12 Laws of a Successful Life

April 7, 2008

The following twelve laws were listed in the first step of the The Templeton Plan (Affiliate Link). The book calls them simply the “laws of life.” I like to think of them as the 13 laws to a successful life. Here are the 12 laws along with my thoughts on each one.

1. Truthfulness – A successful person will only speak the truth. Unfortunately, it almost seems as though truth has become a matter of opinion these days. Just because we believe something, doesn’t make it true. I wish our politicians, celebrity activists, and business leaders could figure this one out.

2. Reliability – A successful person can be relied upon to do what they say they are going to do.

3. Faithfulness – A successful person is a loyal person—loyal to their family, friends, co-workers, and themselves.

4. Perseverance – Difficulties are going to come. A successful person perseveres through those bad times to get to the good times. One way to persevere through a tough time is to turn it into an opportunity.

5. Enthusiasm – A truly successful person will have enthusiasm for whatever they are trying to accomplish. A successful person is enthusiastic NO MATTER what job they are doing.

6. Energy – This seems to go hand-in-hand with enthusiasm as I tend to associate the two together. Enthusiasm should give a person energy.

7. Humility – We all make mistakes. Therefore, it’s wise to humble ourselves, admit the mistakes and move on. Never associate humility with weakness. If anything, true humility is a sign of strength.

8. Pleasing Others – The book is quick to admit that there are limits to this law. A person can’t live their life simply trying to please others but they can and should try to do things that are pleasing to others. Make sense?

9. Giving – A truly successful person will give of their time and finances. I’m also a believer that a successful person will give without drawing attention to themselves.

10. Learning From Others – A successful person tries to learn something from everyone they meet. I have learned A LOT from the readers of this blog. I realized a long time ago that I don’t know everything and that there are people out there who know more than I do and are willing to share their knowledge with me.

11. Joy – A successful person is happy no matter what the circumstances. We all know people who are always happy. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them! Out of these 13 laws, I would say that this one would probably be the most difficult one for me to put into practice.

12. Altruism – According to my American Heritage College Dictionary, the definition of altruism is, “Unselfish concern for the welfare of others; selflessness.” An altruistic person tries to make the world a better place to live in. That’s a noble goal.

I’m going to memorize this list and put all of these laws into practice in my life.

3 responses to 12 Laws of a Successful Life

  1. Christopher Smith April 7, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    I notice a strong overlap between these “laws” and the Boy Scout Law… trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

  2. Christopher,

    I never thought about it but you’re right.

  3. On happiness:

    I was persistently unhappy for a very long time. This started to turn around when I picked up a book by Ken Keyes Jr.: How to Enjoy Your Life In Spite of it All.

    This is not a conventional self-help book; rather it is a set of maxims to memorize and then use every simgle time you are unhappy to diagnose which of twelve unwise ways of thinking you are employing.

    The maxims are not merely stated as gospel, but explained in simple rational terms to demonstrate their superior wisdom over their opposites.

    I was amazed to find that about 98% of the time I was able to locate a specific error I was making, and in thinking through the error I was able to resolve the unhappiness.

    It took many years to thoroughly turn my thinking around, but in each of these years more good things started to come to me as I made fewer mental errors and exhibited more happiness: a lovely wife, a beautiful son, an improved career, restored health. And these things cycled in with my continued review of the twelve “pathways to happiness” presented by Keyes so that my growth in happiness accellerated. So I recommend his book to those who are open minded and really want to enjoy life fully.

    Keyes descended from the famous Florida real estate empire with that name, but broke from his family because of their religious intolerance. He suffered from polio in his youth and lived after that time as a quadrapeligic. When it came to suffering and the means for overcoming it he spoke from personal expeirnce. He devoted much of his life to helping other people live more wisely, and passed away at age 77 some years ago.