Salary Survey Extra: My most important rule for living, Part 2
Posted on
October 14, 2021
Everyone has at least one favorite rule for living. We asked Salary Survey respondents which ones are they hold dear.

Everyone has one or two pithy maxims that guide their thinking. Sometimes such rules apply to things that are central to daily life, and sometimes they only apply around the margins of the bigger picture. You almost always know a rule for living when you hear it. Take the scene in True Grit when Rooster Cogburn tells Mattie Ross, “I don’t believe in fairy tales, or sermons, or stories about money, baby sister.”

Even if you’ve never put your own personal rules into words, or shared them with anyone else, the rules are still there. A lot of what we do, or don’t do, from one day to the next is guided by certain ways of thinking about the world around us. At the end of the 2021 Salary Survey, we tacked on a question to ask certified IT professionals what their most important rule for living is.

We offered some familiar rules for people who didn’t want to share one of their own, or think too hard about the question — or whose most important rule for living really is one of the options we outlined. We also included the option, however, for survey respondents to say, in essence, “Here’s the one thing that I would tell anyone about how I live my life.”

Here’s a quick reminder of how the preformulated options stacked up against each other:

Q: My most important rule for living is …

Never say yes to the first offer. — 14 percent
Never draw to an inside straight. — 2.7 percent
Never get involved in a land war in Asia. — 6.2 percent
Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line. — 7.5 percent
There’s no sense crying over spilled milk. — 21.3 percent
Isn’t that supposed to be “spilt” milk? — 3.9 percent
To thine own self be true. — 17.6 percent
Neither a borrower nor a lender be. — 5.9 percent
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy. — 2.0 percent
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel; but do not dull thy palm with entertainment of each new-hatch’d, unfledg’d comrade. — 1.1 percent
Hey! Now you’re just cribbing from Laertes’ dad in Hamlet.” — 2.2 percent

And if you want to look back at the first half of the rules submitted by survey participants, you can check here. Without further ado, then, here are the rest of the rules that survey respondents shared with us:

“Live and let live.”

“Live each day of your life as if it were the last.”

“Live your most authentic life.”

“Look, behind you! A three headed monkey!”

“Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.”

“Love God with all your might.”

“Luck favors the well prepared.”

“Make an effort.”

“Make things simple, but not too simple.”

“Man is good.”

“Measure twice, cut once.”

“Memento mori.”

“Might as well do something while I’m doing nothing.”

“Murphy has struck, the bosses just haven’t realized it yet.”

“Murphy was an optimist.”

“Never give up, never surrender!”

“Never say never.”

“Never apologise, never explain.”

“Never be a borrower. Help others.”

“Never depend on anyone but yourself and God.”

“Never do anything just for sake of doing it.”

“Never eat yellow snow.”

“Never explain yourself.”

“Never fail to make a great first impression.”

“Never give up!”

“Never judge people, for there is no absolute truth. What we believe to be true is merely a manifestation of our beliefs and cultural background.”

“Never make a desicion before your coffee.”

“Never regret.”

“Never regret a decision actively made.”

“Never spend more than you earn.”

“Never stop learning.”

“Never take life too seriously; you will never get out of it alive.”

“Never, ever trust a Klingon.”

“No matter what, believe in youself.”

“No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

“No pain, no gain.”

“No point worrying about things you can’t control.”

“Nobody is the villain in their own story.”

“Not my circus, not my monkeys.”

“Nothing changes if nothing changes.”

“One day at a time.”

“Only accept job offers that you really like.”

“Only worry about the things you can change.”

“Open yourself up to new experiences.”

“Open yourself up to other possibilities, don’t limit your vision to only what you see.”

“Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, take what comes.”

“Pursue what brings you happiness and your hierarchy of needs will be met.”

“Que será, será.”

“Question everything.”

“Respect the planet.”

“Rock on.”

“See a need, fill a need.”

“See the good in others. Whatever you see, good or bad, is merely a reflection back on yourself.”

“Seek to follow God and bring glory to Him through integrity and excellence in all that you do.”

“Shouldn’t their be some Voight-Kampff questions?”

“Shut up and ride!.”


“Sometimes in life you have to do things you do not want to do, in order to go places you want to go.”

“Soon we’ll be dead and none of this will matter.”

“Specialization is for insects.”

“Stay low, move fast, one or two rounds, lots of smoke.”

“Stay alert, stay alive!”

“Stay healthy and happy.”

“Stupid is as stupid does.”

“Summa scientia nihil scire.”

“Take care of your health, without it nothing else matters.”

“Take what you do seriously, but never take yourself seriously.”

“Tell it like it is.”

“The best things in life are free.”

“The man is the head of the house, but the wife is the neck that turns the head and tells it which way to go.”

“The only constant thing in life is change.”

“There are always alternatives.”

“There are only two rules in testing: Trust no one, and don’t panic.”

“There is never too late, except for the death.”

“There is no I in team but there is an I in pie. There is an I in meat pie.”

“There is no spoon.”

“There’s always some better than you. Find them. Learn. Repeat.”

“There’s nothing more true than what is obvious.”

“Think evil, do good.”

“This too shall pass.”

“To be the best and leave a legacy.”

“To live a life with integrity, be helpful to others and ethical professionally.”

“To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.”

“Too much is always too much.”

“Treat others as you would want to be treated.”

“Trust but verify.”

“Trust in the Lord.”

“Try to live each day to its fullest.”

“Two is always better than one; unless we’re talking about tumors.”

“Walk softly and carry a big stick.”

“Walk the walk.”

“Waste not want not.”

“What’s human-made can be broken.”

“When people show you who they are, believe them.”

“Win the day.”

“Without risk, there is no reward.”

“Work hard in silence, let your success make the noise.”

“Work hard, play harder.”

“Work to live, don’t live to work.”

“You are worth what it costs to replace you.”

“You can’t fix stupid.”

“You do you, homie.”

“You don’t get 100 percent of what you don’t ask for.”

“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.”

“You made your bed, now lie in it.”

“You only go through life once, might as well carry a map.”

About the Author

Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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