18 Excellent Rules for Living

Dalai Lama's rules for living I was considering coming up with some absolutely excellent rules for living when I encountered the Dalai Lama's 18 Rules for Living which he had put out at the beginning of the new millennium.

I knew then that I couldn't devise anything as remotely brilliant, so here they are, along with some commentary from me.

The Dalai Lama's 18 Rules for Living

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk. As I mention in many of my other articles, anything worth achieving takes much effort, application and risk. If it were  so easy to accomplish great things, we'd all be lauded as geniuses (genii), yet evidently, that is not the case.

2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson. As seen in 7 Life Lessons Learned from Basketball this, is a no-brainer. We all lose at times, but if we also lose the lessons offered, that makes it a real loss. As some wise person pointed out: 'The lesson is often in the struggle, not the victory.'

3. Follow the three R's:

  • Respect for self
  • Respect for others
  • Responsibility for all your actions.
I especially endorse this rule because it entails self-love and self-respect, which in turn, generates respect for others. Taking responsibility is part of the human potential movement as delineated in the article: Personal Development and Human Potential.

4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. Sometimes what we think we want is not necessarily good for us, hence the stroke of luck!

5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly. If you are going to break a rule, you better know what it is, and why. From there you can make the conscious decision to break it for the right reasons.

6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship. How many times have many of us jeopardized a wonderful relationship due to pride or hurt feelings?  To throw away years of friendship and shared good and bad times over a dispute would be unfortunate. Don't do it!

7. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it. That same pride can do you in when it comes to admitting a mistake. Do whatever it takes to correct it beginning with an apology.

8. Spend some time alone every day. This point is generally underrated by most of us. We all need time to recharge, reflect and regroup. Not only can this change your perspective and state of mind, it can generate fresh new ideas and thinking.

9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values. Indeed there is a difference between being open-minded and having a personal value system. Values are eternal while ideas are ever-changing.

10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer. Silence can be the best answer when you are stuck and cannot come up with solutions. It gives you the opportunity to regroup and think afresh.

11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time. There is no substitute for a life well-lived. When you near the end of your life, regrets and sorrow for missed opportunities are not what you will want to be revisiting. You will want to know that you did your best with the information and knowledge you had at the time. You will also want to remember that you made the most honorable choice possible in those difficult moments.

12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life. A loving atmosphere includes surrounding yourself with things that make you happy such as music, books, beautiful plants and memorable decorative objects. Your home is your sanctuary – make it a meaningful rejuvenating place.

13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past. The past can hurt you over and over again unless you let it go. Nothing good can come from rehashing old, painful incidents that didn't serve you well even then. Deal with the present, resolve it and then let it go too.

14. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality. We all have something important to contribute to humanity. If we stifle it we will feel unfulfilled and as if we've missed out on something. Sharing our unique gifts will not only help others, it will liberate us.

15. Be gentle with the earth. Our beautiful earth is here for our use and enjoyment, therefore, we must take good care of it. Recycle, preserve and keep it clean!

16. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before. Visiting new places does wonders for the brain, our emotional state and perspective. It broadens our experiences and introduces us to different cultures, people, and ways of doing things. It's a win/win!

17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other. Need implies a must have for yourself, while love implies giving of yourself. Need I say more?

18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it. Indeed having to work hard for a goal is more about the journey than the goal itself. True success is what you learn and how you develop along the way.

As you will probably agree, there is little I could add to improve upon the wise words of the Dalai Lama. The above 'rules' offer more than enough excellent advice for living life fully, nobly, and happily. Namaste!

Related articles:
Dalai Lama Quotes on Life, Love and Happiness
15 Life Lessons You Don't Learn in School
The Art of Living Well
5 Tips for a Well Balanced Life

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