I grew up in a parochial school and community and was really drawn to all the teachings and was very serious about "following" all of them. I am writing this with good intention of sharing with you things that I have learned in life that make MORE sense now compared to when I was just basing everything on religion's practices and rules. So here goes:
RULES -- I believe in Jesus but I don't want to advocate the mantra that we are sinners. We are a GIFT to the world. We make mistakes to learn and expand and grow and we should not be punished for those mistakes. Life is meant to be celebrated and live joyfully and I'd rather celebrate my realizations and enlightenment as opposed to beating myself up because religion is telling me I am a sinner by doing or not doing something.
FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS/HEART -- happiness is where your heart is. Doing what you are passionate about, pursuing something that makes your heart sing and joyful will lead you to more happiness. When you are happy everything else falls into place, things continue to work out for you --- and your negative feelings let you know if you are getting off the happy path.
BE THE LIGHT -- When you are pure inside, when you feel genuine joy, peace, and calm within you, that shows in your persona and whole being -- and everyone around you will feel that even without you exerting any effort. It takes time to practice that and becoming like that person, but once you have achieved that state of being connected to God/Source/Pure Energy, that no matter what happens around you, you are not shaken, you know everything is well and working out for you -- you become a light to this world. You inspire and uplift people just with your presence.