52 classes from 52 years


Now we are 52And now we’re 52…

On today in 1969, child J.D. entered the world. I do not assume there’s any means my mother and father may have predicted the trail their firstborn would take by way of life. It hasn’t all the time been straightforward — 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 sit up for no matter time is left me.

As I do yearly right here at Get Wealthy Slowly, I will commemorate my birthday by sharing among the most necessary issues I’ve realized throughout my time on Earth. These are crucial items of my life philosophy.

Let’s begin with a have a look at the core takeaway from my 52nd 12 months, the most recent addition to my life philosophy.

What I Discovered Throughout My 52nd Yr

This previous 12 months, particularly, has been an attention-grabbing one. I do know that is true for the world as an entire, however I personally have skilled a substantial amount of development during the last twelve months. It has been a deeply introspective 12 months.

In case you have been following alongside, you might 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 am the one thing in life I can control. In August, I wrote about eliminating net negatives (or making an attempt to). In October, I wrote about the pursuit of quality. And only a few weeks in the past, I wrote about the power of low expectations.

What I’ve realized in current weeks is that each one of those Deep Ideas 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 on daily basis. I hate the unintended effects, although, so I by no means did. I took it solely as wanted.

However in trying to find solutions relating to my ongoing despair and anxiousness, I’ve come to know that these two debilitating psychological sicknesses can really be brought on by ADHD. My incapacity to focus leads me to turn into overwhelmed. After I turn into overwhelmed, I get confused. After I get confused, I get anxious and depressed.

All of it appears apparent as we speak, nevertheless it was by no means apparent earlier than.

Anyhow, I’ve begun taking my Vyvanse frequently. At this time is the sixth day in a row that I’ve used it. It appears to be serving to. In the meantime, I have been making an attempt to apply mindfulness in on a regular basis life. Plus, Kim and I are taking some huge steps (to be mentioned right here within the coming weeks) to alleviate among 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 lots of the issues that convey me struggling) has been eye-opening. As I reviewed this listing, as an example, I used to be stunned at simply what number of items of my philosophy instantly tied to ADHD coping mechanisms. It is loopy.

So, the most important lesson I realized this 12 months is the age-old maxim: know thyself. So far as potential, know what makes you tick — and the way that impacts your objectives, actions, and relationships.

My Life Philosophy

Earlier than we dive into the remainder of my life philosophy, I wish to make one thing clear: I’m no wiser or smarter than anyone else. And I am actually no higher. However I’m a person.

I am 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 novel perspective on life (simply as you have a novel perspective on life). To cite my favorite poem:

A lot 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 imagine, for many different folks. (However every of us is completely different. What works for me could not be just right for you.) These beliefs make up the core of my private philosophy of life.

A few of these concepts are unique to me. Some aren’t. After I’ve borrowed one thing, I’ve carried out my finest to quote my supply. (And I’ve tried to quote the oldest supply I can discover. Numerous of us borrow concepts from one another. There’s nothing new beneath the solar and all that.)

Listed below are 52 ideas I’ve discovered to be true throughout my 52 years on this planet. I will lead with this 12 months’s new addition.

