Many years ago, on the eve of his 30th birthday, John Perry Barlow sat down and created a list of guiding principles to being an adult. A few weeks ago he shared them all. I thought it was a great list so I assembled all here from his twitter feed.
- Be patient. No matter what.
- Don’t badmouth: Assign responsibility, not blame. Say nothing of another you wouldn’t say to him.
- Never assume the motives of others are, to them, less noble than yours are to you.
- Expand your sense of the possible.
- Don’t trouble yourself with matters you truly cannot change.<
- Don’t ask more of others than you can deliver yourself.
- Tolerate ambiguity.
- Laugh at yourself frequently.
- Concern yourself with what is right rather than who is right.
- Try not to forget that, no matter how certain, you might be wrong.
- Give up blood sports.
- Remember that your life belongs to others as well. Don’t risk it frivolously.
- Never lie to anyone for any reason. (Lies of omission are sometimes exempt.)
- Learn the needs of those around you and respect them.
- Avoid the pursuit of happiness. Seek to define your mission and pursue that.
- Reduce your use of the first personal pronoun.
- Praise at least as often as you disparage.
- Admit your errors freely and quickly.
- Become less suspicious of joy.
- Understand humility.
- Remember that love forgives everything.
- Foster dignity.
- Live memorably.
- Love yourself.
Also from Mr. Barlow, who considers himself “an excellent ex”, comes this tweeted bit of advice:
If you want a new, improved mate, try treating the one you have better.
— John Perry Barlow (@JPBarlow) January 14, 2011