These are rules that have been set to take the thinking out of certain situations, and help avoid certain mistakes. They are a part of the cyborg's code, which prevents human error. They are to be followed without deviation, in relevant situations.
GENERAL CONDUCT RULES
GREATNESS IS A HABIT
Be slack in one thing; be slack in everything. Be disciplined in one thing; be disciplined in everything. Strive for greatness in one thing; strive for greatness in everything. Greatness is not an achievement; it is a habit. It is to be practiced and acquired and used. Apply it in all that you do; and it will manifest in all that you do.
CONTROL YOUR TIME
Remember that you are the boss of you. What determines when you should work, or chill, or rest, or play, is your own thought process. It isn't a moral issue, or a question of duty; nor is it anyone else's opinion that counts. You control your day according to your own optimisation calculus. This is the path to optimal results.
NO OBJECTIVE, NO ACTION
Avoid committing time (to meetings/coffees etc) without an objective. This is how time is wasted. Know why you are doing something; and assess the event against the stated objective after the fact. Avoid spending time on things "because you should". You won't miss anything.
There are very few things that can't be interpreted positively if you frame them appropriately. Learn to frame events positively; and find the good in all outcomes. You will propel forward faster and further this way.
Whatever you want to be, start by being it. Ie, if you want to be an author; refer to yourself as one. Be an author from that day. Don't wait for your book to be published. Don't depend on other people's standards or approval. Decide, be, do - that is the sequencing.
MIND THE SMALL DETAILS
Small details are a big deal. Learn to mind the little things. This will take care of many big things.
GIVE ANGER A COOLING OFF PERIOD
The results of anger are far worse than the causes of anger. Most anger is caused by your interpretation of an event, rather than the event itself. Initial angry thoughts are normally wrong, or at least vastly incomplete. Before reacting angrily, give yourself a cooling-off period for processing and reflection. You can always explode later if you still want to.
BE PATIENT AND CONTROLLED AT ALL TIMES
Learning control and patience in little things - waiting in a queue, service in a restaurant - translates to the bigger things. Impulsive and rash behaviour leads down blind alleys and finds your lesser self. Learn to apply a layer of calm, patience and discipline in all that you do, small and big.
"Negative thoughts are the weeds that strangle your mind". Bruce Lee. Negative thoughts - self pity, sadness, feeling down - are an energy drain. They stop you from performing well (or at all on some days). They are therefore to be dealt with or avoided. Create a process for ending them whenever they arise, and make sure to use it whenever necessary. Do not allow your time and personal resource to be absorbed by negative thoughts. Act. And move on.
IF IT ISN'T SCHEDULED IT ISN'T REAL
Whatever you decide to do, diarise it. Saying "I'll do that at some point tomorrow" is a recipe for inaction. Things that float around your consciousness don't get done. Things that are scheduled and planned do.
RAISE THE SCHEDULING BAR
If it ain't hell yeah, it's hell no. Before scheduling to do something, ask yourself - is this really urgent? Is it really important? Is it really impactful? Can someone else do it? Will things be ok if it just isn't done? Is it something that plays to my strengths, and that I can do well? The opportunity cost in time and personal resource is huge for any entry on your to-do list or in your calendar. Make sure to raise a high bar.
GET REGULAR DOWNTIME
Periodically, block off some part of your schedule and leave it empty. This is the equivalent of farmers leaving their fields fallow to replenish. The same goes for your mind - whether one day a week or a month; or a weekend away; your mind needs time to spin freely, with no schedule, and no preset tasks. Allow the time for your mind to just think, consider things more strategically, and allow thoughts to come and go. This practice is materially performance-enhancing; and fosters much better planning and strategic reflection.
DECISION MAKING RULES
CONSULT THE BRAIN TRUST
On big decisions, know who your handful of main advisors are, and consult them. You will know who in your life has the wisdom, intelligence and domain expertise in particular areas where you are having to make a big decision. Do not shortcut the step of consultation. Almost always, these people will reveal angles you hadn't considered. At an absolute minimum, you will get validation of your own thought processes; and higher confidence in your decisions is a good thing. You are blessed with smart people around you; take the trouble to use them. Where you feel uncomfortable, if you are not that close to someone who's view may be valuable, asking for their help is often the step to bring you closer. Never make a decision without talking to people.
