The 10 R’s to live your best life
For the last 6 years, I’ve had a poster in my office with the 10 R’s. I use the 10 R’s as a way to remind myself that I’m always looking for ways to better myself personally and professionally. I don’t want days to get monotonous, such that every day is just like the day before.
I use the 10 R’s as a reminder in situations when I just need to keep going (Resilience), and in other situations when I am super overwhelmed, that it’s okay to just let go (Release).
I was recently asked by a colleague if I could send her my 10 R’s poster, and after she asked, I thought why not share it with all of you so we can all benefit from them?!
The first thing I need to say about the 10 R’s is how the list is not my creation but the content is. I actually heard about the 10 R’s when I was at a local “Ted Talk-type” event. When I heard the speakers start explaining what the 10 R’s were, I quickly grabbed a pen (which I think every person should carry on them at all times) from my purse and started scribbling them down on the back of the program. I thought they were pure genius, and I hope you do too!
Keep the 10 R’s as a visual reminder
I keep the 10 R’s poster in my office as a visual reminder. There is no magic order to them. Some of the R’s may resonate more with some people than others. Here they are in no particular order.
1. Responsibility – to your craft, your team and your audience
Whether you are an entrepreneur, an artist or a lawyer like me, we all have a responsibility to our craft (i.e. content, services and resources we deliver), to our team (e.g. colleagues, staff) and our audience (i.e. clients, others in our niche).
We have a responsibility to be ethical and professional when engaging in our craft and with our team and audience. For instance, recommending products that the blogger wouldn’t actually use themselves, in my opinion, is an example of not upholding one’s responsibility to one’s readers.
2. Respect – enter into all your relationships with respect, humility, generosity and curiosity
No matter what your vocation or profession, we are all human beings. We should enter into all our relationships – whether with clients, family, or colleagues – with respect, humility, generosity and curiosity.
Actionable Tip: It’s pretty simple: Be kind and compassionate to others.
You don’t know what else is going on in another person’s life (or maybe you do), but try not to treat other people as though you are smarter or better than them, because we all have something to offer. We all have our own unique skills and experiences that we can contribute.
Actionable Tip: Find the good in people.
Be curious about your clients, family members, friends and colleagues. Genuinely take an interest in their lives and take some time to learn a little bit about them. In my career, I have started to invest in the relationship with my assistant by taking time to learn about her – as much as she is willing to share. It has helped our relationship when I need her to go the extra mile. I find she actually wants to help me rather than it being her job to help me, and that can go a long way.
When I am being curious about other people, I try not to be too invasive in the questions I ask. I find out about what kind of pets they have or whether they are allergic; their favourite place(s) to vacation; their career history; what type of work they enjoy doing vs. not doing; or simply ask them how their weekend was. Entering into all relationships with respect, humility, generosity, and curiosity helps build and maintain relationships.
3. Risk – sometimes being terrible, foolish and vulnerable is okay
Although as lawyers and individually Mr. OYP and I are risk adverse (I would say I am less risk adverse than Mr. OYP), sometimes it’s necessary and healthy to take risks and those risks can reap big rewards. A risk could be anything from quitting a job that is comfortable to try something new; taking a break from the 9-5 to travel the world; or it could be trying that new salsa class when you’ve never danced before, or starting a new relationship.
For me, I am taking a huge risk with this website. I had thought about writing and starting a website a couple years ago and I continued to think about it off and on, but didn’t start until late 2018. Every new post I write or opinion I share on this website, for me, is a risk. It’s scary to think that your thoughts and opinions and what you write could be shared with the world (Yes, I know that the whole world is not reading what I write, but it’s more than my immediate family, which is scary and kind of mind-blowing.)
If I wasn’t a lawyer, I think I would like to be a PI (private investigator) or a stand-up comedian. A risk that I might take one day is to go to the improv night in town and give my jokes a test. With that, though, I know that sometimes being terrible, foolish and vulnerable is okay. That might be one of those nights.
I have found that being vulnerable and sharing who you really are, and the struggles you face, can create new friendships or strengthen life-long friendships.
“Resilience” is defined as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.”
Remember to be resilient when a setback happens or when something doesn’t go as well as you thought it was going to go.
In my case, increasing the number of visitors to our website has been a slow process. Rather than having my own prolonged pity party (which Mr. OYP refuses to attend, even for a few minutes), I tell myself that I need to take a serious look at how to get more traffic to our website and implement things that have worked well for others.
Although my inner voices say, “no one wants to read what you are writing about” and “your content sucks” or “there are so many articles out there already on this topic”, I acknowledge those thoughts and don’t let them stop me from reaching my goal of this website: to empower professionals to take control of their careers, life and finances through intentional living. We want to help professionals remain in their chosen professions longer and help them find joy in their careers and in their lives. If you want to know more about us, check out our About Us page here.
Instead, I remember my why. I also turn down the pressure on myself because, despite being type-A and competitive by nature, I am doing this website for fun and as a hobby, so I need to cut myself some slack and remember this is a marathon and not a sprint.
