52 classes from 52 years

Now we are 52And now we’re 52…

On this present day in 1969, child J.D. entered the world. I do not suppose there’s any means my mother and father might have predicted the trail their firstborn would take by way of life. It hasn’t all the time been simple — no because of the obstacles I’ve positioned in my very own means — however I’ve actually had an exquisite (and attention-grabbing) life, and I look ahead to no matter time is left me.

As I do yearly right here at Get Rich Slowly, I’m going to commemorate my birthday by sharing a number of the most essential issues I’ve realized throughout my time on Earth. These are a very powerful items of my life philosophy.

Let’s begin with a take a look at the core takeaway from my 52nd yr, the latest addition to my life philosophy.

What I Learned During My 52nd Year

This previous yr, particularly, has been an attention-grabbing one. I do know that is true for the world as an entire, however I personally have skilled an excessive amount of development over the past twelve months. It’s been a deeply introspective yr.

If you have been following alongside, you can see me course of a few of this introspection in actual time, each right here on the weblog and on the Get Rich Slowly channel on YouTube.

In July, I wrote that I’m the one factor in life I can management. In August, I wrote about eliminating internet negatives (or making an attempt to). In October, I wrote in regards to the pursuit of high quality. And just some weeks in the past, I wrote in regards to the energy of low expectations.

What I’ve realized in current weeks is that every one of those Deep Thoughts appear to be a manifestation of the identical basic drawback in my life: my ADHD. For years, I suspected I had ADHD. In 2012, my therapist confirmed it. In session with my M.D., my therapist prescribed a medicine (Vyvanse) that I used to be meant to take daily. I hate the unintended effects, although, so I by no means did. I took it solely as wanted.

But in looking for solutions relating to my ongoing despair and anxiousness, I’ve come to grasp that these two debilitating psychological diseases can really be brought on by ADHD. My incapability to focus leads me to develop into overwhelmed. When I develop into overwhelmed, I get harassed. When I get harassed, I get anxious and depressed.

It all appears apparent right this moment, but it surely was by no means apparent earlier than.

Anyhow, I’ve begun taking my Vyvanse recurrently. Today is the sixth day in a row that I’ve used it. It appears to be serving to. Meanwhile, I’ve been making an attempt to apply mindfulness in on a regular basis life. Plus, Kim and I are taking some large steps (to be mentioned right here within the coming weeks) to alleviate a number of the issues that overwhelm me frequently.

Coming to grips with the truth that my ADHD is extra pronounced than I believed (and that it is most likely the supply of so most of the issues that carry me struggling) has been eye-opening. As I reviewed this checklist, as an illustration, I used to be stunned at simply what number of items of my philosophy instantly tied to ADHD coping mechanisms. It’s loopy.

So, the largest lesson I realized this yr is the age-old maxim: know thyself. As far as doable, know what makes you tick — and the way that impacts your objectives, actions, and relationships.

My Life Philosophy

Before we dive into the remainder of my life philosophy, I need to make one thing clear: I’m no wiser or smarter than anyone else. And I’m definitely no higher. But I’m a person.

I’m my very own particular person with my very own private preferences and private experiences. These have all mixed in over the previous 52 years to present me a singular perspective on life (simply as you will have a singular perspective on life). To quote my favourite poem:

Much have I seen and recognized; cities of males
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, however honour’d of all of them;
And drunk delight of battle with my friends,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I’m part of all that I’ve met…

So, these 52 nuggets of knowledge are issues I’ve discovered to be true for me — and, I consider, for many different individuals. (But every of us is totally different. What works for me might not be just right for you.) These beliefs make up the core of my private philosophy of life.

Some of those concepts are authentic to me. Some aren’t. When I’ve borrowed one thing, I’ve finished my greatest to quote my supply. (And I’ve tried to quote the oldest supply I can discover. Lots of parents borrow concepts from one another. There’s nothing new below the solar and all that.)

Here are 52 ideas I’ve discovered to be true throughout my 52 years on this planet. I’ll lead with this yr’s new addition.

