Today's entry is next in line of my personal principles, after yesterday's rule, "Give Love Freely". This principle starts with bananas.

A few years ago, I loathed bananas. Couldn't stand the smell, much less the taste. I don't know why, but that's just the way things fell out. But in discovering that I didn't like bananas, it turns out there were a lot of other foods that I don't like: Nuts. Strawberries. Soup. Watermelon. Anything flavored with lemon.

Wow. I'm really picky. What the heck, Owen, don't you like anything? Sure, I like stuff. In fact, I just don't like these things as much as I like other things. What I'm saying is that since I'm being given the choice, I'd rather not waste my time with things that I know I don't like, no matter what other people think of them.

This is much different from avoiding new things. In fact, it's almost the opposite, since I usually love trying new things. But if I've done something, there's got to be a really good reason for me to re-try it if I didn't like it in the first place. When given this world full of pleasures, why torture myself with things that other people insist I should like that I know I don't?

Obviously, this whole principle isn't solely about foods. A great example of the extension of this into the software development aspect of my world is Java. I simply hate Java. I've never had a good experience with it. As a result, I just won't touch it any more. Mind you, this isn't an irrational reaction on my part - I've coded in Java and used Java applications plenty. But I've come to a higher-level conclusion that Java is to be avoided, so I do, and I don't care what anyone else says.

In yesterday's principle, I mentioned that giving love freely even applies to people that you know wouldn't return it. This is where an important interaction between the rules begins. I hope to have no reason to be near the people that wouldn't return my positive energy. If I have to deal with them, then be positive. Otherwise, I remain picky about who I spend my effort on.

There's only so much time in this life, and I'm sure not going to go through it being miserable because I have to eat food I don't like, use tools that ruin my day, and deal with people that make me angry no matter how positive I am with them. Following this rule gives me plenty of opportunity to enjoy things and people I like, which is what it's all about. And in those rare instances where I can't get that -- I keep a positive outlook, give love freely, and hope that my mind is changed.

Speaking of which, I don't dislike bananas so much any more. This rule is less about creating long lists of things to dislike, and more about having permission to avoid the things you do not like that everyone thinks you should. I think as a result of following this rule, I spend a lot more time enjoying the experiences I have, and seeking out new things to try, which I also enjoy.

This principle feels soft, like it needs work. I think I'm following it pretty well, although I don't know that I've described it very well. Hey, I said in the beginning that they needed refined. Anyway, take it or leave it, there it is. Make it yours. Nonetheless, tomorrow's principle is not to be missed. It's my favorite principle of them all, and if you take one principle away from this whole list, tomorrow's will be the one that never fails and applies to almost anything I can think of. Don't miss it.