13 Rules for Life

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The secret is there is no secret. What follows are 13 rules—supported by ancient wisdom and modern science—to help you feel better and be better.

Move your body. Aim for at least 30 minutes every day. More is better. Walk. Run. Lift weights. Dance. Garden. If possible, do some of this outdoors. Whatever you do, don’t try to be a hero, lest you’ll wind up injured. Start small. Consistent effort compounds over time; inertia is real and it works in both directions.

Eat whole foods. Avoid stuff that comes wrapped in plastic. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. Pick one to three habitual eating patterns that aren’t great and upgrade them.

Build community. The people with whom you surround yourself shape you. Being super productive is fine, but not if it crowds out time for cultivating relationships. Most people feel best in a tribe. It’s our nature.

Care deeply. The things you care about will break your heart. That’s fine. Keep caring. Stay in the arena. The depth of your life is directly proportional to the depth of your caring.

Hold pain tenderly. When it hurts, be kind to yourself. If you can’t, call upon your community and let them be your life boat.

Give help. We’re all in this together. What comes around goes around.

Get help. We’re all in this together. What comes around goes around. (Also: good therapy helps everyone.)

Stay on the path. Know your core values. These are the tenets you want to embody, the ways in which you wish to live your life. Let them serve as your guideposts.

Fall off the path. Mess up. Because you are a human.

Get back on the path. Do not judge yourself too harshly, but learn from your mistakes. Go to the place you fell off and start walking again.

Be patient. It’s a nine-inning game. We often think we’re in the bottom of the seventh when we’re really only in the top of the third.

Accept what is—and keep going anyways. Somewhere between burying your head in the sand and pollyanna delusion is wise hope. That’s the place to be.

Sleep when you’re tired. Machines are hard. Humans are soft. These are facts.

Brad

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