1. Karma exists. It may not be instant like in that John Lennon song, but it happens. May take a long time, might not be easily seen, may not be visible to anybody but you, the one who was scathed, but it’s real.
2. Niceness triumphs. Although no one can be nice all the time. And sometimes you have to push back. But if you’ve got the option, be nice, people appreciate it.
3. Be yourself. We’re all individuals. That’s what attracts others to us, our uniqueness. Don’t try to imitate someone else, focus on your strengths and heighten them. Everyone can’t do everything. Don’t try to fit your square peg in a round hole. But your trapezoid will appeal, if you just let it shine.
4. You can’t please everybody. It’s a phony concept that flames out. Be thankful you’ve got your group, your friends, your family, your fans. There are those who would appreciate you whom you’ve never met, focus on meeting them, not those who don’t care.
5. Education is everything. And it doesn’t have to happen in school. But at this late date we can understand why reading, writing and ‘rithmetic are so important. Yes, in the internet era, reading and writing are everything (typing too!) As for math… You can’t do a deal without knowing the numbers. And everybody wants to do a deal.
6. Learning is lifelong. You keep gaining insight and then you die. Life is a puzzle, one in which you’re constantly delivered new pieces. And you can’t figure some stuff out until you get this new information. Which is why age equals wisdom and the young may have their youth, but the old have all the happiness.
7. Possessions mean less as you age. You can’t take them with you. Furthermore, we’re evolving into a no possessions era. One in which you can rent a ride and you don’t even have to own a car. Experiences are everything.
8. No one has the answers when it comes to love. There’s no perfect partner, if you’re looking for one you’re doomed. The key is to play. Relationships are the salad dressing of life, without them it tastes very bland.
9. Do the right thing. Not only will it make a difference, you’ll feel better about yourself.
10. Time starts accelerating sometime in your late thirties or forties. If you’re not paying attention, if you’re not steering, chances are you’re not gonna get where you want to go.
11. Inspiration comes from displacement. Get out of your comfort zone, the rewards are legion.
With the absence of rule number 10, I agree with each life lesson that Bob proposes. And I’m simply not old enough to evaluate number 10. I’ll probably agree with it if I’m fortunate enough to see my late thirties.
I also liked how Bob wrote the rules very simply. I think this makes them easy to understand and relate to.
I think it’s useful to think of these rules as goal posts in our life. Although some of our shots will fall outside the posts, they’re a useful guide nonetheless.