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Leo Tolstoy's Rules For Life

Leo Tolstoy, the author of War and Peace, is known as a prolific and superb writer and, by all accounts was a very self aware young man.

He apparently began a "Journal of Daily Activities" at the tender age of 18, in which he would clock the activities he undertook that day and recorded the time spent on each activity as well as the performance. The idea was to improve his performance in life in general.

As part of this process he started listing a set of rules for life, listing an initial 11 rules from which he added a further 6.

I am pleased to present these without further comment:

  1. Wake at five o'clock.

  2. Go to bed no later than ten o'clock.

  3. Two hours permissible for sleeping during the day.

  4. Eat moderately.

  5. Avoid sweet foods.

  6. Walk for an hour every day.

  7. Visit a brothel only twice a month.

  8. Disregard all public opinion not based on reason.

  9. Love those to whom he could be of service.

  10. Only do one thing at a time.

  11. Disallow flights of imagination unless necessary.

  12. Never to show emotion.

  13. Stop caring about other people's opinion of himself.

  14. Do good things inconspicuously.

  15. Keep away from women.

  16. Suppress lust by working hard.

  17. Help those less fortunate.

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