Friedrich Nietzsche, who believed that embracing difficulty is essential for a fulfilling life, considered the journey of self-discovery one of the greatest and most fertile existential difficulties. In 1873, as he was approaching his thirtieth birthday, Nietzsche addressed this perennial question of how we find ourselves and bring forth our gifts in a beautiful essay titled Schopenhauer as Educator (public library), part of his Untimely Meditations.
Nietzsche, translated here by Daniel Pellerin, writes:
On August 15, 2013, Barlow participated in a Reddit AMA, where he shared his “Principles of Adult Behavior”, which were originally written in 1977 on the eve of his 30th birthday and have been in circulation ever since:
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.