  • Know thyself. All of us are related, however every of us is completely different. It is these variations that make us distinctive people. It is as much as you to find your strengths (and weaknesses), to determine what’s necessary to you, to plot your individual course by way of this world. Taking time periodically to re-asses what makes you tick is a necessary a part of constructing a life that permits you to flourish.
  • Love your self. All my life, I’ve struggled with low shallowness. There have been occasions after I’ve hated myself. Latest 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 know that it is necessary to be taught to each settle for myself and love myself — regardless that, like everybody, I am imperfect. I nonetheless have a protracted solution to go, however I am making progress.
  • Self-care comes first. In case you’re not wholesome, it is robust to be joyful. Earlier than you’ll be able to maintain your pals and your loved ones, you should maintain your self. Eat properly. Train. 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 have received nothing.
  • You get what you give. Your outer life is a mirrored image of your interior life. In case you assume the world is a shitty place, the world goes to be a shitty place. In case you assume persons are out to get you, folks will probably be out to get you. However if you happen to imagine 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 strive new issues and meet new folks. Most of those lottery tickets will not have a pay-out, and that is okay. However from time to time, you may hit the jackpot. The extra you play — the extra you say “sure” to new mates and new experiences — the extra usually you may win. You may’t win if you happen to do not play. That mentioned, nevertheless…
  • Luck isn’t any accident. What we consider as luck has nearly nothing to do with randomness and nearly every part to do with perspective. Fortunate folks look ahead to — and make the most of — alternatives. They hearken to their hunches. They know learn how to “fail ahead”, making good out of unhealthy. [Via the book Luck is No Accident.]
  • Do not attempt to change others. “Makes an attempt to alter others are hardly ever profitable, and even then are most likely not fully satisfying,” Harry Browne wrote in How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World. “To just accept others as they’re doesn’t suggest it’s a must to give into them or put up with them. You’re sovereign. You personal your individual world. You may select…There are hundreds of thousands of individuals on the market on the earth; you could have much more to select from than simply what you see in entrance of you now.”
  • Do not permit others to attempt to change you. Once more from How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World: “You’re free to reside your life as you need…The calls for and desires of others do not management your life. You do. You make the choices…There are literally thousands of individuals who would not demand that you just bend your self out of practice to please them. There are individuals who will need you to be your self, individuals who see issues as you do, individuals who need the identical belongings you need. Why ought to it’s a must to waste your life in a futile effort to please these with whom you aren’t appropriate?”

