Roman's Rules for Success, Happiness, and an Awesome Life

65 Rules for Successful Living

 

This blog post came about organically, and is the culmination of something like 16 years of work, if you can believe that.

When I was 14, I was given an assignment in school to simply write down my own Ten Commandments—rules about things I thought were important to me personally, and that I would abide by.

I wrote them down and handed them in, but also added them to my journal at the time.

A few of the rules from the original list will appear below, although some have been either changes or omitted – the ones about asking for things, or sleep, and the like are from this list.

Just about decade later, I added a few rules to it, as part of a joke email chain that was being passed around among my friends. Most of the rules pertaining to sex or fashion came about in this addition, and a few of the fitness ones.

Finally, I have made some additions over the past month or so. Here’s how this came to be. I had actually quite forgotten about this list, not having looked at it since I was about 24, but was brought to mind by a book.

Recently, I read The Guinea Pig Diaries by AJ Jacobs, which is essentially a collection of articles chronicling Jacobs’ various lifestyle experiments. These include everything from living a month as a beautiful woman (by controlling his babysitter’s online dating profile) to experimenting with radical honestly. All of the experiments are extremely interesting, but the one about George Washington is most germane to our conversation, and is in fact the inspiration for this post.

Chapter Seven of The Guinea Pig Diaries is called “What Would George Washington Do?”  The premise of the experiment was to behave like GW for a month, in every way possible.

You might be wondering, how does one behave like George Washington? Or, more specifically, how does one know how George Washington might behave? Very good questions, with a single specific answer: you just follow the list.

Washington, you see, had a list of 110 rules that governed his behavior, called “Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation.” Washington was not the original author of the rules—they were penned by French Jesuits sometime around 1595—but he did take the time to painstakingly copy the entire list by hand, and followed them as closely as possible for most of his life. (If you’re interested, you can read the entire list here.)

Jacobs’ experiment, then, was to follow these rules as closely as possible, and in essence, do what George would do, and react as George would react.

It was a cool chapter, and it gave me a bit of inspiration. Add to that the fact that a number of my friends have similar lists—Craig Ballantyne has a list called 12 Rules I Live By, and Jason Ferruggia has one entitled 39 Ways Not to Be Like Everyone Else.

Upon reading all of these, I decided to pull out my own list of rules, add to it, and see where it went. I have been exceptionally pleased with the results.

I want to share that list with you, and a bit of why I think it has value.

But first…

About My Rules for Success (Mild Disclaimer)

Before anything else, I should just point out that in order to make the list feel more real, I have fleshed out a good portion of the rules to give them context and clarify my meaning.

As I mentioned above, some items on the list are quite old, and were added when I was a teenager; they’re a bit obvious and perhaps bland. Other were added when I was in the prime of youthful debauchery; these rules are based on the experiences and worldview of a 24-year old, and so they are a bit over-the-top.

I left in certain rules from both periods that I think I still believe in. In other words, although many of them do not apply to my life now, it’s simply a case of having an entirely different lifestyle, rather than being an entirely different person. For example, Rule 23 has not been applicable to me for quite some time, but in the event it was, I believe I might follow it.

The more recent additions show a lot of the change in what I think about in the day to day. These are the ones about networking, or adding value, and of course quite a few about fitness. Moreover, I think that the biggest difference in the “tone” of the advice or the place it comes from is the direction of application.

What I mean is that a lot of older items are things I applied to myself instinctively, the newer ones come from lessons I’ve learned, both as a person and a coach.

These newer rules, I think, are the ones where I felt were “giving advice” or perhaps writing a rule for other people to follow; the general rules I wish someone had told me when I was 18 that would have saved me a bit of time and a lot of pain. (Although that might have precluded the inclusion of others, which came about as the result of bitter lessons.)

This list gives some insight into who I am and a few of the things that are important to me; however, please consider that I take very few things seriously, so some of the items are largely on there for laughs, and while the fitness stuff is relevant, I don’t know that I could say it’s important in my worldview of personal behavior—it’s just damn good advice.

While I think a huge number of the items here are universally true, I don’t think that this could be ported to another person and be completely applicable. In other words, I’m not making broad suggestions for how everyone should live their respective lives.

These are my rules, for my life; and so I ask you to keep in mind, as you read this, that this list is a set of principles by which I govern my behavior, or try to—and that I am exceedingly and eternally aware of how very imperfect I am.

I know that one or two items might, to some, seem either weird or stupid or vain or petty; that’s fine, because I have at times in my life been all of those things— just hopefully, not all at once.

Now that we’ve got that cleared up, let’s get into the list.

 