THINK, THINK AND THINK AGAIN
Don't rush big decisions. Allow them to percolate. Examine them and re-examine them. Tell yourself again the whys and why nots. Articulate your reasoning to someone else. Note down the pros, the cons and the risks. Doing this will always reveal angles you had missed the first and second time around. You will make enough mistakes in your life without adding those caused by rashness, which are avoidable. Eliminate these.
Get in the habit of "red-teaming" every decision. That is, in considering a decision, try and think of every reason why it might be wrong; and more so, if you could make it wrong, what events would you create to make the decision a bad one. Would you concoct a death of an individual; a stock market crash; a change in industry trend; what would you do to render the decison a failure. This process will reveal risks that your instinctive mind may have missed, or had been subconsciously avoiding. It is a slightly laborious thing to do; but better to find out in the theoretical mind experiment, than once it is a real life event. Take the time.
When making decisions - like an investment, career choices, or entering a new space - macro trumps micro. A good macro environment - one displaying high growth - will make the odds of success better, for any given micro situation. A great management team in a great firm is far more likely to succeed in a growing industry than a shrinking one. Before considering the boat, consider the tide. A good macro environment, with great micro, is an explosive formula for success, with greatly heightened odds for outsized performance. Thus, the rule is: consider the macro first; and, if it is benign, couple it with as strong a micro proposition as possible.
OPTIMISE, DON'T MAXIMISE
When considering actions to take, look for the optimal, rather than the additive. That is, don't take on things that are merely a positive value-add; take on things that are a big, outstanding value-add. This is because everything has an opportunity cost of something bigger; or simply of energy, resource, and down time, which in turn will fuel success in other big things. So don't get sucked in to doing everything you think is additive - if it ain't "hell yeah", it's "hell no". Raise the bar very very high.
KNOWLEDGE NEEDS ACTION
As you acquire knowledge and insight, devise actions to follow from them. A practice, a consequence, an implementation. There is no point gaining knowledge to then leave it unused - so always find a way to then incorporate it into your life as appropriate. Nobody ever becamme a kung-fu master by reading a book about kung-fu. This does mean some things will get discarded, but they will be discarded deliberately, not by omission.
REPLICATE GOALS, NOT ACTIONS
"Do not follow in the footsteps of the wise; seek what they sought". Matsuo Basho. You will constantly be listening to and reading about great, wise and successful people. But trying to replicate their actions IS A TRAP. Learn how they found what they were looking for, to guide how you can find what you are looking for. Their journey isn't your journey, and never can be. Learn from them what you can; but do not seek to replicate.
NEVER DIRECT CONFRONTATION
"The known way is an impasse". Periclease. "Wise men are able to make direct use even of their enemies". Plutarch. Direct attacks are obvious and predictable. Even if successful, they consume a lot of energy and political capital unnecessarily. Better to use the obstacle against itself. Let the fortress become the prison. Let the momentum cause imbalance. Patience and guile will always defeat brute force.
SEEK THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED
"An army may march great distances without distress, if it marches through country where the enemy is not". Sun Tsu. There is no point rushing to the corner of the room where everyone else is. Try and find the path less crowded by others, and you journey to success becomes that much easier.
AVOIDING MISTAKES IS A HIGH BAR
Focus your energies on avoiding avoidable mistakes in your endeavours. Be it investing, job selection, hiring staff, or playing a sport - great things can be achieved simply by consistently avoiding pitfalls. Home-runs are great; but make sure you avoid errors consistently, and you will achieve much.
Start by looking for improvements. This is more a state of mind than an activity - everything you experience is a potential input if it teaches you something. Look for hacks, codes, and processes to feed and construct your operating system. Obviously, reading, consuming podcasts, etc, helps. Test your inputs, and use them.
Your inputs are nothing without implementing them. Therefore, every time you accept a useful input, create a process for implementing it - eg, "Journaling is a good idea" is an input. "I will journal at 5pm every weekday" - that's now a process. Further more, have a process for assimilating inputs - eg, everry time I find one, I write it on a list, which I check every Monday morning, and create processes for things on the list. Otherwise you just read useful things, nod and move on. Insights are nothing without using them in your life.
Turn everything into code. "practice guitar" should become "guitar = chords+lead riffs+physical skills practice+musical theory". Break everything down into components, to help you decide how to allocate scarce resources most efficiently. Everything you do can be codified if you think about it; and this is a necessary step to creating the most efficient processes (see leverage below)