What are the rules of life? Does it have rules, or there are no rules? How does one live life?
Well, there are assumptions we need to make here. Different people live lives in different ways. What kind of life do you want to live? Do you want to just meander through life doing things that most people do, or do you want to make your life count?
Consider the fact that not all lives count. In the billions of people who have lived on earth, the history of the world remembers only a few- the few who made a significant impact on the world through their lives. Most people are happy to lead a normal, well-cushioned life that involves no risks, and doesn’t aim to change the world in any way.
What are the rules of life if you want to live a happy, meaningful and fulfilling life?
Yes, that sounds like a question worth answering. If you want to lead a happy life while making others happier in the process, what rules would you follow? These are the rules of life the way I see them. You can let me know what you think about them.
Here we go. Below are 27 rules for a happy, purposeful and meaningful life.
1. The purpose of life is to be happy– the underlying rule of life
That is rule number 1. If you are happy, then whatever you have done in your life, makes sense, and if you are not happy, then it just means you ended up making some terrible mistakes on the way.
The yardstick for whatever state your life is right now, is your happiness. It’s not success, because success is outward. Only happiness is inward.
2. Self-awareness is critical to living a happy and meaningful life
This is one of the most important rules of life. Self-awareness is critical to be happy. The only way to be self-aware to keep understanding and improving your understanding of who you are as a person. It takes introspection and honesty to understand your strengths, weaknesses and inclinations, for whatever they are.
A life that is driven by self-awareness is a meaningful life because it starts from a deep knowledge of why you do what you do.
3. Life is finite– a definite rule of life
Human life, is finite. We are not immortals. Human life on earth is limited and we don’t know how much time have we been allotted. You and I could drop dead anytime without any warning. So, we need to plan lives accordingly. We need to do the things that matter the most, just in case we drop dead anytime.
Are you doing that?
I know this is dramatic, but this is true. I have seen a lot of people die lately because of COVID, and I am sureall of them left a lot of business incomplete- personal, professional or even social.
Life is finite, and that’s one of the most important rules of life. We could die anytime. You could die anytime. Are you living your life accordingly?
4. Work is not meant to be pain, but joy
I said these are the rules of life for a happy, meaningful and fulfilling life. So, if you want to a meaningful life that has emerged out of self-awareness, you would strive to do work that you like, enjoy and find worthy.
Unfortunately, we are living in a world where most people don’t like their work. What a tragic way to live life? The rule of a happy life is that you must first understand yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, and then try to apply your self-awareness towards either finding or creating work that you find worthy.
Almost, not almost, all successful people in the world- the people we admire- the leaders, the artists, the entrepreneurs do stuff they love, and that’s why we find them inspiring and uplifting.
It is our duty to our lives that we make the effort to find work that we find valuable and uplifting. We must do what we feel is our best work. I think this blog is one of my finest pieces of work and would outlast my life.
Please make the effort to find work that you can respect. Working only for the money is quite a shallow way to lead your professional life. Money is fuel and we need the fuel to keep going, and that is why the capitalistic output of profit is a great idea. Profits help companies fulfill their missions. That is the only right way to look at money-as fuel.
5. The quality of life is determined by the quality of our relationships
Build relationships with people you admire. It has taken me a lot of time to understand this but it is a critical rule for a happy life. Build relationships with people who uplift you, those who inspire you to become better people.
If your life is not surrounded by people you admire, you are in the wrong kind of relationships that may be pulling you down, instead of lifting you up.
Find people who light your fire, who believe in you. Hold onto them for dear life.
Who to build relationships with- people you admire.
6. Health is everything– a basic rule for life
Health is everything. I think about health on multiple dimensions. There is all these types of health that we need to take care of- physical, mental, spiritual, sexual, financial, emotional and financial and more. If there is no health, we are not able to fulfill our dreams and ambitions since we are curtailed by our inability to perform certain action/s.
Find time every day to take care of your health, so that you have the basic infrastructure in place to pursue your dreams.
7. Happiness is hard to achieve– a hard rule of life
We started with the first rule- that the purpose of life is to be happy. It is certainly the most important rule of life. However, it is important to understand that most people do not chase happiness. They chase social conformity, family’s wishes, money or whatever else, but they do not chase happiness. That is the reason we are living currently in a fucked up society that would need to grow one day to desire happiness, and proceed towards it.
The enemy of a life seeking that seeks happiness is a life that’s fine with pretence. Pretence is the idea that happiness is not important and we are fine without it. We are not.
Just because happiness is tough to find, and achieve, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pursue it. It is hard. So be it.