Roman’s Rules for Success, Happiness, and an Awesome Life

  1. Never get more than 9 hours of sleep, or less than 3. I believe in adequate rest, but too much sleep wasting time that could be spent on anything from self-edification to world domination.
  2. It’s better to beg forgiveness than ask permission.
  3. Stretch your hip flexors. They hate you, and are staging a rebellion against your posture; the only way to quell the uprising is with daily stretches.
  4. Write it down. Your memory is shit.
  5. Get your clothes tailored. A 200-dollar suit that fits well looks better than a 500-dollar suit that doesn’t.
  6. Show love. Never, ever, ever hold back from giving a compliment, as long as it’s sincere. There’s never a bad time to say something nice; get in the habit of doing this. People will love you for it.
  7. Give credit. Don’t steal other people’s shit. If you got an idea from someone else, drop their name and throw them a link. Do this even if it’s not proprietary. Especially in the fitness industry.
  8. On cologne: less is more, if you buy the good stuff. Have a scent for day and night.
    [[Roman’s Note: This rule was added when I was 24, and also included “have a scent for each girl you’re dating.” I have no idea what my logic was, but the entire thing was probably as stupid as it sounds. I felt the need to edit this rule because while I still think it’s important to have a few scents, I don’t think one for each person you’re dating is necessary. In any event, now that I’m a one-woman man, I rotate my scents only seasonally, so as not to confuse her.]]
  9. Nobody gives a shit about your SAT score. Or, really, any other accomplishment older than two years. If you feel the need to work this into conversation, you need to become more interesting. (See Rule 34.)
  10. If a girl hasn’t seen Star Wars, don’t bother dating her.
  11. You’re allowed to say no to shit you don’t like. I don’t generally believe in the idea of “obligation.” While there are things you “probably should” do, there is almost nothing you “need” to do. If I don’t like something, I will very rarely agree to do it. I have said “no” to everything you can imagine.For example, I no longer attend holidays with my extended family; I just don’t enjoy it (too much fighting), so I don’t go. Does my family complain? Sure. Do they try to make me feel guilty? Absolutely. Do I cave in? Fuck no.If you don’t like something, take a careful assessment of what going will cost you, and what it can do for you. If there’s no amount of “goodwill” that will make it seem like a good balance, don’t do it.
  12.  Do something you hate. Do it every day for 30 days. Then never do it again.
  13. “Don’t criticize an idea unless you’re willing to provide an alternative.” - Momma Roman.  If you don’t have a better suggestion, shut the fuck up. [[Roman’s Note: I find this is especially useful for trying to pick a restaurant.]]
  14. Don’t date a woman with another man’s name tattooed on her body. The presence of such a thing implies one of two issues: unfinished business, or a tendency to make irrational decisions. Neither of these is worth dealing with.
  15. Never play cards with a guy who has a city in is nickname. Miami John, the Cincinnati Kid, Texas Dolly—all dudes better to avoid.
  16. Don’t judge what people do in the bedroom. As long as it’s consensual and not with underage kids, make the effort to simply not care where they put their junk, including with what type of people, or how many people, or in what way they do it. Chances are, their porn browsing history is no more fucked up than yours.
  17. Try not to have enemies.  But if someone insists on making themselves one, eat their fucking heart.
  18. Sun’s out, guns out.
  19. Use semi-colons; however, use them correctly. Personally, I view the semi-colon to be an indicator of good writing; while this is a gross overstatement strongly influenced by personal bias, I stand by it.
  20. THIS:

    rules for success

  21. At least once in your life, get absolutely shredded. 
  22. Buy the jeans that make your ass look the nicest. This is the only rule that applies for jeans. End of story. Thankfully, it’s not always the expensive ones; Levi’s fit me like a (very tight) glove.
  23. If a girl cheats on you, fuck her sister. Or her best friend. Or her worst enemy. Or all three. Ladies, same applies to you.[[Roman’s Note: Yeah, I’ve done this, and no, I don’t really care how terrible or shallow it makes me seem, because I certainly think it evened us right up.]]
  24. The high five is somewhat outdated. However, we’ll have to continue to use it until a suitable replacement is found.
  25. Train your forearms.
  26. Never tell someone you “don’t own a TV.” That kind of condescending, elitist bullshit makes you look like an asshole. You don’t have to own a TV, or watch it—just don’t say that. Also, be aware what’s on it; having a general understanding of pop-culture is fairly necessary for successful conversation, unless you’re speaking exclusively to other condescending, elitist assholes.
  27. Always be the first to reach for the check. Do this even if the other person invited you out. If they put up a strong fight, let’em have it.
  28. Finding a sports team to hate is as important as finding one to love. And probably more satisfying.
  29. Network Like a FIEND. Tim likes to say, “Your network is your net-worth.” While he’s not wrong, I prefer to say that your network is more like a Dungeons & Dragons adventuring party. In D&D, a balanced party will have characters that can deal with everything from magic to picking locks. In life, you can’t be good at everything—but you can find people who are good at what you’re not. Develop your network so that you can always reach out to experts when you need help—and more importantly, can leverage that network to help others.
  30. Ice cream is the perfect second date food.
  31. A man can never have too many leather jackets.  Some make you look dashing, some make you look dangerous. The right leather jacket adds a masculine edge to any outfit, and can be appropriate for most situations.
  32. Try everything.Try every training program and every diet. But when you try them, go full out and commit for the appropriate length; program hopping isn’t a good idea. A complete lack of direction is almost as bad as dogma.I covered this in this video for SuperTraining.TV.
  33. Answer all insults with a smile. Not everyone is going to like you, and some people will be vocal about it. There’s no point giving them the satisfaction of giving a shit.
  34. If someone doesn’t like dogs for a reason other than fear or allergies, I’m simply not interested.
  35. Read as many books as you can. Reading often makes you more interesting, more intelligent, and though I can’t prove this, I suspect a more useful human being. It also makes you a better writer.
  36. There are many things that cannot be taught, but nothing that can’t be learned. I generally advise seeking out experts for coaching; however, there are things that you simply need to learn from experience.
  37. Deadlift.
  38. Wasting” food is not a sin. You don’t need to clean your plate. Eating past the point of being full isn’t going to make starving kids in third world countries any less hungry. If you want to help, make a donation.
  39. Along the same lines, buy your cheat day foods on your cheat day. Throw out whatever you have left over. No need to court disaster.
  40. It’s not the years in your life; it’s the life in your years. Don’t listen to arguments on lifestyle based on longevity. For me, living a life fully of quality years is by far more important than making sure I have a higher total quantity of them. I quantify that quality by feelings of enjoying my food, loving the way I look, and achieving my goals.Perhaps I should have been a rock star instead of a fitness professional, but to be honest, I really don’t give a shit if your method adds 10 years to my life if it makes me small, fat, and weak. I don’t want to live ONE DAY in that condition, let alone an “extra” decade.I’ll continue to keep my weights heavy, my steaks rare, and even enjoy the occasional night out. To quote Neil Young, “it’s better to burn out than fade away.”
  41. Admit your mistakes with honesty and humor. I find that “oh, fuckballs,I’m the worst” is a pretty good entry point for most things.
  42. Get really good at being bad at stuff. I covered this in this video.
  43. Keep 100 bucks stashed away in your car for emergencies. Cause ya nevah know.
  44. Develop a signature toast. I’m experimenting with mine. In the meantime, whenever my friends and I raise our glasses, I intone, “Ours is the Fury.” These are the words of House Baratheon, which I am using as a placeholder until I develop my own.
  45. Don’t trust spell check. I’ve learned this the hard way.
  46. Scared Money Don’t Make Money. This is an old saying that is common in the poker world, which is another way of saying “fortune favors the bold.” In that context, if you aren’t willing to put your money in on a coin flip gamble from time to time, you’re not going to book a big win.In the context of both life and business, I mean that if you’re never willing to take a risk, you have almost no shot of building anything worth mentioning. There are no statues built to those who lived lives of mediocrity, and on the tomb of NO heroes will you find the words, “he played it safe.”
  47. As it turns out, women are right: wearing nice underwear does make you feel better.  Here are mine:

    Technically, this is a progress pic for my legs. But still. Those are some sweet panties.

