90 Rules And Lessons For Life You Can Be Proud Of

people having fun

1. No one owes you anything

Hard lesson to learn, but once you internalize and accept it, amazing things will happen.

2. Everything worth having requires building

It’s not because you’ll get more, but because you appreciate it more.

3. Keep the momentum up

There are three ways to live your life: going up, staying still or going down. You need momentum for both staying still and going up, but when you lose it, you start going down.

Stay active and you’ll be fine.

4. Motivation doesn’t happen by accident

This was a big lesson for me – I wasn’t aware that you are supposed to push through when the initial burst of motivation ends. Motivation is always an ongoing, daily process.

5. If you aren’t making mistakes, you aren’t going forward.

With every new thing, we will make mistakes. Making mistakes is the most efficient way to learn and grow.

6. Learn to love making mistakes

I feel like I’m making mistakes constantly in every area of my life. Instead of sulking, I’ve conditioned myself to learn the lesson and be happy that I made the mistake.

7. Read something beneficial every single day

Pick some great books on something that you are interested in. If you still don’t know what to read, I recommend you start with something like 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which is an amazing book.

8. Learn to be emotionally self-reliant

Yes, it’s a skill that you can learn.

For me it took 2 years of wandering around emotionally until I stumbled on the content that changed my perspective completely.

9. There’s always time for a walk

When I feel like I’m stuck, I go for a refreshing walk. After I come back, I feel like I can see things more clearly, boosting my state and effectiveness.

10. Instead of focusing on other peoples bad habits, focus on your own

We all have bad habits, but the habit of focusing what other people do (in negative way) is one of the worst. My life improved tremendously when I started doing my own thing instead of watching others.

11. Going to school doesn’t guarantee you money or job

World has changed a lot during these past 10-20 years. Formal education should be your backup-plan, focus on acquiring skills that you can use to provide value to people.

I’m not saying that you should quit school, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

12. If you sit around waiting, life will pass by you

When you are 18, you feel like you have all the time in the world.

Well, you are wrong. Listen to anyone who’s past 30 – they’ll say that 20’s went past in a flash.

If you are 30, what do you think happens to those 10 years between 30 and 40?

13. Emotions are in you, not in the world

Our perception of reality is a curious one. When I was younger, I didn’t really understand how our emotions work and thought that the fear was in the reality instead of in myself.

It becomes the most apparent, when we feel sad or angry and it seems like the whole world is just a pile of shit.

14. We are all cut from the same cloth

I always thought that some people are just so talented and have some special skills that enable them to do all the crazy stuff.

Bullshit. Everyone is cut from the same cloth and by doing what other people do, you can become like them.

15. Get comfortable with the unknown

Tomorrow is always unknown, so better get comfortable with it. I see the fear in myself because I’m heavily invested in several companies.

On the flip side, aiming to see the reality for what it is instead of what you think it is, helps a lot. Whenever I find doubt in me about some investments, I research those companies more. Then I see whether I was right or wrong about my fear.

99% of times I’m wrong.

16. Everyone is equally valuable

I perceive every single person on this planet equally valuable.

Sure there are things such as hierarchies, but they don’t make one person more valuable than the other. It also isn’t about someone deserving more than the other, but that everyone has intrinsic value as a human being.

How do you treat people with equal value? With respect.

17. Take responsibility

When you don’t take responsibility for your own life, work and emotions, it’s like driving a car with your eyes closed. Someone else may be there sitting next to you, but they can’t do anything else than give you some vague directions.

Sometimes they may take the steering wheel with their one hand, but it will still be fucked up because you control the speed.

18. You don’t need TV and news

There can be a time and place for some TV and some news, but for the most part they are a huge time & emotion sink. News are only trying to get clicks with superficial gossip and negativity.

I’d actually suggest you to watch TV, when there’s something you are really interested in. However if you have a habit of watching at least a couple of hours a day without any intent, you should find something better to do.

19. It’s better to be alone than surrounded by bad influence

Solitude is one of the most underrated things on the earth. When I started changing my negative mind patterns to better, I was alone.

I was alone, but happier than I had ever been when surrounded by bad influence.

20. If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve been getting

Change is hard. It’s one of the hardest things that people have to experience.

But people adapt extremely well to new surroundings after they become more comfortable in it. The beginning feels always the hardest.

21. Don’t tolerate bullshit – especially from yourself

It’s one thing to tolerate bullshit from person that you love, but you should never tolerate it from yourself.

