100 No-Nonsense Rules To Live By

Starting a new job, graduating, or moving is always a good excuse to review the basics

Adrien Book
5 min readJun 17, 2019

September is approaching faster than we’d like it to (it always is, regardless of when and where you’re reading this). It is a time of new beginnings for millions of youths in the world, who often need guidance. It should also be a time of introspection for those of us in the workforce. To help the process, I have written, in no particular order, 100 pieces of advice on how to best get through the year as a happy, well-balanced human being. God knows we need those.

  1. Be on time
  2. Keep your word
  3. Always double-tap
  4. Buy the orange properties in Monopoly
  5. If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room
  6. All dogs are the best dog in the world. Pet that dog. Go on
  7. When someone tells you you’ve hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t
  8. Thank the cook before Instagramming the food
  9. When it comes to investing, boring is sexy
  10. A gun is always loaded
  11. You don’t buy beer, you rent it
  12. Always sit at the bar. Being on a first name basis with a good bartender is one of life’s rare pleasures
  13. Money won’t make you happy. But it’s more fun to cry in a Tesla than on bike
  14. Return to the mean is the second strongest force in the universe after compounding
  15. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Abraham Lincoln said that
  16. Never gloat. Pride is not the antidote to shame, but its source
  17. Invest in great luggage
  18. Confidence is quiet. Insecurities are loud
  19. Don’t worry too much about controlling your emotions. Control your actions instead
  20. Invest early in love, money, friendship… and trust in compounding. Nothing changes day by day, but when we look back everything is different
  21. If you offer to help don’t quit until the job is done
  22. Be a good listener. Don’t just take your turn to talk
  23. Principles only mean something if you stick by them when they’re inconvenient
  24. When you do something right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all
  25. Don’t set yourself on fire to keep others warm
  26. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should
  27. Don’t underestimate the role of luck in life. Not all success is due to hard work, and not all poverty is due to laziness.
  28. Don’t fill up on bread, no matter how good
  29. Giving money is good. Giving time is often better
  30. Nobody is ever against you. Nobody will ever care enough about you to be against you. It’s an incredibly liberating realisation
  31. Sympathy is a crutch. Never fake a limp
  32. It’s okay to go to the movies by yourself
  33. Forgive others not because they deserve forgiveness but because you deserve peace
  34. Remember that owning a house and having a home are often two very different things
  35. You only get one chance to notice a new haircut
  36. Never call someone before or after 9am and 9pm (exceptions may apply)
  37. Be decisive. Right or wrong, make a decision. The roads of life is paved with flat squirrels that couldn’t make a decision.
  38. There are plenty of ways to enter a pool. The stairs are not one of them
  39. Thank the bus driver
  40. Know at least one good joke
  41. Don’t linger in the doorway. In or out
  42. A handshake beats an autograph
  43. Forgive yourself for your mistakes
  44. Be mindful of what comes between you and the Earth. Always buy good shoes, tires and sheets
  45. If you don’t do anything to stop a mistake from happening again, you can’t keep calling it a mistake
  46. Physical and mental health are both equally important
  47. Don’t eat lunch alone or at your desk if you can avoid it
  48. Don’t judge too quickly: we have a tendency to want the other person to be a finished product while we give ourselves the grace to evolve.
  49. Know the size of your partner’s clothes
  50. You are what you do. Not what you say
  51. In order to get something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done
  52. Some occasions call for vodka. Others for tea. Know the difference
  53. Don’t boo at sporting events
  54. Don’t be the talker in a movie
  55. Make goals for the next 18 months AND for the next 10 years
  56. Don’t follow your dream: people who say that are already rich
  57. You’re never too old to need your Mom
  58. Costs and risks are both financial and emotional. The weight of both depends solely on you
  59. Look people in the eye when toasting
  60. Know how to cook at least one good meal and how to prepare at least one good cocktail
  61. If you’ve made your point, stop talking
  62. Get up. Dress up. Show up. That’s always a good start
  63. When giving a thank you speech, short and sweet is best
  64. Try to get rejected at least once a day. You’ll never believe all the cool places you’ll end up getting into
  65. If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company. You have to like yourself for others to like you
  66. Hope for the best. Plan for the worse
  67. Try most things once, but not everything
  68. Humility, graciousness, intelligence, and empathy tend to generate more respect than bottle service at the club
  69. The work in every relationship should be split 60/40, with both people trying to be the one giving 60%
  70. When opening presents, no one likes a good guesser.
  71. The best way to show thanks is to wear it. Even if it’s only once
  72. Never get your haircut the day of a special event
  73. Every lie you tell is a lie you have to keep track of
  74. The first step towards true greatness is wearing clean underwear
  75. When you marry someone, remember you marry their entire family
  76. Under no circumstances should you ever ask a woman if she is pregnant
  77. You make choices, and your choices make you. It goes both ways
  78. You only improve when you’re up against someone who’s better than you
  79. Make time for your mother on your birthday. It’s a special day for her too
  80. Sometimes, the best way to solve your own problems is to help someone else
  81. Always thank the host
  82. Never lie to your doctor
  83. Give credit. Take blame
  84. Admit when you’re wrong
  85. Know how to keep secrets
  86. Time spent with grandparents is time well spent
  87. It’s never too late for an apology
  88. Don’t use your safety net as a hammock
  89. Be slow to anger and quick to forgiveness
  90. Never answer the phone at the dinner table
  91. If you’re staying more than one night, unpack
  92. If you don’t understand, ask before it’s too late
  93. Know how to use Excel at least as well as your boss
  94. Be nice to kids. Reputations are built over a lifetime
  95. When life gives you lemon, don’t just make lemonade. Sell it, too
  96. You won’t always be the strongest or fastest. But you can be the hardest working
  97. Your dance moves might not be the best, but I promise making a fool of yourself is more fun than sitting on the bench alone.
  98. The most important decision in your life is picking the mother/father of your children. Compatibility, shared values, friendship, trust, responsibility, character, etc. matter at least as much as love
  99. Vote
  100. If you like something, say so. It will make someone’s day

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This article was originally made for The Pourquoi Pas, an online magazine providing in-depth analyses of today’s technological challenges. Click here to access it.