  48. Learn how to cook. If you’re approaching 30 and you can’t make a few meals, take the next month and learn. Seriously, time to grow the fuck up it. You should be able to feed yourself. It’s a basic human function. Here’s a cookbook to get you started.[[Roman’s Note: I don’t make this recommendation blindly. You can check out my foray into cooking here.]]
  49. Tip generously outrageously. Not because you have a lot of money, or because of the 1% chance a waitress might give you her number; but because at some point this week, some jerk stiffed her, and it ruined her week. You just fixed it. Karma will be kind.
  50. Floss your teeth for better fitness. I feel that you need to have the basics down before you start in adding things intended for ‘advanced’ reasons. I have friends who don’t floss but go out of their way to use whitening strips or see a dentist for teeth bleaching. This is stupid, to me—if you just took care of your teeth on a daily basis, you’d have to worry a bit less.In the fitness context, people ignore basic nutritional needs, but try crash diets or supplements; they can’t take the time to foam roll, but want the hottest training strategy.If you can’t make a habit of flossing your teeth, you shouldn’t bother with supplements—likely, you don’t have the basics figured out.
  51. Everything in moderation…especially moderation.
  52. Resolve conflicts quickly, privately, and without anger. Throwing a tantrum never did anything for anyone; getting angry and sputtering hurts your cause, anyway. As for privately—in the world of the interwebz, better to resolve things with one person than start slinging mud.
  53. Get really, really good at making introductions. When you introduce two people, use first and last names; then take moment to explain how you know each, and end by giving each a compliment.  If it’s a business introduction, make a suggestion on how you think they might help one another. In-person and email intros are important.
  54. Once in your life—and exactlyonly once—ball the fuck out. Get bottle service in a club in the Meat Packing District, or a cabana in Vegas. Realize how stupid it was, and don’t do it again. Read about my experience here.
  55. Take the lead. Always suggest days and times to meet, instead of leaving it in the air.
  56. “If you’re gonna write a book, write a fuckin’ book.” – Tim Ferriss. Anything worth doing is worth doing right; go after it and do the absolute best job you can.
  57. When explaining your dietary habits, keep it simple. If you find yourself at a party and you’re 15 minutes into describing the difference between Paleo and Slow Carb, take a breath and stop talking. No one really cares about your endeavor to reset your insulin sensitivity.

    rules for success - this isn't one of them

    Don’t be that guy.

  58. There is no such thing a multi-purpose sock. Athletic socks should be worn with sneakers, and no other shoe. Ever. Dress socks when training is equally unreasonable.
  59. Learn to ask for the things you want. People aren’t mind readers. Whether in a relationship or in business, you are responsible for your success and happiness. No one is going to magically figure out what you want. Ask for it and make a strong case—you’ll be absolutely floored by the response.
  60. Try not to roll your eyes. Hey, I said TRY. Don’t judge me.
  61. Don’t own a lot of things. Except books.
  62. Steak should be served medium rare at most. If you eat a steak medium well, you are not good at eating steak. Check here a blog on why rare steak isn’t bad for you.
  63. Use your sex drive as a general measure of health, as it indicates hormonal balance. Low sex drive is a symptom of everything from depression to low testosterone to over-training. Basically, if you don’t want to get freaky, something is probably wrong.
  64. Don’t kiss on the first date.
  65. End every single conversation by asking, “So, tell me: how can I help you?” Be sincere and mean this. Help however you can. This is the most important rule of all.

 

Next Steps (Your Turn)

Obviously, I’m going to suggest that you make your own list of rules for success—and you’re likely to simply ignore that suggestion and just treat this piece of writing as a funny blog post. But, I would like you to really do it. Here’s why I think this has value….

Firstly, sitting and taking the time to actually write out what is important to you, and how you think you should behave reveals a few things. The most obvious of these is that you actually have to decide what to include; on other words, really think about your values. I find that just doing that makes you a bit more mindful.

Take a moment and think about the rules you actually follow in your day-to-day life; then think about all the rules you’d like to follow. You might be surprised at the difference in these two lists. Put another way, you might be surprised at the number of rules you’d “like to” live by that you’re breaking every day.

Secondly, writing anything down makes it real—it creates tangibility. I firmly believe that by writing down a list of behaviors you’d like to adopt, or rules you’d like to abide by, you are much more likely to do just that. It creates a concrete system of assessment; a definite lens through which you can filter your view of a situation. Where once there was only an idea, now there is a guiding thought process and a behavior.

Having such a list will make you much more likely to follow the things on it. I know this, because it’s been working for me. In addition to typing it all out as above, I hand wrote all of my rules in my journal (not the descriptions, just the rules).

In the time since did this, I have become exceptionally more aware of them every day, and it’s definitely affecting my behavior. I find myself giving compliments more freely, stretching my hip flexors daily, being more cognizant of my sleep schedule, and even wearing my sexy underwear more often.

Put simply, the result is living life in accordance with the things I think are important—and, by default, I’m living a better life for me.

And I think that’s worth writing a list.

-Roman

 

Feeling bold? I’d love to hear one or two of YOUR rules for success; and, of course, I’d be curious for your thoughts on mine!

Let’s get 60 COMMENTS on this, and I’ll be hooking you up with an interview with Tucker Max! (imagine what HIS rules look like!?)

 

About the Author

John Romaniello is a level 70 orc wizard who spends his days lifting heavy shit and his nights fighting crime. He occasionally writes things on his blog and rants on Facebook.

