Tom’s Twelve Laws of Life

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12 Laws of Life Tom Hoobyar

These are non-negotiable and there are no escape clauses. No excuses are accepted. Ignore them at your own risk. I got this information over decades of living, but many people never learn these rules at all. And so they live in “quiet desperation.” You don’t have to settle for that. If you consider these Facts and test them against your experience (NOT your conditioning!), I predict you’ll adopt them, and you’ll be on your way to a life of freedom and accomplishment.



This is a MAJOR fact of life. And it took me a long time to get this. If you want to be smarter than me you’ll give this first principle serious consideration.  Your skill level in these two areas will determine the quality of your whole life. Every champion and high achiever knows this. These simple skills are the clear difference between winners in life, and losers.

If you learn to manage yourself you can accomplish anything you can dream up. You can deal with negative experiences wisely and you can add skills as you need them. You can become unstoppable. Self management puts you on the launching pad to all the success you desire.

Most people limit themselves by their unwillingness to consider personal change. They won’t learn new things and they won’t change their behaviors even when they discover they’ve been wrong.

The funny thing is, self-change is EASY. You are the one person that you can get to anytime you want. You don’t need permission or an appointment, and no one can stop you from learning and changing whenever you decide to. The only obstacle is you!  Self-management is actually the first step to building people skills.  Once you commit to changing yourself into who you can be, you will notice the people around you in a different way. Now you see them as fellow beings with their own fears and drives. And they will see you with new respect and attractiveness.  You are surrounded by people who can help or harm you, based on how you treat them.  Learning how people work is a skill, just like learning how you work. These people can multiply your efforts and supercharge your success It takes leadership and persuasion skills – people skills.  People skills are like a booster rocket propelling you to your dreams. And the process of succeeding with others can be learned just like you learn to make toast. If you follow directions and practice, you can develop the skills that will make you very happy and prosperous.


As a young sailor I learned the hard way that when I was in a foreign port I needed to take my corners wide and keep my hands out of my pockets. In other words, I had to stay balanced, alert and ready to react to surprises. I’ve found that a lot of life’s situations are like “foreign ports.” They range from the bedroom to the boardroom, and you will encounter them throughout your life.

Keep your balance. Stay centered. Expect surprises.

Being centered has two sides; inner and outer.

Begin within.

Inner centeredness comes first; look there for your best self. It is how you will find peace of mind. There is a place in you that’s connected to something beyond you.  Spending time there will keep your mind clear and your spirit refreshed. That “doorway” is your center.

Until you’re connected to your core you won’t be very good at handling the rest of the world. Few people really get this. It is the single most important and least understood fact of life Your center is easy to find. Every spiritual tradition in history teaches prayer and meditation – it’s the most important thing you can do for the quality of your life. Just take a little break a couple of times a day, and learn to be still and RELAX.  If you give yourself this little time each day you will become calmer, stronger and your physical and mental health will improve. You will begin to focus more on what you think of yourself than what others may think of you.

For outer centeredness, you need to gain awareness of your personal boundaries. This is critical. Pay close attention to where you stop and others start.  Protect your personal prerogatives and respect those of others. Allowing others to invade your boundaries will destroy your personal freedom and subject you to their tyranny.

If you cross the boundaries of others you become codependent with them, caring more about how they live their lives than how you live yours. You can care about others without having to run their lives. Let them go and feel the relief, once you get used to living only your own life.


There is a Law of Attraction in human nature. What is in your mind is reflected “out there,” in what you experience as your reality.

Afraid? Then all the goblins that you fear will be attracted to you. The only useful purpose of fear is to remind you to plan. Plan so that you protect yourself from harm, but don’t become timid. If you play it TOO safe you’ll freeze in place and trade your life away for nothing.

Angry? Then you’ll get a lot of angry people to tussle with. Your life will fill up with honking horns and people pushing you around, and you’ll spend all your time pushing back.

It’s a good idea to choose your habitual thought patterns carefully.  Love, optimism and gratitude are good choices. These states of mind inspire you to explore, to create, to grow and to give. People and opportunities will become attracted to you. And the goblins and angry people will get smaller and less important, and finally they’ll fade and go away.

The point of choice comes up when you have to deal with a challenging situation. Do you call it a “bad break” – some S.O.B. was out to get you? Or was it just something that happened, leaving it up to you to interpret in the most nourishing way?  You might as well be positive. Bottom line – it works better. It makes you easier to be around and more creative and good-natured. And your immune system will be strengthened.

Events are just events until our thoughts and reactions turn them into experience. What the experience means, how useful it might be, those are the choices that we make -they’re the stories we tell ourselves about our lives.

We’re taught that it’s not ‘reasonable’ to expect to win all the time. Nonsense! That kind of thinking numbs ambition and smothers greatness. Even worse it leads to reasonable excuses. Excuses don’t accomplish anything so do NOT be reasonable.  Actually, achieving the impossible is quite normal – you’ve done it thousands of times.  EVERYTHING you do now was impossible for you before you did it the first time, from feeding yourself to balancing your checkbook.

Try this for a week. Focus on what you want instead of what you don’t want. Practice the skills of optimism, gratitude, generosity and forgiveness and your life will expand.

Yes, that’s right. PRACTICE.

