n Rules for Life


no hurry, no pause.


  1. Analogy is not equivalency. The former provides insight, the latter truth. [Unknown]
  2. Learn to stop at 80% limit, while eating, talking and working. [Unknown]
  3. Depth over breadth. Refine fundamentals and grow incrementally. (Waitzkin, 2007)
  4. Work but do not take credit, create but do not claim, lead but do not interfere. (Tzu & Needleman, 1989)
  5. Life isn’t a problem to be solved, find the flow state in everything you do, and you will live a good life. (García et al., 2017).
  6. Organizations default to bureaucracy. People default to distraction.
  7. Roughly 80% of outcomes come from 20% of causes (see Pareto principle).
  8. When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure (see Goodhart’s Law)
  9. Work expands to fill the time available for its completion (see Parkinson’s law).
  10. Don’t be a perfectionist. The desire for perfection could be a deadly weakness by György Sebők in Denk (2022).
  11. Acute differences positively manifest unity and that you cannot conceive the one without the other. Watts (2007, p. 104) (see Ji-ji-mu-ge principle: all things and events are mutually interpenetrating and interdependent. Watts (2007, p. 120)).
  12. You are what you think: Keep an untroubled spirit; for all things must bow to Nature’s Law. Aurelius (2003).
  13. Accept things as they are whether agreeable or disagreeable. Suzuki (2020).
  14. There’s an extremely limited number of ways of being right and an almost infinite number of ways to be wrong. Phillips (2020).
  15. Focus not so much on words but on actual behavior. (Don’t watch his mouth, watch his hands. – Adler’s dictum).
  16. Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler. (Albert Einstein).
  17. Perceive those things which cannot be seen (e.g. pay attention even to trifle). And do nothing which is of no use. (Miyamoto Musashi).
  18. Life is often capricious, unfair and sometimes cruel. Murakami (2022, p. 126).
  19. Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. In particular, non-stupid people constantly forget that at all times and places and under any circumstances to deal and/or associate with stupid people infallibly turns out to be a costly mistake. Cipolla (2019).
  20. Never lose sight of ultimate purpose, your physical and mental health: You’re sane and breathing this minute and may be gone forever the next minute. (Unknown, probably Aurelius) Maintain your physical fitness and sanity.
  21. Putting things off is the biggest waste of life: it snatches away each day as it comes, and denies us the present by promising future. The whole future lies in uncertainty. Live immediately. Seneca (1997, p. 13).
  22. Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow. – Kurt Vonnegut.
  23. No hurry, no pause: When you rush, time shrinks. When you’re relaxed, time expands. This is true even though it’s very hard for the mind to get. When you’re relaxed and doing something willingly, you’re participating in life. (Jon Schreiber, Breema Center)
  24. Reflect on what you’ve read and written: Information becomes knowledge by reflection. Reflection cultivates intuition. Abundant intuition makes up for lack of information thereby enabling you operate where your knowledge is limited. (Unknown).
  25. Give your attention proportioned to the merits of the case: Sometimes full attention, sometimes none. (Unknown).
  26. Do not try to stay on top of things (you cannot). Instead, try to get to the bottom of things. (This kind of success, while not guaranteed, will be more fulfilling than the former).
  27. It is more important to invest in good people than in good ideas. (bet on the jockey not the horse).
  28. One who makes a show of valor is hated by others, even he achieves something, it is not praised but denied. (Kumazawa Banzan).
  29. In the short term, you are as good as your intensity. In the long term, you are only as good as your consistency.
  30. We read the same facts differently. For an optimist philosopher the universe spells victory, for a pessimist, defeat. (William James, from Pragmatism and Other Writings).

Revised on • 2024-March-06 • 2024-February-23 • 2024-February-20 • 2024-February-17 • 2024-February-13 • 2024-February-07 • 2024-January-21 • 2023-November-20 • 2023-November-14 • 2023-November-10 • 2023-October-23 • 2023-September-25 • 2023-September-17 • 2023-June-25 • 2023-June-23 • 2023-May-16 • 2023-February-10 • 2023-February-07.


Aurelius, M. (2003). Meditations: A New Translation (G. Hays, Trans.; Revised ed. edition). Modern Library.
Cipolla, C. M. (2019). The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity.
Denk, J. (2022). Every Good Boy Does Fine: A Love Story in Music Lessons (First edition). Random House.
García, H., Miralles, F., Cleary, H., & García, H. (2017). Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life. Penguin Books.
Murakami, H. (2022). Novelist as a Vocation (P. Gabriel & T. Goossen, Trans.). Bond Street Books.
Phillips, T. (2020). Truth: A brief history of total bullsh*t.
Seneca. (1997). On the Shortness of Life [and other works] by Seneca.
Suzuki, S. (2020). Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: 50th Anniversary Edition (Anniversary edition). Shambhala.
Tzu, L., & Needleman, J. (1989). Tao Te Ching: Text Only Edition (G.-F. Feng, J. English, & T. Lippe, Trans.; Reprint edition). Vintage.
Waitzkin, J. (2007). The art of learning: A journey in the pursuit of excellence. Free Press.
Watts, A. (2007). In My Own Way: An Autobiography. New World Library.