Personal Essay: The Rules That Changed My Life

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You probably think that whatever you feel is normal; that it is the only way you could possibly feel in any given situation, but have you ever considered that different people can feel something completely different in the same situation? Take rejection, for example. Some people get angry when they are rejected, some feel sad, and others may feel ashamed. That means that there must be something other than the situation that determines how someone feels.

How someone feels is determined by rules that everyone has, and these rules are often quite arbitrary because they are picked up from various sources like parents, friends, teachers, books, movies, and so on while growing up.

Once learned, these rules tend to stay fixed and whatever you learned first will become your rule and everything else will be considered weird and you won't
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He or she needs to be interested in my well-being and needs to listen to me when I want to share something.

- To feel *successful*, I need to spend at least six hours of my day working, I need to help people live a happier and more peaceful life and I need those people to tell me that I am helping them.

As you can probably tell that it's pretty easy for me to feel *happy*. I spent most of my life being miserable, however, and it took me over two years of almost daily practice to get to a point where I can remain relaxed and present in almost any situation. What's noteworthy about this rule is, that it's completely up to me whether I'm relaxed and present and I don't need anyone to do something and it doesn't matter what's happening as long as I can maintain my focus.

If I want to feel *loved*, however, there isn't much I can do with my current set of rules because all my rules depend on another person. Finding someone who's always willing to do those things for me is pretty unlikely, so, as you can imagine, I have a hard time feeling
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