Good attitudes are skills that you develop through repetition, just like swimming or math. And skills become second nature through practice. You will become stronger and more relaxed when you decide that you might as well thrive.  Your commitment to expectancy is another skill, and it’s decisive and magnetic. It attracts luck and creates focus. People and opportunities will be drawn to you. Life starts to get easier. And more fun.

Go ahead and test it. What have you got to lose? The only way you can fail at anything is to quit trying!


You’ve probably heard the saying, “As you sow, so shall you reap.” It means that our lives are created by what we do, not by what we intend. It means that we can harvest only what we plant. And every day you’re planting something, so choose wisely.

The biggest and most important influences in your life are created by small daily acts.  For example – Meditate, Study, Set Goals, Save Money, Exercise, Floss, Smile, and Say Thank You.

When you do the right thing at the right time it makes more difference than if you make a big dramatic effort too late. Cramming may work in school, but not in real life. The school term is over in a few months; life lasts longer. Days turn into years and those years become your life.

The most important qualities in life – Spirituality, Health, Relationships, Wealth, and Your Personal Character – are developed by regular acts done on a daily basis. They’re called “practices.”

Daily practices – done on schedule. What? Just “can’t do anything on a schedule?” Baloney. You can do anything you want on a schedule, unless you’ve never gotten to a plane on time. It’s a matter of priorities. And your priorities create your quality of life.  Choose the practices of your life as if you were a farmer. You can’t skip spring planting if you want a fall harvest. Master this principle and you will live your life to its fullest.  Changing your life doesn’t take a lot of work – just repeat a single positive act daily for three weeks and it will become a habit. Good. Now add another one. Then another one.  The force of good habits will automatically generate power and “good luck,” and your life will blossom.


Here’s a secret about “Original sin”. It’s guilt, and you get it from your parents.

Are you self-conscious? Most people are. They’re worried that they’re “unzipped.” They’re walking around thinking that people will notice their missing button, their bad hairdo, their poor credit and personal shortcomings.  These feelings are universal – we all got them while we were being taught how to behave as infants (“No!” “Bad!” “Don’t!”).

When we become adults we are supposed to leave these feelings of inadequacy in childhood where they were needed.

The way to do this is to forgive your parents for their shortcomings, whether they were minor or major. And then forgive yourself for all your sins, real and imagined.  Forgiving doesn’t mean that you think what happened was okay. It just means that you free yourself from the work of remembering it and getting mad at people that are not even around anymore. Including the younger “you.” You MUST do this if you want to be free.


Okay, take a deep breath here. This one gets a lot of people, because most of us have been brainwashed all of our lives to believe a huge lie. We’ve all been taught that we “owe” other people all sorts of obligations, and that we should expect lots of things from them in return.

That idea, in one word, is bullshit.

We waste an incredible amount of time either doing things we don’t want and don’t have to do, or feeling guilty because we didn’t do something we “should” have done. We also waste a lot of time and emotion being disappointed when we don’t get what we expect from others.

Freedom lies in the other direction.

The truth is, you don’t owe anyone anything and they don’t owe anything to you. This is all part of the “guilt” thing. It’s good for us to give to others, but ONLY when and how we choose.

The difference between free people who master their lives and those who are slaves is easy to spot.

Who sets their priorities?

Free people set their own priorities, while “slaves” allow them to be set by outsiders.

Your life belongs to you and you alone – and not anyone else.  Want a formula for unhappiness? Make your welfare dependent upon someone else’s choices. Do you need “support” from those you love? Or approval from a parent or friend? Or permission from anybody to pursue your own path?

That’s not living – that’s slavery!

Don’t look to anyone else for your success or happiness. That’s your job and yours alone. You must tend to your own welfare. No one else will, nor should they.


Most people expect way too much from others while they themselves actually get very little done. Inertia and distraction are insidious and damn near universal – expect it in others but guard against it in your own behavior.

Everyone listens to his or her favorite mental radio station – W.I.I.F.M., which stands for, “What’s In It For Me?” So don’t take it personally when you’re overlooked, your call goes un-returned, and you go un-thanked.

Most of your fellow humans are so distracted and disorganized that they only get around to the most essential, familiar or urgent things in their lives. They’re on “autopilot” most of the time – aren’t we all on occasion?

This self-interest is natural and healthy. Use this knowledge of other’s desires in your plans and proposals.

Here’s the big principle. If you want something to happen, take control and do it yourself. Don’t get bitter if perhaps someone else didn’t keep a commitment to help you.

It is a waste of time to criticize others, and a bigger waste to pay attention to anyone’s criticism of you. Just know that you can get better at doing things on your own. It’s a LOT easier than trying to get someone else to change.


Everyone alive thinks that they’re the “good guy.” He or she is the hero in their version of the story. They have a reason for what they do – even if it’s impractical or unworkable or has evil consequences.

People who are troublesome aren’t worth changing. Don’t even waste time complaining about them.

If someone hurts you, it’s not about you and you shouldn’t act like it was. People do what they do because of their own inner reality. Learn what you can do differently the next time, then forgive them and move on.

Really. Forgive them completely. And then, figure out how to manage, tolerate or avoid them in the future.

By the way, forgiving doesn’t mean that you think whatever they did is okay. It’s NOT okay. But here’s the thing – if you don’t forgive someone you can’t ever let it go. Then you have to go around with this burden of anger and sourness.  Wasn’t the original hurt enough for you? Why would you want to preserve it and remember it? Or them?

