Carter Lowe Creator, entrepreneur, and self-care advocate
Reading time: 4 min

Rules of Life Louis Zamperini

How to never back down or give up? Long distance runner Louis Zamperini's rules of life. The legendary Louis talks about what helped him always keep his fortitude.

Louis Zamperini is a long-distance runner from the United States, a former prisoner of war and a survivor of Japanese camps. He went from holding a world interscholastic mile record in 1934 to competing in the Nagano Olympic torch relay at the 1998 Winter Games when he was 81 years old.

Along the way, Zamperini managed to participate in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, run the finishing lap in the 5000 meters and thereby attract the attention of Adolf Hitler; set a national record in the mile, despite intense pressure from competitors; get into the US Air Force and survive a plane crash during World War II; survive two years of abuse in Japanese death camps and return to parents who have already received an official telegram from Roosevelt with condolences (Zamperini was considered missing); carry the Olympic flag at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.

At the end of 2014, Angelina Jolie's film Unbroken was released, telling the story of Louis Zamperini. Louis Zamperini passed away on July 2, 2014 at the age of 97.

We have published the book "No Retreat, No Surrender", in which the legendary Louis talks about what helped him always maintain his strength of mind.

Louis' rules of life from the book:

The Olympic spirit is like the wind. You never see where he comes from or where he goes, but you hear his voice. You feel the full power of his presence. You are filled with joy when you feel its fruits. And then it becomes a memory, an echo of glorious days.

Do not entrust important matters to unfamiliar people - especially if your life may depend on them. And one more thing: situations are different, but a beautiful woman can always come in handy.

The only way to somehow cope with anxiety is to accept it and remember that it will accompany you constantly.

The most difficult thing in the world is the ability to forgive. Hatred is self-destructive. After all, testing it for someone, you harm not this person, but yourself. Forgiveness has real healing power.

Never miss a workout. A dust storm is raging around - cover your mouth with a handkerchief and run. It's raining - run.

I never forgot what an important role my family played in my success. Everyone needs support, even if at first it seems that you can manage without it. Look around. See how many people are on your side and cheering for you. You don't have to walk your path alone.

Angelina Jolie adored Zamperini

Survival in any situation, whether in nature or in the office, is always a matter of education, training and warning of danger. You always need to think a few steps ahead.

Life in the camp hardened me and taught me to adequately carry the burden that fell to my lot. This meant never giving up under any circumstances. As my brother once said, "Isn't one minute of pain worth a lifetime of glory?"

When the apostle Paul was imprisoned, he said: "In whatever situation I am, I am learning to be content with what I have." In a modern interpretation, it sounds something like this: even if you cannot always control what happens in your life, you can always choose how to react to it.

If you get kicked out of the doorway dust off your boots and just move on; no need to kick the door. You did what you had to do.

All you can do is drop a seed into the soil —whether it's about matters of faith, life lessons, or personal example—and water it, answering the questions that may follow. The rest is out of your control.