahead of you in line; send a goody package to a college student or a faraway soldier. We have so much to give, even when you think you have nothing at all anyone would want.

8) Thank – Gratitude is a gift that is always welcome. A simple ‘thank you’ is gracious. Don’t wait long to give your thanks. It will weigh too heavily on your heart.

9) Connect – People need people. Simple as that. People live longer, healthier lives when they have happy relationships with a loved one or a pet. Building a satisfying relationship requires learning, giving, thanking and loving. Reach out…and touch someone – just be careful where you touch. 

10) Teach – In my opinion, we have a responsibility to pass along whatever we have learned through living. Teaching is a form of giving and connecting. All of us has something to teach others…unless you’ve lived in a cave all alone. But even then, you can teach someone the art of living alone and cooking for one.

Okay, now go reward yourself with some dark chocolate for your endless virtuosity.

What’s in your Ten Personal Commandments? Are you a list-maker like me, or are you fortunate to have the power of unlimited recall? Please share.  I’d really like to know.


Marcia Richards is a veteran blogger and author of Marcia Richards’ Blog…Sexy. Smart. From The Heart. Marcia writes about Sweet Obsessions, 20th Century American History, and the path to realizing your dreams. She has a Historical Trilogy and a collection of Short stories in progress. When she’s not writing, she can be found playing with the grandkids or her husband, traveling or turning old furniture into works of art. She believes there is always something new to learn.

Come hang out with Marcia at: http://twitter.com/MarciaARichards or http://facebook.com/MarciaARichards .

Visit Marcia at: http://Marcia-Richards.com

About hawleywood40

Writer, Steelers Fan in Baltimore, Frequent Visitor to the Shot Fairy
This entry was posted in Creativity, Goal-Setting, Relationships, The Life List Club and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to 10 Personal Commandments

  1. Beautifully put. I want to embroider these and hang them on my wall. Thanks Marcia!

  2. Wow! I like that Marcia. I tried to pick two favorites to talk about but couldn’t. I think I have close to 6 favorites. Great Job! Number 2 sounds like exercise in disguise. It immediately reminded me of my mother. She’s not big on exercising, but she’s done quite a bit of raking leaves, scrubbing floors and digging in the garden (while dinner was either on the stove or in the oven).

    • hawleywood40 says:

      I couldn’t pick a favorite either, Gary – I was glad to see that I’m already living by a lot of these, but I still have work to do on some : ).

    • Marcia says:

      My husband is like your mother, Gary (sans the cooking) He does all the yardwork, washing the car, he just rebuilt our front steps and so much more. He stays in good shape that way. The word ‘exercise’ scares a lot of people…I gues it sounds too much like work. 🙂

  3. Donna says:

    Love the list Marcia…seems vaguely familiar and yes I am a list person…working on each one as a 30 Day Challenge if needed. I am a teacher so I feel the need to master these…of course who am I kidding…master life…I don’t think so!!

  4. I used to make lists, but I’d always lose them before time to do the first item. *Sigh*

  5. Very nice list–one word. I’m impressed! And such important one words they are. 😉

  6. Such fantastic commandments! I love them all. Especially to love ourselves for who we are and to love others.

  7. Jess Witkins says:

    I LOVE the rules Thank and Teach. I’m really glad I started a gratitude journal a while ago. It recharges me each night to think of at least 5 things to be thankful for, even if it’s just ice water. And teaching others/supporting others is so crucial to that gratitude, you get to give it and receive it! Brava, Marcia!

  8. Marcia says:

    Pam, thanks so much for helping with the responses today. I was out of town til this evening, but what fun it was to come and find all these awesome comments! Talking to commenters is the best part of a blog! You did a beautiful job of publishing my post, by the way. Thanks.

    • hawleywood40 says:

      No problem Marcia – I had the same issue with our last LLC posts when I left for my beach weekend Friday morning. This was a wonderful post and so much fun to host – thank you!

  9. What a wonderful list, Marcia. You hit the mark every time! Thanks!

  10. Hartford says:

    Wonderfully put Marcia – definitely hit the nail on the head for the important stuff in life. Woot woot!! Thanks for the timely reminder….

  11. tsonoda148 says:

    This was an excellent list, Marcia. I wish I could say I adhere to all ten things on the list, but sadly i do not. I can say that I try, but have a long way to go. Connecting with people and loving myself are challenges for me every day. I am working on eating better and moving more. I strongly believe in learning something new, often. And I volunteer my time regularly. Yes yours is a good solid list. Well, except for the dark chocolate. I’m not a fan. Milk chocolate, however, can make me turn cartwheels.
    Nice post! Thanks for sharing.

    • hawleywood40 says:

      I’ve gotten better at the “connecting” part, Terri, but it hasn’t come easy – I share your struggle sometimes. And the “loving myself” one is something I have to work on every day. Sometimes I’m my best friend, but other times I am a mean and harsh critic when it comes to me, and beat myself up like a schoolyard bully. The good news is that every day is a chance to start over : ).

  12. Aurora, HSP says:

    Awesome list! Thanks to both of you, Marcia for the list and Pam for sharing 🙂

  13. Pingback: 5 Secrets to Keep Your Sanity Intact Through the Holidays « David's Thoughts & Ideas

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