Rules to Break, The

Richard Templar  
Total pages
November 2015

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Rules to Break, The


A personal code for living your life your way.


From a very young age you’ve been inundated with other people’s well-intended rules. Whether from teachers, friends or parents, these helpful principles and bits of gracious advice are supposed to help you get on in life. The trouble is, many of these rules aren’t true (at least not all the time) and yet they have a major influence on your life whether you realise it or not.


How do you sort the gold dust from the sawdust?


In The Rules to Break, international bestselling author Richard Templar exposes the most common phoney rules, explains what’s wrong with them and then offers a refreshing alternative and a new way of thinking. Above all, he’ll help you master the ability to truly think for yourself, so than you can follow a path that you’ve chosen, rather than blindly following someone else’s.


It’s your life. Why not live it your way?

Table of Contents




Rules to break

1. Success is a good job earning lots of money

Rule 1: Success is what you say it is


2. Some people are just born lucky

Rule 2: Don’t envy other people


3. You need the right qualifications

Rule 3: Exams aren’t the be all and end all


4. Your parents are always right

Rule 4: Don’t expect your parents to be perfect


5. Your parents are responsible for how you turn out

Rule 5: Give your parents a break


6. The world is against you

Rule 6: You’re responsible for your own life


7. We all have an absolute right to be respected

Rule 7: There’s a balance between the right to respect, and tolerance


8. You can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family

Rule 8: Your siblings should be your best friends for life


9. Teacher knows best

Rule 9: Getting on at school is not the same as getting on in life


10. Have something to say for yourself

Rule 10: If you find it hard to talk, try listening


11. Some people are just difficult

Rule 11: No one chooses to be difficult without a reason


12. Don't waste your time on people who aren't worth it

Rule 12: Suffer fools gladly. Well, suffer them, anyway


13. You can’t be cheerful if you’re in pain

Rule 13: Pain doesn’t have to make you miserable


14. Good work speaks for itself

Rule 14: No one at work will know how good you are unless you tell them


15. Do what it takes to get what you want

Rule 15: Don’t emotionally blackmail people


16. A place for everything, and everything in its place

Rule 16: It’s not morally superior to be tidy


17. It matters what other people think

Rule 17: Don’t live for other people’s approval


18. Give as good as you get

Rule 18: You get what you give


19. Stick with your own kind

Rule 19: Your friends don’t all need to be like you


20. The best things in life are free

Rule 20: Everything worth having hurts


21. You can change people

Rule 21: Don’t try to change people


22. It’s where you’re going that matters, not where you came from

Rule 22: Be proud of your roots


23. Friends are for life

Rule 23: Friends come and go


24. Mistakes are a bad thing

Rule 24: Mistakes can be good


25. Be a friend to everybody

Rule 25: You don’t have to like everyone


26. … and everybody will be your friend

Rule 26: … and not everyone will like you


27. If you don’t like it, tough

Rule 27: Remember you have a choice


28. You need to get your chores over with

Rule 28: Life’s all about the little things


29. Stay true to your dreams

Rule 29: Priorities change over the years


30. People have a right to know

Rule 30: Know how to keep a secret


31. Face your fears

Rule 31: Replace the bad thoughts


32. Make a New Year's resolution every year

Rule 32: You can't change habits unless you want to


33. Respect the elderly

Rule 33: Respect everyone


34. Look after number one

Rule 34: Helping other people makes you feel good about yourself


35. If you’re in the firing line, keep your head down

Rule 35: They can’t walk all over you unless you’re lying down


36. Just ignore the bullies

Rule 36: Don’t let 'em bully you


37. Think on your feet

Rule 37: Be in control


38. What you do is more important than why you do it

Rule 38: Be honest with yourself


39. You can  judge a book by its cover

Rule 39: Everyone has a backstory


40. Put the past behind you

Rule 40: You have to deal with your stuff before you can get on with your life


41. 'What about me?'

Rule 41: It’s not all about you


42. Just once won’t hurt

Rule 42: Don’t let bad habits get a foot in the door


43. Be spontaneous

Rule 43: Listen to the voices in your head


44. Take one step at a time

Rule 44: If you want big things to change, you have to make big changes


45. The best people will be there for you for life

Rule 45: People come and go, and it’s OK


46. Enjoy yourself while you’re young

Rule 46: Your body is for life


47: Borrowing is OK so long as you can pay it back

Rule 47: Don’t get into debt


48. Be generous

Rule 48: Never lend money unless you’re prepared to write it off


49. Believe you’re the best

Rule 49: Know your real worth


50. Don’t allow people to make you feel bad

Rule 50: The only thing you can control is you


51. Some people just get to you

Rule 51: No one can make you feel anything


52. You can’t help how you feel

Rule 52: You feel what you think


53. Actions speak louder than words

Rule 53: Don't take anyone for granted


54. Avoid unnecessary displays of emotion

Rule 54: Say thank you out loud


55. The internet makes you anonymous

Rule 55: The Rules don’t stop online


56. Always seek to improve yourself

Rule 56: Accept your shortcomings


57. Strive for perfection

Rule 57: Perfection can be a handicap


58. You are the product of your genes

Rule 58: You are the sum of your experiences (so make them good)


