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It has been a long time since I watched Survivor on TV, but in the past two weeks I jumped on Netflix and watched two seasons: Survivor Heroes vs. Villains and Survivor Cagayan.

As I completed watching the second season, I had 3 startling realizations.

  1. There are definite “rules” that help you win the game of survivor.

  2. These rules also apply to real life.

  3. I felt compelled to write the rules on paper, study them, and apply them to my own life.


With these three profound thoughts, I decided to ponder the rules to the game of Survivor.

Here are my thoughts:

  1. Make alliances early and remain loyal.

  2. Play mentally, strategically, and physically.

  3. Serve your tribe by building the shelter, cooking, collecting firewood, etc.

       (Those who served/helped others generally went further in the game.)

   4. When you make promises, keep your promises.

   5. Make few to no enemies. Win the favor of the jury.

   6. Remove all habits that are generally bad or annoying to others, especially verbal aggression.

   7. Don’t resort to lying, deceiving, manipulating, or bullying.

   8. Focus on the positive. Remain optimistic.

   9. Believe you will make it into the finals. Speak your beliefs out loud.

  10. Give your immunity idols to help others whenever wise and possible. (This show selflessness          and builds greater loyalty.)

  11. Help others in your alliance succeed. (Remember, you need alliances to win the game.)

  12. Ensure that your #1 motivation for playing the game is not the money,

        but rather to help/love your family.

These are the “rules” that generally got people into the final two or three and ultimately allowed many of them to win.


The parallels to real life are obvious. Unless you want to be sitting in the middle of the jury, I recommend that you study the rules, and apply the rules to your daily life. Then if you play the game of life with the same ferocity as some of the players play Survivor, you will always win!