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The 44 rules of a self-respecting man

The following is a list of rules I devised for myself in 2012, after visiting my father. Back then, I must have had an inkling that I would be in need of these positive and necessary rules for living a good life later, when I would forget. For rules of others have never convinced me, I needed a set of rules that were absolutely life-affirming, logical and growth-oriented. A set of rules that would not allow a man not to be positive.

I categorize these rules into rational and irrational statements. This is because some statements are obviously true, while others need to be assumed true; for if one does not consider them true, there is no reason and therefore no will to live. Thus, for life to be worth living, they have to be assumed not merely possible, but true. For there is no way to live possibly.

FYI, some of these rules are inspired by Objectivism. Others are not. Read The Virtue of Selfishness to learn more about that.

What is this good for?

These rules are meant for a self-respecting man of integrity in every possible circumstance of life. They are meant for the individualist as much as for a social person. For the strong and confident man as well as for the weak and insecure.

A self-respecting man is he who knows he does the best for himself without hoping for help, wallowing in self-pity or searching the fault for his misery in others. A self-respecting man is he who will allow himself to suffer without expecting others to suffer with him and without letting suffering be an end in itself.

The rules are meant to provide you with values that will keep your head free and clear in times of failure. They will not make you feel great (they will not pump you up) but they will help you focus on the problems you face instead of wallowing in self-pity.

Be sure to distinguish the application of the rational and irrational rules

  • The rational rules are simply statements of truth. They are helpers to make cognitive judgments, for instance decisions that pertain justice and law. Often, they relativize, for example rule number 3. ******* This relativization is especially useful to judge situations that do not involve your personal goals. Rational rules, thus, put your own needs into perspective when you need to deal and argue with the law and organize other people.
  • The irrational rules, on the other hand, are beliefs that focus on your subjective perception. These rules assume that a subjects needs are, to the subject, more important than other subjects’ needs. Thus, while rational rules may dictate that one mans needs are not more important than another mans needs, they are overridden if the judging person is one of these men. The theme is rational self-interest. Read: While a law would sacrifice one for a million, one would not sacrifice himself for a million.

Here they are, the rules of a self-respecting man.

Rational rules of a self-respecting man:

  1. Force and pressure gives form.
  2. Contrasts and reciprocity are of high importance: The better the world is supposed to become through an idea, the more cruel it becomes. *
  3. There is no right and wrong, but there is a necessity to accept and internalize external judgment in order to aspire to be on par with the other person. **
  4. A observation is dependent on the observer. A judgment is an expression; a expression serves a person to express himself.
  5. People are not equal.
  6. The more selfless a person is, the less himself he is.
  7. People search the path of least resistance; their paths reveal their goals. If a difficult path is consciously chosen, the wrong goal has been assumed.
  8. Life is absolutely guilt-free; nobody owes anything to anybody. Nothing that is possible is wrong.
  9. Everything is relative. Everything is logical. ***
  10. Nobody has a right to anything in life. It is impossible. ****

Irrational rules of a self-respecting man:

  1. I only belong to myself.
  2. Life is purposeful.
  3. I am important.
  4. I am right.
  5. I have the full responsibility for my thinking, acting and feeling.
  6. Nothing is relative. I can understand everything. ***
  7. Life is hard. Life is work. Pain is important.
  8. Selfishness is to not wait for gifts; not to make none.
  9. A small amount of words is not the goal, but it is to be accepted.
  10. I do not try to force harmony.
  11. I take from life what I can afford or what is given to me voluntarily. I owe nothing and nobody owes me.
  12. I do not expect other people to ignore aspects of my personality; let them be positive or negative; let them be within or outside of my influence or control; let the consequences of this be positive or negative.
  13. I am allowed to be sad, but not to hope for pity.
  14. I am allowed to be happy, but not to be dependent on happiness.
  15. I am allowed to enjoy without expecting bad things.
  16. I am responsible for all aspects of my personality; including those that are not within my power – genetics, looks, intelligence, upbringing.
  17. I am me and you are you; Independence. You do not have to like me for me to be content. *****
  18. I am allowed to take without giving back.
  19. I am allowed to give without demanding reciprocation.
  20. I accept the boundaries of other people without making them mine.
  21. I can acknowledge another’s success without the need to beat it.
  22. I look up without betraying myself.
  23. I do not lie to make somebody feel good or bad. I motivate people to develop self-responsibility.
  24. I am not ashamed of my errors, failures or lack of skill.
  25. Like a hero, I stand by my errors and failures, attentive and courageous. No matter how much it hurts. Dignity is a decision.
  26. I do not make people dependent on me, at least not consciously.
  27. I accept my and other people’s weakness instead of perceiving intolerant behavior as ignorant, insensitive or superficial.
  28. A good personality evolves out of strength. Through strength it unfolds.
  29. I do not believe that I can beat every challenge I will encounter. I believe in truth. I believe that I will survive all my failures. I believe that I will not make myself smaller than I am.
  30. I am allowed to feel greater than others perceive me.
  31. Regarding the question what is a part of my personality: In case of doubt everything, until proven otherwise. But I can work on everything. Theory: Everything is changeable. The question is whether it is easier to stay the way you are or change. ******
  32. The ideal of a comfortable conversation is real. It is okay to fake. But you cannot always expect that it will feel relaxed.
  33. I do never let another person suffer under my ineptitude. Be it a lacking ability for open and confident appearance or similar. Rather shy, reclusive and lonely than under the unsatisfiable pressure of having to prove myself to others. Read: Prove to others. Guilt is always directed at myself and a goal must always be worth the hassle. Confidence in every situation is unnecessary and much too stressful. And I do not owe it to anybody.
  34. I won’t say I’m sorry, but I understand.


