My Rules For Life

* I look for ways to approach life that make me happy and prosperous, that enable me to get along with other people, and to have a sense of ease with myself, with others, with the universe and with God.

* I like the teaching found in the Alexander Technique that all beliefs are just unnecessary tension. I find that insight useful, not necessarily true.

* I like the idea that everybody should be appreciated for their own genre, that is my recasting of historicism, of understanding people within their context. I believe that people do the best they can with what they have and that everybody does what he thinks is right.

* I think if you are troubled, you can do far worse for a role model than Dennis Prager. I think he’s commonsensical, he describes an appealing approach to life that works for people who are not intellectuals. Those with high IQs and love to learn won’t necessarily spend much time with Prager. This is not a criticism of Prager, it is a situating of Prager within his proper genre. No pundit is worth a damn, except Ann Coulter and Tucker Carlson.

* Not just everybody but every thing has its genre. I look for learning about biology among biologists, for learning about Talmud to Talmud scholars and to learn about history from historians. In general, the smarter and the more accomplished the person, the more seriously I take them.

* There are certain clues for people I do not take seriously. For example, if they base their teachings on their anger or their feelings, if they feel that they run the world, if they believe that there is a magic key to how history or the world works, I immediately dismiss them. If they consistently locate their troubles outside of themselves, I can’t take them seriously. I consider conspiracy theorists cranks and nutters.

* I believe we attract people into our lives and people create the kind of societies that chiefly reflect their genetic code when matched with a particular environment.

* I believe that I am an intellectual gigolo who falls in love with every attractive idea that comes along but stays loyal to none.

* I try to stay aware that I usually do not see the world as it is, but as I am.

* I try not to give my opinions undue weight, because every time I share a heavy one, I then feel compelled to defend it, and then I often dig myself into a hole.

* I don’t know of any moral teaching more valuable than that one should act as if what you are doing and saying will be reported accurately on the front page of the New York Times tomorrow. I guess that’s my principle moral code.

* I think the more integrated your life, the better. The fewer secrets the better. The more honesty the better. I like to ask myself regularly — what am I hiding that should be shared with others? What am I ashamed about? Who do I resent? What am I lying about? What relationships and situations am I in that weigh me down? Do I have unnecessary possessions and tensions? And then I clean house and help others.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
This entry was posted in Personal. Bookmark the permalink.