Painting by David  Dakan Allison

24 Norse Life Rules (Lessons from the Vikings)


  1. Be a person of worldly intelligence if you desire to sit with kings. The man who only carries the limited scope of his village will be a laughing stock.
  2. Travel far and wide and you shall possess the secrets of man.
  3. When fear leads the way the destination is never glorious
  4. As one candle can light another, so too can greatness of mind be transferred amongst men. To remain in solitude is to deprive oneself of the kindling.
  5. Take care with your speech; it can be the catalyst for many needless problems. You never know who could be lending an ear to your ramblings.
  6. If you desire to claim a place in the world, arise early. The slothful wolf starves and the sleeping man rarely sees victory.
  7. Understand that a storm can change its course without warning. Always be prepared to brave a storm.
  8. Defeat your enemies in the fields before they reach your house.
  9. No matter how cautiously you live there is no escaping the fatal clutches of old age. So then, better to join the fray and fight proudly for something worth obtaining.
  10. A good friend speaks truly and from the heart, the one whose speech is always pleasant cannot be trusted.
  11. What will be etched into history about your life? What legend will be left long after you’re gone? How have you made this world better?
  12. There is always a sage wiser and warrior bolder than yourself. Be careful not to become too comfortable.
  13. Boastful thinking and exclamations of one’s brilliance attracts misfortune into one’s life. Live humbly, with quiet confidence and trouble will rarely beset you.
  14. Enemies often lurk in the shadows around corners, it would be wise to check them before venturing further on your path.
  15. Moderate yourself ruthlessly, allowing greed to consume you will bring nothing but sorrow.
  16. The critical man is quick to point the finger and causes much dismay amongst others. He is unknowing that he too shares in their faults.
  17. Lying awake in the night battling with ill thoughts offers no solutions. You rise unrested and in now better position than before.
  18. No matter if your dwelling is a fragile shack of sticks and mud it is valuable to have a home. Nothing crushes a man’s spirit more than having to beg.
  19. Joyous is he who shares in his riches. The coward hoards and lives in fear, rarely delighting in the fortune that seldom comes his way.
  20. Do not be ashamed of having simple clothing, pay more attention to your hygiene and demeanor.
  21. Do not be fooled by money, it makes a most unreliable friend.
  22. Give praise for each day regardless of what fate brings.
  23. When the winds are harsh one should chop wood, in fair weather row out to sea.In the romantic glow of candlelight passionately talk with a woman. Use a ship for travel, a shield for defense, and a sword for striking. Everything has its time and place.
  24. Common sense is your best friend.

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