An Early Birthday

  • Be impeccable together with your phrase. Be sincere — with your self and others. In case you promise to do one thing, do it. When anyone asks you a query, inform the reality. Follow what you preach. Keep away from gossip. [This is directly from Don Miguel’s The Four Agreements.]
  • Do not take issues personally. When folks criticize you and your actions, it isn’t about you — it is about them. They can not know what it is wish to be you and reside your life. Once you take issues personally, you are permitting others to regulate your life and your happiness. Heed the Arab proverb: The dogs bark but the caravan moves on. [This is also one of The Four Agreements.]
  • Do not make assumptions. The flip aspect of not taking issues personally is to not assume what is going on on in different folks’s heads. Do not assume the motivations for his or her actions. Simply as their actuality does not replicate your actuality, your life will not be theirs. Give folks the advantage of the doubt. [Another of The Four Agreements.]
  • At all times do your finest. Your finest varies from second to second. Some days within the health club, as an example, I will carry heavier weights than on different days. Some days I can run sooner than traditional; some days, I am slower. That is okay. What issues most is that I give my finest effort each time. It doesn’t matter what you do, do it in addition to you’ll be able to. This is among the keys to success and happiness. [This is the last of The Four Agreements.]
  • Effort issues greater than talent or expertise. “Effort counts twice,” argues Angela Duckworth in Grit: The Power of Passon and Perseverance. Ability, she says, is expertise multiplied by effort. The extra you do what you are good at, the higher you get. However achievement is the product of talent multiplied by effort. Effort counts twice. (This can be why psychologists say it is higher to reward your kid’s efforts as an alternative of her outcomes. Reward her for spending time on her homework, not as a result of she received an A.)
  • Embrace the imperfections. In case you do what is correct, and also you do your finest, then there is not any purpose to really feel unhealthy concerning the consequence. No person’s good. Do not beat your self up if you happen to make errors. And do not sweat it if different folks get upset with you too. In case you’re doing one of the best you’ll be able to, that is adequate.
  • The perfect is the enemy of the good. Too many individuals by no means get began as a result of they don’t know that the “finest” first step is. You do not know one of the best guitar, so that you by no means be taught to play. You do not know which Spanish guide is finest, so that you by no means be taught to talk. You do not know learn how to bench press, so that you by no means go to the health club. Don’t fear about getting issues precisely proper — simply select a great possibility and do one thing to get began.
  • There’s no single “proper” solution to obtain success. Every of us is completely different. Now we have completely different objectives, personalities, and experiences. We every want to seek out the instruments and strategies which might be efficient for our personal conditions. There’s nobody proper solution to eat, love, pray, or repay debt. Don’t imagine anybody who tells you there’s. Experiment till you discover strategies which might be efficient for you. (Be aware, nevertheless, that there are mistaken methods to do these items — keep away from apparent unhealthy decisions.)
  • Be current within the second. Settle for life for what it’s, with out labels or judgment. Yield to occasions; do not block them. Flow. Nothing exists exterior the current second: Do not dwell on the previous or fear concerning the future. Enhance the standard of the right here and now. Once you do one thing, do that factor. Once you’re with anyone, be with them. Do not multitask. Put away the smartphone or the pc or the guide. Be all there. [This is an ancient concept made popular by The Power of Now.]
  • Spirituality is private. The need 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. Consider what you need, and let others do the identical. “There isn’t any want for temples, no want for classy philosophies. My mind and coronary heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.” — the Dalai Lama
  • Be skeptical — however hold an open thoughts. Do not imagine every part you hear — from others and from your individual inner self-talk. Follow wholesome skepticism. However hold an open thoughts. Do not mechanically assume that every part is faux or false. Do your finest to research the belongings you see and listen to to find out whether or not they really make sense.
  • Don’t yuck someone else’s yum. Simply because you do not like one thing doesn’t suggest it is unhealthy. Pursue your passions, and let others pursue theirs. In case you do not like one thing, high quality. Do not make an enormous deal about it.
  • You may’t forestall each potential factor from going mistaken. Do not even strive. As a substitute, be taught to deal successfully with minor issues. You will construct self-confidence, which is able to result in an elevated willingness to take calculated dangers. (Equally, you’ll be able to’t make everybody such as you. It is silly to strive.)
  • Be versatile. Objectives are good, however single-minded devotion to a objective can usually blind an individual to different alternatives. And it is a mistake to cling to at least one path out of sense of obligation. In case you enter legislation college and uncover you hate it, then give up. Do not endure years of distress since you really feel prefer it’s anticipated of you. That is dumb. You’ve extra choices than you assume, however you could must decelerate and open your eyes to be able to see them.
  • Be encouraging. Assist the artistic, constructive actions of others. There are lots of people on the market who wish to inform others what’s mistaken with their actions, why the issues they wish to do cannot be carried out. They’re fast to criticize small errors as an alternative of praising the higher effort. Do not be this manner. Do what you’ll be able to — in methods each huge 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 author of your own life. Everybody has a narrative they wish to let you know about your self. Society tries to push a “commonplace narrative” on us about how life ought to go. Ignore these tales. In case you do not just like the story you are residing, it is as much as you to alter the plot. You did not write the start of your story, however you could have the facility to decide on the ending. Select and journey you’re keen on as an alternative of 1 that makes you sad.
  • You do not want permission. After we’re younger, we anticipate our mother and father and lecturers to say it is okay to do the issues we wish to do. As an grownup, you do not want permission from anyone else. Do you wish to give up your job and journey the world? Do it. Do you wish to discover ways to journey a bike? Do it. Do not anticipate anyone else to provide the go-ahead. You are the one one who wants to present your self permission to do these items.
  • Do not let concern information your decision-making course of. My girlfriend Kim advised me this on certainly one of our first dates, and it echoes one thing my accountant as soon as advised me. He says that too many individuals generate profits strikes based mostly solely on the tax repercussions. “That is dumb,” he advised me. “You must do what you need since you wish to, not due to the tax hit.” This is applicable in all points of life. Make selections based mostly on what you wish to do. Transfer towards one thing, not away from one thing.
  • Motion 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 consequence makes us nervous. Taking step one could be scary, however every further step turns into simpler and simpler. Once you act, you take away the thriller. Motion creates confidence. It creates motivation. (Most individuals assume motivation comes earlier than motion. They’re mistaken. Action creates motivation.) [This is an old idea but this phrasing is from The Magic of Thinking Big.]
  • Motion is character. In case 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 does not matter; it is what we try this counts. We’re what we repeatedly do. [From F. Scott Fitzgerald’s notes on The Last Tycoon.]