Carrying grudges ties up brain cells that you could use to make life sweeter for yourself and those you love. So, after you forgive them, forgive yourself for getting hurt – and then LET IT GO!


Friends and mates may change or leave, luck comes and goes, and there are no guarantees. The only certainty is that someday your life will be over, and only you can decide how it will be lived. If you want a happy ending you need to create it.  Think about it. When would “Happily Ever After” start?

After you win the lottery? – Most lottery winners are broke within three years.

When the wedding bells ring? – Over half of all marriages fail.

When you retire? – 95% of those over 65 live from check to check.

Stories have to have happy endings, because the story ends before their characters do.

Real life is different. You’re going to live until you die, so you need to have a plan for every day of it.

Choose your goals, write them down, and track them daily. Your life will happen by accident unless you have a plan for it. Either way things will happen to you. On every day of your life, after every climax, every tragedy and every triumph, the sun will rise again.

You get a new day every morning of your life. And as long as you’re alive you’ll have to prepare for that next day and the one after that.

So respect reality.

Think as if you have a future, because that’s where you’re going to spend the rest of your life.


People create their own personal hell with moral shortcuts, regrets about lost opportunities, resentment, and guilt. Then they add jealousy and envy, and they’ve paid the toll to enter Hell’s suburbs.

What toll do they pay? They give up their peace of mind, and sometimes their self respect.

They trade it for short-term pleasure.

Those who avoid doing anything that requires effort – physical exercise or forgiving or doing something for someone else – grow more narrow and less flexible day by day.  Stunted ambition strangles their dreams and their enthusiasm dies.  By the time they enter “downtown Hell” they’ve got a bad attitude about most things in life. They complain and criticize because “life has let them down.” The truth is life didn’t let them down – they quit trying.

Pretty soon their immune system gets the message and then their physical afflictions begin – their relationships are desolate and life becomes an ordeal. They start looking and acting older than they really are.

When these people look ahead, the future looks just like the past. Stretching on and on, day after unhappy day.

And that is truly Hell.


You can make your life sweeter bit by bit. It doesn’t take much, just some daily practice.

Spend some time in solitude each day renewing your peace of mind.  Invest in good memories by managing your behavior so that you enjoy looking back on your life.

You create your Heaven by small acts of generosity to others, making them smile and feel better.

You create it by little acts of courage – doing the right thing when no one but you will ever know you did it.

By making promises to yourself and keeping them, which builds your self-respect.  You create it by telling the truth even if it’s inconvenient or embarrassing. It makes you careful about what you do, or what you commit to doing. And that brings credibility and trust. And most important, you will know you’re liked for who you are instead of for some lie you’re living.

You’re in Heaven’s neighborhood when you notice the amazing number of things in life there are to be grateful for, especially as your gratitude becomes a constant part of your being.

Humans are the most flexible beings on this planet, and you build Heaven by stretching sometimes to try something new or a little scary.

Your reward is learning that you are more than you thought.

And you can always stretch more.

As you become older your personal Heaven becomes a bigger influence on those around you. Your life will expand faster than your physical abilities contract.  You will laugh a lot more than most people, and enjoy more contentment and peace than you ever thought possible. And it just keeps getting better and better.  If you choose to follow this path, you’ll be in Paradise long before you leave this life.


Everyone alive gets the same amount of time. 1440 minutes a day. 168 hours in each week. As long as you live. The only difference is in how you spend those hours.  You decide how to spend your time and you make that choice each minute.

You can begin to turn your life around in a second.

The only thing you need to do is decide to make it better. You can start to change immediately, beginning with a simple act and letting the acts pile up on each other, creating the change almost effortlessly.

You know the scriptural quote, “By their deeds you shall know them?” It was talking about us. It doesn’t really matter much what we think or what we intend, until the thought is expressed as action.

The quality of our lives comes from what we actually do.

Experience comes in moments – and the moments will keep coming for you until they finally stop. Each moment is a gift, and the chance to make your life different comes to you during each one of them.

Each of these “Facts” boils down to a single principle.


You can decide how your life will go during any moment you choose. This may be that moment.

It’s okay to dream big. Where do you want to go from here? How do you want your next moments to be? It’s up to you.


I’d like to leave you with a personal note.

Odds are I’m older than you and I’ll confess something. I wasn’t born knowing these Facts of Life. I got them one by one, over decades that would have gone better if I had known all of these rules earlier. But the bottom line is I eventually got them, and with each new breakthrough every area of my life (health, wealth, relationships and happiness) has gotten better and better.

The very few regrets I have are mostly not about the “sins” I may have committed. No, they are about the things I didn’t do when the opportunity arose.  I invite you to avoid creating regrets in your future by embracing opportunities for growth as they appear.

This article may be one of those opportunities. And who knows?  You could decide to use these rules as guidelines, and spend your life turning your dreams into reality.

If you try it, I think you’ll like it.


Tom Hoobyar

NLP-EGThis essay by Tom Hoobyar is part of the inspiration for and an excerpt from his new book, “NLP: The Essential Guide To Creating the Life You Want” To get more insight and improve your Mental Fitness, take a look inside.Only $12.98 on Amazon

This user-friendly guide, written by three seasoned NLP Master Practitioners and coaches, leads you on a personal journey in using and applying NLP in everyday life. Through their real-life stories, you will experience the NLP strategies you need to achieve specific results in business and in life.

