The George Washington Rulebook of Achievement

I wrote this book because I needed it

No man or woman is born great.

We all have dreams and goals, but no one is born with what is necessary to achieve them.

Over time, we learn – from what our parents teach us, from self-help books and from great examples – what we need to become the man or woman capable of achieving our goals, but in the confusion of the daily struggle, we constantly lose sight of our goals and need to remind ourselves of them in times of quiet.

I wrote this book because I needed it:

I wanted a book that contained all the rules, examples, principles and cautions I had learned but needed reminding of. I wanted it them short and easy to comprehend, and preferably in a slim book I could keep in my back pocket and page through from time to time.

That book was already there – it was the book George Washington used in school to practice handwriting by copying out rules of etiquette, referred to today as “The Rules of Civility”

Those rules of behavior ranged from “Don’t pick food out of pot when it’s over the fire” to “Keep in your heart the flame of conscience always alive.”

Many rules were outdated and many principles developed over time by the self-help industry had not then existed – so I edited the book, modernizing and expanding it from 110 rules to 237. They range from rules of modern etiquette and social interaction like using your cell phone in public or arguing online, to rules regarding purpose and the soul, including good habits that must be trained, learning self-confidence and saying a prayer of gratitude every night.

This book is meant for people like me – and if you are, like me, a man or woman who strives to achieve something in life, but needs to change themselves first to become the person you want to be, this book is for you.

Rulebook of Achievement Rule 13

Do not read

Do not read, surf the internet or consume media while walking or in the company of others, unless that is the agreed-on activity; also when alone, do not consult your phone when it has not made a sound – this habit leads to a nervous character.
Rulebook of Achievement Rule 221

Every day, achieve

Every day, achieve some success, no matter how small.
Rulebook of Achievement Rule 128

Know when

Know when to be patient and when to act boldly. With loved ones, with yourself, with some circumstances and plans, be patient; with most plans, goals and your public persona, be bold, even to the point of attracting criticism, recognize when patience is appropriate and when it is a form of cowardice.
Rulebook of Achievement Rule 65

In debate

In debate, articulate your position based on your own experience and knowledge; do not repeat opinions you have simply heard or read.
Rulebook of Achievement Rule 202

Do not imagine

Do not imagine that anyone of the opposite sex will ever see the world as you do; do not expect them to approve of your behavior nor live according to your standards.
Rulebook of Achievement Rule 105

Establish routines

Establish routines to avoid the stress of having to repeatedly make the same small but time-consuming decisions every day; set up your room, workplace and computer in a way that makes repeated processes efficient.
Rulebook of Achievement Rule 119

Know this

Know this: What you think about constantly over many years, you will become.
Rulebook of Achievement Rule 190


Forgive – first, those you know, then life in general, then yourself.

What is

The Secret Society of Achievement?

There is a certain part of society that is not popular and does not advertise itself – it has no advocacy groups, political agendas or identity theorists.

On the contrary, its members are often made fun of for being boring, conformists, politically uneducated, out of touch and uncool.

These are the men and women of our society who have dedicated their lives not to movements, cliques, sides, identities, subcultures or trends, but to achieving something extraordinary in their lives.

These are the men and women who quietly, with great purpose and determination, with a will strong enough to carry them over many years of struggle to their goals, have dedicated their lives to creating something that was not there before.

And the first thing they do – and perhaps their greatest challenge – is re-create themselves into a person capable of achieving that purpose.

This book is a rulebook for those people. It is a collection of rules, laws, principles, habits and reminders you need to follow to become the person you want to be.

It is natural and inevitable, in our daily struggle, that we sometimes forget what we have to do to change – that’s what this book is for.

Keep it in your back pocket and every once in a while, in the thick of the fight, take a break and page through this book – and bring to mind afresh the goals you have set for yourself.

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– from 60 years of life as an outsider in two cultures and on two continents – as a haole in Hawaii and an Ami in Germany;

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– from my fight with depression and life with ADHD;

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