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Fi e R le Fo Life

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Featured Five Rules

The Featured "Five Rules" is selected by the editor, possibly with input from random strangers. The criteria is simple - I [we] liked it.

The featured contributor is Brian Johnson:

brian johnson is a marketing consultant and professional speaker; he has presented to crowds that number in the thousands, but he is most proud of being a husband and father of two beautiful daughters.

Here are Brian's "Five Rules For Life":

1.) Challenge yourself. Set goals that make you s-t-r-e-t-c-h. It is a cop-out to make things too easy - always take it to the next level and don't be afraid to fail. I would rather fail trying to do something that made me expand my abilities and work harder than I ever thought I could rather than succeed at doing something I knew I could accomplish with my eyes closed.

2.) Make yourself a brand. Sit down and decide what you want to be, and what you want people to associate with you. Map it out and then work hard to make it a reality. When people think of me they think of three things: someone that helps organizations with their image and messaging; a captivating and entertaining speaker; a loving husband and father. That is my brand. Who are you?

3.) Realize that happiness isn't something you "obtain". The sooner you realize that happiness is not something you obtain like a piece of furniture or a job, the more likely you are to achieve it. Most people think they will be happy if they get a promotion, make a sale, start a relationship with someone, or buy a certain kind of car. But happiness is created, not acquired. Have you ever wondered why - as a general rule - people with less are happier than people with more?

4.) Live responsibly. This has many meanings to me - but basically it means don't ignore injustices, treat others with respect, do what is right for the world and environment, and quit thinking it is "someone else's" job.

5.) Get a dog. A dog loves you unconditionally. A dog thinks you are the greatest, coolest, smartest, most successful person in the world. Get a dog and work hard to live up to its expectations.


The premise is simple - people from all walks share what they believe are the most important rules to follow for a happy, successful, and fulfilling life.

At one time or another we have all said "if I

only knew then what I know


now is

your chance to share. What are your "Five

Rules For Life"?

NEW - get bite-sized chunks of the most popular rules on twitter; @5rulesforlife

Subscribe / be notified of new posts via RSS reader or email


Many thanks to all the supporters who have helped promote the site - I appreciate the links and positive feedback. And many more thanks to those who have submitted their

"Five Rules"; it is continued participation from the readers that will keep the site fresh and interesting. I hope everyone will continue to read and spread the word (tell

a friend, send an tweet).

email, post a link, send a

On a personal note, I am working on two things for 2012 - a non-fiction book and a novella; both promise to be packed with insight and entertainment! If you are interested in being notified when they are available, send me an email* and I will provide the details when each is due to be released. As always, I never sell, trade, or give away your email address or contact information.



*email to fiverulesforlife [at] gmail [dot] com



Fi e R le Fo Life

2/27/12 Fi e R le Fo Life Brian currently resides in New York City. ______________________________ Check

Brian currently resides in New York City.


Check back soon for a new Featured "Five Rules".

And check out the new compilation post - "Five Rules For Life" - editor's choice.



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Submitted by Charles Malet

charles malet is a sales manager for an auto dealership, and a father of a teenage daughter (which, he says, is more much more demanding than his job). in his spare time he coaches youth soccer and takes his wife antique shopping.

Here are Charles' "Five Rules For Life":

1.) Use kind, encouraging words. You will be amazed at the difference you make in someone s day (and life) when you say something as simple as “good job”, “I appreciate your efforts”, “I support you”. Encouraging words foster goodwill, and goodwill will come back around to benefit you.

2.) Learn to say “I m sorry”. Most people hate admitting they are wrong, which feeds the “me vs. you” attitude that divides us. We all make mistakes, and when we do we should be quick to acknowledge them and say “I m sorry”. We are all in this together – compassion will help us grow as a society (Rule 2A – similarly, when someone offers you a sincere apology for something they have done wrong, forgive them).