59. Tomorrow is another day

Rule 59: How you spend your day is how you spend your life


60. There aren't enough hours in the day

Rule 60: Know your limitations


61. Always get off on the right foot from the start

Rule 61: Bide your time to make a good impression


62. Confident people know where they’re going

Rule 62: Everyone else is as lost as you


63. Stand out from the crowd

Rule 63: There’s a fine line between being ubercool and being a total prat


64. Appearances matter

Rule 64: Be happy with the way you look


65. It’s just a drop in the ocean

Rule 65: The insignificant is important


66. The job comes first

Rule 66: Don’t mistake your career for your life


67. Get it all out in the open

Rule 67: Avoid conflict


68. If you know you’re in the right, don’t back down

Rule 68: Don’t be afraid of compromise


69. Some people are just asking for it

Rule 69: Keep the moral high ground


70. It’s good to let your feelings out

Rule 70: Don’t trample on other people’s emotions


71. No one is perfect

Rule 71: Be on the side of the angels, not the beasts


72. Meet your deadlines

Rule 72: Keep ahead of deadlines


73. Give good advice

Rule 73: Don’t give advice


74. Let people know when you’re right

Rule 74: Never say ‘I told you so’


75. Stick to what you’re good at

Rule 75: Stretch yourself


76. You’ve a right to be treated fairly

Rule 76: Stop expecting life to be fair


77. The more you learn about a subject, the more of an expert you become

Rule 77: The more you know, the more you don’t


78. You can't learn anything from a fool

Rule 78: Learn from other people's mistakes


79. If you’re going to do something, do it properly

Rule 79: You don’t have to jump in the deep end


80. Stick with what you know

Rule 90: Step out of your comfort zone


81. People will judge you by what you own

Rule 81: Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses


82. Hide your mistakes

Rule 82: Remember you could be wrong – someone has to be


83. Live in the present

Rule 83: Keep perspective


84. Know what you want

Rule 84: You don’t have to know what you want


85. Guilt tells you where you’re going wrong

Rule 85: Don’t do guilt


86. Someone will make it better

Rule 86: Pick yourself up (no one else will do it for you)


87. Think through your problems

Rule 87: Thinking hard doesn’t always help


88. Narrow down your options

Rule 88: Look at all the options


89. Stick to a plan

Rule 89: Life is unpredictable


90. Trust no one

Rule 90: Trust everyone


91. Trust everyone

Rule 91: Trust no one


92. Sometimes you need a good moan

Rule 92: There are people who moan, and people who just get on with it


93. Don’t sacrifice yourself for a relationship

Rule 93: It’s the compromises that make relationships worth having


94. Feelings should be rational

Rule 94: Feelings aren’t right or wrong - they just are.


95. Eat, drink and be merry …

Rule 95: Stay alive


96. I want doesn’t get

Rule 96: Ask for what you want


97. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

Rule 97: Look up


98. Find yourself a safe job

Rule 98: Follow your passion


99. Protect your property

Rule 99: People are more important than things


100. You can’t change horses in midstream

Rule 100: It’s never too late to start following the real  Rules


Rules to follow

Rule 1: No man is an island

Rule 2: Two wrongs don’t make a right

Rule 3: When in Rome, do as the Romans

Rule 4: Don’t judge a book by its cover

Rule 5: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction

Rule 6: There’s no such thing as a free lunch

Rule 7: Do as you would be done by

Rule 8: The pen is mightier than the sword

Rule 9: Keep dry, and away from children

Rule 10: Give it time

Back Cover



A personal code for living your life your way


From a very young age you’ve been inundated with other people’s rules. Whether from well-meaning friends, teachers or parents, these bits of gracious advice are supposed to help you get on in life. The trouble is, many of these rules aren’t always true and yet they have a major influence on your life, whether you realize it or not.


So how do you sort the gold dust from the sawdust?


The Rules to Break exposes the most common phoney rules, explains what’s wrong with them, and then offers a refreshing alternative and a new way of thinking. In this new edition of the worldwide bestseller, Richard Templar has added 10 brand new Rules to help you master the ability to truly think for yourself.


It’s your life. Why not live it your way?






Richard Templar is the author of the international bestselling Rules books. Over 2 million people around the world have enjoyed and now play by Richard Templar's Rules. The complete list of titles is as follows: Rules of Life, Rules of Work, Rules of Management, Rules of Wealth, Rules of Parenting and Rules of Love and Rules to Break.