  • Leo M

    Re: #49 and tipping.  On a standard pub dinner bill, you can pretty much be the best tip of the night with like an extra $2.  There aren’t many other ways to make someone’s night with $2.  

    • http://www.romanfitnesssystems.com John Romaniello

      This is fantastic point. Wow. Didn’t break it down like that – awesome. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/MattLetten Matt Letten

    #41 yes. thoroughly enjoyed this, bro.

  • Jereme Daniels

    Fantastic. From start to finish.

  • Jade

    Great list!  One rule I might add is: call your mother at least once a week. =)

    • http://www.romanfitnesssystems.com John Romaniello

      You ain’t kiddin!

  • Erik

    Thank you for an excellent read.  Really a lot of good ones here. Number 57 especially was hilarious and the nr 10 with Star Wars was also very good. I tried the same but with Seinfeld, however yet to meet a woman that actually understands and enjoys it, and therefore had to withdraw that rule from my list. I´ll probably borrow your Star Wars rule instead from now on.
    Another thing, that I recently discovered, from Nate Greens The hero handbook, is the value of using a timer when working or studying to make it more efficient. When using a timer, 30 mins of work actually means 30 mins of work and not 15 work/15 mail/blogs/Facebook etc. 
    Keep up the good work with the blog. 

  • Siddharta1979

    You rock. I agree with a lot of the points you made, it must be your Italian legacy ;-) I hope your blog will help me get where I want, and the more I read it, the more I think so.

  • Stephen C

    Bai Mei Rule – sometimes people who aren’t nice, or who are outright assholes, have good stuff to teach. Learn it (doesn’t make YOU an asshole too) and use it for good. 
      On a related note, people younger than you/less experienced than you will do stuff better than you, in a field you think you think, by rights, that you should be better than them in. Get over it, learn from them also. You don’t try to tamp down a prodigy, you use them to boost yourself after doing them the courtesy of recognizing how good they are. Still stings, though.

  • http://www.BretContreras.com/ Bret Contreras

    Hilarious my friend!!! I kept nodding my head in agreement. 

    • http://www.romanfitnesssystems.com John Romaniello

      Thanks, Bret; glad you liked and completely unsurprised that you agreed with most of it!

  • Dean Phillips

    This list was awesome 

    “Take the lead. Always suggest days and times to meet, instead of leaving it in the air”

    Cant agree with this more

    one rule: “never talk down to someone” just because someone doesn’t know what i may know,  does not mean i have a free pass to talk shit to them

  • Andy Smith

    List of life rules:

    1.“This too shall pass”-nothing is permanent… Good times or bad, they will not go on forever
    2.Live with a smile on your face
    3.Accept all human beings are flawed in a multitude of unique ways and there is nothing innately bad about having flaws
    4.Don’t accept your flaws as a given; work on them
    5.Smile at a stranger-you may make their day
    6.Wake up at the same time every morning and go to bed at the same time every night 
    7.Don’t let hard times be an excuse for poor health and abuse of substances
    8.Write a list of goals-monthly, weekly and daily and do them
    9.Read a book
    10.Tell your loved ones they are important on a regular basis 
    11.Give people sincere, thoughtful compliments
    12.Be honest to people-why do you spend time with people who you feel the need to lie to?
    13.Work hard in all your endeavors-if you want to be good at something you will have to work for it…Things seldom fall into place by themselves; there is no way around hard work
    14.“Never Let Go”-Dan John. I can’t add to that. 
    15.Define yourself, don’t allow others to do so. You needn’t rely on the opinion of others to accomplish your own goals and desires. 
    16.Don’t skimp on the food budget-I wouldn’t fuel my car with cheap sugars and refined junk…Where is the logic in doing that to myself?
    17.“Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants”-Michael Pollan. 
    18.As above with the addendum “But with a kick ass feast every now and then
    19.Don’t live to work, work to live-enjoy your life instead of wasting it at a computer chair
    20.Buy nice clothes that fit well, there is no point paying for the label if you look like the kid with the hand-me-downs even when you’re in your twenties. 
    21.Don’t try to make a fashion statement at an important meeting, keep it simple and professional
    22.If I find myself spending more time on Facebook than on my studies or hobbies then something is going very wrong in my life
    23.If you are going to say that something is worth nothing or badly made, etc. then actually watch it/read it first before passing off some half plagiarized smorgasbord type of review
    24.Pain is temporary and when you push through to the other side you will either be stronger, smarter, more wise or generally better as a person for suffering through it. 
    25.Invest in a very good chef’s knife
    26.Buy well made cookware, a good saute pan, a good pot and a solid cast-iron skillet too
    27.Invest in a good coffee machine 
    28.Buy a coffee grinder
    29.Buy only organic coffee beans and grind as needed
    30.Drink coffee in the morning, black, no sugar, no sweeteners
    31.Drink water for the rest of the day
    32.Every once in a while drink whatever the hell you want, just don’t overdo it
    33.Don’t belittle people for their decisions, everyone has their own goals and yours may seem as crazy to them as their’s are to you
    34.Never be afraid to fail-regardless of what you are trying, don not allow the fear of failure to stop chasing your vision
    35.No one cares about the fact you were football captain when you were fourteen, what have you done recently worth mentioning? If the answer is “nothing” I suggest finding something very quickly
    36.Sleep in total darkness and leave your phone on the other side of the room on silent
    37.Always get back to people who have called you or emailed you, etc. If they have took the time to get in touch with you, you can take the time to reply
    38.Try everything once, you may not get the opportunity again 
    39.Keep a journal of your thoughts and activities, make it a habit and you will see why
    40.Have a morning and night time routine to start and end your day how you should and want to
    41.Don’t skimp on the quality of your mattress or bedding-your sleep and your girlfriend will thank you
    42.Exercise regularly
    43.When you do, train hard, lift heavy and know when to back off a bit
    44.Focus on compound lifts and do accessory stuff when you have the time and energy 
    45.“If something is important do it every day, if it isn’t, don’t do it all”-Dan Gable
    46.Do some sprints every once in a while
    47.Enjoy training, if you aren’t enjoying it then something is wrong
    48.Don’t hoard useless shit
    49.Floss twice daily
    50.Consume fish oil everyday 
    51.Don’t allow yourself to lose control of your environment 
    52.Spend less each month than you earn
    53.Save 15% of your income for a rainy day 
    54.Cut negative people out of your life
    55.Meditate or reflect daily for about half an hour
    56.Stretch Daily
    57.Foam Roll Daily
    58.Take in as much sunlight as you can
    59.Have fun with fitness, try new exercises, train outside, play a team sport
    60.Don’t aim for perfection, aim for the best that is humanly possible… That may well result in ‘perfection’ until someone betters your achievement
    61.Make time for family and friends all the time, if that means missing one day at the gym to attend a family party then do it-you won’t be here forever
    62.Don’t blame other people for your shortcomings, accept responsibility like a man and prove them wrong next time and when you prove them wrong be humble
    63.Listen to good music every day
    64.Take time to enjoy the small fortunes around you, remember the times you were without electricity and water and appreciate the little things
    65.Fast intermittently
    66.A bad test score is not the end of the world, a failed job interview isn’t either; pick yourself up and try again 
    67.Don’t stay sat down for more than an hour at any given time in a day, get up and stretch or go for a quick walk. Anything.
    68.Express how you feel politely but firmly, never allow people to walk over you or take advantage of your good nature
    69.Did I say read a book? Yes? In that case, read another book
    70.When you meet someone for the first time introduce yourself clearly and confidently. There is no need to tell them about your new diet or how you think yoga will solve world hunger… Just be charming and insightful
    71.Enjoy love and nurture relationships, don’t turn them into a political mine field of gamesmanship and oneupmanship 
    72.Don’t keep clothes, underwear or socks that are irreparable. Buy new ones and let the old go
    73.Go somewhere you have always wanted to go, travel every chance you get, see the world whilst you can
    74.Listen twice as much as you talk
    75.Don’t just listen, absorb what is really being said
    76.Get out of your comfort zone as often as possible
    77.Play an instrument, even if you suck at first… you will improve. No one wrote a symphony over night without lots of training and practice first
    78.Be selfless, do at least one good deed every single day that will go unnoticed and don’t claim the credit 
    79.Be generous, give your time and effort to an endeavor that won’t result in immense riches, rather immense good will and karma
    80.Don’t smoke cigarettes, ever.
    81.Don’t do illegal drugs, ever. 
    82.If others choose to do so, don’t be a condescending prick about it. If their behavior doesn’t affect you let them live their lives. 
    83.If their behavior is deleterious to you and those around you, don’t sit back and let it happen
    84.Write a letter to someone you care about every once in a while
    85.Learn a foreign language, even if you can only speak a little bit you never know when it may come in handy
    86.Don’t hold grudges. Life is too short and unpredictable to hold a grudge
    87.Don’t cause hurt to others intentionally (unless there are extenuating circumstances in which the scores need to be evened out)
    88.Eat organic locally grown food as much as you can afford to
    89.Don’t waste money on supplements if you can’t even get the staples of a healthy life style right
    90.Stop wasting time on the tiny details of a diet or training program if you can’t squat properly or eat right
    91.Enjoy the company of others and reciprocate their time and energy. Don’t make them regret being around you
    92.Don’t stay in a relationship because you are afraid to hurt someone’s feelings, if it isn’t working tell them. Just don’t be a dick about it
    93.Try to be 1% better at the end of the day than you were at the start
    94.Buy good face wash and after shave, a good toothbrush is a must also
    95.If you think you are overtraining then take a couple of days off. If the pain persists, see someone about it instead of turning a pain into a full blown injury
    96.Ask for help from others who would know better than you. Don’t buy into macho bullshit and appeal to those around you who have tailored their lives to a specific part that you are unaccustomed to
    97.Never let a single event or decision consume you and overcome who you really are. There is more to life than next week’s exam, don’t get tunnel vision and neglect what is actually important
    98.Buy thoughtful gifts, don’t just throw money at birthdays of friends and family. A well thought out and considerate gift will go down much better than cash in a card
    99.Do that thing you keep saying you are going to do but haven’t yet… Buy the new car, hit the gym first thing in the morning, go skydiving, whatever it is… Just be proactive and stop waiting for life to come to you with all the options
    100.Take charge of yourself, don’t be pushed around or forced into unpleasant/undesirable situations or relationships. Think about the opportunity cost of doing that is right as opposed to going with it because it is what is expected. Don’t just follow the current, be your own person
    101.Every was born with a specific purpose, find out what yours is and don’t lose sight of why you are here. Spread as much happiness as you can whilst achieving what you want to achieve. Stop comparing your sprint time to Usain Bolt and be the best YOU that you can be102. There is NO WAY to avoid hard work…So do the hard work and reap the benefits for life. 

    • Andy Smith

      I may just be a 19 year old guy working towards a degree in the U.K but I felt obliged to draw up my own list given how awesome yours is Roman. Another timelessly useful piece of content! Thank you 

      • Dean Phillips

         Age is just a number man,

        This is a Awesome list! I loved number 62

    • http://www.romanfitnesssystems.com John Romaniello

      fantastic list, man!

      • Andy Smith

        It’s not quite as enlightened or experienced as your list, maybe one day I will possess the knowledge bombs you do Mr Romaniello, for now I will just learn from the best (like yourself) and develop as best I can. Thanks for the amazing work you have done, and will continue to put out. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/ryan.canty Ryan Canty

    Great post, Roman! :)

  • Brittany Reed

    Great list. One of my favorites is; If it didn’t come from the earth or have a mother, I probably shouldn’t eat it (but maybe on cheat day! ). I’m certain that I have others, but I’ve currently forgotten them. Also, I wont date someone who doesn’t read. 

    • Brittany Reed

      An other of mine is to be what I refer to as a Day Maker. Doing nice things for strangers. It may be opening the door for someone, buying their coffee, complimenting, letting them in traffic… anything. 