2/27/12 Fi e R le Fo Life Brian currently resides in New York City. ______________________________ Check

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  • "Five Rules For Life" - editors choice (3rd compilation)

  • "Five Rules For Life" - editor's choice (2nd compilation)

  • "Five Rules For Life"- editor's choice (1st compilation)

  • Terry Shannon, Personal Trainer

  • Brian Johnson, Professional Speaker

  • John Durham, Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church

  • Baron Roberson, Founder of Elite Trader

  • Toni Leathers, Creative Professional

  • Lloyd Wright, CEO of Prescient Technologies

  • David Quilty, Author of "The Good Human"

  • Barry Sigismondi, Actor

  • Eric Neher, Information Technology Professional

  • Jon Andre, Founder of "Five Rules For Life"

  • Mark Childs, Creator

  • Michael Pelham, Core Team Leader at Hewlett-Packard

  • Chris Chester, World Traveler and Business Expert

  • David Blank, Author of "The T.A.D. Principle"

  • Danielle LaPorte, Author and Speaker

  • Christopher Williams, Financial Officer


To submit your rules send an email to:

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Fi e R le Fo Life

3.) Learn to say “thank you”. I am amazed at how many people don t acknowledge the efforts of others. Be it a waiter, the cashier at the grocery store, or the person in the drive-thru window, be quick to tell them thank you for their help. I once had someone tell me “I m paying them, it s their job.” This kind of self-absorbed attitude makes the world a little colder and people a little more distant; resist the urge to be stingy with gratitude.

4.) Take a step in the right direction. You don t have to conquer the world or achieve your goals in one fell swoop. Instead, you just need to take a step in the right direction. If you want to lose weight and look better, put on your shorts (or sweats) and go for a jog. Or take the stairs. Or go to the gym – even if it s just for 30 minutes. Take a step in the right direction, and you will be one step ahead of the person who will start tomorrow.

5.) Choose happiness. Happiness doesn t come when you buy something. It comes when you realize you have the capacity for happiness inside of you, right now. It s a decision, a choice. And it is totally up to you.

Charles currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona.


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Submitted by Xin Gu

xin gu is a performance coach who helps her clients achieve success. she teaches how to become a high performer, remove mental blocks and align closely with your ambitions. to learn more about optimizing your inner achiever, visit her website and subscribe to her e- newsletter.

note from Xin - "When distilling life rules, I have to generalize. This means these rules are applicable for most situations; please read them in that frame."

Here are Xin Gu's "Five Rules For Life":

1.) Seek self-knowledge. If you know who and what you are, you will know where and how to go about your life. This is the most effective way to get to what you want. To gain self-knowledge starts with being discerning: listen to your own thoughts, be cognizant of your actions, and really feel your feelings. Whatever comes up, don t react, just accept.

2.) Don t react, just accept and motivate. Negative experiences in life tend to stall us. The trick is to move on from them as fast and as effective as possible. Moving on does NOT mean to reject the bad experience, living in denial, or wallowing in it. Instead, when you encounter a negative experience, simply pause, acknowledge something bad has happened, and then find a peaceful and motivating way to move on.

3.) Be authentically successful. If you can align what it means to be successful with your authenticity, then achieving one will allow you to achieve the other simultaneously. To be authentically successful means bringing fruition, realization and materialization to your dreams. This is a worthy goal, as this is what YOU are about.

4.) Try everything twice. We are often too quick to judge. When we don t like something, the impulse is to reject it. Yet, that often carries the price tag of limiting our horizon unnecessarily. One rule that works well is to try everything twice. When you don t like something at first brush, withhold judgment, and try it again. You ll have a much better formed opinion that reflects what you


Fi e R le Fo Life

truly like or don t like. This will be a clear road sign for you as to where to go and where not to go.

5.) Laugh. See the humor in things, especially when you feel stressed out. Alleviating intensity allows you to be clear-headed, and therefore able to act from a place of power. One quick way to see humor in things is to simply pretend you are an observer rather than the person going through the situation. As an observer, you ll have a much easier time to laugh at the situation. After your laugh, trust me, you ll have renewed energy to tackle the challenge.

When you know who you are, unperturbed by negative experiences, willing to stay open, able to see the humor in things, and always align your work with your authenticity, you are bound to be successful in life.

Xin currently resides in New York City, New York.


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Submitted by Bennett Gavrish

bennett gavrish is a software developer by day and a novelist by night. he graduated from boston university in 2010 with a journalism degree. he released his debut novel, "train wreck", last year.


note - I met Bennett on the Internets (hey Redditors), and have read his novel

"Train Wreck". It is a unique story and a well-written book - I highly encourage you to check

it out. He also has a site where he reviews books here.

