7 Cardinal Rules of Life

7 Cardinal Rules of Life

7 Cardinal Rules of Life

7 Cardinal Rules of Life
7 Cardinal Rules of Life

I have come to realize over the last year that these 7 cardinal rules of life are a roadmap to an amazing and happy life. Once I really started to implement them, my mindset completely changed, and I was no longer a negative person. It was very much a turning point in my life, and a wonderful one. I could not have done anything better for myself than changing my mindset by implementing these into my life.

Have you heard about the 7 cardinal rules of life? Come on in and let me tell you about the 7 cardinal rules of life!

Make peace with the past

I can’t change the past. It’s done and over. I’ve made peace with it, and I’ve moved on. If someone else wants to hang on to it, that is their problem. If they want that negative mindset, they can keep it. Hanging onto the past ruins the present. The present is just that. A gift. Think of it like that. We can’t change the past, we can’t predict the future because it isn’t guaranteed. But the present is a gift we should be cherishing, enjoying, and be grateful for.

7 Cardinal Rules of Life
7 Cardinal Rules of Life

What others think of you is none of your business

You know what they say about opinions? Yeah, so that is basically how I approach that one. I don’t need to know what others think about me. Because they may have walked into a part of my life that wasn’t good, without context, and are judging it with limited information. Again, not my problem. There is a theme here. People grow and change all the time. That is the beauty of being a human. Evolving into something great as we gain experience. Someone may be judging who they think I was a year ago, five years ago, whatever. They know nothing about me now.

7 Cardinal Rules of Life
7 Cardinal Rules of Life

Time heals almost everything

This really is true. Time changes who we are, our thoughts on things, and our experiences. I think many times we are not nearly patient enough with ourselves in this regard. I know I am not. Too many times we give ourselves a timeline of how we are supposed to deal with things, especially grief, and magically be done with it. It doesn’t work that way. Slow down and be patient, time will heal you.

7 Cardinal Rules of Life
7 Cardinal Rules of Life

No one is in charge of your happiness but you

This was a game changer for me when I started to really understand this. I’m not even kidding. It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever come to realize and understand in my lifetime. I mean, I’ve heard it a million times over the years, but the day I decided to take control of my life was the best day of my life. You know the phrase, ‘today is the first day of the rest of your life?’ Yeah, the day I made my happiness my priority really changed me.

Sometimes taking charge of our own happiness is not a pretty journey. Because people will fight you the entire way, trying to keep control over you. The phrase ‘haters will hate’ applies here. Great. Let them hate. You know where those people belong? Far, far away. Feel free to hate, but keep it away from me, is how I look at it. Sometimes that requires removing people from our lives because we find out they are haters and not supporters. It is painful, but refer back to this rule. We are in charge of our happiness.

If anyone stands in your way of happiness, make them go away. It is literally that simple. Surround yourself with people who want to lift you up and support you. As soon as you remove the haters, the difference becomes noticeable. I’m not saying you want blind followers who agree with everything you say or do. That is narcissistic. But remember that there is a huge difference between haters and those who are willing to give you honest feedback because they care about you. Pay attention, and it will become easy to see the difference.

7 Cardinal Rules of Life
7 Cardinal Rules of Life

Don’t compare yourself to others

I will never understand why people do this. Life is not a race. We’re all in it together, and nobody is getting out alive anyway. Why turn it into a competition? My favorite person on the planet once told me something, and it has stuck with me since then. Everybody has to start somewhere.

The context in this was in regards to weight lifting, but little did he know that became my motto about life. Everybody has to start somewhere. That is why I say that life isn’t a race or a competition. There’s no handbook to how we go about each of our lives. The other thing here is that we don’t know the journey of others and what it took for them to get where they are now.

Don’t judge a story you don’t know. Don’t judge a chapter of that story that you walked into in the middle of either. We never know what someone else is going through. People don’t know what we’re going through. It’s not anyone’s business, really. You what is though? Kindness. Which is something the world needs more of. Just be kind.

7 Cardinal Rules of Life
7 Cardinal Rules of Life

Stop overthinking

I can’t stress this one enough. Especially since I am the queen of overthinking. I have a crown to prove it. Although I’ve taken it off since I changed my mindset here. I have been on a journey not to overthink absolutely everything. Because it is ok not to have all the answers. Have you ever known anyone to have all the answers? Yeah, me neither. All that overthinking does is take away the joy of the present, and who wants that?

I have had to really learn this with being a prepper. It is easy to overthink, and lose sight of the present and the joy that comes with living in the moment.

I refer back to the part about no one being in charge of my happiness expect me here. Because overthinking takes away from my happiness, and that means it needs to change. Life never goes the way I planned it anyway. When have you known that to happen? I want to meet the person who has predicted the future accurately. Because it just doesn’t happen that way. Relax, enjoy the ride, and learn from the experiences. Life never turns out the way we planned, but it turns out exactly the way it was meant to. Trust the process.

7 Cardinal Rules of Life
7 Cardinal Rules of Life

Smile genuinely and love completely

I feel like this is something we all should focus on. How often do you smile in a day? My guess is not nearly enough. I know I’ve been there. But you know what? It feels incredible just to smile. I find I relax a bit more when I do, and I am happy. The world isn’t nearly as terrible as it seems. I don’t own the world’s problems, and neither do you. Smile genuinely and often, and love completely too. There isn’t nearly enough of this happening in the world.

I find when I smile, I am very much in that moment. Not worried about everything going on around me, problems, or anything else. Just take the time to focus on that moment and the joy in it. Love like you’ve never been hurt before. I feel like we deny ourselves and others so much love because we are always worried about being hurt again. Let go of that worry and allow yourself to love completely. You’ll find it is absolutely amazing.

