For Review: Rule #2: Don’t Be A ______ (insert personal expletive of choice)

So for over a decade I have been working on a book that was a collection of tips on how to live your life right. It’s had different titles and different numbers of rules. I’m in the process of getting out of the ‘working on’ and getting into the ‘publishing’ of this book. I am periodically dropping chapters on Medium for review. So…feel free to review.

Rule #2: Don’t Be A ______ (insert personal expletive of choice)

These rules themselves are not meant to weigh so that any one is more important that another. Each rule is written to live on its own. However, I did purposely choose this rule, ‘Don’t be a _____,’ as the lead rule on the list for many reasons. It was difficult to supplant Rule #1 with ‘Don’t Die,’ but that was necessary. ‘Don’t be a _____,’ taking a new reign in the number two spot is also necessary.

The main reason this rule has always held such high regard for me is that the rule itself sounds so much like basic common sense, even if the general populace cannot seem to make the connection.

I wrote this rule (and by wrote I mean I put it in this form) to sound simple. Then again, I suspect you do not remember half of the Speed Limit signs you pass on the way to work.

That is why I am so in love with this rule for those who quickly get it, but it is not flawless. The major problem with putting out a rule like ‘Don’t be a ______’ comes from your particular position in life. To be totally and brutally honest, there are many times in life well it just might pay major dividends to be a _______. I worked through plenty of days personally where from my view at the time, it seemed a whole lot easier just to be a _______ and then move along with life.

Yes, being a _____ is an effective, even if not socially acceptable, production tool. It can actually help you to get more things done, help you keep people moving and focused, and is most effective when used to help keep people away whose full intentions are to keep you from getting things done (because they get something out of being a ______).

Effective, but often not right. At the end of the day, what do you really accomplish by being a _____? How many friends can you really keep if you go around constantly being a _____? How many can you expect to put up with your foolishness if they can’t figure out when you’re going to be a _____ and when you’re not going to be a _____?

The definition of a ____ will vary from person to person. The point will always remain the same. You will definitely know one when you see one, and there presence is rarely a pleasant experience.

The rude abruptness of being a _____ can be an effective, albeit abrasive, motivator. It also has about as much subtlety as using a cattle prod to keep a toddler from wetting the bed. Being a _____ is definitely a quick way to stop the momentum of a group that has found its cohesion. It’s also a quick way to turn someone against you, and generally a quick way to alienate yourself from the rest of humanity.

The quickest way to ensure you will gain a reputation as torturous and will lead a generally unsuccessful life is to spend your life being a ____ and making the lives of all of those around you a living hell. The only thing worse would be to be a ____, and not even realize it. You could actually see yourself as being the opposite, progressing ahead with behavior that is really a complete turn off, while envisioning yourself in a hero-style journey.

You do not have a right to impose your _____-iness on others. Your ugly behavior is a reflection of you and the world you choose to live in.

Despite any positive that could be pulled from being a _____, don’t. Just don’t.

But feel free to substitute _____ with whatever expletive that suits you.

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