Harry Carter's Basic Rules For Life: Volume I

Many times I wonder who taught me what I know today. I am happy with what I have learned, but dismayed that there is still so much that I need to learn.


We have come to accept the common, modern version of this foundation for life as reading ?do unto others as you would have others do unto you.? If you look at this rule from a modern management terms, I think you can see that there is a certain proactive aura in the phrasing of this rule. You are urged to make the first move, to do the first good. That is what I am urging you to do.

How many of us are guilty of waiting for the other person to make the first move? I know I have fallen victim to this tendency on more than one occasion. Heck, this all goes back to my days in the Boy Scouts when I was urged to do a good deed everyday. Let us all resolve to make rule number one a part of our daily lives.

My second rule involves the way in which you actually choose to live your life. Let me suggest that if you believe something within your heart, begin to live it in your life. Samuel Johnson wrote back in 1775, ??Sir, Hell is paved with good intentions.? Don?t just think about something, do it.

How many of you have meant to do this, or thought about doing that? I would urge you to remember that actions speak louder than words. Let people see that you believe in something by the living of that thing in your daily life. Be the example that causes the change in the behavior of others. People are watching you every day. Do not disappoint them.

Rule number three is fairly straightforward. Ignorance is not bliss! Things that you ignore do not go away. If a problem creeps into your life, devote the necessary time and talent to attacking that problem.

Remember that a problem never goes away just because you choose to ignore it. It just gets worse and worse. Here is an area where preemptive strikes are a good thing. Attack them problem, work toward a solution and then move on to the next part of your life. The area of dealing with problems offers me an opportunity to paraphrase one of my favorite firefighting tips in a way that might help you deal with life?s travails.

Rule four is also fairly straightforward; BIG PROBLEM-BIG SOLUTION::Little problem-little solution. Your response to a problem should match the magnitude of the problem. No need to roll out the big guns to decide where to eat lunch, who to get to unclog your toilet, or how many rolls of toilet paper to buy for your station. However, when it comes to such weighty issues as who gets a promotion, where should we build a new station, or how to handle a troublesome employee, you should roll out the big guns and attack the problem in an honest and open manner. No body likes a gutless boss.

Rule number five is a bit more difficult to get your arms around. I am recommending that you treat every one around you as a unique individual. This is a tough one my friends. It is so much easier to group people into categories and treat everyone in that category in the same way. Sadly, far too much of this goes on in the world today.

Your first differentiation usually breaks down into two basic categories: friends and foes. For some of you it breaks down by ethnic group, race, or physical characteristics. Speaking on behalf of overweight people everywhere, I want to tell of the damage that is done by saying that all fat people are dumb, lazy, or unproductive.

Each individual that you will ever encounter is a unique entity. Their entire set of life experiences is different from everyone else?s. Value the potential for each person?s contribution to your life and the life of your organization.

Rule number six is perhaps one of the hardest of all tasks to perform. Start with the truth, stay with the truth, and close with the truth. Man oh man is this one tough. No one is perfect, least of all me. I try to stay with the truth, but there will be those sins for which I will have to answer come Judgment Day. I try to live a life that has truth at its core, but I know when and where I have failed. The thought that keeps me going involves pondering how much worse of a person I would be if I did not try to work with the truth.

I would suggest that my rule number seven is one of the easiest and most pleasurable practices that you can indulge in every day. It is not illegal, nor is it immoral or fattening. Quite simply you should vow to say thank you a great deal more.