Background

The Only 6 Rules You Need for a Better Life

Uploaded 10/24/2023, approx. 5 minute read

I like dolphins. I like chimpanzees. I adore turtles. I even like octopuses.

But my favorite animal by far is the elephant.

For some reason, I identify elephants with sagacity, with wisdom.

Perhaps because they are so slow and ponderous, they live long, they maintain relationships throughout their lives, including family.

And last time I checked, elephants never divorce.

So today, I consulted my own personal elephant, Pilipilon in Hebrew. And I asked, Pilipilon, would you tell me what are the six rules that encapsulate, encompass and contain life's infinite wisdom? What are the six rules which apply not only to interpersonal relationships, intimate relationships in the workplace, in various organizations, clubs, the church, nation state, all kinds of relationships? So rules that apply not only to relationships, but also to decision making, to choices, to our internal landscape, to psychological processes. What are the six rules that if we were to follow, we would likely have a much better, much more balanced, much more regulated, much healthier, and consequently much happier life.

And these are the six rules imparted to me by my Pachydermic friend.

Rule number one said my elephant, you get as much respect from others as you respect yourself.

Others gauge how self-respecting you are, and then they respect you equally.

So don't bother respecting others. Focus on respecting yourself.

And then you will have created an environment of mutual respect.

Rule number two, people will give you the absolute minimum, or nothing at all, if they can get away with it, unless and until you openly and vocally insist on getting more.

It is up to you to obtain justice. It is up to you to even the scales. It is up to you to transact in a way that won't leave you feeling used and abused. It is up to you to level the playing field. Only you. No one owes you anything.

Rule number three, if something possibly could be a lie, if it could be a fantasy, could be, even if you don't have any evidence, if it could be a lie or a fantasy, it very often is.

Of course, there's a famous saying, if something is too good to be true, it's not true.

But that's a private case. It's a subset of a much bigger rule, much more all-encompassing, all-pervasive rule.

Ask yourself, if something you hear, something you're being told, something you're being cajoled and convinced to do, something you're asked to do, ask yourself, could this be a manipulative ploy, a stratagem, a lie, a fantasy?

And if there is the slightest chance that it could be, it very often is.

Trust your gut, instinct, trust your intuition.

Rule number four, in life, there are good advisors and bad advisors.

How to tell them apart? Who or what should we listen to?

Well, here's a simple rule.

Loneliness is a bad advisor. Sadness is a bad advisor. Anger is the worst advisor.

Time is the only good advisor, the only advisor you should listen to, adhere to, the only advisor you should follow.

Give it time. Don't act on the spur of the moment. Don't be impulsive. Don't rush anywhere. Don't assume that you would run out of time. There's no such thing. Time is an infinite commodity. Infinite commodity, even for finite creatures, mere mortals like us, give it time. Hold your horses.

Wait. Waiting is the greatest wisdom.

Look up Kunktator on Wikipedia. He was a famous Roman general who defeated Rome's enemies simply by waiting them out.

A procrastinator. Procrastination is not the same as waiting. Waiting is an informed decision.

It's because you expect things to develop and evolve and additional information to flow your way.

Procrastination is when you have all the information and refuse to act.

Or when you know you have to do something and you won't do it. Procrastination is closely allied with fear of failure and with perfectionism.

Waiting is simply a wise strategy. Time heals all wounds and provides solutions where otherwise they're none.

Rule number five. If you want to see the true face of a person, of someone, try saying no to them. Just say no.

Decline, refuse, walk away. Then you will see the true face of that person.

The way people react to adversity, to failure, to defeat, to the frustration of their wishes and dreams, to breakups. It's then and there that you see the true face under the mask.

And rule number six.

How would you know if you have changed? If your behavior has changed? If you have avoided bad outcomes, then you have changed.

You see, we all learn, we all evolve. We're never the same.

But the test, the test of maturity, the test of adulthood, the test of wisdom and sagacity, this test is, am I avoiding bad outcomes the way I didn't use to in the past?

It has my behavior changed substantially, essentially, truly.

And if the answers are yes, if the answers are in the affirmative, then you have changed and transformed and matured for the better.

That's all there is to it. That's all there is to life.

Said my favorite, Pilipilon elephant. I would advise you to listen to him. He is really a wise, sage, old being.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

Four Pillars of Self-love

Self-love is about having a realistic view of oneself and pursuing happiness and favorable outcomes. It is essential for living a proper life and being capable of loving and being loved. The four conditions for healthy self-love are self-awareness, self-acceptance, self-trust, and self-efficacy. These conditions are necessary for survival and guide individuals to make rational, realistic, and beneficial decisions. Experience alone is not enough without self-love, as self-love serves as a reliable compass in life.


