The 12 rules for being human

The great thing about life – The 12 rules for being human
the most magnificent thing about being these sentient human beings
– is that we have been given the power of choice.
~ Bryant McGill, Voice of Reason

I first came across this list “Rules For Being Human” way back in 1992 in a book by Dan Millman, Way of the Peaceful Warrior. It’s a timeless ‘oldie’ that helps you to navigate through the human condition with grace and ease.

It has also recently come to my attention that the original author of the ten rules is Dr Chérie Carter-Scott in her book Life is a Game. Oprah brought these rules to mainstream in 1998!

What I love about the ten rules it is that it’s a gentle reminder of both why we are here,  and how to relax into the experience of being human rather than struggling and fighting against it.

It’s a spiritual CHEAT SHEET on Life.

To sum it up, the list succinctly explains that in life, no one is given a handbook. There is no definitive guide to show us the “right” road.

It is up to us to seek out and recognise our opportunities to grow. If we want to evolve as a human we must learn from life’s lessons – and remember that we are constantly learning, yet how we apply the knowledge we gain us up to each individual.

The twelve rules contains wisdom that can help guide you through the process of personal development.


Twelve Rules for Being Human by Dr Chérie Carter-Scott  and Dan Millman

1. You will receive a body.
You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours the entire period.

2. You will learn lessons.
You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called Life. Each day in this school, you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.

3. There are no mistakes, only lessons.
Growth is a process of trial and error: experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that ultimately “work.”

4. A lesson is repeated until learned.
A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.

5. Learning lessons does not end.
There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.

6. ”There” is no better than “here.”
When your “there” has become a “here”, you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here.”

7. Others are merely mirrors of you.
You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself.

8. What you make of your life is up to you.
You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.

9. Life is exactly what you think it is.
You create a life that matches your beliefs and expectations.

10. Your answers lie inside you.
The answers to life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.

11. You will forget all this.

12. You can remember it whenever you want.


So what do you think?

Were you inspired by this list? What point made the biggest impact on you? What are your personal ‘rules for being human?’

We would love to hear about any great tips or stories you have to share with others. After all, what works for you might help someone else.

As always, your interaction with our posts creates a reservoir of wisdom for all our readers to benefit from so please share your thoughts, stories and questions in the comments box below and remember to tweet, like and +1 ~ thanks we appreciate it.

Additional resources
Dan MillmanWay of the peaceful warrior
Designing your life: The role of feelings and emotions in the Law of Attraction

About Maya Mendoza

Maya Mendoza is a published author of 3 personal development books. She has run an NLP / EFT Practice for 29 years helping clients transform problems into personal power. Maya is also a accomplished copywriter and well known Digital Marketing & Social Social Media Strategist - Specializing in Google+ for business. She was named "best marketing consultant" in Glasgow, UK in 2013.  
Maya works with Authors, Coaches and Small Business owners helping them sky-rocket thier income by achieving "expert authority" status within thier niche. If you want help in building your expert profile on-line then take a look at to learn more about how Maya's expertise can showcase yours across the web.


  1. You have missed the correct author to attribute the ten rules to! Dr Chérie Carter-Scott is the author in 1974, and her book If Life is a Game these are the Rules featured on Oprah brought these rules to mainstream in 1998!

  2. Maya, actually, Dr Chérie Carter-Scott is not the origin of The Rules for being Human. Neither is Oprah Winfrey. These rules are much older than them both. They are from an ancient Sanskrit text! Lesson: More Research is always needed, not just in science, but also in anything we put out on the www.

    • Sarita, you are correct. The true source of the “12 Rules for Being Human” is uncertain, but it has been attributed to an ancient Sanskrit text among other sources. Dan Millman’s popular rendition is from his book “No Ordinary Moments: A Peaceful Warrior’s Guide to Daily Life.” Thank you for bringing this to my attention and emphasizing the importance of thorough research.

  3. Hi Maya,

    These rules were given to several people via ‘Higher Guidance’ over several years. Each person received a slightly different ser of rules, the differences being relatively minor.
    I am one of those who received these ‘rules’ in 2006 (or so). My list is 13 ‘rules’ and is so incredibly similar to the list you provided here (including where the quotation marks are) that I wonder if it wasn’t borrowed from the list that I published. No matter 🙂 … the way I see it is that this list is so important for humanity that those in Higher Dimensions that are assisting us in our spiritual evolution wanted to make sure that it was well distributed.

    Blessings ♥

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