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My 7 Life Rules – What I’ve Learned In 42 Years

"The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose"
—Richard Leider

A very close relative once told me that one should learn from the mistakes others make, rather than from your own. It took me a long time to discover that this was not true.

As a child, you learned the hard way that putting your hand on a hot stove top is a bad idea. If you had not made this particular mistake, wouldn’t you have wondered what that might feel like your whole life?

On the other hand, it doesn’t seem to be a good idea to jump in front of a driving truck only to experience that this was not such a good idea.

I think that there are certain mistakes you have to make by yourself. Only then will you be able to catch a glimpse of the true nature of that particular situation along with its consequences, and you will be able to learn from it.

If you take this thought a little further, doesn’t this mean that one should make as many mistakes as they can in order to learn as much they can?

Albert Einstein said:

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."

Therefore, life is about experiencing the new, about making mistakes and about learning from them.

There are many road signs on the way which are trying to help us make the right decisions. We are bombarded with rules of guidance.

There is religion, family, the government, society, the media – EVERYONE is teaching us about moral and ethics and how you should basically live your life.

The "modern urban" society has especially imposed unwritten rules upon us which, very often, betray us by the life we, as free human beings, should be living. I believe that we should break the chains of society more often and leave one’s comfort zone in order to find the "unknown". It is there, where the "magic" happens.

When we don’t have the comfort of the known around us, feeling so secure, then something very uncomfortable happens, we are confronted with this thing we all know so well:


But by facing what we fear, we learn priceless life-lessons from which we will benefit our whole lives.

Right after my experience, I learned more about myself and life in particular than I had in all the time before that.

The unknown and pain will make you wiser.

The following 7 life rules I learned the hard way. Like putting your hand on a hot stove. These are born out of mistakes, pain, tears and fear.

I list them here not because I wanted to tell you how you should live your life, but because I want to show you a new perspective.

Maybe some of these life lessons may appeal to you, and you are willing to think about them. Maybe they don’t make sense to you, and you will still have to make these mistakes for yourself. Either way, they show you how good things can be born out of pain.

So here they are, my personal 7 life rules:

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24 Responses to My 7 Life Rules – What I’ve Learned In 42 Years

  1. Leila February 22, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    could you expand on #5? isn’t it a good thing to validate people? what exactly do you mean by that?

    thanks, very helpful article – relaxing is one of the lessons i’ve learned… to just sit back and let things happen, it’s a way to let the unknown just happen without controlling the moment…

  2. Determined February 22, 2010 at 5:31 pm #

    I really enjoyed this article.!
    It’s been 11 months since the relationship ended and it’s been hard work getting to this point. At first, I set goals for myself to keep my mind pre-occupied from thoughts of “what could have and should have been”. It worked and to my surprise, my self-esteem started to grow tremendously. The more I set goals for myself, the more I was able to reach them, the more I reached them the more I was able to build my inner-strength, allowing me to easily create more positive affirmations to tell myself. Also, I began to trust my inner-voice, allowing me to make decisions without having to debate both sides of the coin. It was hard for me to trust my inner-voice since I felt my inner-voice should have forewarned me of what I felt was a major tragedy in my life. I felt my inner-voice should known
    By using “goals” all the other rules fell into place easily. For me to reach my goals I knew I had to stop “procrastinating “ (I bought a book on procrastinating 6yrs ago, read the first chapter and told myself that I would finish at a later time, never read the book…lol). I thought it would be hard to stop procrastinating but the feeling, the “HIGH” I received from reaching my goals was so overpowering that I never even thought about procrastinating. I was addicted to the “HIGH” feeling that my accomplishments provided.
    With things in my life starting to feel and look better, I naturally started to appreciate things in my life with a different perspective. I began to be thankful of the things that had no quantitative value. I realized that what is most important to me has no price tag and that no one can give but me. I learned to “Love” myself for who I am. I’ve always had a good outlook about myself, so I thought, but all the things I “thought” was good in my life was all superficial.

