12 Rules for Life

An enjoyable and useful read. Took some notes to remember the key points…

1. Stand Up Straight with your Shoulders Back

If you look weak, you’ll be treated as if you are weak. If it appears that you lack confidence, no one will take you seriously.  When you stand up straight you are communicating the idea that, “you can handle it,” whatever “it” might be, and therefore opportunities will come to you that bypass the slouched over.

2. Treat Yourself Like Someone You are Responsible for Helping

3. Make Friends with People who Want the Best for You

You are not obligated to associate with people who are trying to make your life worse. If you’re trying to quit smoking and your friends are offering you cigarettes, they’re not your friends.

4. Compare Yourself to Who You Were Yesterday, Not to Who Someone Else is Today

There is no reason at all that you can’t be a little better tomorrow than you are today, keep that up for 5 or 10 years and you’ll be in a good place. You cannot lift yourself up by dragging other people down.

5. Do Not Let Your Children Do Anything that Makes you Dislike Them.

6. Fix Yourself Before Criticizing the World

If you cannot run your own life, it’s unlikely that you can run the world. Arrogance and rage at the way things are is a trap.  Taken far enough, it is the fatal path of mass murderers, megalomaniacs, and the chronically unhappy.  If you want to change the world, begin with the part you have control over: yourself.

7. Pursue What is Meaningful, Not Expedient

Do the right thing, not the easy thing. Practice being in the right place at the right time.

8. Tell the Truth, or at Least Don’t Lie

It’s hard to tell the truth, because you first have to know the truth, but it’s easy to tell when you’re lying. Don’t do that. Lying is the idea that reality can be warped by words.

9. Assume that Others Might Know Something You Don’t

People who think they know everything, can learn nothing. Be open to other viewpoints, perspectives, and information. Seek understanding, not winning.

10. Be Precise in Your Speech

Say what you mean and mean what you say.  Be wary of those who practice imprecise and misleading words.  Language takes chaos and makes it into things.

11. Do Not Bother Children When They Are Skateboarding

Attempts to go beyond what is possible should not be interrupted.

12. Pet a Cat When You Pass By

When things are going poorly, look for small opportunities of redemption and kindness.

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