0 thoughts on “Tom’s Twelve Laws of Life”

  1. Very inspiring..Thanks for sharing it with the world. It certainly has affected me deeply. I certainly will pass it on to as many people as I can.

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  4. Just curious about how you view family. What about children? If you have children, you have taken up the responsibility (or perhaps the obligation?) of caring for those children. Of course, there are very few things, especially in this country, which are actually forced upon you. But neglecting your children (or perhaps not viewing your children as your obligation) in my opinion is quite irresponsible. Emotions aside – probability shows that they would grow up to be a burden upon society rather than a contributor, and all the progress any person makes could then be unraveled.


  5. Wow – fantastic write up.

    What I really enjoyed about this is that you position achievement as a) personal (which it is) and b) obtainable through daily effort in small ways.


  6. People argue that these rules don’t work when you’re faced with children. Children are a CHOICE that you have made. That makes them your responsibility, not an obligation. You aren’t obliged to the children because they can’t fend for themselves, you’re responsible for the children because you chose to bring them into the world.

    A neglected child who grows into adulthood without positive role models can still benefit from these rules. After a certain point the child is responsible for their own actions. Some gain that sapience earlier than others. It’s every person’s individual responsibility to become the best possible person they can, to benefit themselves.

    It’s by adhering to these sorts of rules that we subsequently accomplish socialist ideals of a beautiful, caring society. Not by forcing people to prioritize others before themselves, but by bettering themselves for themselves and becoming better people outwardly.

  7. Ibrahim Jivanjee,

    Your point about children is a good one. However, if sit back and think of the people I consider good parents, they don’t look at their children as obligations, but rather a privilage and a gift. Every parent is “obligated” to feed, clothe, educate, and look after the health of their children, and many fail miserably, but somebody who just meets those minimum obligations is not a good parent. Those that our good parents never think about meeting those minimum standards — taking care of those comes automatically without a single thought. The good parents enjoy their children, and go the extra mile, educating, and teaching them about life, being involved in their lives, etc.

    I guess my point is that children and family in general should not be considered an obligation, but rather a privilage and a gift.

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  9. My name is Tom Hoobyar and I wrote these “rules”, after learning most of them the hard way – by ignoring them.

    You can debate them or praise or criticize them. Doesn’t matter to me. I offer them as a tithe, a time-saver for the reader who is smart enough to learn from the learning of others.

    There is more opinion on my site – – that may amuse you or piss you off, or even inform you. And it’s offered with the same respectful indifference. Use it if it makes sense – ignore it at your peril.

    Oh, and about children. I have 3 adult children and 6 grandchildren. My life improved by about half when my first born daughter joined me in this life, and it’s gotten better ever since. I think that children are God’s graduate course in living. They teach attentive parents patience, humility, self-sacrifice, tolerance, responsibility, and of course, love in quality and quantity that you never imagined. And I’m fortunate enough to have married a woman who feels exactly the same way. Life is good!

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  12. I don’t think it’s saying you don’t have to take care of your kids. I think it’s saying that when you follow these principles and shake off the “obligations” of behaving well, you will normally find yourself taking on obligations simply because they are important to you. Not because someone else told you.

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  14. Some really great stuff here. I waded through the religious references (which I personally have no use for) to get to a lot of very good insights. I wish I could pass this on to more people.

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  20. Some good points for sure. I don’t see any need however, to divide the world up into “winners” and “losers.” That’s relative and judgmental and a sure source of unhappiness.

    Also: there may be nothing new here, but that in itself doesn’t make it ‘”garbage.” Here’s a fortune cookie worth knowing: “The wise man learns more from the fool than the fool does from the wise man.”

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  23. A Great write-up. Thanks for sharing all these invaluable pieces of knowledge.

    A million Thanks Tom

    — Shivankk Gandhi.

    0 0

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  25. @Ibrahim: Re children.
    Too many people have children because it’s ‘what you do’. For them, it becomes an obligation, and sometimes, even a burden. Even if they don’t feel as bad as that, the majority of parents still have children and then send them off: to granny to look after; to playschool; then to school. All in the best interests of the children, of course. But, it’s not, it’s because they’re getting in the way and the only way the parent can cope is if the child is somewhere else.
    We don’t need to populate the world – that’s done. Parents should only have children if they’re committed to them, it’s part of their lifeplan, and everything will then revolve around ‘life with the children’.
    You don’t give up on your dreams when you have children, they become part of your dreams and you share your dreams with your children.

  26. “This is utter garbage – the same nonsense that’s been said for years.”

    “The typical opinion of a career guy who never traveled a year over the planet and learned what really matters.”

    Well, that’s compelling. Has anyone ever been persuaded by anything either of you two have ever written or said, at any time in your entire lives? Rhetorically soiling yourselves affects others far less than it affects yourself. Govern yourselves accordingly.

  27. Great stuff Tom. It does however make me sad to read posts like Jeannie’s, saying

    “I waded through the religious references (which I personally have no use for) to get to a lot of very good insights”

    Really Jeannie? What do you think came first, Tom’s observations or the book he pulled those references from? You’d be surprised that more “very good insights” could also be found within that book.

