I have worked with many men over the course of my coaching career. These men have backgrounds, life situations, and current circumstances that can be relatively similar or wildly different. Usually, in almost each man, there is something causing him some form of suffering, or creating some kind of obstacle for him to get what he wants in life.

Often there is a lot of story and background that can make it appear complicated, feel very messy, and seem overwhelming to him. This can happen in my life too, if I let it. I’m not immune.

I came across a list that I hadn’t read before. Is it perfect? No. Is it a great list to begin with? I think so!

The title of the list is. “Principles of Adult Behavior,” and I understand that it was written by a guy named John Perry Barlow, who, from what I read, had a colorful history. The point isn’t about him though, but the list.

What struck me reading this list of adult behavior is, how many situations in my life where I found myself in a place I didn’t want to be, could I have avoided just by sticking to these basic principles?  Maybe a lot.

Take a read of this list…

1. Be patient. No matter what.
2. Don’t badmouth: Assign responsibility, not blame. Say nothing of another you wouldn’t say to him.
3. Never assume the motives of others are, to them, less noble than yours are to you.
4. Expand your sense of the possible.
5. Don’t trouble yourself with matters you truly cannot change.
6. Expect no more of anyone than you can deliver yourself.
7. Tolerate ambiguity.
8. Laugh at yourself frequently.
9. Concern yourself with what is right rather than who is right.
10. Never forget that, no matter how certain, you might be wrong.
11. Give up blood sports.
12. Remember that your life belongs to others as well. Don’t risk it frivolously.
13. Never lie to anyone for any reason. (Lies of omission are sometimes exempt.)
14. Learn the needs of those around you and respect them.
15. Avoid the pursuit of happiness. Seek to define your mission and pursue that.
16. Reduce your use of the first personal pronoun.
17. Praise at least as often as you disparage.
18. Admit your errors freely and soon.
19. Become less suspicious of joy.
20. Understand humility.
21. Remember that love forgives everything.
22. Foster dignity.
23. Live memorably.
24. Love yourself.
25. Endure.

I have a challenge for you today.

Take a situation you are dealing with right now…a work issue, a relationship problem, a personal worry or stress, and look for principles on this list you can begin practicing to help you address the situation.

How many did you find?

Which principles on this list have you not been doing at all, and if employed, can help you move forward through your situation? Which ones have you lost track of in your life, and if brought back, would be something to get you closer to the man you want to be?

Sometimes we look for elaborate, complicated solutions, when in fact all we need to do is just the basics.

Willing to give it a try?

I am.


Author: Todd Gorishek

Todd is a certified Men’s Life Coach, an entrepreneur, a licensed healthcare professional, a husband, a father, and a world traveler. His mission is to co-create a strong and compassionate world by facilitating transformation through understanding, trust, and empowerment.

He received his professional Life Coaching education from Newfield Network, a certified Life Coach training school, and is a member of the International Coach Federation.