  • You are extra more likely to remorse the belongings you do not do than the belongings you do. That is to not say you have to be an asshole, or that you just will not remorse making huge errors. However typically talking, you are extra more likely to be sorry that you just did not introduce your self to the barista on the coffeehouse, did not go bungee-jumping with your pals, did not keep in contact with your pals. [This is the central idea in The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.]
  • Give with out the expectation of return. Assist different folks — even when it prices a bit of cash or time. Do not all the time anticipate a monetary payoff. Do not get offended in case your effort is not acknowledged or appreciated. Assist as a result of it is the correct factor to do, not since you wish to be observed.
  • When good issues occur to folks , assist them rejoice. Their success does not 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. Method life as if it have been a win-win sport. As a result of it’s.
  • Joyful folks nearly by no means criticize, says Steven Pressfield in The Battle of Artwork. “In the event that they converse in any respect,” he writes, “it is to supply encouragement.” That is true in my expertise, as properly. Being sarcastic and reducing doesn’t suggest that you just’re smarter than the folks round you. More often than not, it merely means you are an asshole. And that leads me to the subsequent lesson…
  • Staying in a relationship out of a way of obligation or pity is not a great purpose. Generally you actually do should 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’ve the liberty to decide on the way you reply to any occasion. Within the traditional Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Fankl writes, “All the pieces could be taken from a person however one factor: the final of human freedoms — to decide on one’s perspective in any given set of circumstances, to decide on one’s personal means.” 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 advantage of the doubt. Once you get caught behind the outdated woman in line on the grocery retailer, it is as much as you learn how to reply. When these silly youngsters subsequent door vandalize your garden, you get to decide on how you’re feeling about it.
  • You will be happier if you happen to give attention to efforts and a spotlight solely on the issues you’ll be able to management. Every of us has numerous issues about which we’re involved: our well being, our household, our mates, our jobs; world affairs, the plight of the poor, the specter of terrorism, the present political local weather. Inside 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 reside, with whom we socialize. You will be happier and extra productive if you happen to dedicate your self to your Circle of Management 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 anything you want — but you can’t have everything you want. All the pieces is a trade-off. You’ve restricted assets. Once you select to spend — time, cash, brainwidth — on one factor, you are additionally selecting to not spend on others. Do your finest to spend solely on the issues that matter most to you. Do not actually give a rat’s ass about Huge Bang Concept? Then why are you watching it? Spend your time and vitality on one thing you do care about.
  • Make room for the massive rocks first. It is easy to let your time and vitality be sucked up by trivial errands and duties. You discover you now not have area for the belongings you thought have been most necessary. Do not try this. At all times carve out time and a spotlight for these folks and actions you worth most. If the home does not get clear since you have been hanging out with a pal, so what? In case you did not mow the garden since you went to the health club as an alternative, that is a good factor. Sort out the necessary, then the trivial.
  • If you wish to keep away from feeling overwhelmed, create margin in your life. Simplicity brings peace. Many individuals have tried to beat this into my head over time, nevertheless it wasn’t till I learn The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up that I actually understood. Each merchandise you personal, each assembly you schedule, each e mail you obtain — each obligation in your life carries each psychic and bodily weight. Touring in an RV for fifteen months, I realized to like proudly owning little or no. It was liberating! And it was liberating too to not be a slave to a schedule. As a lot as you’ll be able to, construct margin into your life to be able to really feel peaceable and free.
  • Be your individual advocate. Do not be afraid to ask what you need and what you want — particularly if it is assist. Too usually, we wrestle in silence once we may make our lives higher just by asking a query or two. Higher to look ignorant for a second than to stay ignorant for a lifetime. Do not anticipate others to resolve your issues. Be proactive. Discover solutions. Take motion. Study to assist your self.
  • It’s all the time finest to be proactive. In life, there are sometimes default choices. In case you don’t consciously and intentionally select one thing completely 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 arms them with out query. They’re reactive. Select to be proactive as an alternative. In case you do not set your individual objectives, anyone else will set them for you.
  • High quality instruments could make life higher. For years, I equated low price with sensible spending. Now I do know that is not all the time the case. Now, I am prepared to spend to purchase high-quality issues after I know I will use them on a regular basis. I’ve high-quality boots, as an example, and an costly laptop. I am okay with that. I stroll in every single place I am going, so the boots are value it. And my laptop is my livelihood. The expense is value it as a result of it makes working a pleasure. For objects used every day, purchase one of the best. In case you do not use it usually, of if it isn’t necessary to you, purchase the most cost effective potential.
  • The which means of life is the which means you resolve to present it. Some persons are searchers. They wander by way of life in search of solutions…however hardly ever discover them. Others settle for with out query what an out of doors authority tells them is true. I imagine that the which means of life comes from inside, from the issues that you lean to prioritize and worth. No person goes to let you know what life ought to imply to you; it’s a must to resolve 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 anything on your scenario, and don’t anticipate anyone else to rescue you. In case you do not like the place you’re, resolve to do what it takes to make a change.
  • Do not examine your self to others. I preach this usually at Get Wealthy Slowly. Evaluating your self to others is counter-productive. Usually certainly one of two issues occurs: You both really feel shitty since you’re not so good as the opposite particular person, otherwise you really feel superior as a result of they’re not so good as you. In actuality, no one is best than anyone else. We’re simply completely different. If you wish to examine your self, examine Current You to Previous You — and do what you’ll be able to to make Future You a greater model of why you’re as we speak.
  • You may’t do away with a foul behavior; you’ll be able to solely change it. “You may by no means actually extinguish unhealthy habits,” writes Charles Duhigg in The Power of Habit. “Somewhat, to alter a behavior, you need to hold the outdated cue, and ship the outdated reward, however insert a brand new routine.” He calls this the Golden Rule of Behavior Change. To vary your behavior loop, it’s a must to do one thing completely different when the behavior is triggered. Let me provide you with an instance: I was a stress-eater. I would eat junk meals — and plenty of 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 (largely) change the behavior loop by strolling as an alternative of consuming. Now if I get confused, I am going for a stroll. I get an analogous rush for a reward, however my actions are more healthy.
  • Constructive 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 folks too. Does nagging your partner really work? Most likely not. (Actually, it most likely has the alternative impact you propose!) However if you happen to reward the habits your need, you may ultimately see it supplied with out prompting. The identical factor is true with kids, co-workers, relations, and so forth. [This is a fundamental principle of psychology. An excellent source for more info is Don’t Shoot the Dog.]

