The following list is attributed to Dan Millman, author of Way of the Peaceful Warrior.

When I first received this list I was 18 years-old and attending an Outward Bound course in Maine. It had been photocopied so many times that the letters looked a little over-bled and rounded out.

I rarely re-post other people’s content, but this is one that keeps coming up to share with you.

by Dan Millman.

When you were born, you didn’t come with an owner’s manual; you have had to learn the rules the hard way. These rues are intended to help make your life easier.

  1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it but it will be yours for the entire period this time around. You have chosen its shape on a deeper level; you can change it.
  2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called life on planet Earth. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons, or think them irrelevant.
  3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of experimentation — trial and error. The so-called failed experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works.”
  4. A lesson is repeated until learned. It will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you’ve learned it, you can then go on to the next lessons. If you don’t learn easy lessons, they become harder. You will know you’ve learned a lesson when your actions change.
  5. Learning lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. Every person, every incident is the universal teacher. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
  6. “There” is no better than “here.” Nothing leads to happiness. When your “there” has become a “here” you will simply obtain another “there” that again looks better than “here.”
  7. Others are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate in yourself.
  8. What you create of your life is up to you. Life is like a movie; you may feel like a bit player, but you have the power to become a screen writer, casting director, producer, director. It’s your movie. You have all the tools and resources you need; what you do with them is up to you. There are three kinds of people: those who make things happen, those who watch what happens, and those who wonder what happened. Notice that you do have the courage; take charge of your life. If you don’t, someone else will.
  9. Your answers lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust. Then you’ll realize that you are the spiritual being you’ve been seeking.
  10. You will tend to forget all this.

2 thoughts on “The Rules for Being Human

  1. Something I recently found out:
    cherie carter-scott’s rules of life (’10 rules for being human’)

    Cherie Carter-Scott PhD is a very modern guru. Her theories explain our attitudes and behaviour with a special clarity, and provide a practical guide to behaviour and self development. Dr Carter-Scott achieved her PhD in human and organisational development and for the nearly 30 years has been an international lecturer, consultant and author. She founded the MMS (Motivation Management Service) Institute and has been called a guardian angel to CEO’s. Carter-Scott’s 1998 book ‘If Life Is A Game, These Are The Rules’ is essential reading if you are interested in behaviour, relationships, communications, and human personality. The ‘Rules For Being Human’ provide a map for understanding and pursuing personal development, and for helping others to understand and develop too.

    ‘If Life Is A Game, These Are The Rules’ is also a commonly recommended and referenced book in the life-coaching industry, and in many other areas concerned with self-esteem, self-development and personal fulfilment.

    You may see, or have seen in the past, ‘The Ten Rules For Being Human’ copied and circulated in various formats with ‘Anonymous’ attribution. This understandably sometimes causes Carter-Scott’s authorship of the Rules to be doubted. It is therefore appropriate to offer the following additional information:

    Cherie Carter-Scott’s rules for life – also known as ‘The Ten Rules For Being Human’ – were referenced significantly, and initially anonymously, by Jack Canfield in ‘Chicken Soup For The Soul’, until Canfield discovered the origins. As Canfield explains in his Foreward written for ‘If Life Is A Game, These Are The Rules’, “…When we included the Rules for Being Human by ‘Anonymous’ in Chicken Soup for the Soul®, I had no idea that Cherie was the author. When I learned that she was the author of the rules I was delighted and yet not surprised…”

    Carter-Scott herself explains later in the Preface (to ‘If Life Is A Game, These Are The Rules’) that, “…In the past twenty-four years, the Rules for Being Human have circled the globe – photocopied and passed from friend to friend, transmitted via the internet, printed on brochures and on page 81 in the book Jack Canfield wrote, Chicken Soup for the Soul®, where the Rules were attributed to ‘Anonymous’. One day Jack called to say he’d heard from Dan Millman, the author of The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, that I was the author of the Rules for Being Human. Jack asked if that was true. When I acknowledged that I was, Jack apologised and offered to give me credit in the next printing…”‘

    Aside from those short extracts, Dr Carter-Scott’s book, ‘If Life is a Game, These are the Rules’, also further explains that Cherie Carter-Scott developed the ‘Rules’ quite a long time before her book was published in 1998, specifically during the mid-1970s, while in the process of designing a three month training program for consultants learning how to deliver her ‘Inner Negotiation/Self-Esteem Workshop’ and related teachings.

    1. Thank you for your comment.
      While I am not taking the time to either fact-check it, nor to update the original post, I am happy for future readers to see your comment and do the research themselves.
      Correct attribution is important — and the content itself is more important.
      And I very much value your taking the time to comment and attempt to set the record straight.

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