The major theme that drove the second book of The Shepherd Chronicles was discovering your path in life. Once found, understanding what it takes to walk it, to grow with it and to stay connected to it at all costs. David, as the shepherd was given the chore to bring the lost back to their path. In this book, The Rules, He encounters a major challenge of his own. The choice he faces may bring his journey to an end and in doing so, alter his life forever.
With the help of his mysterious messenger and a family that stood by him, David fights through his crisis by falling back on the Rules of Life, taught to him by his father though out his childhood. These are the rules that David shares with his followers and the ones I will share with you here. Listen carefully.
The first rule is “We don’t learn to sail on calm seas.” It’s only through the trials and tribulations of life that we discover our strength and learn to overcome our obstacles, how to get up off the ground when knocked down. As David said, “As long as your get ups exceed your knock downs by one, you are still in the game.
The next rule is the major theme of the trilogy. It says, “The true measure of a person is not found in the size of his or her home or in their riches, it is counted by the number of people you lift up in a positive way.” It means taking your eyes off of yourself and placing them on those around you, reaching out to the person next to you, easing their pain. Yes, one person can make a difference and for each person you reach out to, your path becomes more defined, more enriched.
The third rule says that “Belief without action guarantees defeat.” You may believe you are the best candidate for a job, but if you don’t apply for the job your belief is empty. You may believe you and your date would make a perfect marriage, but if you don’t propose, you will never know. Opportunity doesn’t knock on locked doors or closed hearts. Ignoring the crossroads in your life is a guarantee to convert them it into dead ends. Yes, you may fail but if you do, see Rule 1. You can’t win a race you don’t run.
Finally, Rule 4, “Pursue Excellence, for nothing else is worth your time.” Once you decide to take action, do your best, try your hardest and give it all you have because any less will bring you disappointment. It’s all about habits. Taking short cuts sets you up for failure and lays out a pattern you are sure to follow. Let your habits bring you success. Let your habits be the building blocks to your future, the pavement to the path you seek.
Each rule can have an impact on your life and bring you short term success. To find that “pot of gold” you seek, it takes a commitment to all four rules. As with all things in life, it’s up to you. Happiness, success as you define it, does not happen by accident. It does not just appear one morning next to your orange juice. It arrives through your perseverance, your generosity, your action and your excellence. It is your choice so choose wisely. Your magic wand is you!