  • Know thyself. All of us are comparable, however every of us is totally different. It’s these variations that make us distinctive people. It’s as much as you to find your strengths (and weaknesses), to determine what’s essential to you, to plot your personal course by way of this world. Taking time periodically to re-asses what makes you tick is a vital a part of constructing a life that lets you flourish.
  • Love your self. All my life, I’ve struggled with low shallowness. There have been instances when I’ve hated myself. Recent years have been particularly robust for me as anxiousness and despair proved to be crippling for months on finish. Working with a therapist helped. She helped me to grasp that it is essential to study to each settle for myself and love myself — though, like everybody, I’m imperfect. I nonetheless have a protracted method to go, however I’m making progress.
  • Self-care comes first. If you are not wholesome, it is robust to be joyful. Before you may handle your mates and your loved ones, you must handle your self. Eat effectively. Exercise. Nurture your thoughts, physique, and spirit. Your physique is a temple; deal with it like one. If you do not have your well being, you’ve got bought nothing.
  • You get what you give. Your outer life is a mirrored image of your inside life. If you suppose the world is a shitty place, the world goes to be a shitty place. If you suppose persons are out to get you, individuals shall be out to get you. But if you happen to consider persons are principally good, you may discover that that is true wherever you go.
  • Life is sort of a lottery. You obtain tickets each time you attempt new issues and meet new individuals. Most of those lottery tickets will not have a pay-out, and that is okay. But from time to time, you may hit the jackpot. The extra you play — the extra you say “yes” to new pals and new experiences — the extra usually you may win. You cannot win if you happen to do not play. That stated, nonetheless…
  • Luck isn’t any accident. What we consider as luck has virtually nothing to do with randomness and virtually all the things to do with perspective. Lucky individuals look ahead to — and reap the benefits of — alternatives. They take heed to their hunches. They know “fail forward”, making good out of unhealthy. [Via the book Luck is No Accident.]
  • Don’t attempt to change others. “Attempts to change others are rarely successful, and even then are probably not completely satisfying,” Harry Browne wrote in How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World. “To accept others as they are doesn’t mean you have to give into them or put up with them. You are sovereign. You own your own world. You can choose…There are millions of people out there in the world; you have a lot more to choose from than just what you see in front of you now.”
  • Don’t enable others to attempt to change you. Again from How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World: “You are free to live your life as you want…The demands and wishes of others don’t control your life. You do. You make the decisions…There are thousands of people who wouldn’t demand that you bend yourself out of shape to please them. There are people who will want you to be yourself, people who see things as you do, people who want the same things you want. Why should you have to waste your life in a futile effort to please those with whom you aren’t compatible?”

