Exercise Your Values (Literally): 10 Commandments, 9, 8, 7, 6…

Let’s get personal for a sec…

Values Values Values is supposedly all the rage. But um… what are our values again?

It’s hard to remember.

I’m a big fan of mnemonic (memorization) devices.

Below is an example of a very awesome very personal ritual I have developed to remind myself to live my values every day. It may seem like a crazy long list. But the trick is that I have actually memorized the whole thing and I have incorporated it into my morning exercise routine.

I totally recommend doing your own version of this. It’s f-cking awesome. Hoping to start a discussion on:

  • What do you think of this? Does anyone else think this is cool? Or is it weird and crazy?
  • Other easy-to-memorize value systems I should consider incorporating? (it’s open source. It keeps growing…)
  • Has anyone heard of a practice like this? I want to hear other people’s embarrassing personal spiritual practices.
  • How the f-ck are we going to build a movement without some type of values-based system like this, and a simple way for millions of people to memorize and practice it?

Trying to be provocative…


Exercise Your Values (Literally): 10 Commandments, 9, 8, 7, 6…

Stephen Colbert once interviewed a Republican Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) who had introduced a Bill to have the 10 Commandments installed in public buildings.

Colbert nailed him on camera: “What are the 10 Commandments?”

Rep. Westmorland: “What are all of them?”

Colbert: “Yup.”

Rep. Westmoreland: “You want me to name them all?”

Colbert: “Yeah, please.”

Rep. Westmorland: “Hmmmmm…(pause)… Don’t murder…. Don’t lie… Don’t steal… I can’t name them all.”

Don’t let this happen to you.

I have a foolproof system.

Just in case I die tomorrow (cuz y’all know I am riding the Chinatown bus to DC), I wanted to make sure I share it first. This is one of the best kept secrets ever. Anyone out there can adapt it to your own values and morning rituals.

You know when you read a book like the 4 Agreements, or The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and you think:

“Damn… I should memorize these. If I could live by them every day, it would make my life better.”

But then you never do?

Like: “Damn, what are those Four Agreements, again?”

About a year ago, I came up with a way to memorize them all and use them every day. The best memory device ever. I do crunches in the morning and recite each value system with each crunch: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6… like this.  I know it sounds crazy. But it takes 10 minutes, flattens my abs, and I swear to God it works. I know you’re probably laughing. But hold your fire for a sec. One day, I’ll do an exercise video. Upski vs. Richard Simmons. Then you can laugh.

What are other dope value systems?  I’ll keep adding them as I go…


10 Commandments

There’s only one God (AKA God is Love)

Do Not Worship False Idols (AKA Materialism)

Do Not take the Lord’s Name in Vain

Keep the Sabbath Holy

Honor Your Elders

Do Not Kill

Do Not Commit Adultery

Do Not Steal

Do Not Lie

Do Not Covet

9 Fruits of the Spirit (New Testament Galatians 5:22-23)










9 Practices of Rockwood Leadership Institute

I’m Enough

I’m Authentic

I Know

I Choose

I am Powerful

I am impeccable

I Listen Deeply

I Breathe

I Stress no more

8 Habits of Highly Effective People

Be Proactive

Begin With the Ends in Mind

Put First Things First

Think Win/Win

Seek First to Understand Before Being Understood


Sharpen the Saw

Find Your Voice and Inspire Others to Find Theirs

7 Values of the League of Pissed Off Voters


Freedom (with Responsibility)



Sustainable Jobs



7 Principles of Kwanzaa (Nguzo Saba)

Umoja (Unity)

Kujichagulia (Self Determination)

Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)

Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)

Nia (Purpose)

Kuumba (Creativity)

Imani (Faith)

6 Lessons from Good to Great and Built to Last

Level 5 Leadership: “Personal humility. Fanatical about results.”

Right people on the bus. Wrong people off the bus.

Core values made real and infused

BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals)

Confront the brutal facts. Yet maintain unwavering faith

Culture of Discipline.

5 Pillars of Islam (Sunni)

Shahadah (Profession of faith)

Salat (Prayers)

Sawm (Fasting)

Zakat (Giving)

Hajj (Pilgrimage)

5 Dysfunctions of a Team

Absence of Trust

Avoidance of Conflict

Lack of Commitment

Lack of Accountability

Inattention to Results

4 Agreements

Be impeccable with your word

Don’t make assumptions

Don’t take things personally

Always do your best

3 Circles of the Hedgehog

What are you most deeply passionate about?

What are you best in the world at?

What drives your economic engine?

3 Rules from Rha Goddess

Stay True

Get Paid

Do Good

3 Billy’s Rules

Be good

Get power

Don’t do anything stupid to mess up your life

2 Principles of Tao

Yin: Darkness, Earth, Femaleness

Yang: Lightness, Sun, Maleness

Everything reflects and contains its opposite.

1 Golden Rule

Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you

AKA Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself

AKA God is Love.. for generations to come.




3 responses to “Exercise Your Values (Literally): 10 Commandments, 9, 8, 7, 6…

  1. Genius. Can’t wait for that exercise vid.

  2. My first thought when I started reading this was “Yeah, Billy, all your exercise ideas are some fucked up shit, like the time I helped you get a ride home from the Vassar Gathering in 1997. We stop at a gas station, and someone’s like “Where’s Billy?” One minute you’re pumping out pushups by the side of the parking lot, and the next your ass is on top of a fucking flagpole. We were all thinking, “how much longer we gotta go with this dude?”

    But I like the idea. Time for me to come up with a list; Lord knows I could use the crunches. My only question is this: do you do a separate crunch for every value? ‘Cause number one, that’s not ten situps, it’s more like ten factorial (10! – did I get the nomenclature right?). Then you got two 9s, three 3s, etc. You need a poster in front of you to read all your shit while you exercise.

    Like I said, fucked up…But I’m with you.

  3. Then you have George Carlin distilling the 10 commandments down to two. Now, if you did crunches to that routine . . . how many crunches can you do in six and a half minutes?

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