As we approach the New Year, many people are ruminating about recent misgivings and sins, simultaneously readying themselves for commitment to yet another list of personal resolutions. We all know how this generally works out…a couple of promises are pursued with purposeful intent while most of our list inadvertently falls by the wayside.

While each of us wrangle with our own efforts at righting the past year’s wrongs, I’d like to leave The 50 Plus Male readers with a New Year’s present of some principles and instructions from The Official Rules by Paul Dickson, a collection published over thirty years ago. I’m dividing these gems for dealing with life’s struggles into three parts: Everyday Living, Career, and Humorous Tidbits.

Everyday Living

What man really fears is not so much extinction, but extinction with insignificance.~Ernest Becker

When inequality is the general rule in society, the greatest inequalities attract no attention.~ De Tocqueville

One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say.~Durant’s Discovery

The proof that you know something is that you are able to teach it.~Aristotle

If you want to kill any idea in the world today, get a committee working on it.~Chas. Kettering

A fool in high station is like a man on the top of a high mountain: everything appears small to him and he appears small to everybody~Matsch’s Maxim

Unless you put your money to work for you—you work for your money~Miller’s Law

Doctors, dentists, and lawyers are only on time for appointments when you’re not.~Professional’s Law

You can observe a lot just by watching.~Yogi Berra


Pay attention to the details—your customers do.~S. Chowdhury

What men learn from history is that men do not learn from history.~Economists’ Law

People will buy anything that’s one to a customer.~Sinclair Lewis

The longer the title, the less important the job.~McGovern’s Law

Our customer’s paperwork is profit. Our own paperwork is loss.~Brown’s Law of Business Success

In any organization, the potential is much greater for the subordinate to manage his superior than for the superior to manage his subordinate.~Rodovic’s Rule

All technology expands the space, contracts the time, and destroys the working group.~Rosenstock-Huessy’s Law of Technology

The minute you sign a client is the minute you start to lose him.~Public Relations Client Turnover Law

Whatever women do, they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.~Woman’s Equation

Humorous Tidbits

Never eat a a place called Mom’s, play cards with a man named Doc, or lie down with a woman who’s got more troubles than you.~Algren

Anybody can win—unless there happens to be a second entry.~Ade’s Law

There are three ways to get something done: do it yourself, hire someone, or forbid your kids to do it.~Crane’s Rule

Sex is hereditary. If your parents never had it, chances are you won’t either. ~Fischer’s Finding

The good parking places are always on the other side of the street.~Gumperson’s Law

Nice guys finish fast.~First Rule of Public Speaking

It works better if you plug it in.~Sattingler’s Law

You’re not drunk enough if you can lie on the floor without holding on.~Dean Martin

In closing out The 50 Plus Male for the calendar year, I want to wish all of you a safe, healthy, prosperous New Year. Thank you for your loyalty and support, my appreciation is limitless. We all hope for a calmer 2010 than the wild gyrations of 2009, but “while hope may be eternal, it’s not a strategy”… and remember you always need three umbrellas: one to leave at the office, one to leave at home, and one to leave on the train.


Author's Bio: 

Neal Dranoff, Boomer-Living director, is currently a Member of Saljer LLC, the owner of The 50 Plus Male blog website ( ). Neal brings 31 years of corporate experience to The team, having recently transitioned from the marketing research field . He was employed for 23 years at Intersearch Corporation (which was eventually merged into Taylor Nelson Sofres plc, one of the world’s five largest marketing research conglomerates) and most recently at RSVP Research Services where he served as Vice President of Client Services and Operations Director.

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