    Again, Tom, Kudos.

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  30. Very succinct and spot-on, especially this illustration from point #2:

    “I needed to take my corners wide and keep my hands out of my pockets. In other words, I had to stay balanced, alert and ready to react to surprises.”

    I have to admit that I skimmed the points first and then read the details. I think you are saying so much more than is implied with the headings!

    Very powerful.

    @Scott- I agree with your take on Jeannie’s comment.

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  37. I want to thank all of you that left such kind comments. It makes me feel that it was worth sharing — which is kind of tough. I’m a private person by nature, and not overly proud of the checkered past that was my tuition for my learning.

    But I got a great life out of it, and sharing these thoughts with you has taught me so much more.

    For instance, the negative comments, like my own comments, say a lot about the people making them. And while I feel for them I was thinking today about how what we believe completely trumps any new information.

    For instance, you folks who found good in my article were able to recognize and use the ideas for your own benefit. You WANTED to get better at this game of life.

    You who took issue with what I said got what you wanted, also. You got to shoot at something, and some of your remarks caused me to think about how I may have been too simple in some of my expressions. I’m considering that because some of the criticisms are so way off course in terms of what I intended to share.

    Of course, as these comments show, most folks who read my thoughts got them the way I intended, and that gives me huge pleasure and encouragement.

    I think I’ll keep sharing! So check my site if you want to keep up, even if I piss you off. Who knows, if you keep firing darts at me, one of us may learn something!



  38. Uplifting article, thanks for sharing! I’m 19 and got a long way ahead. I read also about “regret-minimization framework.” With the latter and implementation of those “laws,” I’ll have my life handled.

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  42. Thanks for sharing Tom.
    After a breakdown, and loosing a job after thirty years this is just what I needed to read.
    It will make me focus on my life and what I can a achieve.
    Today is the beginning of the rest of my life, I’m going to enjoy it, and try and make it a better place.

  43. OH MY GOD this is brilliant…i’m still amazed…I’m translating this in Romanian [I’m Romanian] and saving it somewhere so I can pass it to as many people as I can. THANK YOU!


  44. All in all, well said. I tend to be more of a “nugget” person and have some nuggets that have served me well and speak to several of the points Tom made.

    1. “Your locus of control ends at your fingertips.” All you can control is yourself, you are responsible for your own thoughts and actions, not those of others.
    2. “You can’t make anybody feel anything, good or bad.” How others respond to your actions is their responsibility, not yours.
    3. “What gets rewarded, gets done.” If a person is rewarded for being their “best self”, that’s what they will be. If they are rewarded for being a blight on humanity, that’s what they will be.
    4. “If you keep doing what you are doing, you are going to get what you got.” Doing the same thing and expecting a different result means you are out of touch with reality.
    5. “What has happened, has happened.” You have gotten to today by making certain choices. You can’t go back and fix your previous mistakes. Accept that and move on. “Woulda, coulda, shoulda” is the mantra for losers.
    6. “Allow serendipity into your life.” If you rigidly stick to your plan, you WILL fail to grasp opportunities that come your way.
    7. “Me, Us, Them.” Think from the center outward. Is it good for you? If not, don’t do it. If it is good for you, will it be good for your partnership with your significant other? And so on through the expanding circles around you.

    Like Tom, these are nuggets that I have picked over time. As for wishing that I had known then what I know now… nah, life has played out the it was supposed to. Whether you use the Desiderata, Tom’s 12 rules, or whatever, think about what you want. As someone said “the unexamined life is not worth living”.

    Dr. Spiff

  45. Scott and Mike J, I’m a little confused. How does “which came first” have anything to do with the fact that religious references are off-putting to people who don’t share those beliefs, and there’s some great stuff here that I wish I could share with more people? I think this was a great post and also that none of the twelve points depend on religious reference to hold up. I’m sorry if my comment makes you sad, but the sadness doesn’t really seem necessary.

  46. Phenomenal article. These 12 laws are worth reading and thinking about.

    Many may be cynical about writing such as this because, yes, it is true that these laws and the general ideas have been voiced or written over and over and over. Now tell me why repetition equals bad ideals? If you don’t prescribe to this kind of writing or subject matter, that’s ok! Spend your time and energy pursuing what makes you happy! Energy spend down talking others has no benefit to the writer or the reader.

    Cheers 🙂

  47. A awesomely inspiring article that I shall use the rest of my days.
    Thanks for taking the time to enrich other lives, like mine.
    Happy Holidays 🙂

  48. speck {the} limo dude

    wise words. positivity is much more powerful than negativity! live life with this phrase in mind,” NO PROBLEMS ONLY SOLUTIONS “. If you keep worrying about the problem you will never find the solution !!!!

  49. I really enjoyed these laws! I will keep them in mind! If I only had a printer I’d hang them on my wall so I would remember them everyday. Many of these laws reminded me of things my previous therapist tried to teach me many different times and in different ways. Unfortunately I may not have been ready for them back then. I’m still learning to forgive my parents, and myself, friends who have hurt me, God, even my previous therapist, and most especially myself! But the bottom line is that I have to take responsibility for myself, my own growth, and my own life, and that’s been the best lesson to learn. No one can change me but me. Thanks for reminding me of those things! I will keep them in mind.