    One thing I do find hard is to be “flexible”. I guess it’s because if I’m “flexible” it may cause me to lose sights of my goal which has given me so much in terms of happiness. What I found was that flexibility came more easily as my goals and priorities were met.

    Yes I feel good about myself now but it’s still a work in progress and I have a long way to go. Valentine’s Day was proof of that….lol.
    It was a day to build on my experience,
    It was a day of growth,
    It was a learning day,.!

    It does get easier with TIME..!!


  3. Matt February 22, 2010 at 7:19 pm #

    I would like to see an expansion on #5 also, but I have an idea what Eddie is getting at.

    I recall Deepak Chopra and others advising to practice freedom from making incessant judgements upon our surroundings (including people) in the stream of daily life. This is how we can accept things as they really are without triggering the energy sapping reflex of approval/non-approval which seems to saturate the TV driven American mindset.

    It’s quite the burden to be overly critical. I recall riding in a car with one young guy who was giving me a steady monologue about every other driver in a parking lot scenario as we arrived to park, complete with insults. It seemed he was tortured by the commonplace task of parking his car. How many people have we heard do the same in any number of situations?

    Bad energy flows (and with practice LOTS OF IT!) from this always-on judgemental/criticizing mindset, including making certain hard conclusions that are not possible to know from the evidence available, yet people mistakenly come away convinced.

    I would like to call #5 (and all seven of Eddie’s life rules) my own, but I can’t presently, because I haven’t practiced long enough to own it. Hopefully, a discussion thread here could cement some of this into my best thinking.

    Tell you what…….when I quit smoking in 1987, I did so from a book off the library shelf. I owe my life to that author. One thing learned was the use of index cards to affirm in words the desire to change in specific ways concerning breaking the cigarette addiction. I had those cards all over! But for now, I’m going to write Eddie’s rule #5 on an index card and lay it in the fold of my wallet…..and one duplicate taped to the computer display frame. The index card as a tool for personal growth is superb.

    I’ve inquired about meditation, though I’m not in any habit of practicing formally. I know meditation would enhance rule #5 because whatever thought passes through the mind during meditation is to be accepted without emotion, for just what it is and nothing more, and when it passes, it passes replaced by the next thought and in the same way received and processed, and then the next and the next.

    I relate formal transcendental meditation to the thought flow I try to hold when I run…….a sense of direct mental connection with my physical running experience……”the zone”…… feel what’s there.

    I think that mindstate is to be carried into much of our ordinary activity, doing things simple and complex with keen and pleasant awareness……unharried by emotion, always with self-respect, at a suitable pace, free from imposition by other people’s excesses as hard as they try. We all know people who have this mastered. I do not have it mastered, but I can with determination.

    What took me to this website, were my mistakes. This website is certainly good for me. Funny how this stuff works!

    Thank you for the chance to comment!



  4. bubbles February 23, 2010 at 5:14 am #

    thanks for all the wonderful posts eddie! your website helped me a lot to move forward w my life. everything happens for the best…its true that in life ,whatever happens never lose the lesson…learn well, live well and no regrets. always appreciate the strength and wisdom we have gained from painful experiences for it makes us a better person. be thankful in all circumstances! continue being a blessing to others and may God bless you more!

  5. Eddie Corbano February 23, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    Thank you for reading the article and for your wonderful comments.

    I’m afraid that #5 fell victim to language problems, I apologize for the misunderstanding (you all know that English isn’t my native tongue, right?).

    So, this is what I mean with #5:

    I try not to judge people – especially someone I’ve met for the first time – by their looks, education, race, color, their actions, social backgrounds, opinions, etc.

    We tend to “label” and “categorize” people, very often subconsciously, looking for flaws and weak points only to feel better about our own flaws.

    This often happens in a second, without even realizing it.

    What we also don’t realize is that this takes HUGE amounts of energy (“the energy sapping reflex of approval/non-approval” as Matt phrased it brilliantly).

