How Rules Can Help You Live Your Dream Life

How Rules Can Help You Live Your Dream Life

“It’s helpful to remember that when you throw away an old playbook, you still get to keep the skills you learned along the way.”

– Rick Rubin

In his book, The Creative Act: Rick Rubin proposes a novel idea to help people go from where they are today to where they want to be tomorrow.  

He calls them “Rules”, or the guiding principles that people use to achieve short-term or long-term goals. 

In the book, Rick Rubin describes rules as “assumptions, not absolutes. They are to be tested. And they are only of value for as long as they are helpful.”  

The rules in your life should be specific, but they are also meant to be broken. He writes, “The goal is not to fit in; rules direct us to average behavior.” No one wants to be average.

But I also believe that rules, structure, and principles can help you live a life that only you can imagine. These rules will also change as we enter different states of life. 

Right now these are my daily non-negotiables: (my rules)

  1. Sleep at least 7 hours. 

  2. Attempt to make the perfect espresso. 

  3. Get outside for at least 60 minutes, combined with exercise. 

  4. Lift something heavy, preferably with others who share the same passion. 

  5. Get my heart rate above 155 beats per minute. 

  6. Meet a new person. 

  7. Have several engaging conversations. 

  8. Introduce two people that will benefit from knowing each other.

  9. Tell friends, family, and/or your spouse/ partner you love them. 

  10. Hug, kiss, and share your love with those closest to you. 

  11. Do something kind–-give with no expectations. 

  12. Create something (content, a community event, do something creative). 

  13. Learn something new– read, listen to a podcast, or learn from another human. 


These are the rules that I wrote for myself because they are important to me and bring me the most energy. Did I come up with all of these by myself, no!

I learned from countless people and individuals who came before me, but I didn’t just steal their playbook. Rick Rubin believes that it is critical to continually challenge our process. And I couldn’t agree more. 

What got me to where I am today, will not get me to where I want to be tomorrow. 

To accomplish ambitious goals,  you need to start taking action. 

Most people have no lack of big ideas; they have a lack of action. By creating rules, a set of principles to live by, you set yourself up for success. I believe it is an extremely beneficial process to reverse engineer what the people living your ideal do every day.  

Step one: Determine who is living your dream life today.

*This may not be one singular person, but rather there are aspects of different people’s lives or careers that you aspire to have. 

  • Who are they with?

  • Where are they? 

  • What are they doing? 

  • How do they spend their time?

Don’t copy someone else’s playbook. But do study it; take the pieces that can bring you value, iterate on them, and make them your own.

Go for a run, walk, or bike today and think about: 

  1. The “rules” you want to be a part of your daily life. 

  2. How can you turn these into little wins that you can begin to implement today? 

Life by design does not happen by accident. To create the life you want to live tomorrow, you must begin with the end in mind. 

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Today's Movement

Complete for time:

  • Get outside for a 60-minute zone-2 walk, ride, or run

About Eric Hinman

Based in Denver, Eric is an Endurance Athlete (5x Ironman), content creator and social media influencer, sponsored by dozens of consumer brands. Some of Eric’s partners include Vital Proteins, GNC, Ten Thousand, Beam, Lane Eight, Chipotle, and Whole Foods.

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