5 Rules You Should Never Break

“She wants me to WHAT?”  My then-husband stood with the phone in his hand, helplessly watching me doubled over in pain.  “The doctor said this is normal and you should just wait it out.”

Never mind that I practiced medicine for over 20 years, or that I had undergone abdominal surgery before . . . I knew in my gut, quite literally, that what I was going through was wrong.

“Take me to the emergency room,” I groaned. “I don’t care what the doctor said.”

In this world there are rules. Some of them make perfect sense and others are accepted as true without proof. You might have learned them from your parents or your teachers. They may be unwritten or they may have been splashed across your Facebook timeline in funny memes.

But, no matter where you learn them, there are five that should never be broken if you want great success in your life. It doesn’t matter how you define success – whether it’s health, financial, relational, or emotional, don’t break these rules!

  1. Listen to your gut, your intuition, your inner voice. As adults, we’re often taught to follow the facts and figures as opposed to listening to our guts. I’m talking about the part of your brain that gives you the answer more quickly than the reasoning part. In several research studies, participants were given two different choices. The researchers found the pores on the participants’ hands opened when they were about to make the right choice and closed when the choice was not the best one for the situation. Scientists encourage you to develop the ability to recognize responses in your body to improve the results you get in the choices you make. For instance, in one study, people who spent a lot of time evaluating their car choice were satisfied with that choice only 25% of the time, while those who made a gut decision were satisfied 60% of the time.

Listening to my gut saved my life. The doctor thought I was dealing with gas pain when, in fact, my intestines had been sutured closed.


  1. Build trust. People who trust themselves are more often trusted by others. In other words, when you trust yourself to follow through on your own promises, other people can also trust you. This can be a challenge! When you make a promise, do you show up every time or do you regret it and make an excuse? When you make a promise to yourself, do you follow through or do you write it off because no one is looking? Only you know the answer to that question, and that answer identifies a deeper issue. You recognize trustworthiness in people when you see it. It’s memorable. Your goal is to be memorable in your own eyes first. You’ll experience greater confidence in your abilities and better self-esteem, all of which can lead to added success in relationships, finances and business.

To continue my story, it was a holiday weekend and the surgeon probably wanted to focus on her family. Her first commitment should have been to her patient. That weekend she lost more than my trust. She lost the trust of the nursing staff at a rather large hospital, and the trust of the surgeon who had to repair the mistake.  If she had addressed the issue immediately (instead of two days later) the staff and second surgeon could have trusted her to act responsibly in the future. Mistakes happen. What you do after they happen speaks volumes about your character.

  1. Do not act on your feelings. Feelings don’t have a life of their own. In other words, you can control how you feel based on how you think. Here’s the equation: Your thoughts produce feelings which drive your actions that determine your results. This means you control your feelings based on what you think, and consequently the success you experience. Don’t act on feelings that may produce results you don’t want. When success is the goal, you can’t afford to carry around envy, jealousy, anger and bitterness. Toss them away like the garbage they are.

My surgeon didn’t want to believe she made a mistake and when she discovered it was possible, she waited another 24 hours before addressing the issue. Her fear almost cost me my life.

  1. Like yourself and who you are. There is one person you’ll never be able to get away from in your life, and that’s you. If you don’t like your own company it can get pretty crowded, pretty fast. And, if you don’t like yourself, how can you expect others to enjoy being with you? Do you want a permanent relationship or maybe improve an existing one? It’s time work on the relationship you have with yourself, before the relationships you have with others will ever improve. Do you want to be a better leader? A better parent? A better friend? It’s time to be a better you.
  1. KISS it. Keep It Super Simple: Keeping your life simple will bring great results. Life is complex enough without creating challenges by complicating the situation. When you feel the world sitting on your shoulders, it’s time to simplify. My oldest son is graduating from college in December and is suddenly downhearted. He started listing off all the things that were going wrong, and that list was long. However, it included everything from the time he was in high school until last week. It took a bit of work but he could finally isolate the reason for his discouragement to a declining bank account as he was paying off the last of his college bills. Simplifying the situation and finding the solution to the underlying problem helped him to feel better. We all feel better when what’s going wrong can be identified, simplified and a solution developed.


Five rules. Five simple rules, which when followed and incorporated into your life, will bring more success and happiness. Today, it’s time to evaluate your own life and where you stand with each of them. Do you need to simplify your reaction to a situation? Should you focus on becoming a better version of yourself? Is it time to listen to your intuition and start that small business at home?

How will your life be different when you make five small changes?