The Rules of Life

At the local airport, I saw a little book entitled the Rules of Life. It is an intriguing title and although I didn’t buy it, it did set me thinking about what I thought those rules might be and what might be the consequence of not following them.

When we examine the lives of truly successful people, we often find that they do indeed appear to have followed the same basic rules. If we could identify them, perhaps it might be of some benefit to us. So here are my own thoughts on the subject. Here are the rules that I have come to view as being very important to achieving success in life.

Rule #1 – Trust your own intuition

It doesn’t matter what you are doing, you will find people who will tell you one particular thing is correct and other people who will tell you the exact reverse is true. When it comes down to the wire, you have to make the decisions that you, yourself, are comfortable with.

Rule #2 – Be true to yourself

An echo of the words in Polonious’ advice to Laertes, “to thine own self, be true.” Remember that we are easily deceived and sometimes we just don’t want to hear or face the truth. So, in all your dealings, always remember to be honest with yourself.

Rule #3 – Be grateful for everything in your life

Gratitude is the most healthy of human emotions according to Hans Selye. You are living a unique life and have a unique opportunity. So be grateful for every aspect of your life and remember too that a grateful heart cannot be cynical (A.W. Tozer).

Rule #4 – Learn to forgive

Holding a grudge only harms one person and that is the person who will not forgive. You will make a lot of make mistakes and so will others. That’s all a part of what it is to be human. So learn to forgive yourself and also to forgive everyone else quickly and freely.

Rule #5 – Always say ‘thank you’

When anyone does you a good turn, remember that a little manners can go a long way. Always remember to say please and thank you.

Rule #6 – The map is not the territory

Your ideas about the world and how it works are your guide, but they are not infallible. Remember that they are only approximations of reality and not the real thing.

Rule #7 – Don’t worry about anything at all

Don’t worry about what hasn’t happened yet because it probably won’t happen at all; and if by some chance it does happen, remember that it will be too late to worry about it then. Tomorrow’s worries can certainly take care of themselves. Sufficient are the worries of the day.

Rule #8 – Live a balanced life

Always remember to keep your life in balance. On their death bed, nobody has ever said, ‘You know, I really wish I had been able to spend a bit more time at the office.’

Rule #9 – All the answers are within

All of the answers you will ever need are already within you. All you need to do is learn how to quiet your mind and listen.

Rule #10 – Be kind to everyone you meet

Be kind to people you meet and those special people you care about. If you can learn to treat everyone you meet as if they were a million dollar customer, you won’t go far wrong.

2 thoughts on “The Rules of Life

  1. Brendan Dale

    Excellent list! I would like to suggest something as a small addition to number 10 – maintain a compassionate attitude towards everyone, including people you have not met or do not know and extend this even to people you find difficult or unpleasant and always genuinely try to think the best of people not the worst.

    Maintaining a “default setting” of simple compassion and tolerance opens our heads and hearts to others in a way that gives space for friendship and understanding to grow and in turn, hatred or distrust based on preconceptions or imperfect assumptions simply has nowhere to hide.

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