8 Rules to Live By

The old guy here... A lot of people emailed me asking for life advice after I posted "15 career steps"... Pull up your skirt and repeat diver John Chatterton's 8 "rules to live by." He wrote them after serving 2 years in Vietnam as a medic on the front lines, where you almost always got killed.

(And stop worrying about what other people think...)

From the book Shadow Divers:

1) If an undertaking was easy, someone else already would have done it.

2) If you follow in another's footsteps, you miss the problems really worth solving.

3) Excellence is born of preparation, dedication, focus, and tenacity; compromise on any of these and you become average.

4) Every so often, life presents a great moment of decision, an intersection at which a man must decide to stop or go; a person lives with these decisions forever.

5) Examine everything; not all is as it seems or as people tell you.

6) It is easiest to live with a decision if it is based on an earnest sense of right and wrong.

7) The guy who gets killed is often the guy who got nervous. The guy who doesn't care anymore, who has said, "I'm already dead--the fact that I live or die is irrelevant and the only thing that matters is the accounting I give of myself," is the most formidable force in the world.

8) THE WORST POSSIBLE DECISION IS TO GIVE UP

G/l

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Comments (24)

Best Response
Aug 22, 2016

As far as lists of rules goes, I have to admit this is one of the best one's I have seen. Especially for finance.

    • 2
Aug 22, 2016

Number 7 is one where people most struggle to comprehend. I'll admit I have issues with that one but the times I gain courage I just say "fuck it, I'm still having dinner tonight" and move on.

Absolute truths don't exist... celebrated opinions do.

Aug 22, 2016

good list.. i'm at #4 myself right now, may define the rest of my 30's..... exciting yet nervous times

What is the answer to 99 out of 100 questions?

    • 1
Aug 22, 2016

Good stuff

Aug 22, 2016

7 is important. I find that it is a mindset that I have to reset every time I enter into a new situation. Great list of advice.

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Aug 23, 2016

Thanks for posting. Think anyone coming from a non-target could use this.

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Aug 23, 2016

Good post. #7

Aug 23, 2016

I've been guilty of #7 far too many times
Excellent post

Aug 23, 2016

7 is exactly what I needed today. Amazing list. +1SB for you good sir.

Aug 23, 2016

A nice list but I honestly think 95% of this forum are doing the opposite of rule #2

Aug 25, 2016

Thanks Tommy. I mentioned in another forum that rather than worry about what other people think of you, everyone (not only undergrads or grads) should focus on finding blank spots on the map. There are markets and platforms to be made out of everything and anything, new business models applied to the old ways of thinking. A lot of guys I coach at the VP level are tired of convincing themselves of how awesome their life is in [insert prestigious Wall St job title here]. You need to embrace risk and increase the variance of your experiences while you're young, and never look back on the haters.

"Bulls take the stairs, bears take the elevator"
"Sell a teenie, lose your weenie"

Jul 17, 2017
TommyGunn:

A nice list but I honestly think 95% of this forum are doing the opposite of rule #2

That's because following in another's footsteps = secure corporate cushy job

If you want to take on the problems really worth solving, you must also take on the risk.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Aug 24, 2016

A nice list but I honestly think 95% of this forum are doing the opposite of rule #3

Aug 25, 2016

9) you fuck with the dick god gave you.

Aug 26, 2016

Am I the only who thinks most of these things are nearly common sense?

Aug 28, 2016

there is a difference between knowing the path and walking it

"Bulls take the stairs, bears take the elevator"
"Sell a teenie, lose your weenie"

Aug 29, 2016

Perhaps, but then why are you posting lists, merely conveying the knowledge?

Aug 28, 2016

Rule #1 -- Obey The Rules.
Rule #2 -- Lead by example.
Rule #3 -- Guide the uninitiated.
Rule #4 -- It's all about the money.
Rule #5 -- Harden The Fuck Up.
Rule #6 -- Free your mind, and your career will follow.
Rule #7 -- Dress like a professional, not like a clown.
Rule #8 -- Investment banking travel is for badasses. Period.
Rule #9 -- It never gets easier, you just make more money.
Rule #10 -- Don't be a scumbag.

http://epicureandealmaker.blogspot.com/2012/11/the...

    • 1
Aug 28, 2016

Rule #6 -- Free your mind, and your career will follow.

This is a good one. +1.

Aug 29, 2016

Simple, but I like it!

Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny

Aug 31, 2016

I really agree with you. It is very much informative.

Sep 2, 2016

Great Post. Thank you for sharing such useful information.

Sep 6, 2016
Jul 17, 2017