Rule 9: Be Fucking Precise


Today marks a happy day as I just started working after a long break from 2018 Lunar New Year. It’s the year of the dog and the accompanying element is earth. And I have found something so important that I intend to add this rule to my Top 10 List. Recall that Top 10 List (click here for Rule 8) is my attempt to summarize everything in life that I deem important. The project started in 2011 (first post back then). And this will be the 9th rule. My game plan is to further refine the rules after gathering 10 rules. I might change/enhance the rules along the way. Hopefully by the time I’m 70 years old these 10 rules will be as solid as gold.

I owe this rule to Jordan Peterson, author of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.

Be fucking precise.

Problems will not go away. Don’t sweep any of them under the carpet. Nip it in the bud. It’s either we face a little discomfort and face the truth now or wait until it catches up with us when we least expect it. There is no two ways about it. Why do we see the dentist only to remove a badly decayed tooth? Why not fix it the first time it is chipped?

Because it is uncomfortable and awkward to solve a problem than to ignore it. Because if we are specific about a problem, we admit there is a problem in our imaginative fairy tale life. Then one day, we found out that our partner had an affair. We feel victimized. Then one day, our health deteriorated so bad that there is no turning back. Then one day we woke up realizing that we are 65 years old and we had wasted 1/2 our lifetime chasing something we conjured up when we were barely 18 years old.

Because when the sex is not satisfying, we did not voice it out or take corrective steps. Because we dare not make the resolution to stay healthy. Because being specific about our goal makes us vulnerable IF we cant hit the mark. And no one wants to be tagged a failure. It doesn’t feel good.

Then the tragedy of the commons becomes a Delphic oracle. We waited for the stars that we outsourced the problem to previously and Jupiter is still not aligning with Venus during Blood Moon occurrence.

What if we face a little discomfort and voice out our dissatisfaction with our partner now? What if we make a resolution to exercise 3 times a week and to eliminate sugars from our lives? What if we specify what we want with this life?

If things don’t turn out well and they most likely will not turn out well in life anyway, we adjust our sails accordingly.

The problems will not go away. That’s worth repeating. Either we risk facing an irritating bee now when we are strong or a 100 pounds gorilla later when we are old and fragile.

The first step is to have this awareness and the resolution to fix things. The second step is to be precise on how we are fixing it. I’ll exercise 3 times a week to get a fitter body, I’ll eliminate desserts and processed food from my life and I’ll want to be debt free by 35 years old. If our body is not fit by then, if we are still gobbling down 1kg of cakes and if our debts still pile up like a mountain, then at the very least we have a starting point to address the issue.

Rather be precise and be wrong and be able to fix the problem now than to be vague, pretending everything’s quiet on the western front and get victimized later in life. Read that again please as it is so important. Be fucking precise. Nip it in the bud. After a few rounds of reinforcement, solving problems will seem so fun that we keep seeking other areas in our lives to fix. And life suddenly becomes meaningful because we are in charge of the direction we are heading.

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