I confess, I normally do the interviewing, questioning and speaking. Whether it’s as a moderator for a panel, interviewing Women to Watch for The Stickybeak Series, running my #WWGI events or writing articles about the leaders I admire. It’s a control thing right?
I have to stop and reflect when I am asked to participate in an interview, on camera, or on radio, about my life story and my top ten rules for success. I hate rules…. but I guess it’s good when you get to a point in your life when you’re a rule maker, not a rule breaker! (Hint: I still like to break rules…I’m a serial jay walker)
Here’s my top 10.
- Sleep: stop kidding yourself you don’t need 8 hours sleep a night. You do. I foolishly told myself for years that 4-6 hours sleep a night was sufficient. Bollocks. If it was, why was I then having to go to bed for a whole weekend of sleep at least once a month and getting regular coughs, colds, stomach upsets? I am an 8-hour sleep per night convert, and I do not compromise. I’m healthier, happier, productive and creative. I’d suggest I’m a bit nicer to be around too! For those of you who are rolling your eyes and saying you’re too busy, well that’s crap. 24 hours in a day. 8 for sleeping. 16 WHOLE hours left to do stuff. Get organised, get serious about your life people.
- Know your values. There’d plenty said about values, but not enough done IMO. Getting clear on what matters to you and why can lead to deeper personal reflection about your purpose and mission in life. Favourite saying? “The day you were born isn’t the most important day in your life, it’s the day you figure out why you were born.” My values include Truth, Loyalty, Courage and Humour.
- Truth: I value telling and being told the truth. This takes work to create the environment to not only feel safe telling the truth, but that I make it safe enough for people to tell me the truth, even when it’s hard to hear. By being open, honest, transparent and humble.
- Loyalty: I detest disloyalty. It’s a nasty cowardly human trait. Whilst loyalty, like respect, must be earned, I value it enormously. I am grateful for those loyal to me and devastated when disloyalty rears its ugly head. I am wholehearted and courageous with my loyalty, it’s the only way I can live.
- Courage: my beliefs, my cause and the work that I do means that I must be courageous, It can be scary confronting inequity, inequality, exclusion and bias when it is perpetuated by powerful people with privilege. Sometimes it felt easier to stay silent. I regret those times. I know I must grit my teeth and dig in to my inner reserves, be tenacious and call upon my resilience to live a courageous life that I can be proud of.
- Humour: if someone said to me here’s $30 million, but Michelle, by taking that money you can never laugh loudly in public again, crack a silly joke, fall about laughing at fart jokes, diffuse tense situations with a smile and a laugh … I’d walk away from the $30M. Ya gotta laugh right?
- Have a go! People have asked me what drives me. I really don’t know other than I always had a nagging feeling there was more to life and I never, ever wanted to be at the end of my life and wondering ‘What if?” Carpe Diem – Seize the Day, or Nothing ventured, nothing gained are a great way to describe my mindset about being opportunistic when the chance occurs.
- Growth mindset: a new one to the rulebook. I read Carol Dwecks book on Mindset and it had a profound effect on me. I think I always tended towards growth, but reading about the benefits of the set of traits, behaviours and an opportunity to rewire your brain to live and learn in a much more fulfilling way was compelling. You know there is no age that means you don’t learn anymore, and adopting a growth or learning mindset is a bloody nice way to live.
- Inclusion: This one is simple. I genuinely ask myself every, single, day “who have I included today?” it can be as simple as being kind to a stranger, about ensuring that people are welcome and included and not just tolerated in your workplace or life, being more deliberate about the language you use or planning meetings or events that do not exclude anyone. It takes purposeful effort to live a life of being considerate, and no I am not perfect!
- Vulnerability: the game changer! I’ve written an article more vulnerable life. You can check it out yourself. Suffice to say, BrenÃ© Browns Ted Talk on vulnerability was one of those moments in my life when I had an ah hah moment! Get on it!
So, there you go. My top ten rules that shape the way I try to live a life I can be pleased about each day. To sum it up in simple terms, I try to live a life where I AM being a nice human and try NOT being an arsehole!
Read: The Sleep Revolution
Read: The Right Mindset