May 2, 2021

Rachel Strella

40 Rules to Live By


On Saturday, I celebrated the milestone of 40 trips around the sun—a.k.a., my 40th birthday. What a ride it has been!

Over the past four decades, I’ve learned a few things—especially through running a business during the last 10 years. Whatever you want to call these insights—"lessons learned,” “rules to live by,” “mid-life mantras,” or something else—they guide me in my personal and professional endeavors. Today, I will share them with you in hopes they will help you in some way, too. Enjoy! 

40 Life Rules Inspired by 40 Years of Living and Learning

  1. Ban the words “I don’t know” from your vocabulary. 
  2. Give celery juice a try. 
  3. Don’t bullshit people.
  4. Love our fellow neighbors, the Canadians.
  5. Be nice to writers.
  6. Want your MTV.
  7. Skip the magic pills; they don’t work.
  8. Pay your taxes, even though it sucks.
  9. Exercise frequently, even though that also sucks sometimes.
  10. Don’t make a “Plan B,” unless you expect “Plan A” to fail.
  11. Save room on your credit cards.
  12. Avoid drama queens.
  13. Never underestimate a Taurus.
  14. Be a champion for the underdog. 
  15. If in doubt, just ask for a Penn State alum. 
  16. Read physical books (you know, the ones with actual paper pages).
  17. Don’t make excuses.
  18. Don’t call someone and interrupt their momentum when you can send a text instead.
  19. Don’t hold a meeting when an email will suffice.
  20. Be a risk-taker—more specifically, a calculated risk-taker.
  21. Realize there are such things as stupid by questions—and don’t ask them.
  22. Pass on the red bell peppers. (They are not the same as green peppers, no matter what anyone says otherwise.)
  23. Advocate for subtitles.
  24. Take a real vacation.
  25. Look hard, and you will find it.
  26. Work hard, and you will achieve it.
  27. Don’t play the victim.
  28. Watch out for rich kids.
  29. Laugh at yourself.
  30. Value family.
  31. Value friends—they are family, too.
  32. Value your pets—they are definitely family, too. 
  33. Grill often.
  34. Keep burn cream on hand.
  35. Write thank you cards.
  36. Honor your commitments.
  37. Ask for help when you need it.
  38. Avoid visitor center bathrooms. 
  39. Free Sitch. (#JerseyShore)
  40. Have a cocktail now and then.

So, there you have it: my forty rules developed over forty years of experiencing the joys, defeats, opportunities, challenges, and everything else that life brings. 

What will happen over the next four decades? Who knows! But one thing is for sure, I will have plenty to add to this list. 

What life lessons or rules have you learned during your time on this planet? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

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2 comments on “40 Rules to Live By”

  1. Happy Birthday Rachel, these were fun. I hope you are doing well.
    Still in Idaho,

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