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I don't agree with everything on his list, but included are many great principles.

Here is why you should take me seriously. I was born in 1942. I have seen what works and what doesn't.

I have a Ph.D. I am rich by most Americans' standards. I have never been divorced. I am in good health -- and have been since age 9. I am content with my life. There is nothing that I want that I cannot not pay cash for. I spend almost no money on buying consumer goods, except for used books, because I own everything I want, and I have for 30 years.

Take my advice.

I could list these rules by order of importance or by chronology. I chose chronology. You must get into good habits now. Start where you are.


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I've had my disagreements with Mr. North in the past, and his list isn't an exception. I agree with:

  • This is the #1 rule of success in every area of life: exceptional service.
  • Honesty really is the best policy.
  • Life is a trade-off between time and money. Watch for any unexpected change in the ratio.
  • Never post anything on Facebook or Twitter that you would not say face-to-face.
  • Be fair to everyone on your way up.
  • When you start a project, finish it.
  • Start thinking about your lifetime calling.
  • Put your three major lifetime goals in writing. Create plans to achieve them.
  • All written plans should be specific and have deadlines. Review these plans on a schedule.
  • Work hard for half a day for the rest of your life. It doesn't matter which half.
  • Budget your time to be in control of your life. Time is the only irreplaceable resource.
  • Set up a budget for money. Then stick with it. Mint is free.
  • Learn how to speak in public. This is a universally applicable skill.
  • Start a blog on a serious subject. Post at least twice a week.
  • Never go into debt for college. This includes your parents.
  • Better yet, start a business while you're in high school.
  • Great memories appreciate; stuff depreciates. Keep a digital scrapbook of great memories.
  • Do not become economically dependent on any government promise.
  • Never break these three rules of lifetime success:
  1.     Do what you say you will do.
  2.     Do it on time or a little early.
  3.     Do it for the price you agree to, and then add a free bonus.
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Honesty will make you righteous, but it won't always make you succeed.... those are 2 different things.

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I disagree. It depends on how your define success. For example, if your standard for success is accumulating wealth, you can achieve it dishonestly and still claim success (and a false sense of self). However, if your standard for success is earning wealth by honest trade, no matter how much you accumulate, you will never succeed as long as you're stealing it.

The principles (or rules, as he calls them) defined in the article don't explicitly state all of his standards. Many of those are assumed or can be inferred (especially if you're familiar with many of his other articles that describe his religious and libertarian values).

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That is a very good point. Thanks.

I was referring to success as what I assumed to be the most common idea of success... which is just accumulating wealth and being socially known as a celebrity or something of the sort. Of course, using dishonesty is not how I would achieve success... I just meant to say that a lot of people reach a similar social status by just lying. I personally would rather not being that kind of 'successful' if that implied lying.

With that said, I think a majority of people would not define 'success' as "earning wealth by honest trade, no matter how much you accumulate", which actually might show how corrupted our society is. But I have no data to prove this, so it's just an assumption and I might be wrong.

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