If you are rationalizing your own bad situation, you are bullshitting yourself. You have to stop it and start doing.

22. If you need cigarettes and booze to feel good, you deserve the shit they cause in the long-term

I drank almost every friday and saturday from when I was 15 to 22 and I didn’t even know why. I it was what I needed to be happy.

I also smoked for 3 years until I one day I got into weightlifting, threw away my remaining cigarettes and never looked back.

Smoking always felt like a break in an otherwise stagnant life and booze was there so I could feel the buzz. The harms of long-term smoking and drinking are well-known, so I’m lucky to have gotten off of them early.

23. You have to play the hand you are given

The distribution of wealth on global scale is nowhere near equal. Some kids get huge inheritances from their parents and some get nothing but warm memories.

It is what it is, so you have to play the hand you are given as well as possible.

24. Nothing is wrong

25. But if something is wrong, it’s you

80% of my problems disappeared when I changed my negative mind patters. The rest of them disappeared when I became proactive in my life and took responsibility.

26. One single thing won’t make you happy.

Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.- Steve Maraboli

You might have a huge goal where you become the king of the world, but if you rely on it making you happy, you will be disappointed.

No goal will be big enough to give lasting satisfaction. In my experience the only way that works is to enjoy the process as much as possible. The gratification will come from the hard work and the results are just a bonus.

27. Keep it simple

Life isn’t complicated, unless you make it so.

28. No one really knows

We are all afraid of the unknown. No one can say anything for certain, so stop looking at other people for answers.

Though when looking for information, seek for the people most credible in the industry ;)

29. Life isn’t as serious as people make it to be

If you ever start taking things too seriously, just remember that we are talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe.- Joe Rogan

30. Breaks are good when they are earned

In fact, they feel amazing when they are well-earned. Everything in excess will start to feel like crap and that’s why we need the work hard / relax balance.

31. You can change your state of being

People become victims of their own emotions because they are not aware that there are reliable ways to deal with them.

32. Your identity is a bunch of habits

What you do throughout your days are closely linked to the habits that you have. When you change your habits, you change your identity.

33. There are no secrets

I used to look up to  people thinking that they must have some secret that they have.

They don’t have any secrets: they’ve gone through shitload of lessons by making mistakes.

34. What you resist, persists

When it comes to unpleasant feelings, this is always the first thing that comes to my mind and I manage to deal with them. A lot of people resist their negative emotions, when actually you should jump straight into them, feel them fully and let them pass.

35. Thrive for a destination, but enjoy the ride

The biggest satisfaction of reaching goals usually comes from looking back knowing that you wouldn’t change any moment from the journey.

36. You can’t win an argument

People go at incredible lengths, sacrificing their own emotional state for the sake of proving someone else wrong.

Facts don’t need anyone to support them. Feeling good is always a better choice than to be right.

37. Be the best you, as you will have to spend a lot of time with yourself

It’s not about becoming, but about being the best you. When you grow and improve constantly, you are both being and becoming the best you.

Become a person that can amuse him- or herself endlessly.

38. No one can hurt you without your permission

Famous quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, that I had to learn the hard way. Giving someone else the permission to hurt you emotionally is about not taking responsibility for your own wellbeingness.

It doesn’t mean that you will never feel bad about something, but rather not dwell on negative things that some people do or say.

39. Perfect is the enemy of good

When you try to be perfect, you’ll end up wasting a lot of time and sometimes you’ll even quit before you finish.

Pareto principle explains that 20% of the effort goes to doing 80% of the work, but the last 20% of the work takes 80% of the effort.

40. Never use debt to buy things

Only use debt for good investments that yield more than the interest rate is. Paying extra for getting something today instead of tomorrow is stupid.

41. Change your thoughts, change your life

Your life will be the result of how you think. How you think is determined by your conditioning and your perception of the world. Start by questioning harmful thought-patterns that you have and constantly seek new perspectives.

42. Speak less, listen more

It will make your interactions better and more rewarding, in addition to other benefits.

43. Your future is made today

The best argument for this is to think what you did in the past and how it has affected your life today.

44. Master self-discipline

Willpower is a muscle that you have to train and cultivate in order to make anything possible. Every time that you push through against your feelings, your willpower gets stronger.

Every time that you give in to your desire for short-term gratification, your willpower muscle shrinks.

