The 3 Golden Rules

Posted 28 Feb 2023 (2023-02-28)

The 3 Golden Rules are a set of rules I came up with to help me live my life post-depression “arc”. I believe these to be the truest things one needs to hear when they’re trying to pull their life back together.

The rules are as follows:

  1. No one knows what the fuck they are doing.
  2. Everyone deep down at their core only cares about survival. It is important therefore, emotionally, to learn how to manage the core of your brain.
  3. Don’t let your predefined version of reality taint how reality actually is.

Let me explain these points now in further detail.

No one knows what the fuck they are doing.

No one in history or even to this day has any idea of what they are doing, why they are where they are or what they are supposed to do.

You may say, well how did anyone ever get anything done? The answer to that is by trial and error. They tried things and things did not work until they did. If they knew what to do they would just do it. By trial and error they figured out what to do and they kept doing that.

Over time people change and so do what they do. Thus someone could go from one side of everything right to the other. There is no predefined thing to send them on a certain path. Actions have their own effects and thus the way you may want to go might not be the way you end up going or stay going.

This is somewhat comforting as it shows we are all human and thus we are all in the same boat trying to do things. We keep fucking up till we stop fucking up and when that times comes we get a bit better than before.

Everyone deep down at their core only cares about survival.

No one cares about you. Well, it’s not as straight forward as that. Emotionally yes someone probably does care about you but deep at their core, at the base of their wiring, the only thing their mind is concerned about is keeping them safe. No one cares enough to actually think about everyone they ever look at or pass in the street and nor should you think they do the same to you.

This is a big reason also why people get offended when something the person identifies with comes under fire. If left unchecked we can see it go spiralling out of control. Hell, look at Twitter. So many survival centres out of control thinking they are keeping themselves safe but really they are causing so much stress to themselves.

In the book The Chimp Paradox the author talks about this centre of our brain and simplifies it a lot by calling it a Chimp. The chimp works on pure emotion and doesn’t care about anything other than survival and reproduction at its core. It cares about other things too like having security but those are not fundamental but rather ways of taming the beast. Yes, it is possible to bring it under control but you have to remember, as the book says, it is just a chimp trying to react to a modern world it was not designed for. So when someone gets into an argument really all that is happening is 2 chimps fighting thinking they are under attack and that this is a life or death situation; something you would need in the jungle being chased by a tiger.

The reason the book is called that is because at the same time your chimp can be your best friend but also your worst enemy. That brings us on to our next point.

Don’t let your predefined version of reality taint how reality actually is.

Following on from the last point: if you go about life through the eyes of this part of your mind then it begins to taint every experience. You begin to look at everything as if it only happens to you and as if everyone is just out to get you.

Of course this isn’t true but knowing and believing are 2 separate things.

Being able to, over a long time, separate what is reality and what is just inside your head is a skill but becoming aware of it is the first step in fixing it.