    Also, we are inclined to value things and situations by their current usefulness: We say “The thing that happened to me yesterday was a bad experience”. But if you think about it, there isn’t really such a thing as “good” or “bad”.

    It is also very wrong to label our feelings, like ‘what I feel now is good or bad’. It is very important to accept them as they are.

    This whole mindset is not always easy to put into action, it takes some practice and mind-control. But it really is liberating once you’ve incorporated it into your daily life.

    Thank you all again for sharing your wonderful thoughts.

    Your friend,

    • debra February 23, 2014 at 12:47 am #

      Eddie I need help. My heart was torn from my chest. He wanted a baby.we were together for 2 years.1 month preg n he left saying he is not in love n ended it.I am applying nc

  6. David February 23, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    Thanks for the explanation Eddie!

    I don’t know about anyone else but I do this ALL the time. Always making better or worse comparisons in my head.

    My solution to help practice this in my life is to FEEL love coming from my heart whenever I look at or talk with others. I imagine the love emanating outward toward them and that feeling helps me realize that all of humanity is here in this life together. It helps me feel we are all connected and gets me out of my fear. All that judging and ego I do is connected to my fear(s) and I can’t just remove the fear, I have to replace it with it’s opposite, love.

  7. Cathy February 24, 2010 at 2:54 am #

    Your rules seem pretty good but……

    trusting your inner voice…

    eg determined said “It was hard for me to trust my inner-voice since I felt my inner-voice should have forewarned me of what I felt was a major tragedy in my life. I felt my inner-voice should known”

    What or who is your inner voice? I remember the cartoon when I was growing up about everyone having a little devil and a little angel on each shoulder – one saying “Do it.” one saying “Don’t.” When did we stop believing this?

    Have you heard the song with the lyrics ‘garbage in, garbage out’.

    We all have inner talk happening and much of it can be defeatist so I choose to put great stuff in – some of which has been mentioned throughout this conversation such as with techniques from gurus like Deepak Chopra. Motivational speakers especially based on firm foundations and ancient wisdom whether it be through the wisdom of women, or religions (eg Jesus or the Dalai Lama) can really help us to stay positive and focused on our goals without dwelling.

    Too me that is the key ‘not to dwell’. If you feel sad don’t deny it – feel it (quickly if possible) then do something to change your attitude back to positive and focused.

    Mindset – what a man thinketh so is he!

  8. Eddie Corbano February 24, 2010 at 9:17 am #

    What or who is your inner voice?

    I believe that there are two distinctive things going on in our heads:

    1. The ego-based fear polluted “inner talk”, the “monkey-mind” as the Buddhist call it
    2. The non-ego-based inner voice coming from a “higher source” (don’t interpret too much into this term) – the “gut feeling”

    Usually the first one is MUCH louder than the second one.

    Now, I have learned that, when I am able to quiet my mind, to dive into the quiet as Deepak Chopra phrased it, I can feel that “higher source” inner voice.

    Call me crazy, but when I have an important decision to make, that inner voice ALWAYS knows the right thing to do. It has never failed me.

    The problem is – as I wrote in my article – to quiet the criticising and fear based part of your mind. This is sometimes extremely difficult, it takes practice, positive affirmations and self-confidence.

    If you master this (I haven’t… yet), then you have the perfect tool for doing the right thing in life.

    So much for theory… but I’m working on it.

  9. shine March 14, 2010 at 5:51 am #

    i am new here. . and i am really happy for i have found this website. . perfect for my situation. . everything i have read here in your article inspired me a lot. . and i enjoyed reading them, especially the article where you shared your life’s lessons and experiences. . every words gave me confidence. . . and as i go on with your article. . i believe i will become a better person soon. . .. thank you so much!