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  52. 1. Tell this to the guy who was laid off just because you guys on the top didn’t make the numbers.
    2. One is NEVER in the center of the Universe unless is a CEO or C… whatever or owns the company. There is always someone closer to the center of the Universe that controls your life.(professionally and that spills to the personal life, one way or another).
    3. Counter-proof: I think about money all the time. So far didn’t get anything more than my salary. Exclude lottery from this. Work hard and still they will turn down any kind of raise. The C.. Whatever needs that money for their new yacht..
    I think of promotion. Never comes. Not because I’m incompetent but simply because the guy above you don’t want to lose his job.
    4. You make your habits up to the point the boss says “Enough!’. You play my way or it’s the highway.
    5. Yep. it liberates you from the current job as soon as they find out who is the responsible ( rightly or wrongly).
    6. YOU owe a lot if they don’t fire you in the item 5 above. Then fellas, there’s your “fraud” going down the drain.
    7. Right, but consider that the boss ALWAYS expects MORE than you can give. No matter how much you give.
    8. So, the C.. Whatever who didn’t make is numbers lays off 1000 workers to make the numbers look good again. No they don’t wake up as villains. They are born as such. So their bonuses are safe in their pockets while you are, well enjoying the life as much as possible. At least you don’t have to go to work next day but you are happy that the C.. whatever pocketed his/her millions by laying off you 999 others.
    9. Read carefully the line about the retired people. Have you ever seen a C…whatever go broke in his life?(unless caught red-handed and even then, well….).
    Ask yourself. Why did retirees go broke? Is it because they spent the million dollar retirement in one day? Could it be because some C…whatever did an “ENRON” with his retirement? Conclusion: So there is no “happily” in any instance
    10. Yes, there is a Hell and usually pops up after 30 years of hard work when you go collect your retirement just to find out that some C…whatever pocketed it. Another option could be: the company suddenly goes belly-up with the C… whatever having ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with it. “Act of God” is the C….” whatever’s” excuse would be my guess for his explanation.
    11. Of course you can create paradise on Earth as long as you are some sort of C… whatever. Otherwise, wait patiently for number 10 above. Not much of a paradise bit then what the HELL…..
    12. OK. Let me guess. Who’s going to change? The C… Whatever. Right? He’ll give you back all the $$$$$ you deserve (and from his pocket and own free will).
    14. MISSING: Life take unexpected turns (for good or bad) that nobody can control, If it goes North, lucky you, if it goes South, then all the wise man blah-blah-blah is well…
    15.MISSING: If “Good advice “ were really good it wouldn’t be given out for free. Ever seen the guy who manages your portfolio give you free advice and get you rich after the abracadabra?

    And yes, chose your goal and go for it till you get fired, laid off or you are past 40-50 years old and unemployed.

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  54. I have to say you have a lot of good points in this post, but I would hate to be one of your family members. You seem to equate success and freedom with money, spoken like a true CEO.

    At least you titled the post correctly!

    And #6 sure explains the financial meltdown. LOL

    When money and greed are finally done away with there just might be hope for mankind.

  55. Great thoughts on living life to the fullest. They all basically seem to center around the philosophy of self reliance. No one makes you happy, successful, lucky, etc. You do that for yourself — but only if you’re willing to put in the effort.

    One point you mention but didn’t emphasize enough (I think) is the affect of your outlook on life on your physical health. Medical science has long known about the healing power of the mind.

    Thanks for sharing your “dozen” laws of life!


  56. To Kiefer and Pete,

    Hi Gents,

    I wish you had really read the article for what it could do for you. At least Kiefer got some of it, so most of this is for Pete.

    Buddy, please don’t let more of your life slip away while you tell yourself these toxic untruths. It can be better, believe me. You can make a difference, in your life and the lives of those around you.

    If you don’t like my example that’s fine – I’m an acquired taste for many. But turn off the negative noise in your head (and in the news coming in from outside) and look at what’s working for you.

    You’re intelligent and a good writer. You have a lot to offer if you look for someone to offer it to — instead of telling yourself that there’s no hope and that everyone’s against you.

    I’ve been feeding myself since I was 16, through over 40 occupations, working my way up. I know what I’m talking about. I’ve been broke, fired, divorced, hospitalized and jailed during my long life.

    And a couple of decades ago I was fired from a company I founded, by people I thought were my friends. I could have made that an excuse for self-pity and general misery, but I picked myself up (notice, I said I picked MYSELF up) and got a job, then started another business.

    The important thing is not how far down you get, but what you DO to change things when you’re there. You will bounce if you decide to bounce. And it always starts with “the inner game”, what we tell ourselves about our lives.

    For instance when I get hammered by life I’ve told myself “Fine, I was bored and ready to go anyway, and at least I still have time to do something more interesting.”

    Now I’m starting yet another new business and doing fine, thank you.

    And it’s not because I was “born” a CEO, or a villain for that matter. I don’t equate success with money, but, like health and laugh lines, it is a clue that you’re probably giving some value to someone, somewhere.

    Of course there are thieves in the world.

    I read the papers, and even more to the point I pay for groceries. Like one of my favorite writers has said, “Of course the game is fixed, but don’t let that stop you; if you don’t play you can’t win!”

