12 Personal Commandments For A Happier Life

A long time ago (5 years?) I put together this list – 12 personal commandments for living a happier, healthier and more purposeful life. I found it in one of my old note books and thought I’d share with you all.

It was inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project. As she said in her book, “these aren’t meant to be specific resolutions but overarching principles by which to live.”

Anyway, I recall it being a fun and creative way to help outline any core values you may have.

I should say the quotes aren’t mine, but ones that stuck in my mind from various readings over the years. Anyway, without further ado, here they are:

  1. “Live in day-tight compartments” – Live in the moment. There’s no point in living with regret about yesterday or worry for tomorrow. 
  1. “Don’t cry over spilt milk”You can’t change what’s happened. Only pick up the pieces and move forward. Forgive and forget. 
  1. “Pay Rapt Attention” – Meditate daily and show a keen interest in your daily activities and conversations. Stay in the moment and participate fully. 
  1. “Act and think the way you wish to feel – be fearless” – Smile and be happy. Stand up tall and be confident. We live in the mind whether we know it or not. The wisest among us use our actions to influence our emotions and not the other way around. 
  1. “Count your blessings – Not your troubles” – First – aim to get what you want and then Second – Enjoy it! Be grateful everyday. You’re exceptionally lucky. 
  1. “Be Yourself” – Imitation is suicide. Be your best self and embrace your uniqueness. 
  1. “Have malice toward none and charity for all” – Don’t waste a second thinking about those that have wronged you. It serves no purpose. We must harbour no bitterness. Instead find time to give and serve those in greater need. 
  1. “Order is Heaven’s First Law” – Clearing clutter will help create peace of mind. Set specific measurable goals, visualise them complete, then act on them. 
  1. “Lose yourself in action – Just do it” – Secret to being miserable is to have the time to wonder whether you are happy or not. Keep yourself busy. Work daily, Exercise daily and Play daily. The time is now so go!
  1. “Do what’s right, not what’s easy” – The easiest is rarely the best option. Strive toward a higher purpose and think before every word and action. 
  1. “Remember life comes from you not at you” – Give up blaming and complaining. Only YOU are responsible for YOU. Be honest with yourself and understand that belief is a choice so choose to believe!
  1. “Look to the stars” – Have faith you can turn around any situation. To profit from your losses is far more important than capitalising on your gains. Take the time to reflect everyday. 

Thanks for taking the time to read everyone. Looking back I feel it could definitely use an update! With that in mind, what commandments do you live by (if any)? What would you add (or take away) from the list? Let us know in the comments below. I’d be grateful for the inspiration.

Wishing you all well, AP2 – X

28 thoughts on “12 Personal Commandments For A Happier Life

  • A P, I enjoyed reading your list and am in agreement with all but #11. We control our actions, but I question whether we can choose our beliefs. I think belief arises out of knowledge and experience gained over our lifetime. We can join a religious group or espouse a philosophy, but that does not necessarily mean we believe everything we are taught.

    I hope you and your family are doing well! ❤

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    • I agree with you Cheryl – although with time I think we can take our beliefs in a certain direction but on the whole they are already well founded. What I was talking about here was a belief in oneself as opposed to believing in a God or certain philosophies. Have suffered from a core belief that I’m not good enough or capable – I can say that beliefs can be changed with time. You can grow out of old beliefs by flooding your subconscious with a new narrative. Of course it starts with acceptance for where you are now. And gaining true insight – something I had to go to therapy for. It’s a good point though – probably something to think about for my updated version! (Which I’ll try to put together at some point over the next few weeks)

      Family and I are doing well thank you Cheryl. Wishing you and yours the same 🙏

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  • What an incredible post, AP2. Holy smokes….so rich! I was reading your article, and quote after quote touched me deeper still. Thank you for sharing your gift of writing with us. This is getting shared to LinkedIn. Bless you. 🙏🙏

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Art – I wrote it ages ago but thought it was still quite a good list. That said I’d probably change or tweak a few things. For example, “Pay rapt attention” sounds a bit militant to me now. Anyway thank you for sharing it to LinkedIn. Wishing you well 🙏

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  • Number twelve reminds me of the Latin phrase: ‘Per aspera ad astra'(if I’m remembering correctly) meaning through hardships to the stars, and I definitely agree with number seven, probably because I subconsciously lived it my entire life 😂
    But hey, we make mantras(and personal commandments in this case) to fit who we are, it’s only appropriate that they change as we do over time (:
    ~💕

    Liked by 2 people

    • Indeed – it would strange if they didn’t change. There are a few I would looking back at it now – or at least tweak. 7 is a good one though – definitely keeping that on the list. Thank you Janelle 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

    • Very hard to do what’s right. Sometimes it’s very hard to know even what right is. But yes I think the more we stand up for what we say we believe in the more integral we feel. The whole world stands to benefit. Thanks Shelly 🙏

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  • Pilot, pilot, pilot! Another list and you have to have 12 commandments instead of 10! Lol! Seriously Ace, In my opinion, changing people for the better won’t happen with a list of goody-two-shoe commandments to follow. Even the big guy had only limited success with that!

    No, If you want to change the world — change the way our young see it. They are the future, the potential savior’s of the mess we made of the present. The educating of our young has long been our downfall. We should be teaching them acceptance, moderation and life-skills like critical thinking, emotional awareness and the connectedness of all of us in our natural world.

    We had our chance Ace and fucked it up pretty good wouldn’t you say? Only the next generation can save us now! Be well Flyer!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not worried about saving the world Wayne. That’s out of my control. I’m only worried about making it a little better myself. Ultimately that list was for me. I wrote it ages ago but thought why not share it with the world? If one person draws some inspiration from it then I’m happy. If not, no big deal. But I agree with you. Commandment style rules don’t really work. Education is much more important. Thanks Wayne. Always appreciate your thoughts. Wishing you well buddy 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  • My brother has two rules in life:
    1. Don’t be a dick.
    2. Hydrate or die.

    I have two which are wrapped up in the twelve you talked about here, both of which are also taken from other wise people:
    1. Choose kindness. There is no situation where kindness is not the best action to take.
    2. Let it go. Life is too short to be angry.

    Liked by 1 person

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