12 Rules for Success in Life

In life, there are many ways to reach the goals that we set for ourselves. We may be making good and bad choices along that journey; some that progress us forward, and others that on reflection we realize set us back! It helps to have some Rules for Success in Life so that we can at least avoid the serious setbacks, and make the journey much more fulfilling and meaningful for each of us in our own way.

The following is a list of what I believe to be more “Ideals” than hard rules. They are not a complete list as you may have other ideals that have served you well. Either way, these are the ones I consider to be guiding principals; the foundations for success in life.

rules for success in life

1. Only You Choose Your Responses in Life.

This rule is first on the list for the simple reason that if you don’t get this one right, then most of the others are going to be too hard to achieve. You must start with a mindset that accepts personal responsibility for your reactions to life’s challenges.

The old truism is that life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.

What this means is, all of us have the choice to respond in either a positive or negative way to events. If you choose to see mistakes as a self-created learning experience; if you accept responsibility and choose a positive / optimistic outlook, then you are already half way there!

2. Do Unto Others.

Whether you are dealing with family, colleagues or work clients; put their interests first. The most successful people I have ever met all share this quality. They know that it’s not about what you can get out of others. It’s about how you treat them, with dignity and respect. Believe me when I say that the good Karma you project towards others is always returned to you later in ways you cannot imagine.

3. Give More Than You Take.

This is a natural extension of the previous rule. Not just treating people with respect, but in making sure that you give more than you take. ‘Giving’ in this example particularly relates to your Time. As life gets busier and distractions grow, we need to make a special effort to give more of ourselves to others. When we do this, we will experience deeper and more meaningful experiences with more people in our lives.

4. Build Genuine Relationships.

We all know that success in business is built on relationships. Remember the old saying “Its not what you know, it’s who your know.” Well the same rule applies in our personal life too. We need to be open to others in a genuine way, so that we can recognize others who are also genuine and real and let it empower both your lives. Success is so much easier when we are supported by like-minded friends.

rules for success in life

5. Accept The Discomfort That Comes With Change.

This is a hard one for most people. We all like to know we are in control of our lives. When change occurs suddenly, there is fear, anxiety (and in come cases depression) when we are not sure how to cope. We prefer the surety of the past over an ‘unknown’ future. Whether it be in our career or our relationships, if we can learn to accept the discomfort that comes with change then we open ourselves to new opportunities. We just need the faith to believe that new doors will open for us.

6. Pay Attention to The Moment.

In the previous rule we talked about accepting the discomfort of change in our life. We can train ourselves to manage this better when we are in more control of our thought processes. We need to stop ourselves reliving the past, or worrying what might happen in the future. Try to stay in the moment; to pay attention to the NOW. Regular readers of my articles will know that I place a lot of importance on practicing Mindfulness. It’s the secret recipe to bringing you mind back into the here and now, so that you can think clearly about what to do next.

7. Manage Your Time.

How can you find success, whether in business or personal life if you spend your days reacting to everything happening around you? In order to give our time to the important things we have to say No to the unimportant. We do this by being good time managers. Whether in business or personal life we need to be constantly prioritizing where our precious time is being allocated.

rules for success in life

8. Maintain a Positive and Passionate Mindset.

You are what you think all day long. That being so, if you have nothing but negative thoughts milling through your head, then that’s what you are going to get. So, deliberately practice maintaining a positive outlook on life until it becomes automatically part of your nature. This very subtle but important shift in your attitude will help other positive events to manifest themselves in your life. Find your Passion and work to make it a core part of your life.

For more ideas on building a positive mindset, read my article on 21 Daily Habits of Successful People.

9. Educate Yourself.

Successful people are interested in everything. It’s as if there are not enough hours in the day for them to explore and discover new learning opportunities so that they can continue to grow both intellectually and professionally.

Follow their example and be a life-long learner. Read good books or take courses in subjects you enjoy. Try to learn something new every day. Draw your knowledge and wisdom from others experiences as well as your own.

10. Be Grateful.

Whenever you may be feeling low. Make a list of all the things that make you happy and grateful. Sometimes we need to deliberately remind ourselves that it’s not all bad. It may be your family; or wonderful children; or good health; or friends.

Be grateful for what is, and make room for more happiness to come.

11. Develop ‘Grit’.

Personal ‘grit’ is that quality of dogged determination. Like a Bulldog that grabs hold and just wont let go, gritty people will persist in the face of difficulty.

People who lack grit more often than not believe that they just don’t have the innate abilities successful people have. The good news is that persistence is a quality that we can all develop. When we understand what it is we want and why we want it, then our mindset, planning and drive will enhance our determination to keep going.

12. Learn From Your Failures.

This rule loops back to the first point rule on our list. Failures will happen; that’s life. Successful people will not only accept personal responsibility, and choose how they ‘respond’ to the event. They go one step further. They will make sure they extract the lesson from the experience. Not in a superficial manner such as “I won’t do that again.” Often they will find multiple lessons, which they can then incorporate into their rules for success to follow in the future. They believe firmly in the principle;

“You learn more in failure than you ever do in success.”

I hope you found this article stimulating and thought provoking. The central message for readers is to strive for success, but not to be put off by hard times. When you pursue success you are going to experience some dark days when you will really question whether it’s all worth the effort! Just remember the Bulldog, and hang on until it gets better.

Here is another great article on the subject of rules for success in life.