45. You can control your action, but not the outcome

The hardest thing in not being outcome dependant is the mindset we come from. In school and in work we get grades and paid almost exactly directly proportional to how much we do.

You have to get rid of that mindset and just start doing, without worrying about the outcome. Results are just a bonus.

46. Some people will hate you no matter what

Every single person in the world has different mix of opinions. Even if you’d be the perfect human being, someone will still think you are pretentious and hate you for that.

In reality, you don’t make people hate you – they make themselves hate you.

47. Nothing is guaranteed

Disappointment comes from not having your expectations filled. Nothing in this life is guaranteed and if you think something is, you should take precautions.

48. Success is more about perception than anything else

The moment you consider yourself successful, you are exactly that.

Usually when people think about a successful person, they think about someone who’s filthy rich and has everything, but that’s just their perception.

When it comes to your life, other peoples opinions don’t matter that much.

49. Thoughts limit you, action frees you

If you are in a position of only thinking instead of acting, your thoughts will become your prison.

The only way to free yourself from that prison is to take action.

50. Loneliness is a choice

There’s a clear difference between being alone and feeling lonely. Solitude is where I’ve made the biggest progress in my life and not once during that time have I felt lonely.

I believe I’ve felt more lonely when I’ve been around people who I weren’t compatible with back then.

51. No one’s against you

People are always for themselves and many of them believe that putting you down helps them in some way.

They are not against you, but against the image they have of you. It’s ultimately their personal problem how they see you and the world.

52. Wear your insecurities with pride

I’ve got a long nose. People I know mentioned it sometimes and I used to be insecure about it.

Nowadays I wear it with pride and if someone mentions it, I crack a joke and just enjoy having my nose being part of my character. It’s only about your perception about yourself – you can find countless of people who wear their disabilities with their head held high.

You aren’t any different.

53. Ask for forgiveness, not permission

This is your life and you go for what you want. Depending on your situation, people are not going to like it.

Don’t ask for their (or anyones) permission.

54. You can’t change people

Change comes from the inside. “The inside” is an entity that can be simulated by the outside world, but for it to truly change, it has to have the resolve to change itself.

You can inspire, motivate and help people but as long as they have not been conditioned in believing in themselves, no permanent change will happen.

55. Procrastination is giving responsibility to an imaginary person

“I’ll do it tomorrow”

You have never done anything “tomorrow” – it has always been in the moment.

You are delegating the job to “future you”, to a thought-form that you just had. Take responsibility and start doing.

56. Comparing yourself to others is useless

The fact is that your progress until now is what is. If you compare yourself to someone who has grown up in a different environment or has made different decisions, you are only harming yourself.

You can’t help what you’ve done in the past, you can only decide what you do now.

57. Luck is hard & smart work in disguise

I find it funny that people call lucky a person whose company has been bought by a big player and they essentially hit a gold mine.

They call it lucky because they don’t understand the dedication and hard work that was required for make that deal happen.

I was 40 years old before I became an overnight success, and I’d been publishing for 20 years.- Mary Karr

58. Stop complaining

Your thoughts become your reality.

By complaining you are thinking that you are right and reality is wrong. You are not taking responsibility.

59. Aim to expand your comfort-zone

When I look back, I’m satisfied by my every attempt of going against the fears that I have. Even though things haven’t gone well every time, there has always been amazing lessons to be learned.

60. Don’t let someone else think for you

People have enough going on with their own lives. If you let others do your thinking for you, you are only going to get half-assed results.

61. Break the rules

Rules are the ultimate form of limitation. You make rules by saying to yourself what you definitely won’t do or someone else may say that you shouldn’t do something.

Sometimes rules make sense, but way too often they don’t.

Question all the rules that are imposed on you and make your own conclusions.

62. Change jealousness to inspiration

Do you see someone who has something that you don’t? I see people like that every day, but I don’t get jealous.

Become aware that you can achieve exactly the same things and be inspired by people like that.

63. Faith is great, but stuffing it down to other peoples throats is not

This applies to all belief systems, religious or not.

64. You will never have enough

No matter how much you have, you will get used to it. It will become indifferent sooner than you believe.

You will have no choice but to enjoy the progress and what you already have.

65. Stand up to yourself, if needed

There are times when humor is not enough. It’s always best to delay the moment when to get serious as long as humanly possible.

66. Money can bring you happiness

You may have heard the saying “money doesn’t bring happiness“.This is both true and false.

