Seventeen Rules
For A Better Way To Live

Rule One...

Count your blessings.
Once you realize how valuable you are
and how much you have going for you,
the smiles will return, the sun will break out,
the music will play, and you will finally
be able to move forward the life
that God intended for you...
with grace, strength, courage,
and confidence.

Rule Two...

Today, and every day,
deliver more than you are getting paid to do

The victory of success will be half won
when you learn the secret of putting out
more than is expected in all that you do.
Make yourself so valuable in your work
that eventually you will become
Exercise your privilege to go the extra mile,
and enjoy all the rewards you
You deserve them!

Rule Three...

Whenever you make a mistake or
get knocked down by life,
don't look back at it too long

Mistakes are life's way of teaching you.
Your capacity for occasional blunders
is inseparable from your capacity
to reach your goals.
No one wins them all, and your failures,
when they happen,
are just part of your growth.
Shake off your blunders.
How will you know your limits
without an occasional failure?
Never quit.
Your turn will come.

Rule Four...

Always reward
your long hours of labor
and toil in the very best way,
surrounded by your family.

Nurture their love carefully,
remembering that your children
need models, not critics,
and your own progress will hasten
when you constantly strive to present
your best side to your children.
And even if you have failed at all else
in the eyes of the world,
if you have a loving family,
you are a success.

Rule Five...

Build this day on a foundation of
pleasant thoughts

Never fret at any imperfections
that you fear may impede your progress.
Remind yourself, as often as necessary,
that you are a creature of God
and have the power to achieve
any dream by lifting up your thoughts.
You can fly when you decide that you can.
Never consider yourself defeat again.
Let the vision in your heart
be in your life's blueprint.

Rule Six...

Let your actions always speak for you,
but be forever on guard
against the terrible traps of false pride
and conceit that can halt your progress

The next time you are tempted to boast,
just place your fist in a full pail of water,
and when you remove it,
the hole remaining will give you
a correct measure of your importance.

Rule Seven...

Each day is a special gift from God,
and while life may not always be fair,
you must never allow the pains,
hurdles, and handicaps of the moment
to poison your attitude and
plans for yourself and your future

You can never win when you wear
the ugly cloak of self-pity,
and the sour sound of whining
will certainly frighten away
any opportunity for success.

Never again.
There is a better way.

Rule Eight...

Never again
clutter your days or nights
with so many menial and unimportant things
that you have no time to accept
a real challenge when it comes along

This applies to play as well as work.
A day merely survived is no cause
for celebration.
You are not here to fritter away
your precious hours when you have the ability
 to accomplish so much by making a slight
change in your routine.
No more busy work.
No more hiding from success.
Leave time, leave space, to grow. Now.

Not tomorrow!

Rule Nine...

Live this day
as if it will be your last.

Remember that you will only find "tomorrow"
on the calendars of fools.
Forget yesterday's defeats
and ignore the problems of tomorrow.
This is it.
Doomsday.  All you have.
Make it the best day of your year.

The saddest words you can ever utter are,
"If I had my life to live over again...."

Take the baton, now.
Run with it!
This is your day!

Rule Ten...

Beginning today,
treat everyone you meet,
friend or foe, loved one or stranger,
as if they were going to be dead
at midnight.

Extend to each person,
no matter how trivial the contact,
all the care and kindness and
understanding and love that you can muster,
and do it with no thought of any reward.

Your life
will never be the same again.

Rule Eleven...

Laugh at yourself and at life.

Not in the spirit of derision
or whining self-pity,
but as a remedy, a miracle drug,
that will ease your pain, cure your depression,
and help you to put in perspective
that seemingly terrible defeat and worry
with laughter at your predicaments,
thus freeing your mind to think clearly
toward the solution that is certain to come.
Never take yourself too seriously.

Rule Twelve... 

Never neglect the little things.

Never skimp on that extra effort,
that additional few minutes,
that soft word of praise or thanks,
that delivery of the very best that you can do.
It does not matter what others think,
it is of prime importance, however,
what you think about you.
You can never do your best,
which should always be your trademark,
if you are cutting corners
and shirking responsibilities.
You are special.
Act it.

Never neglect the little things.

Rule Thirteen...

Welcome every morning with a smile.

Look on the new day as another special gift
from your Creator,
another golden opportunity
to complete what you were unable
to finish yesterday.
Be a self-starter.
Let your first hour
set the theme of success and positive action
that is certain to echo
through your entire day.
Today will never happen again.
Don't waste it with a false start
or no start at all.

You were not born to fail.

Rule Fourteen...

You will achieve grand dream,
a day at a time,
so set goals for each day --
not long and difficult projects,
but chores that will take you,
step by step,
toward your rainbow.

Write them down, if you must,
but limit your list so that you won't have
 to drag today's undone matters
 into tomorrow.
Remember that you cannot build
your pyramid in twenty-four hours.
Be patient.
Never allow your day to become
so cluttered that you neglect your most
important goal -- to do the best you can,
enjoy this day, and rest
satisfied with what you have accomplished.

Rule Fifteen...

Never allow anyone
to rain on your parade
and thus cast a pall of gloom and defeat
on the entire day

Remember that no talent, no self-denial,
no brains, no character,
are required to set up in the
fault-finding business.
Nothing external can have any power
over you unless you permit it.
Your time is too precious to be sacrificed
in wasted days combating the menial
forces of hate, jealously, and envy.
Guard your fragile life carefully.

Only God can shape a flower,
but any foolish child can pull it to pieces.

Rule Sixteen...

for the seed of good in every adversity.

Master that principle
and you will own a precious shield
that will guard you well through all
the darkest valley you must traverse.
Stars may be seen from the bottom
of a deep well, when they cannot be
discerned from the mountaintop.
So will you learn things in adversity
that you would never have discovered
without trouble.

There is always a seed of good.
Find it and prosper.

Rule Seventeen...

that true happiness lies within you.

Waste no time and effort
searching for peace and contentment
and joy in the world outside.
Remember that there is no happiness
 in having or in getting,
but only in giving.
Reach out.
Share.   Smile.   Hug.
Happiness is a perfume
you cannot pour on others
without getting a few drops on yourself.


Seventeen Rules

By:  Og Mandino, from his book,
"A Better Way To Live"


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