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.
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?