An Early Birthday

  • Be impeccable along with your phrase. Be trustworthy — with your self and others. If you promise to do one thing, do it. When anyone asks you a query, inform the reality. Practice what you preach. Avoid gossip. [This is directly from Don Miguel’s The Four Agreements.]
  • Don’t take issues personally. When individuals criticize you and your actions, it isn’t about you — it is about them. They cannot know what it is prefer to be you and stay your life. When you’re taking issues personally, you are permitting others to manage your life and your happiness. Heed the Arab proverb: The canine bark however the caravan strikes on. [This is also one of The Four Agreements.]
  • Don’t make assumptions. The flip facet of not taking issues personally is to not assume you understand what is going on on in different individuals’s heads. Don’t assume you understand the motivations for his or her actions. Just as their actuality would not mirror your actuality, your life shouldn’t be theirs. Give individuals the good thing about the doubt. [Another of The Four Agreements.]
  • Always do your greatest. Your greatest varies from second to second. Some days within the fitness center, as an illustration, I’m in a position to raise heavier weights than on different days. Some days I can run sooner than typical; some days, I’m slower. That’s okay. What issues most is that I give my greatest effort each time. No matter what you do, do it in addition to you may. This is among the keys to success and happiness. [This is the last of The Four Agreements.]
  • Effort issues greater than ability or expertise. “Effort counts twice,” argues Angela Duckworth in Grit: The Power of Passon and Perseverance. Skill, she says, is expertise multiplied by effort. The extra you do what you are good at, the higher you get. But achievement is the product of ability multiplied by effort. Effort counts twice. (This could also be why psychologists say it is higher to reward your kid’s efforts as a substitute of her outcomes. Praise her for spending time on her homework, not as a result of she bought an A.)
  • Embrace the imperfections. If you do what is correct, and also you do your greatest, then there is not any cause to really feel unhealthy in regards to the end result. Nobody’s excellent. Don’t beat your self up if you happen to make errors. And do not sweat it if different individuals get upset with you too. If you are doing the very best you may, that is ok.
  • The excellent is the enemy of the great. Too many individuals by no means get began as a result of they don’t know that the “best” first step is. You do not know the very best guitar, so that you by no means study to play. You do not know which Spanish ebook is greatest, so that you by no means study to talk. You do not know bench press, so that you by no means go to the fitness center. Don’t fear about getting issues precisely proper — simply select a superb possibility and do one thing to get began.
  • There’s no single “right” method to obtain success. Each of us is totally different. We have totally different objectives, personalities, and experiences. We every want to seek out the instruments and methods which are efficient for our personal conditions. There’s nobody proper method to eat, love, pray, or repay debt. Don’t consider anybody who tells you there may be. Experiment till you discover strategies which are efficient for you. (Note, nonetheless, that there are unsuitable methods to do this stuff — keep away from apparent unhealthy decisions.)
  • Be current within the second. Accept life for what it’s, with out labels or judgment. Yield to occasions; do not block them. Go with the stream. Nothing exists exterior the current second: Don’t dwell on the previous or fear in regards to the future. Improve the standard of the right here and now. When you do one thing, do this factor. When you are with anyone, be with them. Don’t multitask. Put away the smartphone or the pc or the ebook. Be all there. [This is an ancient concept made popular by The Power of Now.]
  • Spirituality is private. The want for one particular person (or group) to impose her (or their) beliefs on others is the supply of a lot of this world’s strife. Believe what you need, and let others do the identical. “There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.” — the Dalai Lama
  • Be skeptical — however preserve an open thoughts. Don’t consider all the things you hear — from others and from your personal inside self-talk. Practice wholesome skepticism. But preserve an open thoughts. Don’t routinely assume that all the things is pretend or false. Do your greatest to investigate the stuff you see and listen to to find out whether or not they really make sense.
  • Don’t yuck another person’s yum. Just since you don’t love one thing doesn’t suggest it is unhealthy. Pursue your passions, and let others pursue theirs. If you do not like one thing, positive. Don’t make an enormous deal about it.
  • You cannot forestall each doable factor from going unsuitable. Don’t even attempt. Instead, study to deal successfully with minor issues. You’ll construct self-confidence, which can result in an elevated willingness to take calculated dangers. (Similarly, you may’t make everybody such as you. It’s silly to attempt.)
  • Be versatile. Goals are good, however single-minded devotion to a purpose can usually blind an individual to different alternatives. And it is a mistake to cling to 1 path out of sense of obligation. If you enter legislation faculty and uncover you hate it, then stop. Don’t endure years of distress since you really feel prefer it’s anticipated of you. That’s dumb. You have extra choices than you suppose, however chances are you’ll must decelerate and open your eyes as a way to see them.
  • Be encouraging. Support the inventive, constructive actions of others. There are lots of people on the market who need to inform others what’s unsuitable with their actions, why the issues they need to do cannot be finished. They’re fast to criticize small errors as a substitute of praising the larger effort. Don’t be this manner. Do what you may — in methods each large and small — to assist others obtain their objectives. [Taken from Action Girl’s Guide to Living.]

