20 Quotes From The Rules of Life

These are my favourite quotes from The Rules of Life by Richard Templar.

Rule 2: You’ll get older but not necessarily wiser

“Be kind to yourself when you do muck things up. Be forgiving and accept that it’s all part of that growing older but no wiser routine… Wisdom isn’t about not making mistakes, but about learning to escape afterwards with our dignity and sanity intact.”

Rule 4: Accept yourself

“None of us can ever be perfect. We start with what we’ve got and who we are and then we can only make a choice, each day, to strive for some kind of better. And that’s all they can ask of us – to make that choice. To be awake and aware, to be ready to do the right thing. And accept that some days you aren’t going to make it.”

Rule 9: Be on the side of the angels, not the beasts

“Every action we make has an effect on our family, people around us, society, the world in general. And that effect can be positive or detrimental – it’s usually our choice.”

Rule 16: Change what you can change, let go of the rest

“The only definite influence we have is over ourselves. The only thing we can really, really change is exactly that – ourselves. Wonderful. What an opportunity to do some good. What a chance to make a real contribution. Begin with ourselves and let it spread outwards.”

Rule 22: Dress like today is important

“Today is important. Today is the only day you’ve got that has some reality to it. Why wouldn’t you treat it as important? It is. So dress like it matters… we’re not talking formal here, you don’t have to be buttoned up and uncomfortable. Just dress as if it matters.”

Rule 23: Have a belief system

“A belief system is what you think the world is all about, the universe and everything. It’s what you believe will happen to you after you die. It’s what or who you pray to when the night is dark and you are in trouble… A belief system has to be that – a belief. You don’t have to prove it to anyone else, even justify it, convert anyone else to it, or preach it to the world in general.”

Rule 26: Have a sense of humour

“As we struggle through this life – and it can be a struggle – we need to keep a sense of proportion about it. What we do and what we take seriously can often be so far removed from what it is actually all about that it is laughable… Life is for living, enjoying the sunshine, big things.”

Rule 28: Life can be a bit like advertising

“Someone once said that half the money he spent on advertising was wasted but he didn’t know which half… you have to keep on doing the 100 per cent because you don’t know which bits will pay off.”

Rule 30: Learn to ask questions

“Most of the world’s problems can be laid firmly at the feet of assumptions… Ask questions of yourself constantly. Ask why you think you’re right – or wrong. Ask yourself why you’re doing certain things, want other things, follow a particular course of action. Question yourself firmly and rigorously because maybe there isn’t anyone else doing it. And you need it. We all do. It keeps us from assuming we know what’s best for ourselves.”

Rule 32: It’s OK to feel big emotions

“Just because we are feeling big emotions doesn’t mean we are out of control. We can be quite emotional and still be in charge of what we are expressing. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t feel stuff – and feel it big time. It is natural and you shouldn’t even make any attempt to stifle it. Of course you can make sure it is let out at an appropriate time and place, but that is within your control.”

Rule 34: You’ll never understand everything

“People will behave oddly and you won’t understand why. Things will go unexpectedly wrong – or right – and it won’t make sense. Spend all your time desperately trying to work it all out and you’ll drive yourself crazy… People don’t always make sense. Life doesn’t always make sense. Let it go and discover the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you’ll never understand everything. Sometimes it just is.”

Rule 40: Remember to touch base

“Base is home. Base is where you belong. Base is where you feel comfortable, secure, loved, restored and trusted. Base is where you feel strong and in control. Base is anywhere you can kick your shoes off, metaphorically and physically, and rest your head safe in the knowledge you’ll be looked after… Base is going back to where you dreamed it all, planned it all out. Base is where you were before you got lost.”

 Rule 47: You are not in charge

“Sorry if this comes as a shock but you’re not, no matter how much you want to be, no matter how much you think you are, no matter how much you deserve to be… Once you get your head around the wonderful concept that you are here to enjoy and not here to run things, then you are free to sit in the sunshine a bit more often, take time off.”

Rule 50: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all

“When asked your opinion of someone, something, somewhere, you need to find something good to say, something flattering and positive… We need to bite our tongue more and say good things more often.”

Rule 51: Accept the differences, embrace what you have in common

“Strip away the layers and we’re all human, all frightened, all vulnerable, all trying to make some sort of sense out of our lives. If we focus on the differences and make a big deal out of them, we risk losing the input and contribution of somebody who can help to lighten our load and make the journey more fun.”

Rule 53: Be nice

“We treat strangers exceedingly well and usually reserve our best attentions for people we work with. Our partner gets missed, lost in the bustle of it all. In fact we should treat them better than anyone else. After all, they are supposed to be the most important person in the world to us. It makes sense to show them this is true.”

Rule 55: Be the first to say sorry

“Always remember you are not apologizing for the sin or crime or faux pas you have committed – you are apologizing for being so immature to have argued in the first place.”

Rule 61: Keep talking

“Yep, gotta keep talking. When there is trouble afoot it’s talking that will get us out of it. When we are going through bad patches, it is talking it out that will see us through. When we are optimistic and excited, it is talking that will help our partner share it. If we aren’t talking there is something wrong. If we aren’t talking, what are we doing? Talking helps us understand, listen, share, communicate.”

Rule 68: It doesn’t hurt to forgive

Being forgiving doesn’t mean we have to be pushed around or to put up with nonsense. We can stand our ground and say ‘Sorry I don’t need to take that’, but we can also make an attempt to forgive because we can see it from their point of view.”

Rule 94: Be for the glory, not the degradation

“We can work for the glory of humankind or we can try to bring it all crashing down… Anything that makes us more that we are, makes us strive for perfection, improves us, challenges us, excites us in a good way, makes us rise above our base nature and brings us out into the sunshine is for the glory.”

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