By: Coach Morbie
On the 14th of December 2020, I reached twenty-five years, my friends and family were so excited and happy for me. It was a big day, I was twenty-five but honestly, I wasn’t that happy, why? Because when I was twenty, I promised myself that when I get to twenty-five I should be on a different level of life. I must have my car, house, etc. but that wasn’t the case at twenty-five I was still living with my parents, they determine what I should wear eat and drink, what time I should be at home, what channels to watch on TV common guys at twenty-five? So I was hurt that I could not live up to my dream and that took away all my happiness. As a way of consolation, I sat down and I realized that besides the dream that I had initially, I have so many lessons I have learned for the past twenty-five years why can’t I just list them down and share them with my fellows maybe they can learn one or two things and this is how I came up with these lessons. These are the core pieces of my life philosophy.
I’m no wiser or smarter than anybody else. And I’m certainly no better. But I am an individual. I’m my person with my personal preferences and personal experiences. These have all jumbled together over the past twenty-five years to give me a unique perspective on life (just as you have a unique perspective on life).
- You get what you give.
Your outer life is a reflection of your inner life. If you think the world is a shitty place, the world is going to be a shitty place. If you think people are out to get you, people will be out to get you. But if you believe people are good, you’ll find that this is true wherever you go.
- Luck is no accident.
What we think of as luck has almost nothing to do with randomness and almost everything to do with attitude. Lucky people watch for and take advantage of opportunities. They listen to their hunches. They know how to “fail forward”, making good out of bad
- There’s no single “right” way to achieve success.
Each of us is different. We have different goals, personalities, and experiences. We each need to find the tools and techniques that are effective for our situations. There’s no one right way to eat, love, pray or pay off debt. Don’t believe anyone who tells you there is. Experiment until you find methods that are effective for you.
- Spirituality is personal.
The desire for one person (or group) to impose her (or their) beliefs on others is the source of much of this world’s strife. Believe what you want, and let others do the same.
“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 — but keep an open mind.
Don’t believe everything you hear from others and your internal self-talk. Practice healthy skepticism. But keep an open mind. Don’t automatically assume that everything is fake or false. Do your best to analyze the things you see and hear to determine whether they make sense.
- Be flexible.
Goals are good, but single-minded devotion to a goal can often blind a person to other opportunities. And it’s a mistake to cling to one path out of a sense of obligation. If you enter law school and discover you hate it, then quit. Don’t endure years of misery because you feel like it’s expected of you. That’s dumb. You have more options than you think, but you may need to slow down and open your eyes to see them.
- Be encouraging.
Support the creative, positive actions of others. There are a lot of people out there who want to tell others what’s wrong with their actions, why the things they want to do can’t be done. They’re quick to criticize small mistakes instead of praising the greater effort. Don’t be this way. Do what you can in ways both big and small to help others achieve their goals.
Everyone has a story they want to tell you about yourself. Society tries to push a “standard narrative” on us about how life should go. Ignore these stories. If you don’t like the story you’re living, it’s up to you to change the plot. You didn’t write the beginning of your story, but you have the power to choose the ending. Choose an adventure you love instead of one that makes you unhappy.
- You don’t need permission.
When we’re young, we wait for our parents and teachers to say it’s okay to do the things we want to do. As an adult, you don’t need permission from anybody else. Do you want to quit your job and travel the world? Do it. Do you want to learn how to ride a motorcycle? Do it. Don’t wait for somebody else to give you the go-ahead. You are the only one who needs to permit yourself to do these things. You don’t need permission, you need advice.
- Don’t let fear guide your decision-making process.
My girlfriend Madeline told me this on one of our first dates, and it echoes something my accountant once told me. He says that too many people make money moves based solely on the tax repercussions. “That’s dumb,” he told me. “You should do what you want because you want to, not because of the tax hit.” This applies in all aspects of life. Make decisions based on what you want to do. Move toward something, not away from something.
- Action cures fear.
Thought creates fear; action cures it. What we’re afraid of is the unknown. We like certainty, and choosing to do something with an uncertain outcome makes us nervous. Taking the first step can be scary, but each additional step becomes easier and easier. When you act, you remove the mystery. Action creates confidence. It creates motivation. (Most people think motivation comes before action. They’re wrong. Action leads to motivation
- Action is character.
If you never did anything, you wouldn’t be anybody. Superman is a superhero because he does heroic things, not because he talks about doing them. And a writer is a writer because she writes, not because she talks about writing. What we say doesn’t matter; it’s what we do that count. We are what we repeatedly do.
- You’re more likely to regret the things you don’t do than the things you do.
