42 Rules For A Delightfully Simple Life

Rules to follow for a pleasant existence.

Woman sitting on beach Shannon VanDenHeuvel | Unsplash 

I’m a personal development junkie. Over the years, I’ve gorged on hundreds of books and have used their lessons to improve all areas of my life, including my finances, health, and relationships. So, inspired by these books and my 28 years on Earth, here are my rules for a delightfully simple life. You may find them helpful.

Here are 42 rules for a delightfully simple life:

1. Be proactive, not reactive. 

“Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.” — Winston Churchill


2. Be a good “bad weather” friend.

Support the people you love, even when it’s not convenient for you to do so.

“Everyone says they care. The people who show up are the ones who do.” — Brianna Wiest

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3. Quality over quantity.

Every. Single. Time. 

“I’d rather have four quarters than one hundred pennies.” — Al Capone

4. Fall in love with boredom.



5. Show up consistently. 

“You don’t need a unanimous vote to win an election; you just need a majority.” — James Clear


6. Sleep on big decisions.

7. Bring value to others.

The money will take care of itself.

8. Look for removal before adding. 

“Perfection is not when there is no more to add, but no more to take away.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

9. Stop asking, “How are you?”

Unless you are genuinely interested in the reply.

10. Friendships are never 50–50.

We all have restraints on our time. Just because someone hasn’t been in touch in a while doesn’t mean they don’t want to be friends. The difference is this: If you’re always doing the chasing, it could be time to let go.

11. Do more fun stuff.

12. Take off those false clothes.

These layers aren’t you. Strip away the BS, and you’ll get closer to who you are.


13. See a therapist.

You’ll thank me later.

14. If you say you’re going to do something, do it.

Don’t be socially gracious. Be someone people can depend on.

15. Don’t be lazy with your questions.

You’ll get lazy answers.

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16. Set blanket rules. 

“When I tell people ‘no, I have a rule, and this is what it is’, they take it well. They respect it.” — Mark Manson

17. Switch off your phone.

Read in bed. Put on an eye mask. You’ll have the best sleep you’ve had in a long, long time.

18. Ignore politics.

19. If there’s something you’re putting off, this is the thing you need to do most.

20. Vote for yourself. Tick off your daily habits. 

“You have to put in many, many, many, many tiny efforts that nobody sees or appreciates before you achieve anything worthwhile.” — Brian Tracy


21. Permit yourself to do nothing.

22. If someone doesn’t have joy, what they think of you is irrelevant. 

“You should never write your opinion of yourself by the metric of the joyless.” — James Corden

23. If you achieved three great things in the next five years, what would they be and why?

Don’t let the time horizon fool you. You have to put in the work. Just don’t beat yourself up if you miss the odd Wednesday.

24. “You have to know your preferences well because no matter what you do, someone will tell you you’re wrong.” — Derek Sivers

25. Impress yourself first.

26. Act like you don’t need the money and be wildly successful. 

“When someone’s doing something for the money, people can sense it, like they sense a desperate lover.” — Derek Sivers

27. Doing the opposite of the rules is still following the rules.

That’s not spontaneity. It’s confirmation in reverse.


28. Embrace your weirdness.

If you’re the average of your friends, you’ll probably find them boring. It’s your extreme traits that make you interesting.

29. Spend your days intentionally. 

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our life.” — Annie Dillard

30. Max out serendipity.

Going to a party might turn out to be lame, but there’s also a chance you might meet your future spouse.



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31. Smile first.

32. “Just be yourself” is terrible advice.

Not because it’s wrong, but because it’s so hard. Try this instead: Don’t be a false version of yourself.

33. Make eye contact.

34. Pick your targets well. 

“You don’t have to do a lot if you get a few things right.” — Tim Ferriss

35. If you raise a concern, bring a solution to the table as well.

36. Teach people how to treat you.

37. If you want a clean house, invite people over.

If you want to read books, start a book club. If you want to learn how to cook, host a dinner party.


38. Never complain about something you don’t have that you’ve never directly asked for.

39. To appreciate something fully, picture losing it.

40. Focus on inputs.

41. None of this crap matters.

We just want to forget that we’re pieces of meat hurtling through space. 

42. You’re the CEO of your life.

Take 100% responsibility for everything. You get one shot. Make it count.

RELATED: 11 Simple-Yet-Powerful Changes To Make That Help You Create A Truly Happy Life

Scott Stockdale is a writer and SEO instructor with over 1 million views on Medium. His articles have been featured in Start It Up, Better Marketing, Better Humans, and Mind Cafe, among many others.