16 Guidelines for Life
I had the wonderful experience of spending my last weekend in a workshop facilitated by Alison Murdoch, one of the authors of “The 16 Guidelines for Life”. If you ever come across an opportunity to attend this workshop, I would highly recommend that you take it.
The 16 Guidelines for Life are values that, when put into practice and internalized in our life, lead to a happier and more meaningful life. They are simple to understand, practical and straightforward, yet it is precisely because of their simplicity that we run the danger of ignoring them. While it is beneficial to learn and understand them, their real value lies in applying them in our daily lives.
The 16 Guidelines are grouped into 4 themes – how we think, how we act, how we relate and how we find meanings in life. Understanding how we think provides us with a choice to discard our negative and unskilful thoughts, and to embrace positive and skilful thoughts that lead to positive outcomes for all concern.
Through some very simple yet powerful exercises, the facilitator led the participants into realizing for themselves the judgmental habits of their mind. Thus, by paying attention and being aware of our thoughts, we are empowered with a choice we did not know we had before – the choice of changing our thoughts or mental habits.
At this point, I was reminded of the definition of insanity that a friend had given me. He said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting the outcome to be different. So we have been living insanely with the same pattern of thoughts for years, and then we wonder why our lives stay the same.
The moment we change the way we think, we start to act and relate to others differently. We begin to see things from a different perspective, and in doing so we change our experience of life. Nothing outside of us has changed but the way we perceive them has. The end result is that we change our lives.
Using the 16 Guidelines, the change we experience is positive, affirming, empowering and meaningful.
For more information about the 16 Guidelines, go to http://16guidelines.org.