12 Rules for Living, Part 1

If you find you have trouble getting along with others – your work, your family, friends, or yourself – I’d like to recommend a really fine book. It’s titled, “How to Live 365 Days a Year,” by Doctor John A. Schindler (Chairman, Department of Medicine, The Monroe Clinic of Monroe, Washington), published by Prentice-Hall.

This book covers just about every important aspect of getting along well in the world. In one chapter, Dr. Schindler gives twelve important principles to make your life richer:

Number 1: Keep life simple.

Keep yourself responsive to the simple things that are always near at hand. Don’t get into the habit of requiring the unusual for your pleasure. Learn to enjoy the simple, uncomplicated way of life.

Number 2: Avoid watching for a knock in your motor.

Among the world’s most miserable people are those who can’t get over the idea that they have something terribly and intrinsically wrong “somewhere.” They are forever miserable, listening for a possible knock in their motors. They belong to a tremendously large organization (the “Symptom-a-Day-Club”), in which it is required that the members start the day by waking up and immediately asking themselves, “Where am I sick today?” If your doctor says you’re alright… forget it.

Number 3: Learn to like work.

The chances are that you have to work for a living. As with every other necessary factor in your life, you might just as well like it; and avoid making trouble for yourself by not liking it. And remember, you will like your work to the exact degree that you give yourself to it. If you do as little as you can, you’ll be miserable.

Number 4: Have a good hobby.

A fascinating and creative interest apart from your work is an absolute essential for happy living. Two of our basic needs are the needs for new experiences and for creative effort. A good hobby supplies them both.

Number 5: Learn to be satisfied.

There is one understandable excuse for being dissatisfied: when there is obvious negligence, dishonesty, carelessness, or incompetence on someone’s part. But it’s obviously useless to be dissatisfied when a situation cannot be altered, or when dissatisfaction can be seen to be entirely useless. For instance, you meet people who are obviously disturbed by the weather and, just as easily, by everything else. Living in chronic dissatisfaction is about as close to living in Hell as anything the world has to offer. The real tragedy is that it is so useless and so unnecessary.

Number 6: Like people and join the human enterprise.

In a world where people live next door to each other, rub elbows in the subway, and meet bumper-to-bumper on the highways, it’s disastrous to emotional stability to take a dislike to the race and to the individuals who comprise it. Letting people get in your hair is far, far worse than you might imagine; go along with them and do your best to get along with people… to like them.

Some people dislike everybody. They have nothing complimentary to say about anyone. Their immaturity has isolated them in a shell. And they’re unhappy as long as they maintain this childish and unwarranted attitude.

In my next program, I’ll cite the remaining principles. In the meantime, you might get the book, “How to Live 365 Days a Year” by Doctor John Schindler, published by Prentice-Hall. It’s really an outstanding book!

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