Here are Bennett's "Five Rules For Life":

1.) Make time to be bored. I hate wasting time, so I have a tendency to over-manage my daily schedule in an effort to constantly stay productive. It's a great strategy for getting chores and menial tasks done, but it does not foster creativity. As a writer, I've found that my best ideas come to me during a state of boredom. To take advantage of that, I have to force myself to leave empty parts of the day and let my mind wander. Even if you don't consider yourself a creative person, making time to be bored can give your brain a needed rest and help you focus later on.

2.) Don't do things you have to pretend are fun. Throughout college, I played video games on almost a daily basis. The weird part was that I didn't actually enjoy playing them. But everyone I knew thought video games were fun, so I tried to convince myself they were. This was supposed to be a form of entertainment, yet playing them felt more like a task to me. Finally I stopped lying to myself, admitted video games weren't fun for me, and stopped spending so much time on them. It was a big relief and gave me a chance to explore other hobbies and activities that I actually look forward to. Remember – entertainment is supposed to be fun!

3.) Stop drinking soda and switch to water right now. I'm no health or diet expert, but recently I lost 100 pounds by making just a few changes to my lifestyle. I know that the most effective change was to completely cut soda and other sugary beverages out of my diet and become a water drinker. I go through almost a gallon a day and feel healthier than I ever have before.

4.) Do only one thing at a time. The invention of computers and smartphones have convinced us that multitasking is an important skill. Too bad our brains and bodies really aren't cut out to handle it. Whether it's at home or at work, you'll be most productive if you can simplify your tasks and set out to tackle them one at a time.


Fi e R le Fo Life

5.) Put yourself in the other person's shoes before judging. It's easy to convince yourself that your own opinion is right and everyone else's logic is flawed. Don't be lazy. Take the time to adopt the perspective of other people before making a judgement about them. That guy that just cut you off in traffic during your morning commute? Sure, maybe he's just a dick – or maybe he's rushing to the hospital to see a sick family member. Either way, showing some patience and empathy can reduce stress and make you a more attractive human being.

Bennett currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts.


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Submitted by Thomas Hanes

thomas hanes is a father of two and a sales manager at a promotional products company. when he isn t working or chasing the kids, he is trying to battle his internet addiction (but is quick to point out that between facebook, twitter, and reddit, he usually loses the battle).

Here are Thomas' "Five Rules For Life":

1.) Don't act like an ass. I learned long ago that life is better for everyone if you don t act like an ass. You don t even have to be nice and kind – wherever you go, whatever you do, just don t act like an ass.

2.) You are responsible for your happiness. Others won't change to please you. Your happiness is your job. If you expect otherwise, you invite a frustrating life.

2/27/12 Fi e R le Fo Life 5.) Put yourself in the other person's shoes before

3.) Look at yourself first. If you always seem to have drama in your life, you are probably the one causing the drama. In my experience, drama begets drama, rudeness begets rudeness, and ineptitude begets ineptitude.

4.) Change is up to you. Don t wait for external events to happen before you make an internal change. If you are waiting, you are just making excuses and you will continue to make them regardless of what happens.

5.) Mind the company you keep. You are who you hang out with. Look at your closest acquaintances – the people you spend the most time with. Do they reflect the morals, the values, the work ethic that you admire? If the answer is “no”, then you probably don t either. Surround yourself with people that make you a better person.


Fi e R le Fo Life

Thomas currently resides in Orlando, Florida.


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Submitted by Andy Hayes

andy hayes is known as that travel guy. he s a small business coach, founder of a network of travel and tourism websites, and a world traveler himself. follow him on twitter, @andrewghayes.

Here are Andy s “Five Rules For Life”:

1.) Get clear on your why. There are a lot of things in this world that we use to “define” ourselves. Often it is our career. For others it is where we live or the friends we keep. Maybe for you it is how you dress. And if those things are so important reflections of yourself, why did you make those choices? It doesn t matter whether you choose to live minimalist or whether you choose to be an entrepreneur or whether you have pink hair. But why?

2.) Breathe. Do it, right now – take a deep breath, down to the core of your stomach. Now, isn t that much better? So many of us are in such a rush we forget to breathe. We need oxygen, and we need it deep. Bonus points if you re smiling while you do it.