  10. sheetal April 12, 2010 at 6:44 pm #

    hi eddie ……i m vry upset in dese days i hve no prblm wid my professional lyf its going gud…bt i m alone i found dat the people whom i used to cal my friend dey don’t take interest in me now a days ,,,i really don’t know wt to do bt i m feeling very bad,,,,,,,pls help me

  11. Marie April 14, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    Omg! I’m so glad that I found this site, I’m amazed by the amount of tps that I have found here, I was searching random tips to break up,, ( I really don’t want to) I will let time take it’s course.. but I do agree with the inner voice, we all have that… ” this is not good” but somehow we sometimes ignore it ( not all people)
    by really knowing what you want and where you are, and being truyly firm to yourself.. then things start to happen..
    I love your site!!!!!!!!!! keep going.. =)

  12. Kiera June 3, 2010 at 12:27 am #

    Good advice! I enjoyed reading this, and yes I agree with the 'goals' aspect to life, I always feel better if I 'complete' something, I think I might try and finish the books I've started to read, at least then I can say I've read them, and might even give me a different perspective on life, thank you!

    • philomena Maitland Kharphanbuh August 9, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

      I am so gratefull for what i have read through your many advice about break ups and life goals etc .i wish that i had found your site after my first marriage broke but then i did not but am so glad that while making a random search abt how to deal with breakups i found your website .its early days actually less than half a month but with your road map i think it will help me better and eventually my kids too.thank u

  13. Victoria-Ozarks Crescent Mural July 26, 2010 at 8:29 am #

    I have my own ideas about a few of these.

    1. Make decisions and never look back. I totally disagree. I think decision-making should take a lot of introspection and some deep thought. You want to make sure you are making the right decision and it's not easy to make the right decision quickly. Never looking back is bad advice too because I'd rather learn from my mistakes so that I never make them again.

    3. Very true. It's a good way to live.

    6. I think for some people saying NO more often would be better.

    7. Goals are what determine my actions.

  14. cheryl August 7, 2010 at 10:33 pm #

    My friend just told me about this site — I think it's great! Really intersting thoughts and ideas.
    I am curious about what you say in #4 & #5 — feel like those 2 thing work against each other sometimes. I meet someone new and try not to be judgemental, but –as a friend recently pointed out to me — the relationship usually winds up ending because of the reasons I saw right from the start. How do you know when to follow your intincts and when to be open minded?

  15. Lara August 17, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    well, this is the first time i read these nice texts. i have to say they're really enlightening and help gaining a new perspective to life.
    well, i'm going through one very difficult period in my life. i shall share. actually, up to 6 months ago i had one relationship, had job and a couple of friends. it was a long term relationship that took me a lot of time an energy, but also was my only priority besides my education. i had an organized life, but free from excitement and real enjoyment in love. after i have graduated (3 years ago) and gained an affirmation in the field of work, i fell helplessly in love with a man i thought was everything i've ever wanted for myself. after a long deliberation whether i should stay in an old relationship or pursuit my happiness with that man, suddenly our encounter happened and i slipped from one boring relationship and boring life into the relationship with the man of my dreams. it lasted five months , five months of extreme happiness. suddenly it all vanished and i'm feeling left alone with no friends, protection and support. i used to be a looked upon person, now i feel i'm nowhere, no friends, no love, no job, nothing..the thing that worries me most is that i lost my interest in professional improvement since i was left all alone and no one to turn to. i wish you could write about this or similar problem cos i 'choose to live' but need help.
    sincerely yours, Lara

    • Blah September 20, 2010 at 5:58 pm #

      im in a similar situation. Eddie i hope you'll write something about this.
      something about how not to lose yourself in a relationship.

  16. Maryviper September 5, 2010 at 7:49 am #

    This articleis nice.

