1. Be Kind. Period.
Be nice to the people you think might help you become successful. Be equally nice to those you think have nothing to contribute to you. If you aren’t inclined to behave this way for its own sake, then remember this: there is NO way to tell the difference between the two. The old adage about being nice to people on the way up because they are the same people you will see on the way down is unequivocally true. As Jewel sang: In the end, only kindness matters.
2. Be Who You Are Today. Be Somebody Else Tomorrow If It Suits You Better.
It might not sound like it, but this is the ultimate call to “Be Authentic.” Authenticity is not static; it is about being who you are, moment to moment, without apology. Interests change. Opinions change. It’s okay if yours happen to be all over the map, provided you know the difference between self-discovery and trying to please everyone.
3. Be an I-Don’t-Know-It-All.
When you are knowledgeable about something, by all means, share it. Never be afraid to say, “I don’t know,” if you don’t particularly care about an issue, or “I don’t know, but I’ll find out,” if you do.
4. Commit to Lifelong Learning.
In addition to following up on “I don’t know, but I’ll find out,” make it a priority to learn for the sake of learning. Read. Take classes. Listen to others. Practice listening to yourself without distraction. If the word “meditation” makes you uncomfortable, then call it something else, but do it.
5. Promote Others.
When you admire someone’s work, tell other people about it, even especially if you have nothing to gain. Becoming a one-person PR firm is the ultimate way to practice the Golden Rule.
6. Lighten Up.
Don’t go anywhere–including online–without your sense of humor. If you don’t have one, cultivate it. When someone advises you to lighten up, follow the same rule of etiquette as if someone had offered you a mint: take it!
7. Practice Forgiveness.
Malachy McCourt said, “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Forgiveness is something you do for you; it frees up your energy for better use. Forgive others, forgive yourself, and move on. If you struggle with this, understand that forgiving a transgression is not the same as condoning it, and you don’t even have to contact the other person to do it.