8. Family is an important institution, but work is more important
Simply put, nobody would care about you, if you are not able to produce a life where you find work that you value and affords you and your family a decent life.
I know the general consensus is that family is most important and work isn’t. But, just look at the society and people around, and your life. People die, including your family members but life goes on. Why- because the show must go on, whatever the show is.
Having said that, all of us are born into a family, and there is nothing much we can do about its quality. That is, the family of origin.
9. Your life partner is an important person, in your life, duh
One of the cardinal rules of life is that the person who is your life partner, one whom you spend the most of your personal time is, is one of the most important people in your entire life story. This person has massive power on you and your life, and so, it’s important that you find and choose this person carefully.
We are imperfect as human beings, even in our ability to decide what constitutes a great relationship. However, if we follow the rule of admiration, that in life, we should only spend time on and with people we admire, we may find success.
10. Stop thinking about what people are thinking of you because they don’t give a flying f*** about you
Think about it. You are mostly engrossed in your own life and that is how other people behave as well. Only people who love you, if you are lucky, may really care about you. Most people are busy in their own lives and don’t care about what you are doing about yours.
So, absolutely for once and for all, stop caring about what the WORLD thinks about you. You are not important to them. If the leader of a government dies, they find someone else. All of us are dispensable.
11. Pain is inevitable– an honest rule of life
There is life and there is pain. It is inevitable that life would show you what pain is, so that you understand what happiness is. None of us is insulated from the pain. However, some are given more pain than others. There is no reason why. However, those who see a lot of pain, become stronger than others emotionally, not out of their own choosing.
Nobody chooses pain, but it is a given.
12. Passion is important for a happy life
If you want to be happy, one of the rules of life is that you must find what you are passionate about. When you find stuff that you are passionate about, you can guide your life towards it.
When you do stuff that you are passionate about, work doesn’t feel like work; it feels like joy. Find your passion, regardless of what the pessimists say.
13. We can’t read the reasons behind destiny
This is a difficult rule to imbibe and since I am writing these rules, it is important that I put it here. Nature has a mind of its own and everything that happens doesn’t happen for good, the way we, humans see it.
People who have been good their whole lives die of cancer after suffering for years. Benevolent people lose their lives to diseases like COVID. Devils among humans do not receive the punishment for their karma.
There are reasons behind things that we would never understand. Nature is a self-regulated phenomenon and there is no answer to life besides reality. Everything is arranged and necessary, in a mathematical fashion.
14. Love, no matter how hard, is the answer
Love is the solution to the ills of the world. Racism, caste-ism, religious discrimination are ills of the society and only love can solve the problems. We need to see all human beings as equal in the eyes of nature or GOD, and that’s the only way we would be able to create a loving world.
Love is the pre-requisite in happy relationships. Love is also important, as we have seen from a work perspective. When you do things you love, you find joy and not pain, in it.
Love is the answer, no matter how hard it gets.
15. Age is real– an often ignored rule of life
Since human life is finite, age is a real phenomenon. Our body changes with age and although I haven’t experienced yet, although I hit 40 this year, that there are things you can’t do with growing age.
Well, I don’t want to deny the fact that age is real and don’t want to even propagate the idea that it’s never too late. You cannot start mountaineering at 90. I mean you may be able to, but it’s quite a silly idea to do at that age. However, most things can be started at different points in time.
Having said that, it is difficult to follow your dreams the more you grow in age, because there are other responsibilities and things to do beyond your dreams. You want to have a family, and grow that family, than working all the time. They need and expect your time, and a certain level of stability.
16. Time is the sparsest resource we have
If you lose all your money, you may be able to make it. Whence you lose your energy, you may be able to replenish it. If you lose your time, it will never come back. Do not waste your time, if you can, and do not let anybody waste your time.
I always say, time is the unit of life.
17. Money is not the purpose of life, but we can’t live without it
Although I briefly mentioned it earlier, it needs a separate point. Money is not the purpose of life, and that is where most of the society has gone wrong. They have taken money and its accumulation as the purpose of life. That is why, these people never really find true happiness, because they have money in the bank but their hearts are empty.
18. If you compare your life to others, you will never be happy
This is one of the golden rules of life to be happy. If you constantly compare your life to that of others, you would never find true happiness. Look at nature. It has designed us and our lives differently. You look different from billions of others, your life trajectory, your circumstances have all been different.
When nature didn’t intend lives to be similar, why do you constantly compare your life to that of others? Learn from others all you will, but don’t compare your life to their lives. All of us can only improve upon our lives, and hence comparison is an absolute waste of life, and that of joy.
