Rules from The Paladin Prophecy

28 June 2020
28 Jun 2020
7 min read

A recent game changer for my reading habit has been setting up Libby. Libby is a service that allows for ebook downloads from your local library. It’s really allowed me to work through some fun Sci-fi and Fantasy books, without paying for instant download via Kindle (which is dangerous to get used to).

One book that I really enjoyed was The Paladin Prophecy, by Mark Frost. It’s solidly Young Adult, but a classic well-written adventure. Throughout the book, the protagonist cites rules created by his father to live by. I wanted to save those, so I have them written below.

Dad’s Rules

  1. The importance of an orderly mind.
  2. Stay focused on the task at hand.
  3. Don’t draw attention to your self.
  4. If you think you’re done, you’ve just begun.
  5. Trust no one.
  6. Remain alert at all times to the reality of the present. Because all we have is right now.
  7. Don’t confuse good luck with a good plan.
  8. Always be prepared to improvise.
  9. Watch, look, and listen, or you won’t know what you’re missing.
  10. Don’t just react to a situation that takes you by surprise. Respond.
  11. Trust your instincts.
  12. Let the other guy do the talking.
  13. You only get one chance to make a first impression.
  14. Ask all questions in the order of their importance.
  15. Be quick but don’t hurry.
  16. Always look people in the eye. Give them a handshake they’ll remember.
  17. Start each day by saying it’s good to be alive. Even if you don’t feel it, saying it- out loud- makes it more likely that you will.
  18. If #17 doesn’t work, count your blessings.
  19. When everything goes wrong, treat disaster as a way to wake up.
  20. There must always be a relationship between evidence and conclusion.
  21. Fortune favors the bold.
  22. Whenever your head is too full of noise, make a list.
  23. When there’s trouble, think fast and act decisively.
  24. You can’t change anything if you can’t change your mind.
  25. What you’re told to believe isn’t important: it’s what you choose to believe. It’s not the ink and paper that matter, but the hand that holds the pen.
  26. Once is an anomaly. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is a pattern. And as we know…
  27. There is no such thing as a coincidence.
  28. Let people underestimate you. That way they’ll never know for sure what you’re capable of.
  29. You could also think of coincidence as synchronicity.
  30. Sometimes the only way to deal with a bully is to hit first. Hard
  31. It’s not a bad thing, sometimes, if they think you’re crazy.
  32. Even the slightest advantage can mean the difference between life and death. Never give it away.
  33. Act as if you’re in charge, and people will believe you.
  34. Trying times are not the times to stop trying.
  35. Never make excuses.
  36. Sleep when you’re sleepy. Cats take naps so they’re always ready for anything.
  37. The bravest thing is not always the smartest thing.
  38. Cooperate with the authorities. But don’t name friends.
  39. If strangers know what you’re feeling, you give them the advantage.
  40. Out of control anger will get you killed even quicker than stupidity.
  41. Never start a fight unless you can finish it. Fast.
  42. When all else fails, just breathe.
  43. In times of chaos, stick to routine. Build order one step at a time.
  44. The only thing you can’t afford to lose is hope.
  45. To break the ice, always compliment a man’s hometown.
  46. And always sympathize with his hometown’s football team.
  47. If you can’t be on time, be early.
  48. If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.
  49. Giving up is easy. Finishing is hard.
  50. If you want to know what’s going on in a small town, hang around the barbershop.
  51. Facing the truth is a lot easier, in the long run, than lying to yourself.
  52. Sometimes you find out more when you ask questions to which you already know the answer.
  53. If you don’t like the answer you get, you shouldn’t have asked the question.
  54. If you want something done the right way, do it yourself.
  55. If you don’t want people to notice you, act like you belong there and look busy.
  56. The best way to lie is to include part of the truth.
  57. The dumbest guy in a room is the first one who tells you how smart he is.
  58. Never sign a legal document that hasn’t been approved by a lawyer who works for you.
  59. When you’re in trouble, emphasize your strengths.
  60. When in a new place, act like you’ve been there before.
  61. Learn the difference between tactics and strategy.
  62. 99 percent of the things you worry about never happen. Does that mean worrying works or that it’s a complete waste of time and energy? You decided.
  63. When you need to make a quick decision, don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can.
  64. When you gain the advantage, press it to the limit.
  65. The Swiss Army doesn’t amount to much, but never leave home without their knife.
  66. There’s a reason the classics are classics: they’re classic.
  67. Don’t make another’s pain the source of your own happiness.
  68. Go easy on the hard sell. Persuasion is the art of making others believe it was their idea.
  69. Never take more than you need.
  70. Without a life of the mind, you’ll live a mindless life.
  71. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that sorry is better than safe.
  72. When nothing else works, try chocolate.
  73. Never be nervous when talking to a beautiful girl. Just pretend she’s a person, too.
  74. Men want company. Women want empathy.
  75. Always listen to the person with the whistle.
  76. There is not- nor should there be- any limit to what a guy will go through in order to impress the right girl.
  77. If you want people to tell you more, say less. Open your eyes and ears, and close your mouth.
  78. You can find most of the weapons or equipment you’ll ever need around the house.
  79. Memorize the Bill of Rights.
  80. Regarding eyewear and underwear: always travel with backups.
  81. Don’t watch your life like it’s a movie that’s happening to someone else. It’s happening to you. It’s happening right now.
  82. Stay alive. Open all doors, and awaken.

Will’s Rules

  1. If you really want to keep a secret, don’t tell anybody.
  2. You can’t live your life two days at a time.
  3. If you have to hide your true feelings from your friends, they’re not your friends.
  4. If any task you undertake requires you to “die trying,” you might want to reconsider your plan.
  5. Healing takes much longer than you think. The biggest scars you carry aren’t the ones you can see.
  6. Those who can’t do, don’t.
  7. Sometimes, in order to get completely sane, you have to go a little crazy.
  8. Do the right thing, always, and risk the consequences.
  9. Take care of the minutes, and the hours will take care of themselves.
  10. When visiting a foreign land, it is always wise to observe and abide by the customs of the local culture. Unless they’re trying to eat you.
  11. It doesn’t matter how you do it. It only matter that you do it.
  12. In the face of overwhelming odds, do one smart thing at a time.
  13. Read books to get smarter. Read people to become wiser.
  14. Being brave means being afraid and going ahead with it anyway.
  15. An open door is either a greeting or a trap. Best to decide which before you enter.
  16. When you reach the end of your rope, don’t hang around.
  17. Keep your friends close. Keep your enemies in a bag at the bottom of the river.
  18. All you need is love. And some friends you can trust. And a little luck doesn’t hurt either.
  19. Don’t ever give up on anybody.
  20. (from Ajay) It is our rarest possession, more precious than any treasure from nature, God, or man. It cannot be bought, sold, traded, or stolen. You only have so much of it, and you never know when it will run out, so you mustn’t waste it or just let is pass or, heaven forbid, ever try to kill it.
    It is time. Spend your time wisely. For if you can master this one simple and elusive skill, my friend, you will fully and truly be alive.

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