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Atticus Harris

in search of simplicity

A Code Of Pracitce

Recently I read a manifesto and it got me thinking: if I had to write down a code of practice, what would it be? How am I trying to live my life? What are my values and am I living up to them?

If you look back through the history of the 20th century, manifestos were everywhere. Political movements, artists, musicians, they all felt the need to write down what they stood for. It was an easy tool for showing the world how you saw things and the way you were going to act as a result.

The useful thing about a document like this is that it gives you a compass by which to navigate. Inevitably it will evolve and change over time. Just like you. But that shouldn’t stop us from trying to capture our perspective and ambitions as they currently stand. In fact, by writing them down now we have something to review in the future. A standard we can come back to and update. Without that, it’s easy to float and never be sure if you wanted to go in one direction or the other.

The following is my code of practice as of August 2018. It’s by no means complete, but it speaks to the way I am trying to operate right now. Most of it is received wisdom that I’ve digested and made my own by working with it over time. I encourage you to write one for yourself.

A Code For Living

  1. Now is as good as it gets
  2. Never shortchange now for later
  3. More is not satisfying
  4. Avoid being a connoisseur and learn to appreciate simplicity
  5. Make as few choices as possible
  6. Learn what your values are and align your actions accordingly
  7. You are the only person responsible for holding yourself accountable
  8. Treat everything (big or small, dead or alive) as you would treat yourself
  9. Your mind is a tool, learn how to use it properly
  10. Meditate as often as possible
  11. Technology is a tool, learn how to use it properly
  12. Go offline as often as possible
  13. Make your ideas more valuable than your data
  14. Practice discipline to find your freedom
  15. Everything is a process and nothing remains the same
  16. Put your oxygen mask on first
  17. Always be prepared to drop your ambitions in favour of what the moment demands
  18. Have commitments and stick to them
  19. Do something creative every single day no matter how small
  20. If something scares and excites you then make sure you do it
  21. Remember that everyone else is as clueless and dumb as you
  22. Avoid being an expert at all costs
  23. If you can’t argue for something, you shouldn’t be arguing against it
  24. Spend more time thinking about how they feel than you do criticising them
  25. You don’t own anything, you’re just taking care of it for a while
  26. Ask ‘why?’ until it seems stupid, then ask one more time
  27. You are not your thoughts and you don’t have to answer to them
  28. Never ask for permission