Narcissism’s Enemies: God, Work, Family (Prophets of Narcissism: Christopher Lasch, 1979, (lecture)

The lecture discusses Christopher Lasch and his views on narcissism, the decline of society, and the role of religion. Lasch criticizes capitalism, consumerism, and the intellectual elite, advocating for a return to traditional values and religious faith. He also discusses the impact of progress and the decline of religion on society. The lecture ends with a preview of the next lecture in the series.


“Dead Mothers” and Their Offspring: Narcissistic, Borderline, Psychotic

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of "dead mothers" and their impact on their children. He delves into the psychoanalytic construct of dead mothers, describing how narcissistic, borderline, and psychotic mothers affect their offspring. He explains the complex defense mechanisms and lifelong effects on the children, leading to issues such as narcissism, dissociation, and attachment disorders. The dead mother complex is a clinical condition involving early and destructive identification of the child with a figure of a depressed and emotionally unavailable mother. This results in a prolonged grief disorder and creates a kind of depression and defense against this depression, which is an extension form of depression. The child pretends that he is not he, he is someone else, the false self.


Healing Through Meaning: Logotherapy, PTMF, and Cold Therapy (University Lecture)

The lecture discusses the importance of meaning in therapy and presents three treatment modalities that leverage meaning as a healing tool. The Power Threat Meaning Framework focuses on understanding the role of power and threat in people's lives and how they make sense of their experiences. Cold Therapy aims to eliminate grandiosity in narcissistic disorders and depressive narratives, forcing individuals to face their traumas and construct new, reality-based narratives. Logotherapy, developed by Viktor Frankl, emphasizes the human will to find meaning in life, even in the most miserable circumstances, and the importance of suffering when creative possibilities are not available. The lecture also delves into the philosophical and metaphysical assumptions underlying logotherapy and the significance of meaning in human existence.


How Good Parents Turn Bad (ENGLISH 1:33, Turnu Severin Intl. Conference on Psychology)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of the "dead mother" and how it relates to dysfunctional parenting. He explains that good enough mothers allow their children to separate and experience pain, frustration, and disappointment. Good enough mothers provide safety, structure, order, predictability, and prepare their children for reality. Vaknin suggests that psychological evaluation should be mandatory for those wishing to have children, and that those with certain mental health issues should not be allowed to have children.


How to Love Yourself Into Healing, But Not Become a Narcissist (Compilation)

In this lecture, Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the importance of self-love and the steps to develop a core identity. He emphasizes the significance of relationships and distinguishes between micro-relationships, real relationships, and pseudo-relationships. Vaknin highlights the need to maintain individuality within relationships and stresses the importance of taking responsibility for one's choices and behaviors. He outlines the four conditions for healthy self-love: self-awareness, self-acceptance, self-trust, and self-efficacy. Vaknin also delves into the significance of finding meaning in life and the value of introspection and silence in personal growth and healing.


Abuse Victim's New Year Resolutions

In this video, Professor Sam Vaknin outlines seven promises that individuals should make to themselves in order to demand respect and preserve their self-worth. These promises include setting clear boundaries, being assertive about needs and emotions, treating others with respect, and terminating relationships with abusers. Vaknin encourages viewers to make these promises to themselves and to email him with specific topics they would like him to address in future videos.


From Insight to Self-love, Self-care: 4 Conditions, 4 Steps

Personal change requires self-awareness, empathy, motivation, and emotions. Self-awareness involves understanding oneself without pretension. Empathy is crucial for fitting into society and motivating change. Motivation to change is influenced by interactions with others and the environment. Emotions, including love and negative feelings, drive personal growth. Self-love is based on self-awareness, self-acceptance, self-trust, and self-efficacy, and serves as a reliable compass in life.


Narcissist’s Affair with Death Drive (Destrudo, Mortido)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of the death drive, its origins in Freud's work, and its impact on individuals, particularly those who have experienced trauma and abuse. He delves into various psychological perspectives and theories related to the death drive, emphasizing its connection to early childhood experiences and the role of the mother in shaping an individual's relationship with death.


Stupidity And Weakness As Narcissism

Weakness and stupidity can lead to narcissism and are often the result of overthinking and misusing critical thinking. Overanalyzing can be counterproductive and lead to irrational behavior. The rise of technology and social media has empowered the weak and stupid, leading to a decline in intellectual discourse and the spread of misinformation. This trend threatens the survival of humanity, as the masses become more susceptible to the influence of the weak and ignorant.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2024, under license to William DeGraaf
Website Copyright © William DeGraaf 2022-2024
Get it on Google Play
Privacy policy