5 Rules for a Better Life

From my colleague Michael Dalton Johnson of SalesDog.com come these 5 rules for improving your outlook on life:

1–Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

2–Don’t have negative thoughts of things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

3–Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.

4–No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

5–Life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum.

These all ring true for me. How about you? Any you would add to the list?


497 thoughts on “5 Rules for a Better Life

  • Those 5 are great. I might add 5 more:

    1. Say what you’ll do and do what you say.

    2. Take responsibility – avoid blaming.

    3. Assess/understand your motivations, strengths, weaknesses, capabilities, and limitations.

    4. There is a time to think and a time to act; learn the difference and apply consistently.

    5. Understand your motivation(s); don’t deny them but rather embrace and use them fully.

  • Great advice which takes years to follow!

    I would add: stop being afraid. Mistakes will be made, failure will happen. You have to make peace with the past, and prepare to do the same with the present!

  • Bob, I agree completely with Michael’s five rules as well as those added by Jeff and Jean-Claude. I would like to add two additional thoughts on how to have a great life:

    1. Find your life’s purpose at the convergence of your passion and abilities. Then pursue this purpose (as expressed in your career) with reckless abandon.

    2. Find the right partner to spend your life with. A great mate (like my wife) makes the world a far more secure and interesting place.

  • Love it! Nice post, Bob, and great additions from Christopher, Jean-Claude and Jeff. The only one I would add would be:

    Wake up every day with an attitude of gratitude, no matter what your situation, and don’t be afraid to dream. We attract the thoughts, feelings and attitudes that we subconsciously put out to the universe.

  • Bob, great post. Here are a few more:

    1. Don’t whine. Life is not fair. I’m so glad I learned this early in my career.
    2. It’s OK to make mistakes, as Jean-Claude says above. Just make NEW ones.
    3. All you can do is all you can do. Are you doing all you can?

  • Life is a thrill ride. It can fill you with excitement one minute and make you want to barf the next minute, but you don’t get to experience the former unless you’re willing to risk the latter.

  • Bob,
    Excellent post, as well as additional comments! I know someone very much in need of this…and will pass on.

    Thank you

  • Great post!

    For YEARS, I struggled with number 3 on the list. SO MUCH pressure came off of me and my life imrproved greatly when I implemented it.

  • Success in life and in any undertaking is a matter of being FOCUSED

    F – Forgiving of yourself and others. Mistakes are part of the learning curve. Give yourself a break.
    O – Organized. Manage your time well. Life is a planned event. Work your plan.
    C – Consistent. Develop good habits. A good habit is a good result.
    U – Understanding. Be empathetic. See things from their point of view.
    S – Sincere. Be genuine. Help others be successful.
    E – Energized. There are no negatives in life. Everything is a learning opportunity. Keep your fire burning.
    D – Dependable. What ever you say you’re going to do – do it

  • I appreciate the post’s suggestions and commenters’ additions.

    I would take Jeff Blum’s #4 suggestion a step further: Take action. Execute. “Just do it” rather than just thinking, planning and ruminating.

    “Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.” ~ Benjamin Disraeli

  • I totally agree with all of these points. Most people tend to hold back from their past, as a result, their present and future suffer from it. The most effective way for me is to continue your life, reminisce all your past failures and learn from it. Every problem that you had before teaches different lesson in your life. You just need to understand the picture.

  • Happiness comes from within, only when you are happy with yourself can you be truly happy. The same goes for giving happiness. If you are happy within, you will spread that inner peace with all you encounter.

  • I like this line from one of Seal’s most famous songs – ‘Crazy’:

    “In a world full of people there’s only some want to fly.
    Isn’t that crazy.”

    Wow! Airborne Copywriters 😉

  • As one who underwent quadruple bypass surgery last week, I find that I put what I want to do in perspective. Some things I found really important 7 days aren’t that important at all today.

  • It was easy to have a better life than my parents did. The first step was NOT to follow their bad example! The other factor was that the advice my father gave me was really very good, even though he himself was not successful in practicing it, but I lived by it and it helped me a lot.

  • “1–Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.” Personally, I have through that stage of my life. Comparing my life to other people around me, so many why running in my mind. And I’m proud to say that I was able to cope with it.

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  • Fabulous article!! I had ever seen before all the comments i read each post is marvelous,i really learn so many thing for my life…
    Thanks a lot
    Katherine Williams

  • Good and applicable points. Life is really a big game..it sometimes goes well sometimes bad. It is our attitude which makes us move forward.

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  • These five rules are absolutely correct!I like the rule one very much:Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about. Yeah,I can’t agree with you more.Everyone lives a different life,one should content with and cherish what they have got.

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  • “Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.”
    – As much as possible, try to avoid comparing your life to others. Don’t be so envy on what they have. Otherwise, you end up downing yourself. Just focus on yourself, make yourself a better person so you eventually get everything you want.

  • Remember this: Everyone you meet has a tatoo on there forehead that says, “Make me feel important.”

  • I like the 5th rule. As you grow older, you get the chance to experience different things to your life. Both good and bad experiences in life. These experiences help you improve your decision making process in life.

  • Here’s a tip for whatever rules you follow:

    Type or write your “Rules” list on a piece of paper sized to fit in a wallet, purse, laptop bag, etc. Then, laminate it. You’ll have a handy and helpful reminder of the rules with you all the time.

    I laminated a “Gratitude Checklist” years ago and often suggest that friends and family do the same.

    Come to think of it, you could type your “Rules” on one side and “Gratitude Checklist” on the other side, for twice the positive energy. I’m gonna do just that! 🙂


  • Those were great ones. I would like to add one more…

    “Aspire to spend every moment of your life purposefully – start a day with a purpose”

    Trust me! The more we aspire to do this sooner we will discover our duties and responsibilities in this world.

  • The power of influence is great. If you’re not self assured in what you want out of life, you’ll be influenced by people around you that will nudge and elbow you off track, bit by bit. Each time you associate with them you’ll pick up their bad habits, negative attitudes or lazy tendencies. Before you know it, one day you’ll wake up and say to yourself “How did I get here, so off track?”. Sometimes you have to severe all ties or severely limit associating with certain types of people because of the power that personal influence has on our lives.

  • Bob

    Thanks for posting these gems of wisdom.

    Another favorite of mine is “Live each day as if it were your last.”

    None of us knows our appointed hour, so it’s wise to make the most of every living moment.

  • “5–Life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum.”

    I like this rule. Life is a school so you need to take down notes from all your day to day experiences in life. You need to organize things and make some reference or else, you’ll commit same old mistakes again and again.

  • “4–No one is in charge of your happiness except you.”

    What I like most is this point. If you want to be happy, make sure that you do something to make yourself happy. Don’t simply rely on what others can do for you to make you happy. Sometimes, it’s very disappointing to know that they can’t give you any favor despite of your sacrifice for them.

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  • My spouse and i listen to is actually a bunch of complaining concerning a thing which you would fix really should you wasn’t way as well active in search of attention.

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    5. Nothing to say. I love to plant Banyan /Papal tree plantation. I sent my major earning for plantation of mother trees.
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  • Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post! It is the little
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