    Whether you like it or not, we are all what we have made of ourselves. And we can change our lives only by changing our minds.

    It’s up to you, not me and not “them”.

    Maybe I’m wasting my breath, Pete, but I care deeply about you, and I wish you well, and I KNOW that things can be better if you take the time to really check out my article, take responsibility for your own welfare, and start using your personal power.

    BTW, Kiefer, my family likes me fine.

    My personal thanks for taking the time to read my article and for the courage to comment on it. It made me reconsider how I expressed myself. And I came to realize that what I wrote, while awkward, was still good stuff.

    Best of the Holidays to both of you, and everyone else in this wondrous world of NLP.



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  59. I have a few steps really only one.
    Know that it not a bout you.
    It a bout who’s image you where created in.
    Don;t look inward look outward and upward to Him who knows you better then you know your self.
    You’re going to live until you die to quote you.
    The truth is your going to be a live some were for eternity.
    This life is temporal you have a soul and it will be judged and God will decide if you make heaven are the Hell the place you chose not to believe in.
    Yes do get in touch with one’s inter being by getting in touch with ones only true hope Christ Jesus
    Know true peace no God.

  60. Actually this was a nice read on this Christmas day…as I am sick, but that’s ok..I need to nuture and take care of myself too I do on a daily work

    I loved the insight of your post here…I think I’ll re-read it again…

    forgiveness is a hard one ….at times

    someone who gets on your nerves at work fake, superficial, holier than tho Christian.. lol I need to stop stressing about them . I don’t believe in ass kissin and what’s in it for me? mentality…. but they do actually get under my skin…

    I need to figure away to rise above them..(long story) I need a larger dose of tolerance!! you cannot change people only yourself~

    Have a great Day and Merry Christmas!!

  61. Hi Tom,

    Thanks a million for sharing your thoughts. Its really inspiring and helps me a lot!
    And, don’t bother about the other comments, some people never learn.

    Its truly great points that you’ve listed.
    Please keep up the good work, it makes a big difference (for good) to a lot of lives.
    It did… atleast to mine.

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  63. To all of those who say “these ideas have been said for years,” “it didn’t work for me,” etc:

    Success proves something, failure proves nothing (no matter how numerous the alleged “failures” are.)

    People are always taking good ideas and misinterpreting, misapplying, selectively applying, and outright abandoning them, and then blaming the ideas, and the faithful adherents thereof, for the “failure.” Success, however, is no accident, and isn’t so easily dismissed.

    If Tom (or anyone else) has achieved success by these principles, that constitutes proof positive that they are true, rendering any counter argument out of “failure” utterly moot.

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  65. Sorry Ackbar, your royal flatulence, no star for you.

    What Tom has written works. I won’t bore you with the details of my life … you would scoff anyways … but I have that Paradise that Tom was talking about. It’s not ‘pie in the sky’ … it’s right here, right now with reason to hope for even more and even better in the near future.

    In the last 12 months I have been to Ireland, Aruba, North Carolina, Minnesota and Florida … all for fun. In another month or so I’ll be headed for NYC for a week to attend the wedding of a dear friend. I’ve attended several live concerts this year (4 symphony, 3 pop) and have two more scheduled between now and April.

    Not bad for a guy who’s unemployed and does NOT receive any form of gov’t. assistance.

    I tutor one young man in English composition and mentor another, a fatherless lad, in Bible studies. I do decorative woodwork when it pleases me and am working on an autobiography at a leisurely pace. I have a loyal wife who is a joy to be around, a garden that is so fertile that even I am sometimes amazed and a warm, sound home that will be paid off in two months … the money for that is already in the bank.

    Even though I don’t seek commissions, the woodwork is backed up roughly 3 months.

    I am located in Detroit, which provides me with a fertile location for my ministry.

    I do disagree with Tom (slightly) on the first listing: self-management is NOT easy — else more people would do it. The reason for this is simple: “The heart is more treacherous than anything else and is desperate. Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

    So, there is a battle within. But it -can- be won.

    Just keep in mind that the attitude that got you into a fix won’t be the one to get you out of it. Change is mandatory.

    You could start by taking this advice:

    “Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster. Your life will never be the same again.” — Og Mandino (Author of “The Gift of Acabar”)

    There … that’s Toms second people skill.

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  67. Nice list Tom. I can hear a wealth of experience in your words. I am always grateful for the opportunity to skip hard times others have endured by listening to their stories!

    I have to agree with the others that self-change is not easy at all. The real difference is that it is never impossible. If you have given away your ability to make the decisions in parts of your life it will appear difficult, perhaps insurmountable. But it’s never beyond reach.
    I think the important thing is to realize that the first person you have to convince is yourself. “I can’t do anything” is a tempting thought, but if you reduce it to a trivial level it’s obviously false (you can always act at some basic point).
    So if you find yourself lacking in confidence or motivation, start with your absolute smallest unconnected problem and fix it. Make a plan, gather what you need and get it done. Take a little time to appreciate your success, then move on to your new smallest problem.
    By the time you reach issues that are actually difficult you will have built up some confidence and discipline in your problem-solving abilities and will feel ready to ask other to help. Just make sure not to rush ahead. Set a pace that won’t overwhelm you. Start soon and start slow.