The reason why lottery winners aren’t happy on the long-term is because they’ve conditioned themselves believing that money will solve all their problems.

When they got the money, their problems disappeared momentarily, but the money didn’t change their thought-patterns that created those problems in the first place.

Money by itself doesn’t bring happiness, but gives you more opportunities to enjoy life. In my case, money equals to more freedom to do what I want.

67. Your body is your temple

I used to be very skinny and I hated that.

Once I started leaning up, there was an unconscious shift in my mind that made me a lot more comfortable in being in my own body.

68. Improve your posture

Good posture is a habit. When I realized that I had a shitty posture, I started consciously pulling my shoulders back and my stomach in.

Now it’s become the standard for me and if I’d want to be in bad posture, I’d have to do it consciously.

Watch Amy Cuddys great Ted talk about body language.

69. Play to win, not to lose

Playing it secure in today’s world, can be one of the riskiest moves.

70. When you travel, learn the language

I’ve been to several countries, but I never bothered learning the language until I visited Thailand a couple of months ago.

It made the experience so much better that I can’t even describe it.

71. Experimenting will result to most progress

Trial and error, doing and making mistakes.

Instead of looking for the “accurate” information from google, experiment. You will often find something that you wouldn’t have found otherwise.

72. It’s never too late

There’s always room to make your life better and better. It’s about understanding the enjoyment of the process while going towards goals.

You can still do that when you are 70.

73. Everyone sucks at first

If you are uncomfortable with being new to something, it’s only natural.

Learn to be with the feeling of discomfort and realize that it’s the point where everyone has been.

74. Let people earn your trust

People mean good most of the time, but there’s only so much you should trust people with when you don’t know them well enough.

75. Trying to please people means you underestimate yourself

If you feel the need to please someone, you have to look inside. You probably feel somehow inferior or something.

Instead of pleasing, focus on providing value to those who appreciate you.

76. Nothing will fall into place until you get your shit together

I didn’t feel content with myself or the world when I felt like my life wasn’t in place.

Getting your shit together is simple, but hard. You will have to start valuing your time a lot more and start being active.

77. Create value even if you don’t plan sell it

Create value for the sake of doing. Even if you only can provide minimal value by drawing a shitty picture, but you enjoy it, keep doing that.

You’ll get better.

78. Let go of things you can’t fix

There are things we can have an influence on and things we can’t. Just let go of things you can’t do anything about.

79. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is the right one

When I look back the hardest choices were definitely the right ones. They were like jumps to unknown only to find myself landing on a metaphorical pile of gold.

80. Great ideas aren’t worth anything without execution

Ideas are just a multiplier of execution. Excellent post by Derek Sivers.

81. You don’t need knowledge: You need applicable knowledge

This is a strong point that I have to clarify. There are so much knowledge in the world, but much of it is practically unusable.

To make most of your limited time, focus on the applicable knowledge.

82. The time will never be right

It’s just another form of procrastination – you either do or you don’t.

Stop making excuses.

83. Short-term gratification brings long-term suffering

Short-term gratification: procrastination, watching TV, excessive use of entertainment, sleeping past your wake-up time and so on.

None of those will yield long-term rewards and will make your life feel like crap.

84. Trust the process

Whenever I’m learning a new language, I feel like I’m not making any progress.

That’s a weird feeling, because after I start looking more closely, I see tons of progress.

Have some faith.

85. Don’t rely on promises

I lost thousands of euros because I relied on a promise of one CEO.

I’ve been hurt tens of times emotionally when someone promised me something and didn’t deliver.

This is yet another form of taking responsibility.

86. Give up only when it’s smart, not when it’s hard

Never give up when things feel too hard – you’ll develop your willpower muscle and make progress.

If it’s TRULY the smart thing to do, give up.

87. Create dreams that are bigger than your fears

If you find yourself being afraid of doing something, create a dream so big that the fear has no choice but to subside.

If you are afraid and it isn’t part of your dream, you probably don’t need it.

88. Make the most of the moment

Every moment is a chance to make a change. Don’t waste it.

89. Focus on having fun

Having fun is another habit. It’s a skill that must be cultivated to enjoy life to the fullest.

Never believe that “not fun” is part of your identity.

90. These lessons don’t mean anything until you go and experience them

Life would be too easy and less rewarding if you could just read and not make mistakes.

Go do.


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