If Life Is A Game, These Are The Rules is also a commonly recommended and referenced book in the life-coaching industry, and in many other areas concerned with self-esteem, self-development and personal fulfillment.
You may see, or have seen in the past, ‘The Ten Rules For Being Human’ copied and circulated in various formats with ‘Anonymous’ attribution. This understandably sometimes causes Carter-Scott’s authorship of the Rules to be doubted. It is therefore appropriate to offer the following additional information:
Cherie Carter-Scott’s rules for life – also known as ‘The Ten Rules For Being Human’ – were referenced significantly, and initially anonymously, by Jack Canfield in ‘Chicken Soup For The Soul’, until Canfield discovered the origins. As Canfield explains in his Foreward written for If Life Is A Game, These Are The Rules “…When we included the Rules for Being Human by ‘Anonymous’ in Chicken Soup for the Soul®, I had no idea that Cherie was the author. When I learned that she was the author of the rules I was delighted and yet not surprised…”
Carter-Scott herself explains later in the Preface (to If Life Is A Game, These Are The Rules) that, “…In the past twenty-four years, the Rules for Being Human have circled the globe – photocopied and passed from friend to friend, transmitted via the internet, printed on brochures and on page 81 in the book Jack Canfield wrote, Chicken Soup for the Soul®,
where the Rules were attributed to ‘Anonymous’. One day Jack called to say he’d heard from Dan Millman, the author of The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, that I was the author of the Rules for Being Human. Jack asked if that was true. When I acknowledged that I was, Jack apologised and offered to give me credit in the next printing…”‘
Aside from those short extracts, Dr Carter-Scott’s book, If Life is a Game, These are the Rules, also further explains that Cherie Carter-Scott
developed the ‘Rules’ quite a long time before her book was published in 1998, specifically during the mid-1970s, while in the process of designing a three month training program for consultants learning how to deliver her ‘Inner Negotiation/Self-Esteem Workshop’ and related teachings.
Here is a brief summary and explanation of Cherie Carter-Scott’s ‘Rules for Being Human.’
(Carter Scott references this quotation:) “Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.” (Helen Keller)
Rule One – You will receive a body. Whether you love it or hate it, it’s yours for life, so accept it. What counts is what’s inside.
Rule Two – You will be presented with lessons. Life is a constant learning experience, which every day provides opportunities for you to learn more. These lessons specific to you, and learning them ‘is the key to discovering and fulfilling the meaning and relevance of your own life’.
Rule Three – There are no mistakes, only lessons. Your development towards wisdom is a process of experimentation, trial and error, so it’s inevitable things will not always go to plan or turn out how you’d want. Compassion is the remedy for harsh judgement – of ourselves and others. Forgiveness is not only divine – it’s also ‘the act of erasing an emotional debt’. Behaving ethically, with integrity, and with humour – especially the ability to laugh at yourself and your own mishaps – are central to the perspective that ‘mistakes’ are simply lessons we must learn.
Rule Four – The lesson is repeated until learned. Lessons repeat until learned. What manifest as problems and challenges, irritations and frustrations are more lessons – they will repeat until you see them as such and learn from them. Your own awareness and your ability to change are requisites of executing this rule. Also fundamental is the acceptance that you are not a victim of fate or circumstance – ‘causality’ must be acknowledged; that is to say: things happen to you because of how you are and what you do. To blame anyone or anything else for your misfortunes is an escape and a denial; you yourself are responsible for you, and what happens to you. Patience is required – change doesn’t happen overnight, so give change time to happen.