19. Freedom is the ultimate human value without which happiness is impossible
True happiness comes from the ability to live your values. Different people have different values. However, it is next to impossible to achieve true happiness without achieving freedom.
What is freedom? Freedom is the ability to design your life, your way. When you are able to leave your expression on your professional, personal and social lives, you are truly free. Are you free?
20. A life chasing only money is a wasted life
If you want to be happy inside, which is the goal of this post, you need to understand this complex rule of life. A life that’s spent chasing money only is a mercenary and meaningless life. The chase of money leads to what I call the curse of materialism, which means leading a life so shallow that all you have to show for it, are things you have bought with money.
That brings me to the next rule.
21. We all need a life purpose to live a meaningful life
You can’t lead a meaningful and happy life without having a purpose. What is a purpose? Your purpose is your reason to do things. Why do you do what you do?
You must invest time and effort in self-awareness, because self-awareness is the source of purpose. Once you find your purpose, you would be able to drive your life towards meaning and fulfilment. You won’t be sucked into the curse of materialism.
22. Pain is the greatest teacher, not schools and colleges
Most of our education happens through life. The biggest teacher is pain, not formal education. When we make mistakes and go through pain, we realize what we should possibly do to find happiness.
More importantly, the formal education system cannot teach self-awareness, life purpose, finding our strengths and weakness and aligning our lives with them. May be, they can teach it, but I am not sure if there would be takers.
23. Reading and running can save your life
Alright, this rule of life also comes from personal experience. Reading is mental workout. Running is physical workout. If you make time for both in your lives, you would not get depressed, I guarantee. I was depressed, clinically depressed at a point in my life, and one of the key features of that period was that I had stopped running. If you run, or indulge in physical exercise, it will save you from your toughest periods.
Reading is one of the greatest sources of inspiration. Whenever you can’t find inspiration inside, you can find it outside. There have been great people who have lived enormously incredible lives before you, and if you read their life stories, you would feel that your problems are nothing.
24. Nothing can be achieved without hard work and self-belief
Now, hard work is a given. We can’t achieve anything without working hard. However, not just hard work, but a belief in yourself in also important for achieving anything. You would not work hard if you don’t believe that you can truly achieve what you are shooting at.
The good news is that hard work and self-belief are related. The harder you work, the more results you would produce, and thereby cementing your self-belief.
25. Gratitude is NOT over-rated
They keep saying over and over in ways to be happy-to be grateful. Is this overrated? Well, try it anytime, and you would realize that you can literally make yourself feel better in any situation just by being thankful for what you have, and what you have may learned, and several other things.
Gratitude, although, is a learned skill. The more you practice it, the better you get.
26. No matter how hard you fall, you can rise back up
One of the most important rules of life is that human will is extremely powerful. You can rebound even after having lost everything. You would have learned something and come in your journey, when suddenly something happens, and you fall down badly. Adversity is hard. It is really hard. However, what’s important that you can fight back, and come back to life.
27. Happiness is possible. YOU CAN BE HAPPY
Sometime back, I wrote a book on finding inner happiness. The, I realized I am not done. I am so passionate about the idea of happiness that I can continue writing and talking about it for the rest of my life. It makes me happy.
The good news is that happiness is possible. We don’t have to listen to false and misleading narratives from miserable people that happiness is fuzzy, and it is not possible. Well, so many people around the world who are leaders and ideals of our society that they are paragons of how we should lead our lives.
Artists, entrepreneurs, Olympians, and anybody who has made their dreams come true on their terms have found true inner happiness, and that’s the direction to go towards. I have tasted some happiness. Making people happy through my writing or my work as a stand-up comedian gives me immense happiness. I am trying to figure how to reach millions of people with my work so they can also find their happiness.
So, happiness is possible. You can find it. Till you breathe, I exhort, do not ever give up on your happiness.
In Conclusion– The Rules of life
Well, these are the rules of life, as they come to my mind at the stage I am writing this. My life has been a major roller coaster. I have made several mistakes and this is what I have learned so far, I guess. If you want to be happy and lead a meaningful life, you may want to follow some of these rules. Trust me, I mean from the heart.
Thank you for reading.
Why do I write this blog?
The purpose of this blog to help you find your happiness. Please read the other posts on the blog, and follow so that you get updates when new posts are published. Please share any posts you like with your friends so that they can also find their happiness. If you have any feedback for me, please leave it in the comments and I would be happy to work on it. If you would like to support my writing and this blog, you may please send a donation through PayPal here.
I appreciate the time you spent in reading the blog and wish you happiness.