Keep Dropping Keys All Night Long

  • You are the creator of your personal life. Everyone has a narrative they need to inform you about your self. Society tries to push a “standard narrative” on us about how life ought to go. Ignore these tales. If you do not just like the story you are dwelling, it is as much as you to vary the plot. You did not write the start of your story, however you will have the ability to decide on the ending. Choose and journey you like as a substitute of 1 that makes you sad.
  • You do not want permission. When we’re younger, we watch for our mother and father and academics to say it is okay to do the issues we need to do. As an grownup, you do not want permission from anyone else. Do you need to stop your job and journey the world? Do it. Do you need to learn to trip a bike? Do it. Don’t watch for anyone else to provide the go-ahead. You are the one one who wants to present your self permission to do this stuff.
  • Don’t let concern information your decision-making course of. My girlfriend Kim instructed me this on considered one of our first dates, and it echoes one thing my accountant as soon as instructed me. He says that too many individuals make cash strikes based mostly solely on the tax repercussions. “That’s dumb,” he instructed me. “You should do what you want because you want to, not because of the tax hit.” This applies in all features of life. Make choices based mostly on what you need to do. Move towards one thing, not away from one thing.
  • Action cures concern. Thought creates concern; motion cures it. What we’re really afraid of is the unknown. We like certainty, and selecting to do one thing with an unsure end result makes us nervous. Taking step one may be scary, however every further step turns into simpler and simpler. When you act, you take away the thriller. Action creates confidence. It creates motivation. (Most individuals suppose motivation comes earlier than motion. They’re unsuitable. Action creates motivation.) [This is an old idea but this phrasing is from The Magic of Thinking Big.]
  • Action is character. If you by no means did something, you would not be anyone. Superman is a superhero as a result of he does heroic issues, not as a result of he talks about doing them. And a author is a author as a result of she writes, not as a result of she talks about writing. What we are saying would not matter; it is what we do this counts. We are what we repeatedly do. [From F. Scott Fitzgerald’s notes on The Last Tycoon.]
  • You’re extra more likely to remorse the issues you do not do than the stuff you do. That’s to not say you ought to be an asshole, or that you simply will not remorse making large errors. But typically talking, you are extra more likely to be sorry that you simply did not introduce your self to the barista on the coffeehouse, did not go bungee-jumping with your mates, did not keep in contact with your mates. [This is the central idea in The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.]
  • Give with out the expectation of return. Help different individuals — even when it prices a bit of cash or time. Don’t all the time count on a monetary payoff. Don’t get offended in case your effort is not acknowledged or appreciated. Help as a result of it is the precise factor to do, not since you need to be observed.
  • When good issues occur to individuals you understand, assist them rejoice. Their success doesn’t diminish you. Be joyful when your family and friends obtain one thing cool. If a co-worker will get a increase, be supportive and never jealous. Approach life as if it have been a win-win recreation. Because it’s.
  • Happy individuals virtually by no means criticize, says Steven Pressfield in The War of Art. “If they speak at all,” he writes, “it’s to offer encouragement.” This is true in my expertise, as effectively. Being sarcastic and slicing doesn’t suggest that you simply’re smarter than the individuals round you. Most of the time, it merely means you are an asshole. And that leads me to the following lesson…
  • Staying in a relationship out of a way of obligation or pity shouldn’t be a superb cause. Sometimes you actually do must stroll away — from a friendship, from a member of the family, even from a romantic associate. Yours is not the one story on this world; generally it is higher to be anyone else’s villain than to make your self depressing.
  • You have the liberty to decide on the way you reply to any occasion. In the traditional Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Fankl writes, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” He based mostly this philosophy on his private expertise in a Nazi focus camp. When that jerk cuts you off on the freeway, you get to decide on if you happen to’ll get offended or give him the good thing about the doubt. When you get caught behind the previous woman in line on the grocery retailer, it is as much as you reply. When these silly youngsters subsequent door vandalize your garden, you get to decide on how you’re feeling about it.
  • You’ll be happier if you happen to concentrate on efforts and a focus solely on the issues you may management. Each of us has a lot of issues about which we’re involved: our well being, our household, our pals, our jobs; world affairs, the plight of the poor, the specter of terrorism, the present political local weather. Within that Circle of Concern, there is a smaller subset of issues over which we’ve precise, direct management: how a lot we train, what time we go to mattress, whether or not we depart for work on time; what we eat, the place we stay, with whom we socialize. You’ll be happier and extra productive if you happen to dedicate your self to your Circle of Control and ignore your Circle of Concern. [This notion is part of Julian Rotter’s social-learning theory of personality, but was popularized by Stephen Covey in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.]