    I think I never quite learn because sometimes I get myself thinking that I always make the same mistakes it really frustating..but in the article I agree…But sometimes I think lifes hard for people that make it hard…

  17. suburbangirl September 17, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    I wish I had taken the time to search online for advice before making mistakes that have irreperably damaged what would have been a friendship as we had agreed upon. When we broke up both of us were relieved and even crying about it. Afterwards I fell apart. During the past six months I wasn't happy either and I was passive, wanting him to come to the same realization as I that it must end. I wanted him to be the one to break up with me because somehow I thought being on the same page would make a difference. Then once it happened I couldn't stop myself. I needed closure because we had done this over the phone. No matter who I talked to (and I have really good friends) I continued down a path that was not good for me and especially for him. My actions following the breakup have now caused irreparable damage. I did the one thing you are not supposed to do – I kept attempting to make contact for my closure. Not his, mine. It was as if I couldn't start to heal until a climactic ending had occurred. I couldn't let go. I feel like a horrible person. I am an objective person who learns from mistakes. This was so completely out of character for me. I only pray that in time he will be able to look back on the positive, the beautiful experiences we had. Is that even possible?

  18. JesusIsMySaviour September 29, 2010 at 1:00 am #

    When I was in higschool and even during my first two years in college, I thought that life was all about having a hot bf, party and sex. Many of my friends if not all, have already lost their virginity, and being a virgin, I felt left out and couldn't relate to them.

    I didn't believe my friends when they'd say to me, that I was lucky to be a virgin and to save it for someone special. I thought, “they just wanted all the fun”. Until I met and became interested in this guy who was sweet, charming, and confident in my eyes. And that's when it happened, we had a one night stand. After the incident, I felt alot of guilt and at the same time, I wanted to cling to him, even though I had realized that all he wanted was sex. When I didn't give in to him the second time, I never heard from him since.

    I felt a ton of different emotions, including self pity, regret, and I thought that I was a horrible human being. After a year of emotional support from my closest friends, and alot of prayer, asking for forgiveness, I finally learned to forgive him and most of all, myself.

    Now, I am a different woman, and more selective of who I want to share my new & awesome life with 🙂 My perspective of life has completely changed from being all about hot bf, party & sex into loving myself in order to have love for others, and enjoying life while it lasts! and most of all being able to forgive, because it has set me free. Life is truly about the journey, and not the destination. I wouldn't change a thing.

  19. leaaa December 5, 2010 at 5:10 am #

    It’s possible that I don’t love him since I’m no longer a part of his life. He’s someone I don’t know.

  20. Bishwadeep Neogi April 9, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    Hello Eddie,
    Its really soothing for me going through your web-site in my bad days.Still i am struggling to get rid of problems.I really want your advice to help me out of this.
    I had a relationship with a girl in my office and it lasted for about only 6 months,even after she had left the job.Though she had a past relationship with someone for 5-6 years.During my relationship with her she seems to be very serious and even she wana marry me.We enjoyed a lot with together.She pretends to be that she never wana me to leave her or move away.But I committed a mistake that had created problems among her parents (elder sister) as they got to know about us, but not intentionally.She broke up with me and not even wana see my face now anymore.Even her ex had done the same during his times.But she had forgave her ex for the same mistake and now again she is with him.It had turned really difficult for me to overcome this as i feel jealous and frustrated as for the injustice.I had done many things for her happiness like her ex do but she forgot everything and consider her ex as good only.i apololized for my mistake but everything goes to vain.I even wish bad things for them and ignoring my mistakes.I even tried to die and make her emotional over that.Please help me out.

    Thanks and Regards,

  21. Stacey July 2, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

    Its sad when your ex goes back to their ex, I had that happen. Then he came back to me and begged and cried for me back, I should not have taken him back it was weak of me, but I believe in second chances I guess. But five months later and a few dumb fights we were done. So my suggestion for you is dont bother taking this girl back, I mean I wouldnt trade the good times I had with him but I gave away a part of who I really was to someone who really just used me so he was not alone. But like many have said each relationship in life is a learning experience and you have to take it for that. I learned that I should not settle for somone whom I knew I was much better than, even he knew it and told me a lot. So bottom line do not settle love yourself and wait for the right girl to come to you or maybe you will just find her.

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