  • http://www.george-fortune.com/ George

    My favourite rules 13 & 18.  I most heartedly agree! lol on 18.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=44806563 Stephen Parato

    Roman, this is great. Both inspirational and hilarious simultaneously. I made a list of “My Rules” while reading Nate Green’s Hero Handbook. After reading this I’m gonna make some modifications and apply more awesomeness everyday. Thanks Roman.

  • RickS

    My Rule #1

    I must do what I fear first because I can
    accomplish more once it is out of the way 

    Rule # 5

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    Rule #18
    Everyday I count the blessings of my life

    Great Post Bru'. Reminded me to dust of my list and keep it within view

  • Adam

    Great post bru! I just wish you’d explain number 62 to Joel. :-)

  • Doc S

    Dude:
    There ain’t nothing wrong with toys – as long as they don’t get in the way of  having a Life!

  • Shane McLean

    You are a brave man putting that all out there. I don’t agree with everything you wrote  i respect that you wrote it for the world to see. Roman, more people myself included should live more like you.

  • Mike L

    Awesome list.  My addition: Know your personal brand.  You bring something unique to every situation; don’t let others define you.

  • Christine H

    LOVE the list, Roman! Here are two if mine:
    1) Don’t drink the kool aide. Always maintain some skepticism.  When you find an organization you believe it, get engaged, but don’t accept everything as true.  Buy in to about 80%, and continue to ask questions to improve yourself, the organization, and those around you.
    2) Sit up straight. Not only will it make you look more slender and imbue confidence, it’ll help you move better and feel better for years to come.  Hunchback of Notre Dame is a great book, but not a great image for you.
    Cheers!
    C

  • Karen

    Inspired to make my own. It will be topped with:
    1. Be more curious than certain.

    • http://www.romanfitnesssystems.com John Romaniello

      A great rule for all situations!

  • Skeeter

    1) Do what you say you will do, when you say you will do it.  If something comes up to prevent that, call and let them know.
    2) DO NOT take it out on those who cannot answer back.  (Waitstaff, call center phone jockeys, etc.) 
    (the definition of it is left as an exercise for the reader….)

    Roman, really enjoyed your list!

  • http://twitter.com/JingDoc Noel Jensen

    #2 and #59 are worth the price of admission. I also like leather jackets (#31) and own several. It may be generational, but I didn’t get the Star Wars rule and dating rule. I’d probably go the other way. I don’t think I’ve even seen them all. Maybe I could substitute a couple of John Wayne movies or some Clint Eastwood as dating criteria. Anyway, you asked for one or two rules from me. I’ll give you eight.
    1) Always respect your mother.2) Be nice most of the time, but don’t be a doormat.3) Lose your temper when needed. (People need to know that you do have a fastball in the quiver.)4) Figure out a way to have fun at everything you do or figure out how not to do it anymore.5) In most instances, take nothing but pictures and leave no trace.6) Under promise and over deliver.7) Don’t whine.8) Carry your own pack. 

    • http://www.romanfitnesssystems.com John Romaniello

      You’ve never seen Star Wars!? Get out ;)

      Great rules otherwise.  I love the one about the fastball in the quiver. Sometimes you gotta drop the hammer on a mofo. 

  • rooby9

    1. defy limitations, but respect boundaries.
    2. you have the right to Be, and to follow your path as you see fit.
    3. be all that you are, and nothing that you are not.
    4. what you focus on becomes more real, and expands; focus on gratitude and what you want to see increase, not on what’s ‘wrong’ or what you fear. 
    5.  fear cuts you off from the light and sucks the energy right out of you.
    6.  sometimes playing it safe can be the most dangerous thing you can do.
    7.  there are many right ways, not just yours – there are some wrong ways, too.  
    8.  we all perceive and experience the world differently from each other, according to our consciousness, capacity, conditioning, and experience.
    9.  keep a positive intention – and back it up with awareness and intelligent action.
    10. keep a foundation of compassion – but remember that compassion never means being a doormat,  that it means maintaining and respecting appropriate boundaries, and that sometimes what is needed can be (Buddhist) ‘wrathful compassion.’
    11.  laughter is powerfully healing; it dissolves pain, and breaks up crystallization. 
    12.  in conflict, always minimize harm to all parties.  

     ‘strong people are harder to kill, and more useful in general’ — Mark Rippetoe (on t-shirts at my gym)

    and my evil twin Skippy submits:
    A. never make a promise you can’t remember.
    B. never admit to being older than your bra size.
    C. keep ‘em guessing!  
    D. every once in a while, ya gotta just roll on the floor and make animal noises!   

  • R Riley

    “Comfortable” should only be in a woman’s decription of her workout clothes. No granny panties or flanel pj’s…ever. Works wonders, especially in long-term relationships. A lot of people tend to let themselves go; instead, avoid it at all costs.

    Do things for yourself, not for someone else. If you don’t, whatever it is, it won’t last.

    • http://www.romanfitnesssystems.com John Romaniello

      You. Speak. TRUTH!

  • Katia

    It’s always a good day to be kind to somebody.

  • Rob Fraim

    There seem to be a number of missing links. (Not the Darwinian sort – missing HYPERlinks.)   Examples:  #32, #42, #48.   Though you might like to know.  

    • http://www.romanfitnesssystems.com John Romaniello

      Hey Rob – the links are there…for some reason they are just not showing up as a different color. If you mouse over them, you’ll notice. I’ll get it fixed; thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/angelique.schoeman Angelique Schoeman

    I try to walk the talk….and keeping things real……Live in the now…….try to learn something everyday from people, we are all different, have different values, beliefs, religions, don’t criticise them, take something from it and learn from it…..

    Thanks loved your post!

  • http://www.facebook.com/angelique.schoeman Angelique Schoeman

    My list…walk the talk, practice what you preach, talk is cheap…..live in the now……respect, we all have different values, beliefs and religions, don’t criticize too easily, but learn from everyone and take something of each and use it, be the best you can everyday!

    Thanks for amazing post! loved it!

  • http://twitter.com/TTransform Mark Carlson

    I like your rule regarding not judging others sex lives or preferences … no room for judgements anywhere in life … only discernment.

