I decided to change up my blog posts a bit. This time, I wanted to talk about general life principles that I like to follow. Both of the following are self help books, and both provide great tips for leading a happy and purposeful life. I learnt a lot from both of them, and so I've decided to summarise the books below.

12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson

This book mentions 12 rules Jordan Peterson has proposed to life a successful and happy life. The rules are as follows:

  1. Stand up straight with your shoulders back. This rule is about performing a particular action to help the individual gain confidence, and additionally has the side effect of improving blood flow and energy through your body.
  2. Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping. If you treat yourself like a burden, then you will become a burden. If you take responsibility for making changes in your life, you will be able to take steps towards your goals.
  3. Make friends with people who want the best for you. It may be difficult to tell what their intentions are, but find someone who challenges you to be your best self, even if that involves simply hanging around them.
  4. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today. Bargain with yourself to make small positive changes and keep doing it. Comparing with others will only bring sadness.
  5. Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them. Discipline them and reward good behaviour. Make sure they understand it's for their own good.
  6. Set your house in perfect order before you criticise the world. Living in chaos will only distort your own priorities. Tackling the little things first will help you get better at tackling the big things.
  7. Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient). Find a purpose in helping others, do not cause others to suffer for your own benefit, give yourself a higher goal for which there may be no easy path.
  8. Tell the truth - or at least don't lie. Maybe just white lies ;) the truth will set you free
  9. Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don't. Sit down...
    Be humble.....you may just improve your own life.
  10. Be precise in your speech. Bring out what irritates you and discuss, don't hold it in. Use your speech to convey your opinions and don't put down others while doing it.
  11. Do not bother children when they are skateboarding. Let your kids / followers interact with the world, don't be overprotective, allow them to learn from their own mistakes.
  12. Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street. Don't let life grind you down, take time to smell the roses.

Principles for Success by Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio presents principles which have helped make him successful. He made his principles by mostly making mistakes and reflecting on them, and then realised that the quality of his life would be highly dependent upon the decisions he made through his life. A great video summary of his book can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9XGUpQZY38

My personal summary is as follows:

  1. You need to think for yourself about what is true. Truth is the essential foundation for producing good outcomes
  2. Embrace reality and deal with it. Ray feared boredom and mediocrity more than he feared failure.
  3. Run, go after what you want, crash, get up, run, go after what you want, crash, get up and repeat. Learn to love the crashing process.
  4. Without pursuing dreams, life is mundane. Pursue your dreams, but be a realist and deal with your surroundings not with what you wish they were.
  5. Dreams + Reality + Determination = a successful life
  6. Face your weaknesses, mistakes and problems head on. These may cause you a lot of pain at first, but look at them from a different point of view will help you face them and improve next time.
  7. Pain + Reflection = Progress
  8. Know your goals and run after them > encounter problems that stand in your way > diagnose these problems to get at their root causes > design a plan to eliminate the problems > execute those designs and push yourself towards progression
  9. Risk crossing the jungle in pursuit of the best life possible
  10. Awareness is light.

Live and Learn!