  • Create your individual certainty. Do not permit your self to be depending on the alternatives and actions of others. I name this “Michelle’s Legislation” after my pal who taught it to me. However I’ve one other pal — Jenn — who talks about “making certain success”. When she’s engaged on one thing necessary, 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 that you need to belief, however confirm.
  • Select happiness. Do work and play that brings achievement. Spend time with individuals who construct you up, not those that convey you (and others) down. Strip out of your life the issues that take time, cash, and vitality, however which don’t convey you pleasure. Concentrate on the necessities.
  • Time is more valuable than money. You may all the time make more cash…however you’ll be able to’t make extra time. This is not permission to spend lavishly on something and every part simply since you may get hit by a truck tomorrow. It’s, nevertheless, an invite to think about what’s necessary to you and to give attention to that. It is encouragement to get clear in your personal mission statement and to construct your life round it.
  • It is by no means too late to be nice. It takes time to attain something worthwhile. However simply because you have not began but — or have not reached the extent your aiming for — doesn’t suggest you’ll be able to’t or will not make it occur. Do not be daunted by audacious objectives. Are you fifty and wish to run a marathon? Begin coaching. Are you sixty and solely now pondering of retirement? That is okay. Higher late than by no means. Are you seventy and wish to write a novel? Do it. Historical past is stuffed with examples of oldsters 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. That is crucial 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 believed they wished me to be and do. In consequence, I was sad. And more often than not, my actions did not have the outcomes I believed they might. They did not make others like me any higher. As a substitute of making an attempt to please others, now I am simply me. I am sincere about who I’m and what I need. Possibly a few of my outdated mates do not like who I’ve turn into. That is okay. I’ve made loads of individuals who do like who I’m.
  • “Everyone is proficient, unique and has one thing necessary to say.” — Barbara Ueland, If You Want to Write.

This is not a complete listing of my beliefs, nevertheless it’s a good survey of my life philosophy. It has advanced from my philosophy after I was forty or thirty. And I am certain that my philosophy at sixty could have modified in ways in which I can not foresee proper now.

Additionally word that though I actually do imagine these items to be true, I additionally wrestle with them. I am human, identical to you. I do not all the time reside as much as my ideally suited self. I do not all the time adhere to my very own life philosophy.

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

One Hundred Words

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