Tolstoy’s Recipe for Happiness

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, has posted a blog of interest to fans of the great Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy. Anyone even slightly familiar with Tolstoy’s work would know that happiness is a subject that interested him greatly. His ideas earned him cultish devotion in Russia during his lifetime, even though he struggled to live according to his principles in his personal life.

These are Tolstoy’s ten “rules of life”:

(1) Get up early (five o’clock);

(2) Go to bed early (nine to ten o’clock);

(3) Eat little and avoid sweets;

(4) Try to do everything by yourself;

(5) Have a goal for your whole life, a goal for one section of your life, a goal for a shorter period and a goal for the year; a goal for every month, a goal for every week, a goal for every day, a goal for every hour and for every minute, and sacrifice the lesser goal to the greater;

(6) Keep away from women;

(7) Kill desire by work;

(8) Be good, but try to let no one know it;

(9) Always live less expensively than you might; and

(10) Change nothing in your style of living even if you become ten times richer.

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