* This refers to socialism, misunderstood altruism and Utopian ideas based on emotions. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. FIY, read Ethics in Groups.

** For if one aspires to convince another person without considering their arguments, one is destined to fail to have a good connection.

*** This seems like a contradiction, but it is not. The irrational rules contain subjective beliefs while the rational rules contain beliefs about objective reality. Thus, everything is relative in the global sense – as is ones life. But subjectively, ones life is of absolute importance. This judgment is absolute, not relative. The judgment of man is unlike the judgment of nature. Therefore a man may accept that his happiness is not important to nature or anyone else but of paramount importance to himself. This set of beliefs is meant to protect against the following kind of mindset and argumentation: You are but a cog on a wheel; do not take yourself so seriously. Judgment over an object is separate and often opposite to an object’s/subject’s judgment of itself.

**** To clarify, I do have compassion for people with problems. But expecting anybody to help you or even thinking that it is or should have been anybody’s duty to do so will hinder you on your path. Also, even if I accept the concept of a right: Who has the time to provide you and every other person with problems with the things you need? Imagine everybody had only problems and rights, but nobody had anything to give. Would you simply be angry on the universe?

***** Healthy boundaries.

****** This depends on the goals. Basically, the message is: If an improvement is very hard and not necessary in order to achieve your goal, forgo it. Somewhat similar to the Pareto principle. This, of course, requires you to know exactly what your goal is. Do you want to fuck her or impress yourself / somebody?

******* Careful. Many motivational sites use this technique in order to boost the self-confidence of people, e.g. other people are not as good as you think, so you are better than you think. This may give you a little push, but does not work long-term and I strongly advice against a comparative mindset. This is counterproductive to self-respect.

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  • Mikke Musen

    This idea is good for you. But don’t show it. These kiddos in this band, did consider themselves, by projection, as narcs, 20 years ago. They too, wondered about choosing wrong. Fuck, everybody told them etc… Wanna be a victim, be a woman. “Thorbjørn” from the band, is a sweat emotional guy. “Svein” from the same, is a “good decent guy”. They did find their way. But some time around, they were probably more “narcs” than you ever will be. Think about it. It doesnt really matter right ? For who ? If so


  • Mikke Musen

    Tom. Just remember. I do like your writings. Probably more than me. But most people they give a fuck. If you were “Merckl ” or some other stupid shit everybody would care because, BY TITLE, you would be important. Why ??? Because they themselves are way bigger narcs than you ever was.
    It is “fun” though, but keep it in the back of your mind. Keep a touch of that “absurdism”. and you will easily understand why work is a waste :) LOL

    True “Fe” vs subjective “Fi” :) You know what I mean

    (Sponsors give a fuck about who read you, they desire clicks. They are narcs. That is how it mostly goes)

    • Well, I give a fuck about Merkel. She gives a fuck about me. Just the way I want it.

      Work keeps me sharp, that’s a good thing.

      Btw, drink less and be more concise, my friend.

      • Mikke Musen

        Hehe.. I’m sorry. Dam there was a post or “two” from me that evening

        Back to you: ….and delete more ! :p

  • Mikke Musen

    Hey. Think about it. I spoke with one of they guys from this band. They earned “shit” on this album. Even though they were used in Athens olympics. (I asked before that). “Stupid mother fucking narcs who just dont wanna get a mason jobs and get on with their lives. Right )

    Truth is, it was a long time ago, but one of the fucking best tunes I did hear at that time.

    The world is just fucked up. Dont sweat too much about it. This tune is fucking quality, but yet it ain’t till everybody agrees. Right. It took them 4-5 years. Tarjej (the “loudspeaker”) is now in Datarock. They just sort of gave up. Wasn’t really any serious money in it.

    I dont fucking get it. I never did.


    • Wow, loving it. Reminds me of my homeland, Czech.

      Yeah, the market in music is difficult. There’s just a great lot of stuff and everybody thinks he is an artist.

      Met a girl once who was a musician herself and shared your concerns. I told her that’s capitalism and the best thing that could be. Somebody’s got to get the fruits from the trees. She didn’t agree. Well, so it be.

  • Mikke Musen

    The album that started it all. If you don’t know why “techno” came into play, it was basically this one (of course influenced by others) and Prodigy. They broke the “ice” . Still a very recommendable album