The Rules of Life: A personal code for living a better, happier, more successful kind of life

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October 2022

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The Rules of Life: A personal code for living a better, happier, more successful kind of life


Get ready to experience the Rules effect. Begin to get more out of life, shrug off adversity more easily and generally be a happier, calmer, more fulfilled person. You’ll feel the benefits, and so will everyone around you.

Table of Contents

Rules for you
1. Keep it under your hat
2. You’ll get older but not necessarily wiser
3. Accept what is done is done
4. Accept yourself
5. Know what counts and what doesn’t
6. Dedicate your life to something
7. Be flexible in your thinking
8. Take an interest in the outside world
9. Be on the side of the angels, not the beasts
10. Only dead fish swim with the stream
11. Be the last to raise your voice
12. Be your own adviser
13. No fear, no surprise, no hesitation, no doubt
14. I wish I’d done that – and I will
15. It’s OK to give up
16. Count to ten – or recite ‘Baa baa black sheep’
17. Change what you can change, let go of the rest
18. Aim to be the very best at everything you do – not second best
19. Don’t expect to be perfect
20. Don’t be afraid to dream
21. If you’re going to jump off a bridge, make sure you know how deep the water is
22. Don’t dwell on the past
23. Don’t live in the future
24. Get on with life – it’s whooshing past
25. Be consistent
26. Dress like today is important
27. Have a belief system
28. Leave a little space for yourself each day
29. Have a plan
30. Have a sense of humour
31. Choose how you make your bed
32. Life can be a bit like advertising
33. Get used to stepping outside your comfort zone
34. Learn to ask questions
35. Have dignity
36. It’s OK to feel big emotions
37. Keep the faith
38. You’ll never understand everything
39. Know where true happiness comes from
40. Life is a pizza
41. Always have someone – or something – that is pleased to see you
42. Know when to let go – when to walk away
43. Retaliation leads to escalation
44. Look after yourself
45. Maintain good manners in all things
46. Prune your stuff frequently
47. Remember to touch base
48. Draw the lines around yourself
49. Shop for quality, not price
50. It’s OK to worry, or to know how not to
51. Stay young
52. Throwing money at a problem doesn’t always work
53. Think for yourself
54. You are not in charge
55. Have something in your life that takes you out of yourself
56. Only the good feel guilty
57. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all

Partnership Rules
58. Accept the differences, embrace what you have in common
59. Allow your partner the space to be themselves
60. Be nice
61. You want to do what?
62. Be the first to say sorry
63. Go that extra step in trying to please them
64. Know when to listen and when to act
65. Have a passion for your life together
66. Make sure your love making is making love
67. Keep talking
68. Respect privacy
69. Check you both have the same shared goals
70. Treat your partner better than your best friend
71. Contentment is a high aim
72. You don’t both have to have the same rules

Family and friends Rules
73. If you are going to be a friend, be a good friend
74. Never be too busy for loved ones
75. Let your kids mess up for themselves – they don’t need any help from you
76. Have a little respect and forgiveness for your parents
77. Give your kids a break
78. Never lend money unless you are prepared to write it off
79. Keep schtum
80. There are no bad children
81. Be up around people you love
82. Give your kids responsibilities
83. Your children need to fall out with you to leave home
84. Your kids will have friends you don’t like
85. Your role as a child
86. Your role as a parent

Social Rules
87. We’re all closer than you think
88. It doesn’t hurt to forgive
89. It doesn’t hurt to be helpful
90. What’s in it for them?
91. Hang out with positive people
92. Be generous with your time and information
93. Get involved
94. Keep the moral high ground
95. Just because you have, doesn’t mean they have to
96. Do compare yourself with other people
97. Have a plan for your career
98. Look at the long-term ramifications of what you do for a living
99. Be good at your job
100. Be aware of the damage you are doing
101. Be for the glory, not the degradation
102. Be part of the solution, not the problem
103. Check what history would say about you
104. Not everything can be green
105. Put something back
106. Find a new Rule every day – or occasionally at least

Back Cover

A personal code for living a better, happier, more successful kind of life

Some people seem to find life easy. They glide effortlessly onwards and upwards, always saying and doing the right things, whatever the situation. Everybody likes them – they are great to live with and great to work with. They are happy, have time for people, and always seem to know what’s important – and how to deal with those things that aren’t.

Is there something they know or do that we don’t? Is it something we could all learn? The answer is a resounding yes. They know The Rules of Life.

These Rules are the guiding principles that will help you get more out of life, shrug off adversity more easily, and generally be a happier, calmer, more fulfilled person. You’ll feel the benefits, and so will everyone around you.

This edition includes a bonus section, 10 Rules for Happiness, which are all absolutely central to living a happy life.  

It’s your life. How good could it be?


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: The Rules of Life, The Rules of Work, The Rules of Management, The Rules of Wealth, The Rules of Parenting, The Rules of Love, The Rules to Break, The Rules of People, The Rules of Thinking, and The Rules of Living Well.