Barlow’s 25 Principles of Adult Behavior

The late John Barlow, Co-Founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and lyricist for The Grateful Dead, wrote a set of rules he would live by right before his 30th birthday. He shared them a few years ago on Reddit.

Here are his 25 Principles of Adult Behavior:

  • 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.
  • Expect no more of anyone than you can deliver yourself.
  • Tolerate ambiguity.
  • Laugh at yourself frequently.
  • Concern yourself with what is right rather than who is right.
  • Never 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 soon.
  • Become less suspicious of joy.
  • Understand humility.
  • Remember that love forgives everything.
  • Foster dignity.
  • Live memorably.
  • Love yourself.
  • Endure.

I resonated deeply with a few of these. “Admit your errors freely and soon” is always a great rule by which we should live. “Concern yourself with what is right rather than who is right” also hits home with me.

Which one(s) resonated with you?