7 Cardinal Rules of Life
7 Cardinal Rules of Life

7 Cardinal Rules of Life Notes

Understanding these simple things and implementing them into my life has been amazing. Literally one of the best choices I’ve ever made. Simply because I have found I have a far more positive outlook on life and things are less stressful. Do you follow these 7 cardinal rules of life?

That doesn’t mean things are magically perfect. It simply means I have healthier coping mechanisms and can handle it far better than before. I don’t know about anyone else, but I appreciate that! These 7 cardinal rules of life were a huge asset to me. A positive mindset is an amazing first step in turning life around to be better. I encourage everyone to do that.


  • Nyxie

    I recently listened to a podcast that said ‘What others think of you is their problem. You can’t control that for the most part, and you’ll only kill yourself trying”. I’d never heard truer words, and that goes double for your take on it.

    This all make so much sense to me. Your Cardinal Rules are fundamental to all life!

    – Nyxie


  • Scott J DeNicola

    One of my favorite quotes is “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift––that is why it is called the present.” Don’t worry about the past as its over. Nothign you can do about it now. Live in the present and be present. I can sometimes compare myself to others and thats when I stop and look at what I grateful for. So I don’t drive the nicest car or live in a mansion. I have a happy family and a loving wife and that matters more. This is one of my favorites from you! Great reminders.

  • Luna S

    I just had a conversation last night about the “opinions of others”, there are so many people who are scared and nervous of what people think of them so they stress out and try to be what they think everyone would like. Would be nice not to have to do that.

  • Despite Pain

    Lovely post. Not only do you cook delicious food, you also give perfect life lessons. I agree with everything you’ve said in this post. Comparing ourselves to others is never helpful for anyone. We need to learn be content with who we are.

    And smiling definitely makes a difference. It’s even scientifically proven that a smile releases those feel-good endorphins.

  • Tracy C

    There’s so much truth in this post. I think it’s easier as you get older–once I hit forty, I really stopped caring what other people thought. I made my own happiness and forgave myself for past mistakes. It is truly liberating.

    • Thuy

      These are all crucial philosophies for a happy life. The one that I wish I learned in my teenage years was about not caring what others thought of me then knowing happiness was in my control.

  • jerry godinho

    One of my first blog posts for 15 steps to happiness and you have outlined the essentials to living. I Like that you have used the word Cardinal. One cannot go wrong by following this. Thanks for writing this and a wonderful post. Keep up the positive work and for lifting our spirits.

  • Lyosha

    That is a great post. I agree: we do all need to go through your list because it will make our life better by making us see life in a better way. Overthinking is a very common issue for me as well not being patient with time and its matters.

  • Subhashish Roy

    Wonderful thoughts Erica. I could not agree more. This life is for once and every action of ours in the positive direction can make us that much happier and content

  • Live Learn Better

    my favorite two is you are in charge of your happiness and stop comparing yourself to others. A lot of people pretend on social media and most times you are competing with a lie. Just do you. Great post!

  • The Sunny Side Lifestyle Co.

    Wonderful tips to live by! I especially appreciated your advice to ‘surround yourself with people who want to lift you up and support you.’ Simply by being around people who make you feel good and have your best interests at heart makes life so much better!

  • Savannah

    I love these. I feel as though I don’t smile nearly enough in a day, and something as small as that can leave a lasting impact. Thank you so much for sharing these!

  • Tracy @ Cleland Clan

    I love this! If you don’t make peace with the past, you can never completely move on. You are responsible for your own happiness, no one else. As my grandpa always said, “Love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe.”

  • Melanie williams

    Brilliant! You have got this spot on. time is a healer and yes it is so important to make peace with the past and never ever compare – easier said than done at times x

  • Stephanie S

    Thank you for this. I am reminded that I need to make peace with my past, and also that healing takes time. After my father passed away I honestly did not know how to deal with death. I am finding out that it is okay to take time, and just be in my emotions. I’m healing, and yes it is taking time, but it is okay! I needed to read this. Thank you. 🙂

  • Stella

    These are great rules to live by. I see that many of us commented on the part “what others think of you…” We are human, we will naturally want to fit in, we are programmed to live in groups and we want to be liked. That is why both this and comparison are such big issues for most of us. It is important to be able to distinguish other opinion (i think most of us agree that we are talking about negative opinion 😃) from constructive feedback, I think. Sometims they are right and it serves to improve us if we let it. Comparison is a big one for me. I am working on it. I love it how you put that in context of chapters, we do walk into chapters and tend to assume we know the whole story. Really well said.

  • Kat

    This is an amazing list! I especially love ‘you are in control of your own happiness’. Recently, I’ve heard from several people who are trying to blame relatives for the way their life turned out – but ultimately, it’s our own actions and attitudes that determine how our life will go and especially how we’ll feel about it.

  • Britt K

    Great advice! Honestly, the fact that ‘no one is in charge of your happiness but you’ was a game-changer for me. For a long time, I worried about everyone else, believing that I could find happiness by doing what everyone else wanted and being who everyone else needed. However, I discovered that regardless of how happy I made them, it wasn’t hitting the mark for me. There was still something missing. Furthermore, I spent SO much time worrying about everyone else, how they saw me and whether or not our relationship was bringing what we both needed. Since having that shift in mindset, I’ve relaxed A LOT of the (unreasonable) expectations that I had on my relationships. Instead, I just enjoy the time that I have with those that I care about and I have taken responsibility for my own happiness… Honestly, it’s freeing!

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