12 Rules to Live by

Watching Annika on TV last night, starring the always excellent Nicola Walker, mention was made of the 12 rules that author Robert Louis Stevenson lived by. I looked these up and thought that they were still pertinent today so here they are.

  1. Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things.
  2. Make the best of circumstances. No one has everything and everyone has something of sorrow.
  3. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
  4. Don’t let criticism worry you. You can’t please everybody.
  5. Don’t let your neighbours set your standards; be yourself.
  6. Do things you enjoy doing but stay out of debt.
  7. Don’t borrow trouble. Imaginary things are harder to bear than actual ones.
  8. Since hate poisons the soul, do not cherish enmities and grudges. Avoid people who make you unhappy.
  9. Have many interests. If you can’t travel, read about places.
  10. Don’t hold post-mortems or spend time brooding over sorrows and mistakes.
  11. Do what you can for those less fortunate than yourself.
  12. Keep busy at something. A very busy person never has time to be unhappy.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

2 Replies to “12 Rules to Live by”

  1. So strange to come across your post because I was watching Annika this afternoon when Nicola’s character quoted RLS that “imaginary things are harder to bear than actual ones”. It promptly sent me to the internet for his rules of life when I saw your post. I have been stressing over something that could possibly happen but has not as yet so this quote is a good lesson for me. Words of wisdom never go out of style, and are always relevant.

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