That’s not to say you should be an asshole, or that you won’t regret making big mistakes. But generally speaking, you’re more likely to be sorry that you didn’t introduce yourself to the girl at the coffee house, didn’t go bungee-jumping with your friends, didn’t stay in touch with your friends.
- Give without the expectation of return.
Help other people even if it costs a bit of money or time. Don’t always expect a financial payoff. Don’t get offended if your effort isn’t acknowledged or appreciated. Help because it’s the right thing to do, not because you want to be noticed.
- Staying in a relationship out of a sense of obligation or pity is not a good reason.
Sometimes you do have to walk away from a friendship, from a family member, even from a romantic partner. Yours isn’t the only story in this world; sometimes it’s better to be somebody else’s villain than to make yourself miserable.
- You have the freedom to choose how you respond to any event.
In the classic Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl 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 way.” He based this philosophy on his personal experience in a Nazi concentration camp. When that jerk cuts you off on the freeway, you get to choose if you’ll get angry or give him the benefit of the doubt. When those stupid kids next door vandalize your lawn, you get to choose how you feel about it.
- You’ll be happier if you focus on efforts and attention only on the things you can control.
Each of us has a large number of things about which we’re concerned: our health, our family, our friends, our jobs; world affairs, the plight of the poor, the threat of terrorism, the current political climate. Within that Circle of Concern, there’s a smaller subset of things over which we have actual, direct control: how much we exercise, what time we go to bed, whether we leave for work on time; what we eat, where we live, with whom we socialize. You’ll be happier and more productive if you dedicate yourself to your Circle of Control and ignore your Circle of Concern.
- Make room for the big rocks first.
It’s easy to let your time and energy be sucked up by trivial errands and tasks. You find you no longer have space for the things you thought were most important. Don’t do that. Always carve out time and attention for those people and activities you value most. If the house doesn’t get clean because you were hanging out with a friend, so what? If you didn’t mow the lawn because you went to the gym instead, that’s a good thing. Tackle the important, then the trivial.
- It’s always best to be proactive.
In life, there are often default options. If you don’t consciously and deliberately choose something different, you get the default. When this happens, your life shapes you instead of you shaping your life. Most people go through their entire lives in default mode. They accept what life hands them without question.
- The meaning of life is the meaning you decide to give it.
Some people are searchers. They wander through life looking for answers…but rarely find them. Others accept without question what an outside authority tells them is true. I believe that the meaning of life comes from within, from the things that you learn to prioritize and value. Nobody is going to tell you what life should mean to you; you have to decide that for yourself.
- Choose happiness.
Do work and play that brings fulfillment. Spend time with people who build you up, not those who bring you (and others) down. Strip from your life the things that take time, money, and energy, but do not bring you joy. Focus on the essentials.
You can always make more money…but you can’t make more time. This isn’t permission to spend lavishly on anything and everything just because you might get hit by a truck tomorrow. It is, however, an invitation to consider what’s important to you and to focus on that. It’s an encouragement to get clear on your mission statement and to build your life around it.
- It’s never too late to be great.
It takes time to achieve anything worthwhile. But just because you haven’t started yet or haven’t reached the level your aiming for doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t make it happen. Don’t be daunted by audacious goals. Are you fifty and want to run a marathon? Start training. Are you sixty and only now thinking of retirement? That’s okay. Better late than never. Are you seventy and want to write a novel? Do it. History is filled with examples of folks who achieve great things later in life
- Be yourself.
This is the most important thing I’ve learned during my 25 years of life. For too long, I tried to please others. I tried to be and do the things I thought they wanted me to be and do. As a result, I was unhappy. And most of the time, my actions didn’t have the results I thought they would. They didn’t make others like me any better. Instead of trying to please others, now I’m just me. I’m honest about who I am and what I want. Maybe some of my old friends don’t like who I’ve become. That’s okay. I’ve made plenty of people who do like who I am.
- Don’t compare yourself to others.
I preach this often when I interact with other young people. Comparing yourself to others is counter-productive. Generally, one of two things happens: You either feel shitty because you’re not as good as the other person, or you feel superior because they’re not as good as you. In reality, nobody is better than anybody else. We’re just different. If you want to compare yourself, compare Present You to Past You and do what you can to make Future You a better version of why you are today.
In conclusion, let me say this isn’t a comprehensive list of my beliefs, but it’s a fair survey of my life philosophy. It has evolved from my philosophy when I was twenty or twenty-four. And I’m sure that my philosophy at thirty will have changed in ways that I cannot foresee right now. Also note that although I do believe these things to be true, I also struggle with them. I’m human, just like you. I don’t always live up to my ideal self. I don’t always adhere to my life philosophy.