15 Life Rules Worth Breaking - Deepstash
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Life Rules

As children, we are taught to live by an ever-expanding set of rules. The rules keep us safe. They limit our downside during a fragile period of our lives. They also limit our upside, as they create artificial constraints on our movement and collisions as we travel through the universe.

Rules are good—but just like the old man in the quote above, you have to know when to bend and break them.


1.02K reads


The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.



1.12K reads

Wait for the Perfect Moment

Wait for the Perfect Moment

This rule has paralyzed would-be action-takers for generations.

The reality: there is no such thing as the perfect moment.

Sometimes you just have to open the door, jump out of the plane, and hope you packed the parachute tight.


916 reads

You Have to Work Hard to Succeed

You Have to Work Hard to Succeed

Hard work is important—but it's relative, not absolute.

In the Digital Age—when creative and inspired work stands out and is rewarded—what you work on is more important than how hard you work.

Play your game, not theirs. You’ll play it better.


864 reads

Become an Expert, Not a Generalist

Become an Expert, Not a Generalist

Society celebrates experts in any given field.

But as David Epstein finds in Range, many experts succeed because of the range of pursuits that preceded their main endeavour.

Become a polymath. Generalize first, specialize later.


890 reads

Let Things Play Out

Let Things Play Out

This isn't a movie that you're watching on your TV.

You are not a passive observer of your own life. There are times to sit back, and there are times to push.

Learn to identify the difference and never be afraid to provide a little push.


750 reads

Don't Ask Too Many Questions

Don't Ask Too Many Questions

Children are born with an insatiable curiosity, but somewhere along the line, we are told to stop asking questions.

The most successful people in the world never listened—they broke this rule.

Ask questions. Be curious. Be interested.


706 reads

If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

Complacency will always lead you down a bad path.

Just because something isn't broken, doesn't mean it can't be improved.

Continuous improvement is the way. Focus on small, incremental improvements—day in, day out.


715 reads

Get a Stable Job

Get a Stable Job

This might have been a good rule in the Industrial Age, but its foundation is crumbling in the Digital Age.

The way we work is fundamentally changing—opportunities for creative, unstructured career paths are endless.

Find your Zone of Genius and operate in it.


567 reads

Stay in Your Lane

Stay in Your Lane

A rule of the fixed, stagnant, and hierarchical—often used to keep employees in line.

It's great to double down on your strengths, but never let external pressures prevent you from expanding your domains.

Growth mindsets rule the world.


549 reads

Think Through Every Big Decision

Think Through Every Big Decision

We are told to methodically consider the pros and cons of every big decision in our lives.

As a result, many of us have decision paralysis.

With big decisions, you're actually better off making them fast—let your gut and instincts guide you.


506 reads

Don't Talk to Strangers

Don't Talk to Strangers

A classic we are told as children—the residue of which carries into adulthood for far too many.

When we open up to those around us, we stimulate, learn, and grow.


492 reads


There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven't yet met.



543 reads

Get a Four-Year Degree

Get a Four-Year Degree

For decades we told children they had to attend a traditional four-year college, or else they were a failure.

That is a lie—and we loaded a generation with student debt because of it.

Four-year degrees make sense for many, but not for all.

Follow YOUR path.


466 reads

Save Now to Enjoy Later

Save Now to Enjoy Later

All mainstream financial advice tells you one thing: save now to enjoy later.

It should come with  a caveat:

You have to enjoy the prime of your life! Now and then, it's ok to save a bit less to go to that concert with your friends.

Find your balance.


459 reads

Have a Plan & Stick to It

Have a Plan & Stick to It

It's important to have a plan.

But as Mike Tyson famously said, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth."

Plans have to be dynamic—and punch-proof! You'll only go as far as your ability to absorb and pivot on the fly.


476 reads

Don't Be Self-Promotional

Don't Be Self-Promotional

It's easy to condemn self-promotion when you're at the top.

But when you're first starting out, you may be the only one in a position to promote.

When you put in the work, energy and love, share it with the world! Genuine pride is infectious.


482 reads

Be Realistic

Be Realistic

It's not up to anyone else to decide what is possible for you or your life.

Are there constraints outside of your control? Sure. Is that a reason to settle? Hell no.

As Will Smith says in Pursuit of Happyness: "If you want something, go get it. Period."


515 reads



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