40 rules to live by
Posted by Michael Vacanti
This is a list I’ve been slowly growing for the past three years. It touches on business, productivity, relationships, optimizing behavior, meaning-of-life stuff, fitness and time management.
It’s personal in nature, but I thought you might benefit from reading it.
1. Know your life hourly
And use it to make daily decisions.
2. Don’t tell me about your fantasy football team. Ever. Seriously.
I know, your opponent picked up a random TE who scored two goal line touchdowns on just three catches for a total of six yards and you lost by one point. I just really really really do not care at all.
4. Never have sex with your sister’s friends or your friend’s sisters.
Have some self control.
Some relationships are just too important.
5. Count your macros
For at least 60 days, once in your life, and I will never bother you again. You will learn SO much about food and how weight gain/weight loss actually works during this period, it will blow your mind. I promise. Learn more here.
6. Buy scented trash bags
Well worth the extra dollar.
7. Be entirely honest, and always be willing to die
8. Never watch “the news”
This falls under the only worry about things you can control mentality.
Is hearing about a murder in your town on the local television really benefiting you? Is arguing out loud with a lying politician on your tv really improving your life?
Stop being controlled by fear mongering puppeteers, aka, the news.
9. Working “smart” isn’t a thing
It takes hard work. Ridiculous, sickening hustle and grind. If you want to win at the top level, you need to work really really hard.
10. Never watch tv at a bar
Let’s be honest, you went out to: 1) spend time with someone you care about or 2) get laid, or meet someone special, or whatever your intents with the opposite sex may be.
Gazing into the corner tv and watching espn’s top ten plays for the third time that night isn’t facilitating either goal.
*Obv if the specific intent of the visit was to some watch a sporting event, like a vikes game, this does not apply.
Quit starting new projects. New articles. New fad diets. Cutting program then bulking program then cutting program all in the same month. Finish one thing.
12. Never let ’em see you sweat
If you’re hurt, don’t let anyone know your hurt.
You aren’t going to garner any sympathy by whining and complaining. And your opponents will attack your weaknesses.
Pretty straight forward.
Glute, hamstring, trap and back gains.
14. Don’t multitask
Seriously. It is impossible to accomplish anything great while simultaneously doing something else.
15. Quit planning and just take action
You need to take the leap. I know, you can’t see the landing. You’re scared. You dislike uncertainty. But I have faith in you. You will figure it out. Take the leap.
16. Bring your foam roller on vacation
Going a week without that thing will put your body in shambles!
17. Do NOT respect your elders
At least not automatically.
Growing up, I had an immense, unquestioned respect for authority and the opinions of anyone older than me. This kept me in line and made me a “good” kid, but it was wrong.
No one really knows what the hell they are doing in life. And after about age 25, wisdom is not correlated with age. I now smile, nod and blow off 65 year olds regularly, but listen intently to a smart 19 year old.
Now, I’m not saying you should be a dick. Just be careful of whose opinions you let in.
18. Don’t be afraid to charge what your worth
The first program I ever designed for an online coaching client took me 15 hours.
I charged him $50 and felt guilty and uncomfortable accepting his money.
In hindsight, I don’t regret working so hard on this program because it was a great learning experience. But, if I could, I would place a hand on young Mike’s shoulder and assure him that he earned that $50 and he should feel pride and fulfillment.
19. Never snooze an alarm
People who set four alarms in 15 minute increments leading to their actual wake up time bewilder me.
You are sacrificing high quality stage 4 sleep for shitty, 15 minute blocks of light, non-growth hormone generating sleep.
Put your alarm on the other side of your room for exactly when you need to wake up. And make a rule that you won’t go back to bed tomorrow. Then the next day. Then the day after that. And eventually it will be a way of life.
20. Don’t die with things unsaid
Tell people exactly how you feel about them, even when it’s tough or weird or uncomfortable.
21. Avoid debt at all costs
The way we view money is so misunderstood.
Money is control. It is freedom. It is the ability to do what you like rather than what you don’t like.