[Circle of Concern vs. Circle of Control]

  • You can have something you need — however you may’t have all the things you need. Everything is a trade-off. You have restricted assets. When you select to spend — time, cash, brainwidth — on one factor, you are additionally selecting to not spend on others. Do your greatest to spend solely on the issues that matter most to you. Don’t actually give a rat’s ass about Big Bang Theory? Then why are you watching it? Spend your time and vitality on one thing you do care about.
  • Make room for the large rocks first. It’s simple to let your time and vitality be sucked up by trivial errands and duties. You discover you not have house for the stuff you thought have been most essential. Don’t do this. Always carve out time and a focus for these individuals and actions you worth most. If the home would not get clear since you have been hanging out with a pal, so what? If you did not mow the garden since you went to the fitness center as a substitute, that is a superb factor. Tackle the essential, then the trivial.
  • If you need to keep away from feeling overwhelmed, create margin in your life. Simplicity brings peace. Many individuals have tried to beat this into my head through the years, but it surely wasn’t till I learn The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up that I actually understood. Every merchandise you personal, each assembly you schedule, each e mail you obtain — each obligation in your life carries each psychic and bodily weight. Traveling in an RV for fifteen months, I realized to like proudly owning little or no. It was releasing! And it was releasing too to not be a slave to a schedule. As a lot as you may, construct margin into your life in an effort to really feel peaceable and free.
  • Be your personal advocate. Don’t be afraid to ask what you need and what you want — particularly if it is assist. Too usually, we wrestle in silence once we might make our lives higher just by asking a query or two. Better to look ignorant for a second than to stay ignorant for a lifetime. Don’t watch for others to resolve your issues. Be proactive. Find solutions. Take motion. Learn to assist your self.
  • It’s all the time greatest to be proactive. In life, there are sometimes default choices. If you don’t consciously and intentionally select one thing totally different, you get the default. When this occurs, your life shapes you rather than you shaping your life. Most individuals undergo their whole lives in default mode. They settle for what life palms them with out query. They’re reactive. Choose to be proactive as a substitute. If you do not set your personal objectives, anyone else will set them for you.
  • Quality instruments could make life higher. For years, I equated low price with good spending. Now I do know that is not all the time the case. Now, I’m keen to spend to purchase high-quality issues once I know I’ll use them on a regular basis. I’ve high-quality boots, as an illustration, and an costly pc. I’m okay with that. I stroll in all places I’m going, so the boots are value it. And my pc is my livelihood. The expense is value it as a result of it makes working a pleasure. For gadgets used every day, purchase the very best. If you do not use it usually, of if it isn’t essential to you, purchase the most affordable doable.
  • The that means of life is the that means you determine to present it. Some persons are searchers. They wander by way of life on the lookout for solutions…however hardly ever discover them. Others settle for with out query what an out of doors authority tells them is true. I consider that the that means of life comes from inside, from the issues that you simply lean to prioritize and worth. Nobody goes to inform you what life ought to imply to you; it’s important to determine that for your self.
  • You are the boss of you. Your circumstances won’t be your fault, however they’re your accountability. Don’t blame anybody or the rest on your state of affairs, and don’t count on anyone else to rescue you. If you do not like the place you’re, resolve to do what it takes to make a change.
  • Don’t examine your self to others. I preach this usually at Get Rich Slowly. Comparing your self to others is counter-productive. Generally considered one of two issues occurs: You both really feel shitty since you’re inferior to the opposite particular person, otherwise you really feel superior as a result of they’re inferior to you. In actuality, no person is healthier than anyone else. We’re simply totally different. If you need to examine your self, examine Present You to Past You — and do what you may to make Future You a greater model of why you’re right this moment.
  • You cannot do away with a nasty behavior; you may solely change it. “You can never truly extinguish bad habits,” writes Charles Duhigg in The Power of Habit. “Rather, to change a habit, you must keep the old cue, and deliver the old reward, but insert a new routine.” He calls this the Golden Rule of Habit Change. To change your behavior loop, it’s important to do one thing totally different when the behavior is triggered. Let me offer you an instance: I was a stress-eater. I’d eat junk meals — and many it — any time I had a deadline or a battle with a pal. The act of consuming soothed my thoughts. The stress was the cue (the set off), and the push was the reward. No shock, this behavior made me fats. I’ve managed to (principally) change the behavior loop by strolling as a substitute of consuming. Now if I get harassed, I’m going for a stroll. I get an identical rush for a reward, however my actions are more healthy.
  • Positive reinforcement is highly effective. When Tahlequah performs a desired habits — sitting, coming when known as, being good to the cats — we reward her. She learns to attach the deal with with the actions we desires, and turns into extra more likely to supply them…even once we do not reward her. What’s true for canine is true for individuals too. Does nagging your partner really work? Probably not. (In truth, it most likely has the alternative impact you propose!) But if you happen to reward the habits your need, you may finally see it provided with out prompting. The similar factor is true with kids, co-workers, members of the family, and so forth. [This is a fundamental principle of psychology. An excellent source for more info is Don’t Shoot the Dog.]