3.) Get to know your gut. Speaking of breathing deep, that thing down there, it s your gut. Your flinching instinct. It s usually right – but you knew that. What you probably are having a hard time with is listening to it – what s it trying to tell you. Spend some time listening. You ll learn what it is saying, if you listen long enough.

4.) Find someone you trust. You can t do it alone. It doesn t matter what “it” is – live, life, love, relationships…. sometimes you need the external perspective, the proverbial slap in the face. Other times you just need someone to share whatever you re experiencing. It s hard to know who to trust. But try to find them – and once you do, nurture your relationship with them. They re worth more than gold.

5.) Try it. I ve given this advice more times than I could ever count, and it is advice I could take myself more often. There are so many cliché quotes about regretting not what we did but what we didn t do, but the reason there are so many is because we re all afraid, and we need to push past that to really get somewhere. As Melissa Etheridge says, “Our power ends precisely where our fear begins.”

Andy currently resides in Seattle, Washington.



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Moving to Facebook

I've been on Twitter for most of 2011, and I appreciate those of you that have added me to the list of people that you follow. Like everyone else, I have been trying to figure out what


Fi e R le Fo Life

social media "outlet" is best for me, and after trying different things I have decided that Facebook is how I would like to communicate.

This site is not going away, and all new submissions will still be published here. But Facebook will serve as a forum to republish popular rules, as well as other funny and interesting things that may or may not be "Five Rules" related.

If you have a Facebook account, you have two choices - you can "friend" me (make sure you say you are a "Five Rules For Life" reader), or you can "subscribe" to my public updates.

As of now, I plan to slow down (stop?) "tweeting", so I hope to see you over on Facebook!

2/27/12 Fi e R le Fo Life social media "outlet" is best for me, and after


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Submitted by Sam Baker

sam baker is a mom, wife, engineer and an eternal dreamer. her latest project is to share money making ideas with students in the hopes that they will choose to make some money instead of taking on debt (and hopefully avoid some of the mistakes she made).

Here are Sam's "Five Rules For Life":

1.) Learn to forgive and forget. Especially, the ones close to you. Every one of us has our own idea of what is right and wrong, what should be said/done and what should not. It is very easy to feel slighted by little things as we rush through the rigors of every day lives. Learn to let it go. Can you live with being held responsible for every slip up or flaw in your character? Why hold others responsible for theirs, then? Learn to forgive and forget - it will come back in the form of forgiveness for your own shortcomings, which can be very liberating.

2.) Be there for your kids. Whether it is spending some time making play-doh cookies or having long chats with them as they grow up, make a conscious effort to be there. With the kind of lives we live, obviously, we won't be able to be with them all the time, but when you can make it, give them your 100% (that means, no emails, no tweeting or thinking about your business meetings during the time you spend with them - period.)

3.) Don't just dream, "Do" things. Vacations, learning a new language, trying out something new - all of us have some things that we wished we could do, if only we had the time, money or whatever. Next time you are


Fi e R le Fo Life

wistful about something, take some action in that direction. You may not reach your final goal, but getting started is half the battle. And every time you "do" something identify the next thing that needs to be done to move forward in that direction. It will take some time but, eventually, you can make your dreams come true.

4.) Stand up for what you believe in. It is not always easy. Sometimes, you will have to choose between which of your values mean more to you because standing up for one will mean compromising on the other. Sometimes, standing up for your values means facing down the people you respect the most. Sometimes, you will cry inside while you have to smile outside. Stand up for them anyway.

2/27/12 Fi e R le Fo Life wistful about something, take some action in that direction.

5.) Be graceful in the face of life's challenges. You won't always be able to forgive and forget. You will make some mistakes while raising your kids. You will not be able to make all your dreams come true. You will sometimes buckle down in your stand for your values. That's just life. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Don't gloat or put others down when you win. Don't beat yourself up when you lose. It's a lot easier said than done, but something definitely worth striving for.

Sam currently resides in Austin, Texas.


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Submitted by Noah Lifschey

noah lifschey is a music composer for television and a songwriter/producer in the record biz in los angeles. he has a love for great books, travel, cats, long dinners with good friends, the wilderness, and old british sports cars.

