The world through a lens Project 365(2) Day 356, by Keith Williamson

I’ve had a few folks ask me if I could attribute any big life lessons that have helped me get to where I am. Things like the Golden Rule or an extremely healthy amount of respect for karma (both of which would be true for me) came to mind, but I was able to distill my guiding principles into this:

  1. Show up.
  2. Don’t be a dick.

End of list. Let’s dive deeper.

Show up. This rule can mean a lot of things, which is why I love it. It’s extremely versatile. Be physically present and on time to appointments when required. Don’t be a flake. Fulfill your commitments (and communicate EARLY if you need to adjust them, bad news does not age well). When you’re with people, actually be present. Put electronic devices down and avoid staring at them when others are engaging you (I’m guilty of this sometimes). Look people in the eye and lean in. When you see someone who needs help or a friend, be there for that person—even if they don’t ask for it.

Don’t be a dick. Pretty self-explanatory. Be nice and helpful without the expectation of reciprocation. Add value to your interactions with others. Don’t try to undermine your fellow human even when they might undermine you, and realize that the actions of others may not be motivated by malicious intent so you should not respond in kind. Surround yourself with positive people and positive energy and cut out those who do not bring you joy. Be self-aware enough to realize when you may be straying into negative territory, apologize (you are human, which means you will have bad days… that’s ok), and try to understand what led you to that dark place so you can avoid it in the future.

I am not perfect. I sometimes forget to be present when I show up; and given my age, I know I’ve been a dick at times. That said, I try to be a better human every day. These two guiding principles help me through many situations I face. Feel free to steal these rules for yourself!

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