The Rules – An On-going List for Your Own Sanity

  1. Everything is optional.
    Sure, the consequences of not doing something may be severe. Doesn’t mean it’s not optional.
  2. There’s a complete and complex universe hidden behind every single thing. Be amazed and appreciative.
  3. Do one thing at a time. Then, do the next obvious thing.
    If you’re unsure, the easiest thing to do is what’s on next your calendar.
  4. Learn to deal with yourself. You are, and will always be, your biggest problem.
  5. Always start eating before you start drinking.
  6. Nothing good ever happens after 10pm.
    The hours of sleep before midnight are worth more than those after.
  7. You can get on someone’s schedule in two weeks. Or right this very minute.
  1. Order the fish tacos. Always.
  1. Be comfortable being uncomfortable.
  2. Put things where you expect them to be.
  3. Prepare the environment for your success – before you start. Mise en place
  4. If you’re in your office – you’re not doing your most important work.
  5. If it has a deadline, it’s not your most important work.
  6. Use your words. We’re all too wrapped up in our own minds to read yours.
  7. Ask for what you want. Additionally, if you don’t like an offer respond with a proposal that fits your preference.
  8. Opportunities to fulfill your dreams always arrive before you’re ready.
  9. Success is not being interrupted.
  10. The bulk of the resistance is in your head. Everything is much more malleable, the range of acceptable solutions to a given problem is far wider, than it may first appear.
  1. Never ever move with IKEA furniture.
  1. Right now, do one thing to make yourself 8% happier, calmer, and more comfortable. Do it.
  2. Relocate for broad, more diverse opportunities – do not move for an individual job.
  3. The worst possible version of a thing will be wildly popular.
  4. If you have a problem, Be more specific in defining it. Smaller more specific problems are easier to solve than big undefined ones.

  • Follow your breath.
  • Use your words – calmly and specifically. No one knows what you’re thinking – they’re not you.
  • If you’re going to do something more than once – automate it or set it as a recurring commitment on your calendar or both.
  • Sleep on it. Only in a marriage proposal should you respond immediately. Everything else can wait 8 hours.
  • Love yourself more (then more, and more…). Your capacity to love someone else is limited by your capacity to love yourself.
  • Start the way you want to finish.
  • If you have an opportunity to travel – do. Do not cancel.
  • Schedule what’s next.
  • Ask for what you want – and be specific.
  • Wash your bowl.
  • Take ownership.
  • If the question has even come to mind then, yes, you should quit your job. Discomfort is not security. 
  • It’s OK to have wronged. It’s not OK to lash-out, contradict, or act ignorant when confronted. Just apologize and find a way to make it better.
  • Reacting is a choice.
  • Commit. Prepare. Pre-prepare.
  • If there’s a solution – there’s no reason to worry. If there’s no solution – there’s no reason to worry.
  • First, try. Then, take a step back. Then, actually try.
  • Really commit to making the most valuable mess you can.
  • Success is requiring less.
  • Make fewer, more significant, decisions.
  • Long game wins.
  • Everything you need to get started is already here.
  • Not everything needs to happen right now. Right now, not everything needs to happen.
  • Pick up the tab & leave a generous tip.
  • Make the implicit explicit
  • Speed rarely matters more than persistance.
  • Savor your obsessions.
  • Resist definitively applying identity – to yourself, as well as to others.