    My Rule … “Do not speak unless it improves the silence!”

    • http://www.romanfitnesssystems.com John Romaniello

      That’s a great rule =)

  • http://www.facebook.com/tyjcarter Tyler Carter

    What’s the relationship between rule 9 and rule 34?

    • http://www.romanfitnesssystems.com John Romaniello

      Crap. Should he rule 35 – read more book. 

    • http://www.romanfitnesssystems.com John Romaniello

      Crap. Should he rule 35 – read more book. 

  • Perry

    Nice Teen Wolf reference on number 15.  (Michael J. Fox, not MTV!!)

  • Yael

    Very nice list!

    Here’s my ode to the semicolon: http://yaelwrites.com/2011/01/25/a-pause-to-savor-my-ode-to-the-semicolon/

  • J_fertall24

    Rule 66.  Never do bicep curls on the squat rack or hesitate to express how much you hate the people that are

  • Jessica

    I teach second grade and it’s a MUST for my kiddos – as well as myself – to use ‘please’ and ‘thank you’!

  • Andi

    One of my favorite rules: See Bruce Springsteen live in concert at least for once in your life – it is so inspriring to feel the energy this 62-year-old guy has to rock the house for over three hours night after night.

  • Jason

    This is a totally awesome list.  On a side note, your underwear choice isn’t lacey enough.

  • Esther

    Your post make my day.  It allow me to think my day in a whole different level.  Recently I made small rules in my summer vacation that I will apply it in my life:
    1. Live a healthy and lean life.
    2. Learn little by little java language programming in Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
    3. Watch anime and play video games on Tuesday and Thursday.
    4. Be a wonderful daughter to my family.
    5. Smile every moment i can.
    6. Try to find a job. (at the same time study for college)
    7. Build my fist app for android and iphone ios.

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  • Coachderek10

    This was fantastic..I’m going to get ripped and #65 is a must..I didn’t want to take the time to read this but I am very glad I did.

  • Robert Honnet

    Treat everyone with respect till they prove that they should be treated otherwise.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=763528391 Shelley Lidgren Turk

    #11 is one that has changed my life!  It took me until age 40 to figure it out, though…

    One of my own:  Try to leave everyone you meet with a smile on their face!  (Did I use the colon correctly?)

    Your awesomeness knows no limits!  <3

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  • Erica

    Here is mine: You can only be 1 out of these 3: Dumb, Ugly or a Bitch.

    • http://www.romanfitnesssystems.com John Romaniello

      Hmm. If you have one of them in spades, you may be able to get away with two out of 3!

  • J-bear

    roman dude, you have amazing muscles, upper and lower, plus calves, wow. 
    how tall are you, please share. 
    your photos are an inspiration

    • http://www.romanfitnesssystems.com John Romaniello

      Thanks so much for the kind words, J. I’m 5’8”, and weigh in at 192 today. 

  • Johnabalash

    Your posts continue to improve and impress me every time I read them and make me think you’ve got a future career as a columnist. Also impressive are your legs; damn dude, nice work!

    I have t writer down a list if things I do but I just do them and some of them (like the semi colon) are on your list, one thing I do, and recommend, is saying a prayer daily. Even if you’re atheist take a moment of silent humility to realize you’re just one part of the world but also an integral part.

    • http://www.romanfitnesssystems.com John Romaniello

      Thank you for the kind words regarding my writing; that means a lot. And, I think that your suggestion is incredibly valuable, regarding a moment of silent thanks etc

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  • J-bear

    JR you bad ass man you
    What was your weight in the photo above (green Diesels)?
    I’m 5’8″ too, but  a  ways to go yet before I qualify for Romanation Citizenship. 
    I’m trying to figure out what my ideal body weight would be (with the ideal body – yours).

    For Size Symmetry & Proportion, you rock man!

  • http://twitter.com/InesSubashka Ines Subashka

     Awesome! I really enjoyed reading it! :)

    Ines

  • http://vonsfitnesstips.com/ Von @ VonsFitnessTips.com

    This whole list was awesome.

    Definitely going to make my own after reading this.

  • Johan

    Nice post. Just what I was looking for actually. You never seem to disappoint me!

    I added a few of your rules to my own notebook which is filled with ageless wisdom and stuff.

    Please give us more posts like this one – please.

  • Carlyterp

    This was a great read, I’m so glad I found it while sifting through the vast collection of crap that is the internet.  Right before I found this post I was making a list, a list so random I won’t even bother explaining it here.  First item… dead lifts.  Luvs it.  If I was making a list like yours, my #1 would be “Say thank you, all the time, everyday and mean it.”  Some of the most beautiful people I know are also the most gracious. Maybe even start thanking inanimate objects just for shits and giggles.  When I’m feeling fat I tend to thank my chairs for not breaking under the pressure. ;-)

  • Vaseem Akbar

    I think you need to add “reply to caching client emails” to your list!

    On a serious note though, this is a great idea, but I wonder of it could be structured better. For example having your first few rules based on your weaknesses, having rules for work, family etc.

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  • Reka

    Hey, Don’t get it wrong, I LOVE reading your stuff… but you promised the Tucker Max interview, and I’m so looking forward to it, so… please don’t forget. :)

    • http://www.romanfitnesssystems.com John Romaniello

      would never forget! held it back for strategic reasons

  • movetofit

    I thought I was the only one who worried about #57! Hilarious. My rule:
    The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.
    Take that Mr. Joseph Campbell fan! =)

  • http://www.facebook.com/klarajoy Joy Victoria

    Was laughing out loud the whole time!!!! Great list! I would sat about 85% are what I would write myself. Gonna make a blogpost of my own list.

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  • http://www.emilycapito.com/ Emily Capito

    Never would have found your blog or this post naturally, but your guest post on the 4-hour blog piqued my curiosity, which has been greatly rewarded with this awesome set of commandments!

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  • Jonathan Angelilli

    Awesome post! Love these rules.

  • Chris Perry

    Roman,

    I wrote the following list for my 27th birthday because on that day, like many days, I was feeling overwhelmed with gratitude for this amazing life I live.