  • Create your personal certainty. Don’t enable your self to be depending on the alternatives and actions of others. I name this “Michelle’s Law” after my pal who taught it to me. But I’ve one other pal — Jenn — who talks about “ensuring success”. When she’s engaged on one thing essential, whether or not it is a relationship or a trip, she all the time follows as much as ensure that what she expects to occur will occur. This philosophy is akin to the concept it’s best to belief, however confirm.
  • Choose happiness. Do work and play that brings achievement. Spend time with individuals who construct you up, not those that carry you (and others) down. Strip out of your life the issues that take time, cash, and vitality, however which don’t carry you pleasure. Focus on the necessities.
  • Time is extra precious than cash. You can all the time make more cash…however you may’t make extra time. This is not permission to spend lavishly on something and all the things simply since you would possibly get hit by a truck tomorrow. It is, nonetheless, an invite to think about what’s essential to you and to concentrate on that. It’s encouragement to get clear in your private mission assertion and to construct your life round it.
  • It’s by no means too late to be nice. It takes time to realize something worthwhile. But simply because you have not began but — or have not reached the extent your aiming for — doesn’t suggest you may’t or will not make it occur. Don’t be daunted by audacious objectives. Are you fifty and need to run a marathon? Start coaching. Are you sixty and solely now pondering of retirement? That’s okay. Better late than by no means. Are you seventy and need to write a novel? Do it. History is stuffed with examples of parents who obtain nice issues later in life. [This argument is made persuasively by Tom Butler-Bowdon in his book, Never Too Late to Be Great.]
  • Be your self. This is a very powerful factor I’ve realized throughout my 52 years of life. For too lengthy, I attempted to please others. I attempted to be and do the issues I assumed they wished me to be and do. As a consequence, I used to be sad. And more often than not, my actions did not have the outcomes I assumed they might. They did not make others like me any higher. Instead of making an attempt to please others, now I’m simply me. I’m trustworthy about who I’m and what I would like. Maybe a few of my previous pals don’t love who I’ve develop into. That’s okay. I’ve made loads of individuals who do like who I’m.
  • “Everybody is talented, original and has something important to say.” — Barbara Ueland, If You Want to Write.

This is not a complete checklist of my beliefs, but it surely’s a good survey of my life philosophy. It has developed from my philosophy once I was forty or thirty. And I’m certain that my philosophy at sixty could have modified in ways in which I can not foresee proper now.

Also observe that though I actually do consider this stuff to be true, I additionally wrestle with them. I’m human, similar to you. I do not all the time stay as much as my supreme self. I do not all the time adhere to my very own life philosophy.

How many of those concepts do you agree with? Which do you disagree with? More to the purpose: What are the core concepts that make up your private life philosophy?

One Hundred Words