Obviously, if financing a business with debt makes sense, do it. But personal debt is prison: student loan debt (without a real plan), credit card debt, mob debt. Avoid all of it.
22. Quick fixes do not exist
Fitness. Business. Art. Relationships.
Put in the work, love the process and be patient.
23. Ask for forgiveness, never permission
Obviously this isn’t MY rule – it’s a common expression.
But since I started doing this in college, it has made my life multitudes better.
24. Deep, suffocating, overwhelming pain is the womb where greatness is born
25. Create > Consume
Consumption is generally addictive, wasteful and numbing.
Obviously there are good forms of consumption, like reading a book. But most consumption in the internet era is via shitty clickbait (yes, I know this post is in list form…)
Instead, create. Build a business. Build your body. Build a meaningful relationship. Build something that saves someone’s life.
26. Drink more water
given my pic was used by a major brand… on a scale of “derek zoolander” to “keep dreaming bro” how much of a model am I?
27. Seek mentors and bosses who you really respect
Their opinion of your work will force you to be better and more efficient.
28. Solitude + Movement = life-changing creativity
Something changes in your mind when you are moving rather than stationary. Go for a walk or a hike or just knock out some bodyweight squats and wall slides. This creates a huge spark.
29. How you treat other people is really all that matters in life
Especially those who “can’t do anything for you”
30. Give a fuck
Have opinions and care.
Apathy is death of the soul.
31. Change your environment for a burst in creativity or productivity.
Move to a different room.
Go for a walk.
Take a shower even if you don’t need it or grab a 15 minute nap. These are all resets that give you new energy when you return to the task.
32. Stop trading sushi for sex
This is a mistake most single men are making these days. They are essentially bribing women with fancy meals and cool, expensive experiences to progress towards sex.
Instead, make her like you for you. The first few dates should be activities and opportunities to get to know each other. Spending excessive money and time and energy is for people you actually care about (which could be future dates, if things move along nicely).
Basically, if she demands a nice dinner on the first date, run.
I never did go out with Linds from the spring street subway platform. And I don’t regret it for a second.
33. Date #1 = always always always ice cream
In case it wasn’t obvious already.
34. Emotionally detatch yourself from physical objects
Clothes you don’t wear. An old speaker system you don’t use. A random Christmas present your Grandpa gave you six years ago.
Hold on to the meaning and cherish the intent or memory of the gift, but throw it out/give it away.
the things you own end up owning you
35. Make somone’s day, everyday
This one is so easy.
99% of people are incredibly insecure. Lift people up every day.
For example, every time you see a beginner exercising proper form, you should compliment them after their set. I guarantee they hardly ever hear it and I promise it will make their day.
36. No one cares how much money you make
Income and net worth are not a measure of self worth.
If you let them be, you will chase the next zero with nothing but a temporary, fleeting, shallow satisfaction upon achieving that “goal income.”
I speak from experience. I had years in corporate america where I made a good, fair wage. I had a year when I was building my business where I actually lost money. And I’ve had years since where I have done very well.
What matters is not how much money you make; rather, what matters is how much you enjoy what you are doing.
(note: assuming you are above your personal threshold for safety and security)
37. Creative types CANNOT worry about the unfollows
About the dislikes. About the unsubscribes. About the negative comments.
These people are not your friends anyway. They are not your community.
Be unapologetically you and serve the other 90%.
38. Better to be too idealistic than too cynical.
In today’s society of arm chair quarterbacks and anonymous internet comments, this is more important than ever.
Idealism can spur action whereas cynicism leads you to do nothing.
39. Regret will hurt far worse than self-discipline
Said more plainly, abs are better than donuts.
But, this is about much more than showing restraint on a diet. It means making decisions and taking action that serve future you more than present you.
40. Live below your means
Like I said, heaps of money means nothing compared to satisfaction with what you do every day.
However, having enough money is important.
And the quickest and best way to acquire it is to spend a few years living well below your means.
41. (Bonus) if you take ONE THING from this post, let it be this:
listen to that voice