Actionable Tip: Maybe you need the same reminder – this is a marathon and not a sprint.
There has been quite a bit of talk recently about resilience, at least in the professional world. I’ve attended lunch meetings and seminars about it. I came across this Ted Talk on grit by Angela Lee Duckworth, a researcher and a MacArthur Fellowship winner. It provides inspiring commentary on grit and what it is. A part of grit is the ability to keep persevering when faced with adversity.
5. Repetition – do it over and over and over again
The idea of Repetition for personal and professional growth is that to become the best in your field, you must repeat, repeat, repeat or do your craft over and over and over and over again.
This is how you become the best (or one of the best) and the expert in your chosen field, vocation or profession.
6. Restlessness – never settle, never stop learning and never give up on putting yourself in unknown territory
This one reminds me of a quote from a Jillian Michaels workout video. She kept yelling “get comfortable with being uncomfortable”. She said that when you are working out, you shouldn’t be comfortable. It shouldn’t be a workout where all you have to do is show up. When you’re uncomfortable, you are pushing yourself mentally and physically. You don’t have time to plan what you are going to do after your workout or fantasize about how you are going to reward yourself after your workout. You are so uncomfortable that you are forced to be present.
Translating that workout mantra into the personal and professional development sphere, we shouldn’t get comfortable in our jobs, craft or profession. We should feel a little bit of restlessness each day such that we are motivated to never settle at being “good enough” and it should never get to the point where we think we know everything and there is nothing further that we can learn.
Instead, we should always be looking to learn – whether in our personal lives and the books we choose to read for leisure or in our professional lives.
Never say no to opportunities that put you in unknown territory – at least not the first time the opportunity presents itself. If a new opportunity comes up or opens up at work, put yourself out there – at least the first time. You never know what connections you are going to make, or what you will learn from putting yourself out there.
If the experience is something that you really despise and never want to do again (genuinely and not just that it was too hard), then in my view, life’s too short to put yourself through something repeatedly that you truly hate (unless you HAVE to and we all have those situations from time to time), so don’t.
7. Rigour – never stop at good enough
I see rigour as being similar to “Restlessness” and the idea of being hungry – never stopping at being good enough – as a person and as a professional in your craft or career, whatever it might be. Always wanting to be a better person, be a wiser person and never wanting to stop learning (which is one of the things I like about the practice of law – there’s always something to learn and the law is always evolving and changing).
8. Refinement - Look for ways to refine your skills
Whether you are developing your skills or think you have mastered the skills needed in your vocation, career or craft, you should always be looking for ways to better yourself. That could be attending courses in person or online, finding resources that allow you to learn from others (e.g. watching videos on YouTube, reading articles on what someone in your field did or maybe they did something differently or came at it from a different perspective to be successful.) We can always learn more.
Actionable Tip: Pick a skill you want to develop or master. Then identify at least 1 way you can develop or master that skill this year. Could you develop or refine your skills through a podcast, by reading a book, watching a Ted Talk, creating or attending a training session for your company or organization? Once you have picked at least 1 way, schedule a date and time that you will do this.
These are just some ways you can refine your skills to be a better person and professional.
9. Responsiveness – be open to everything that comes at you & try to trust your creativity and intuition
I think this one has roots in Restlessness, and the idea of putting yourself in unknown territory and when you do, being responsive and open to the things that comes your way.
Whether it’s a person you have to meet for lunch, a volunteer opportunity, a new blog you want to start or an educational or training opportunity, you need to trust yourself – specifically your creativity and intuition in those experiences – and be open to them.
10. Release – know when to let go
Release is about knowing that you can let go of things or people in your life that, for example, are toxic, negative, or hindering you from being your best self. Release is also about knowing when to let go.
The first step is giving yourself permission to let go of something in your life or someone in your life. You don’t have to stay friends with a person just because they have been your friend since childhood. You also don’t have to volunteer at multiple charitable organizations just to be a “good person” or well-rounded.
Give yourself permission to do what YOU want to do with your life (and sometimes that means being selfish – in 2018, I cut down my volunteering from 3 organizations to 1) and give yourself permission to spend time with the people you WANT to hang out with not because they have something they can offer you later but because you enjoy spending time with them.
The second step is knowing when to let go. The third step is figuring out how and when you are going to let go.
Recap - the 10 R's to live your best life:
- Responsibility – to your craft, your team and your audience
- Respect – enter into all your relationships with respect, humility, generosity, and curiosity
- Risk – sometimes being terrible, foolish and vulnerable is okay
- Repetition – do it over and over and over and over again
- Restlessness – never settle, never stop learning and never give up on putting yourself in unknown territory
- Rigour – never stop at good enough
- Refinement – look for ways to refine your skills
- Responsiveness – be open to everything that comes at you & try to trust your creativity and intuition
- Release – know when to let go
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- How to set your goals, habits and intentions in 2019
- How to stick to your goals, habits and intentions in 2019
- Whether you should have 1 or 2 cellphones, when your employer offers you a “free” cellphone?
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