The Dalai Lama’s 18 Rules For Living That Will Help You Get Your Sh*t Together

If there was one person in this lifetime with whom I could sit down and talk to for even just an hour it would be the Dalai Lama – long considered one of the most influential people in the world. I constantly strive to the best of my ability to follow his teachings. They have had and continue to have an incredible impact on my life and my work – as a source of inspiration, guidance and motivation.

At the turn of this century, the Dalai Lama issued “18 Rules for Living’. As I share them with you here today I hope that they will inspire you as much as they have me – to stretch yourself, to go within, to strive for more, to be more, to grow more – and as a result always be living into your greatest potential and purpose in life. Basically, these will help you to really get your shit together.

RULE 1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

RULE 2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

RULE 3. Follow the three Rs: Respect for self, Respect for others, Responsibility for all your actions

RULE 4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

RULE 5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

RULE 6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

RULE 7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

RULE 8. Spend some time alone every day.

RULE 9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.

RULE 10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

RULE 11. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.

RULE 12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

RULE 13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.

RULE 14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.

RULE 15. Be gentle with the earth.

RULE 16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.

RULE 17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

RULE 18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.


1. What risks are you willing to take in your life right now?

2. How will you be more open to acknowledging and learning from your “mistakes”?

3. Where will you take greater responsibility in your life?

4. When will you spend quality, reflective time alone every day?

5. How will you share the knowledge and wisdom you have?

6. How do you respect for yourself and others?

7. What are the values by which you live your life?

Reflect and journal on these questions and then take intentional action towards implementing what will be most beneficial to you now. Make a commitment to yourself to do something different, something that will help you grow as a person, that will positively impact you and those around you and that will move your life even more in the direction you want it to go in.