In order to support my theme of The Year of Rose Colored Glasses a manifesto was created as a framework by which to judge my progress. The “10 Commandments” are listed below: 

  1. Assume the most positive interpretation
  2. Give first, and without any thought of return
  3. Listen, actively listen, confirm, acknowledge and give thoughtful consideration before responding
  4. True kindred spirits will be on your side
  5. One person’s actions can make a difference; including your own
  6. It’s OK to ask for help
  7. Examine positive events under a microscope and negative ones with a telescope
  8. Put it down
  9. Don’t assume it has all been said and done
  10. Believe you are enough.

Bonus Summation:

You have a valid and personal contribution to make in this world that only you can make.
Tablet with the roman numerals 1-10

In order to understand the meaning of each of the commandment will explain a little more here:

Assume the most positive intent: View any event, comment, action, etc using the most positive interpretation until proven otherwise. It is OK to ask clarifying questions and consider alternative interpretations… but be slow to anger. Require a high level of proof before moving out of the positive. 

Give first; and without any thought of return: Life is not a negotiation. Your true friends will return the gesture with an open heart down the road. If they don’t – that is on them – not you.  They are probably either not a kindred spirit or are in the throes of wrestling with their own issues.

Listen, actively listen; confirm, acknowledge and give thoughtful consideration before responding: Give people the courtesy of your complete attention. Without listening you may respond to incomplete information or even the wrong question. This applies to both oral and written responses. And don’t be discouraging to others (or yourself.)

True kindred spirits will be on your side: Friends will help you celebrate your successes as if they were their own in ways both large and small. The reverse must also be true.

One person’s action can make a difference; including your own: Maybe not in the short run. But in the long run. Someone has to make the first move. So support other people’s desire to create change. And don’t be afraid to get the ball rolling yourself.

It’s OK to ask for help: Strong people are not afraid to admit need, and people enjoy helping. So it’s a gift to those with the heart to receive it. Asking for help doesn’t make you less, it makes you more.

Examine positive events under a microscope and negative ones with a telescope: It has been proven that people have a strong negativity bias. It makes us prove to place more emphasis on the things that go badly than the things that go well. Look at both, but counter that bias by looking deeply at positive event. They are equally valid and informative. Learn the lessons that each type event offers, then put it down.

Put it down: Stop carrying negative incidents (and people) from your past down the road with you. You are probably the only one who hasn’t forgotten and moved on. Carrying them merely burdens yourself. [Note: my favorite Buddhist kaon covers this well.] 

Don’t assume it has all been said and done: If you spend much time on self-improvement it may seem that it’s all been said before and there’s nothing left to say. However the people you follow are just a small subset of the entire universe, and not everyone follows them either. There are plenty of people out there who have not yet found the message that resonates with them. You have something to contribute.

Believe you are enough: Know who you are and know you are enough. Be open to feedback, but not swayed by things which after due consideration your heart, mind and guts say is merely opinion, not fact.