  68. Excellent points, Tom. I plan to print this out, and re-read it frequently.

    I recently read a quote (don’t know the original author) that you might appreciate:

    Most people fail rather than succeed because they are willing to trade what they want MOST for what they want NOW.

    I thought that fit with some of your ideas.

  69. Well you got #10 right. After 55 years, life sucks and there isn’t much I can do about it. The rest of the list is a nice dream tho. I guess some people still can see the top of the well. You and your friends keep that attitude! It amuses the rest of us.

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  73. I know that it has taken me years to realise even a few of these principles. This list is condensed experience. A great summary.

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  77. Tom,

    Nice words in your reply. I’m not against your way of looking at things. It’s just that I’ve been bitten by these 10 topics of yours one time too many and they never worked for me o mater how hard i tried. That doesn’ mean that the topics are invalid. Far from it.

    Sorry to disappoint you on this but anyway, for the new kids. just out of college and starting to see what the real world is all about, where one eats the other for greed or power or both, your topics are very useful.

    As thy say, if you are the only one laughing in that meeting, then probably you have no inkling of the problem’s magnitude.
    Perhaps your topics will open eyes long before someone starts to laugh at the wrong time.

    BTW, you could write something similar to these topics but for older guys. To those “idiots” that are smoked once they get 45 years old or more and just can’t find a job even though they might have some 20 or so years of experience in their backs but they are ‘old”, and apparently became “idiots” due to their age. Fantastic neurological phenomena. I wonder what happens to the brain after 45 or 50. Do we get dumb, Do we forget all we know when we hit some ‘magic number” of birthdays?

    But then you see, what is the average age of a Nobel prize winner? How come they don’t get dumb no matter how old they are.

    Anyone need a resume of mine. Just let me know and I bet you can’t say at which point in time I became an “idiot”.

    Best regards

    Pete, one helluva “age dumb” guy.

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  79. Wow! I’m speechless. Tom, this is awesome. It’s like you’ve cherry-picked every relevant point from all good self-improvement books and spiritual guides of all time, and then thrown it all away and learned it on your own and presented it in a very personal and emotional way. Great, great job.

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  81. Pete,

    I care about you because I used to be you.

    I hope you either keep circling back to these comments, or email me directly so I can respond more quickly.

    1) I’m fifteen years older than you, so my perspective is from that viewpoint, almost a generation earlier than you.

    2) These points WERE written for everyone — including the “burnouts” older than 45. I will share with you that I have been broke and forced to remake my life in every decade of my life. Including this one.

    3) Most of these “remakes”, including the current transition from ceo to writer, included a complete shift of field and the necessity for mastering a brand new set of skills.

    4) MOST important point of my “12 Truths” is the last one. Which says….

    It’s NEVER too late to change.

    Perhaps, instead of hawking your resume and being dependent on other people’s evaluation of you, you should consider hiring yourself. If you were to do that, you would come into direct confrontation with your own shakey self-image. Which can only be fixed by you.

    Drop me a line and let me know how you’re doing.

    Best wishes,


  82. With all due respect, I say bull shit to your 12 rules. There is only one rule. There are no rules. Your missive displays a self absorbed over thought concept of how you think people should think and how they should conduct themselves. Life is far to simple to make it so complex as you have in every one of those noble but silly rules. It really is. We try very hard to make life complicated, but when you break it down to the reality of our own miraculous existance then we can see that from birth to death, the in between just isn’t so important that we need the type of rules that keep us in a box. Now if one wants to restrict themself with a set of life rules the their first rule should be, one should make their own rules.

  83. !!!!WARNING!!!!

    One of the above spam links tries to install a trojan when just visiting this page.

    The one that has f*** in the url.

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  85. William must be very young. He will learn,
    with a little seasoning, that he will also have
    some sort of rules of thumb by which things
    work better.

    And BTW? These are not for everyone. Just
    the hundreds that have appreciated it. Also,
    they’re not MY rules. They are my observations,
    drawn from a long life where I missed most
    of the clues early and learned them too late.

    Have fun, William. Your life is your own. Do
    with it what you will. You are the one who
    will live with the results.

    Here’s a poem by someone much brighter than
    William and me combined:

    “Do what thy manhood bids thee do
    From none but self expect applause
    He noblest lives and noblest dies
    Who makes and keeps his self-made laws”
    Sir Richard Burton
    19th Century poet, explorer and adventurer

    Peace out,


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  88. i agree with william’s comments to a certain extent and that the list had nothing to do with life or laws of life. it is more of a list of behavioral thought processes that tom thinks will benefit you in a situation that life might present. life has no time for logic and this reality will be sure to test you on your every level of being. what i don’t understand is tom’s approach and acceptance of such “laws” or “answers” to life just because one has lived through them. trust me tom, you know nothing and if you said you knew nothing then i would know i was talking to someone who knew certain aspects of truth. tom has a lot to learn before he evolves and learns that one is not suppose to be content on earth and if you are you are on the wrong path. tom’s comfort only shows his level of ignorance. let tom be as he is and fulfilled with content on earth and surely he will return again to understand nothingness and truth. i however could never judge tom but feel that he might be too comfortable with his ego and self to understand that ultimately to move forward you have to lose both.

  89. it was excellent ……….. it inspired me alot ………. every should read this to make their lifes happy and i will definately follow , what it said



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