    Last night, your list inspired me to post my list on Facebook. The feedback was fantastic.

    Thank you, Roman. Enjoy!

    1. Kelly – The best person ever… like, ever. For the first time in my life, I feel like I can be myself. My awkward, crazy, goofy, awesome self. I’ma marry the shit out of you!
    2. Mom – I honestly cannot find the words to express what you mean to me. You taught me love, compassion and that you should always enjoy what you are doing. “The more, the merrier”. Te amo, Madre.
    3. Dad – Pops, everyday I become more and more like you. Pretty badass, huh? I think so. The most hard-working, creative, and loving dude I have ever met. If I can be half the man that you are, I will be happy.
    4. Susan – Being a step-mom can sometimes be a thankless job. You are absolutely amazing and I cannot thank you enough for the love that you give. I am thankful everyday that you are in my life. Not to mention, you seem to always have great, objective advice for me.
    5. Sara – I am more proud of you everyday. You are beautiful, smart, hilarious, and I’m certain that you will do amazing things. Keep doing you and have fun. Love you, Terd.
    6. Marshall, Lexi and Coco – Dogs have the most unconditional love for you. Return the favor. To everybody.
    7. Family – Best people ever. I am so thankful to have been raised around such amazing people. That goes for my new family, as well. Thanks for welcoming me into yours.
    8. Friends – Like my family, you guys helped to shape who I am. And I’m awesome. So, thanks. I freaking love you guys. I couldn’t have found a better bunch.
    9. Laughing, thinking and crying – “If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.” – Jim Valvano
    10. Cleveland Sports – One of these days there will be a parade down Euclid and I’m gonna be there for every minute of it. I may not remember it but it will be freaking glorious. The city will shut down.
    11. The Gym – It’s like, my shit. It is my sanctuary and I am 100% focused when I am there. It makes me a better man.
    12. Deadlifts
    13. Mobility/stretching/soft-tissue work – I foam roll, stretch or do yoga at least 4 times per week. Sometimes it is for 30 minutes and sometimes only 5 minutes but there has never been a time where I didn’t feel better when I was finished.
    14. Waking up early – Another thing I need to do more of but man it feels great to have your workout done before sunrise.
    15. Partying – Pre-gaming, day drinking, shots, flip cup… Love. That. Shit.
    16. Jade Sterling Steel – I appreciate the opportunity they gave me. Especially Scott Herman, who saw the potential in me.
    17. Cooking – Kelly will tell you that I am good at it. Not true. I Can’t wait to not live in an apartment so I can have access to a grill.
    18. Saturdays – Sleep in, lift, eat, do whatever the F I want, party.
    19. Clothes that fit or are tailored – Who am I kidding? My shirts are way too small on me but I like the way they look. Suns out, guns out.
    20. Football season, the Brownies and fantasy football – HERE WE GO BROWNIES, HERE WE GO!
    21. September – My birthday month and football season. Also, when I was a kid, because school was starting I always had some fresh threads and new kicks. I’m at my best in September.
    22. An expensive meal – Steak and oysters at Red… BOOM. Don’t get it often but when I do it makes me want to work hard and make some cheese. Plus, I feel like a G.
    23. My iPhone
    24. Road trips – Whether it is to Columbus to see my close friends or to the next thing on this badass list.
    25. The beach, the sun and some margaritas – This is the life!
    26. Coffee – POW POW POW!!!
    27. Stimulating conversation – My cousin Michael in Belgium told me that his company has a mandatory tea time right after lunch, everyday. I love this. Nothing gets me going like good conversation. It is the ultimate upper. In a rut? Grab a cup of number 26 and find someone to rap with.

    I freaking love you guys.

  • Joshua Serrano

    Hey roman thanks for this post. It made me sit back and reflect on my experiences in my life that have helped me shape me into the man I am today. And from the lessons of those experiences I have come up with my own rules that I wrote on my blog; http://www.serranostrength.com/11-rules-to-live-by (Im not sure if adding my blog post link is allowed. If not my bad man just delete the comment. I just wanted to show you the rules I came up with)

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  • Guest

    //short version

    Ro-man. Thank-you. If I could buy you a bag of mint oreos, I would, except well, it’d be healthier drinking turpentine, sans that tastiness that mint oreos provide.

    I digress.

    You said this, “one of the most important items I listed was pretty simple: say no to shit you don’t like. It is one of the hardest things you can do, and one of the best things to learn.”

    I love that. Stoked to read the article when I should really be doing something else.

    //long version

    And I 1000% agree. I’m a people pleaser and often find myself doing things I don’t really want to be doing. Why? What is the point?! Of course, if it means helping someone in need or like, you know, being a kind person, I’m down. I don’t want to lose *that*.

    But sometimes I think I’m “too kind” and spend more time doing what other people want. I have big dreams and goals.

    Speaking of, I’m trying to get in the best shape of my life and am doing StrongLifts 5×5. I just started. I’ve never weight trained in my life. 5×5 swears by back squats. I’ve heard such great things about front squats though, so I swapped those in instead.

    Then a friend challenged me with this article: http://stronglifts.com/stronglifts-5×5-front-squat-vs-back-squat/

    And I thought, “Crap… but I like *front* squats.”

    But because I’m a “rule follower” I thought, “Time to try back squats.”

    Not now thanks to thine article. I’m gonna do front squats. Because I like them.

    I’m not looking for numbers or sports. All I want is for people to faint when I take my shirt off. Well. Just my girlfriend. (Is that too much to ask?) I think front squats will help transform me from the noodle I am now, to the beast I will be in 12 weeks.

    And when I say beast, I really mean, a pretty good looking dude with his shirt off.

    That’s what I want. And that’s what I’m going for. Thanks for the stellar writing.

    Ben Wyatt. Out. :)

    PS: Here’s a picture from my gym today in lieu of the oreos. Try not to faint.

  • http://www.cakeaction.com/ christian

    #35. “Bird By Bird.” Best book on writing I’ve read thus far. And I’m not even finished yet. http://www.amazon.com/Bird-Some-Instructions-Writing-Life/dp/0385480016

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