33 Simple Rules to Live By (or At Least Try Your Best Not to Break)

Too bad these rules to live by aren't as easy to follow as they are to understand. But try your best to abide to live your best life.


These are the short, simple, and not-too-corny-or-cliché rules to live by that I’ve collected over decades of research and experiments in search of the fundamental building blocks of a wonderful life.

These rules apply to themselves, so they too are always challenging themselves and open to constructive feedback as they have a good time evolving in a mostly positive direction.

As you read through, consider asking yourself:

Which of these rules are you breaking?

Or, at least, which could you do better at applying to improve your performance at the game of life?

What would someone else say about you?

If you were to ask a close friend which of these rules you don’t follow very well, what do you think they would say?

What’s wrong with these rules?

If you disagree with any of these rules, you’re successfully following Rules 12 and 32. Prove you truly live by them by letting me know your feedback in the comments or by email.

Rules to Live By

  1. ✍️ Be the writer. With every decision, ask yourself, “Which action is most likely to make for the better story?”
  2. ✂️ Be the editor. If your life story’s no good, it’s up to you to do something about it.1More: Hold yourself accountable and take control of your life story.
  3. ✏️ Be editable. “The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.” – Muhammed Ali.2More: Open your mind and keep it that way, steer clear of the self-justification vortex, and keep a minimalistic identity.
  4. 📝 Be coherent. You’ll have a hard time finding meaning in your life if nobody can understand it.3More: Find a purpose or personal mission and focus on the good FOMO.
  5. 👍 Be positive. Anything that goes wrong is a plot twist that makes your story more exciting.4More: How to make your life more exciting.
  6. 🔗 Be balanced. Your life is only as strong as its weakest link.5More: Train your comfort zone with a “life workout plan.”
  7. 🏋️‍♂️ Be proactive. Creating your own discomfort leads to a lot less discomfort in the long run than letting discomfort come and push you around.6More: Now’s the time to push yourself to keep your comfort zone from suffocating you.
  8. 🙏 Be grateful. “If you aren’t grateful for the things in your life, you shouldn’t bother getting more things in your life, because you also won’t be grateful for them.” – Tynan.
  9. 🥅 Be inner-scorcarded. Rather than play others’ games, shoot for your own definition of winning at life.7More: How to define it and measure it.
  10. 🏆 Be competitive. But be slightly more cooperative to win at life.8More: Win life without competing.
  11. 🌻 Be inoffensive. Seek to unite and never separate with your actions and beliefs.
  12. ⚔️ Be disagree-able. Be able to constructively disagree because “The only thing worse than having toxic arguments is not having arguments at all.” – Ian Leslie.9More: Seek demotivational speakers and be one, don’t argue like a Neanderthal, change minds strategically, and reap the benefits of conflict.
  13. 👂🏾 Be advise-able. “The advice you don’t want to hear is often the advice you need.” – Oliver Burkeman.
  14. ⛑ Be unselfish. Happiness, however you choose to define it, comes not from pursuing it for yourself, but from helping others (including your future self) find it.10More: Solve problems for a career and a purpose, be nice to Future You, and let other people help you.
  15. 🤩 Be a role model. Lead by example and don’t do things you wouldn’t want everyone else to do.
  16. 👋 Be social. Using introversion as an excuse not to work on your relationships is the same as not being physically active because of a handicap.
  17. 🚰 Be successfilling. There’s no such thing as being fully successful, so focus on the act of succeeding over the state of success.11More: Definition of success.
  18. 👀 Be a vicarious learner. “You shouldn’t have to try it to learn not to pee on an electric fence.” – Warren Buffett12More: Learn the less-hard way.
  19. 🔮 Be decisive. “Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life.” – Jerzy Gregorek13More: Game-changing decisions.
  20. ⚙️ Be systematic. “We don’t rise to the level of our goals; we fall to the levels of our systems.” – James Clear.14More: Have systems over goals and organize your life.
  21. 🎬 Be regret-able. Have a bias toward action that may increase short-term regret but decreases it in the long term.15More: Don’t minimize regret.
  22. ⚒ Be a doer. “It’s easier to act your way to a new way of thinking than think your way to a new way of acting.” – Jerry Sternin16More: Avoid diabetes of the mind and try new things like these.
  23. Be impatiently patient. “Impatience with action, patience with results.” – Naval Ravikant.17More: Urgently be more patient and develop the habits of a gardener.
  24. 🦚 Be rationally unconventional. Be willing to act differently from the norm if first principles lead you to believe it makes sense.18More: Live an unconventional life.
  25. 🏇 Be in control of your emotions. “Feeling is for doing,” so if your feelings are out of control, so are your actions.
  26. 🩹 Be unoffendable. The only identities worth keeping are anti-fragile.19More: Identity vs. Personality.
  27. 👅 Be seriously unserious. Take great care to avoid sticks up your butt, which make it impossible to move freely.20More: Release your handbrakes.
  28. 🤷‍♂️ Be realistic. You can’t do anything you put your mind to, so make the most of what you’re made of.21More: Understand your wiring, nurture your nature, and beware false growth mindsets, then apply these strategies to be your best self.
  29. 🧬 Be Homo sapiens. Move a lot in fresh air, eat regular foods at irregular intervals, rest when needed, and spend quality time with other Homo sapiens.22More: Ditch the gym, eat intermittently, and periodically escape into the wild.
  30. 🔬 Be curious. Learning is more rewarding than knowing.23More: Ignorance isn’t bliss.
  31. 💎 Be perpetually perfecting. Fill your day with presently enjoyable challenges that make your future days even better.24More: Make your perfect day perpetual.
  32. 🏴‍☠️ Be a rule-breaker. The only set-in-stone rule to live by is that nothing is set in stone.
  33. ⚡️ Be unfollowable. Lead an extraordinary life only you could live. Follow all of these rules to live by, and it’s inevitable.25More: Get featured in The Unfollowables interview series.

Next: What Are Your Strategies?

For how to apply these rules to have a great time in the game of life, you might enjoy one of these:

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About the author

I'm Chris. Canadian, husband, dad, writer, investor, athlete, and obsessed explorer of the secrets to living a never-boring, always improving, unfollowable life story.

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