So, we have all heard of God’s Ten Commandments. These are God’s non-negotiables on how one should live and conduct their lives. Though have you ever considered a personal addition of your ten commandments? What are your non-negotiables, your deal-breakers? What will cause you to walk away from the table with no further discussion? You might want to take a look at this.
Identifying your non-negotiables as a set of personal commandments shapes how you are in the world. They reflect your values, your integrity. Knowing this gives you the confidence to quickly make decisions, especially in the heat of a moment, because you are crystal clear on what defines your true north. You already will know the direction to go, what will keep you on course, when tempted by that seven-layer chocolate cake, your head getting turned around by a smokin’ guy who turns out to be a hot mess, thinking about having just one little martini before driving home.
Your non-negotiables make certain decisions, certain critical choices, a no-brainer. Say, one of your personal commandments is “thou shalt not eat refined sugar.” Beyond sugar causing you to gain weight, you also know that excessive amounts may increase your risk for cancer, which runs in your family. So when you go to a friend’s birthday party, you will not be tempted by the thought of biting into that seven-layer chocolate cake, just this one time because it is a special occasion. You know the possibly less than desirable outcomes and have fortified the decision to not indulge by making it one of your personal commandments.
Identifying your non-negotiables as a set of personal commandments shapes how you are in the world. They reflect your values, your integrity.
Here is the other thing that having a set of personal commandants does, it helps to uphold the integrity you have with yourself. You know how you feel when someone breaks a promise to you, not so great, and will think twice before breaking a promise to yourself. So that hot guy, who is a hot mess, does not get to hang out with you, even if you are cupid-struck, because you have the commandant “thou shalt not date guys who are too much of a work-in-progress.” You are done with boyfriends who cannot manage their lives and look to girlfriends to do it for them.
Your personal ten commandments, ultimately, is the code by which you live. It guides your life in a positive direction as does God’s Ten Commandments. So you are not going to have just a tiny martini for the road, “thou shalt not drink and drive.”
The invitation is to take a reflective moment to make a list of ten things that are no longer okay, not acceptable. Then keep this list where you can read it every day as a reminder of how you want to be in the world.