Here are Noah's "Five Rules For Life":

1.) Give your pride and ego a rest. Sure, we should all take pride in ourselves; but when it becomes a tool to separate ourselves from others and promotes a sense of superiority then we're the ones who end up suffering. Same thing with ego - this is a constant battle for me in the music business, but the times that I'm able to let my ego take a back seat are when things get easier, more productive, and more creative.

2.) Dump the drama. This is something I picked up from my Dad by proxy. Give someone a break, accept an apology, go easy on the waiter who screwed up, let another driver move into your lane instead of rushing to not let him, actually listen when someone's talking, don't yell at someone just because you're angry, take a break from mad gossiping, try using logic instead of emotion when you're riled up. I truly can't understand why so many people prefer to make their lives difficult by being addicted to arguing, fighting, and theatrics.

3.) Dig yourself.


Fi e R le Fo Life

Yep, this is going into Oprah territory, but it really is the foundation for a content life. I'll go on record as saying that loving yourself is without a doubt more important than any other kind of love. Why? It's the only kind of love that you can truly depend on and that positively affects almost every portion of your life. I'm not talking Hallmark card love or being a pompous arse - I'm talking about simply accepting who you are, forgiving yourself when you mess up, and not comparing yourself to everyone else. It ain't easy for most of us, but damn does it make an immense difference when you can grab it.

4.) Breathe. Most of us live in the past or the future, which are two places that don't exist. Fact: This moment is all that ever actually exists. When you think about all of the mental pain that goes along with staying mired in what happened or what will happen, it seems positively absurd to be anywhere else (even though it takes a hell of lot of practice to try and stay here). Be still for a second. Breathe. Give your mind a break from the miasma of constant thought and rumination.

5.) Don't spend your life wanting more. More money, more love, more success, more things, more're


satisfied. There's nothing wrong with having some goals and all, but life doesn't deal an even hand and one has to try to be content with what's happening right now. Since the future never actually happens, spending your life wanting what you don't have is a spot-on recipe for unhappiness since you'll always want something else and never actually get there.

Noah currently resides in Los Angeles, California.



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Submitted by Molly McCord

molly mccord is a communications and inspirations expert who has two books coming out fall 2011: first as a contributing author to "the thought that changed my life forever" and, second, her spiritual memoir "my life as a trapeze artist". her blog - conscious | cool | chic offers - more inspiring articles and tidbits to check out.

Here are Molly's "Five Rules For Life":

1.) Trust your gut. The small voice that says "no" to a job offer or "yes" to speaking to a stranger is a reliable compass for decision-making in uncertain times. The gut delivers fast, immediate and clear messages if I'm willing to trust it. Allow that small voice in the gut to come to the microphone often.

2/27/12 Fi e R le Fo Life Yep, this is going into Oprah territory, but it

2.) Listen to your heart. Whispers of personal truth come through feelings. Feelings tell with immediate accuracy what I need in a situation. I ve squashed these messages of truth down before, French-press coffee style, but the personal needs don t go away. Listening to the heart s true feelings allows my needs to be addressed sooner. Don t ignore these messages.

3.) Respect your mind.


Fi e R le Fo Life

Besides being the home of every life memory, a stack of educational degrees and the list of all-time favorite beers, the mind pinpoints possibilities, actualities and liabilities. Allow the mind s knowledge base to bring out areas of improvement, strategy and commitment. Use logic and practicality regularly. Respect what the mind says, but don t let it rule over the other senses all the time.

4.) Follow your spirit. Your soul s eternal wisdom is always accessible through a listening connection to Spirit. Quiet moments of solitude and peace bring answers that can t be found on a billboard or in an email message. Find quiet times to just be without distraction, and the soul s beautiful wisdom will pour forth.

5.) Alignment of gut, heart, mind and spirit: Goldmine! Trusting, listening, respecting and following from every area of your being leads to purposeful direction and action. The gut s compass, the heart s truth, the mind s knowledge and the spirit s wisdom illuminate the path that is for your highest and best good. I like to call this combination the Pure and Utter Brilliant Path for Life Dream-making. And who would want to settle for anything less in this fabulous game of life?

Molly currently resides in Seattle, Washington.


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