31 Years of Experience – 31 Maxims to Live by

31 Years of Experience – 31 Maxims to Live by


Today is my birthday.


Last year, I started a tradition, which I endeavor to continue for years to come.


It is a tradition that involves my writing of a number of maxims that corresponds to my years on earth.


This year this number turns 31.


The following 31 maxims illustrate my desire to formulate a canonical interpretation of reality.


They aim to educate, inspire, motivate, but most importantly provoke thinking. For I hold the belief that a thinking individual is free individual. Free from propaganda, free from delusion, free from unnecessary suffering.



List of Maxims



The world is built on stories. People love stories because it allows them to follow their structure and envision the future. Everyone can create stories. Why cling to another person’s story when you can create your own?



The moment you recognize that life is meaningless is the moment you are free to create your own meaning. Catalytical moment.



The line between sanity and insanity, reality and delusion, truth and fiction is very thin. The absurdity and complexity of the world make it even thinner. As a part of this world, if you have an over-analytical brain you won’t stay sane. Immersion in activities that protect your sanity is imperative. Music, philosophy, poetry, meditation, are some of them.



Leadership is predicated upon the propensity of the individual to pave his or her own path. This path should be made out of stone, not mud. Stone is stable. Mud is stifling.



Self-talk can be an extremely powerful tool for building self-confidence. Listening to yourself helps you understand yourself. Understanding raises awareness. Awareness raises knowledge. Knowledge raises power. Power raises confidence.



The notion of power is omnipresent across the span of our lives. We live in a dominance hierarchy and power is the tool used by humans to sustain this hierarchy. That, however, doesn’t mean that one should blindly follow that structure. Understand the mechanics of power but be willing to let go of it when it doesn’t serve you.



Fear of missing out is worst than the result of actually missing on something. That is because perpetual fear is more destructive than instant fear.



Poverty has a detrimental effect on people’s wellbeing because it consumes them with perennial anxiety. This creates all sorts of issues within the society, with the most pertinent being structural violence, a widening of the wealth gap and the creation of a narrow elite that can influence the course of history according to their preferences.



Meditating on things human all too human is the only true way to become more humane.



If your partner is not your biggest supporter you are in the wrong relationship.



Αrt washes from the soul the dust of everyday life. An artful life is an unconventional life. Do poetical justice to your soul and simply embrace more art in your life.



Taking things personally means that you are either thin-skinned or that you are narrow-minded. Behind every criticism is a lesson to be learned. A lesson for both the critic and the person he criticizes.



Have skin and soul in the game. If you don’t experience the pain associated with risking your investments, you will never devote yourself wholeheartedly to an endeavor.



Your product is an extension of your worldview. Therefore always aim for quality. A low quality product will illuminate a lack of care and this will stain your persona.



Aim for perfection but don’t allow perfectionism to overwhelm you. That postulate is similar to the idea of embracing processes over goals. Perfection is like a vision and each vision is there to keep a person devoted to the process. Perfectionism is a state of nitpicking that can overcrowd a reality with unnecessary distractions.



Sort yourself out. Be ready to embrace truths that evoke discomfort and pain. Face the dragons of chaos and awake the heroic element within your psyche. Sort yourself out.



To write is to think. For writing is a cognitive exercise that can stretch your intellectual limits in unprecedented ways.



Showing erudition on a subject is immensely satisfying for both yourself and your audience. For you enjoy the satisfaction of appreciation and your audience enjoys the satisfaction of learning.



Big words are beautiful because they allow us to challenge the limits of colloquial language and escape from the drivel associated with mundane everyday discourse.



A continuous attempt to redress the balance both within yourself and the society is a sign of a conscious and empathetic character. When almost everyone reverts to the easiness of conflict, conscious and empathetic individuals are the pillars that keep society stable.



Your name will echo through history only if you respect yourself enough to say no to things that limit your potential and say yes to every arduous attempt to achieve self-transcendence.



People who advocate that success is a result of just hard work are ignorant. Success is a complicated amalgamation of different factors, some of which include: environment, intelligence, discipline, upbringing, holistic thinking, mindset and connections.



Constant isolation will bear an insidious effect on your mental health. The proclivity of humans to socialize is embedded in their DNA and the need for socialization is oftentimes as strong as the need for survival. Allow yourself to experience the nuances of the social fabric and liberate yourself from the fear of rejection. Rejection is always better than regret anyways.



Righteous indignation is a form of narcissism and an umbrella term to describe movements that use aggressive behavior to cloak their psychological issues. Racism, bigotry and every form of human subjugation can only be fought by a logical and consistent narrative that illuminates rationality and benevolence. The rest is folly.



Everyone has a dark side, or a shadow as Carl Jung described it. To know yourself, you must accept your dark side. To deal with others’ dark sides, you must also know your dark side.




Gain hegemony over the idea of what constitutes your self. Embrace the complexity of your inner world and create a narrative that serves your sense of purpose.



Hyperbolic reactions to everyday random phenomena will inevitably impede your growth. For emotionality is pertinent only in rare occasions and its perpetuation is antithetical to every attempt to enhance the human condition.



If you are impressed by numbers, you are just another victim of the show business economy. People can lie about many things and get away with it. It is your duty to question everything and focus on depth rather than just scratching the surface.



Occupying your mind constantly with earthly issues will only result to an earthly interpretation of reality. Every now and then take a break from the news, social media, and average people. Embrace the mystical. Embrace spirituality. Embrace the earth. Breathe.



We are a work of evolution in progress but evolution is a very slow process. Ergo, almost every human behavior has a parallel to primal living. The modern world seems like a stupendous accomplishment for a collective of evolving apes. We should congratulate our species for that but we should also ponder the ramifications of such an accomplishment.



The constant dissatisfaction and tension observed in society will be climaxed with singularity. Artificial Iintelligence will be merged with the human mind and we will be able to use this magnificent instrument in miraculous ways. This will be either our apotheosis or our end.


Closing Remarks


I will keep writing maxims because, in a way, they illuminate my worldview and they constitute a compact compendium of knowledge that can be embraced easier. I am also seriously thinking of introducing a separate book with maxims in which I will analyze each maxim more thoroughly. I will inform you if and when this will occur.


If you enjoyed these maxims, you will definitely enjoy 30 Challenges-30 Days-Zero Excuses. This a book that aims to re-engineer your reality in an unprecedented way. It will help you internalize the majority of the ideas I just discussed and it will bring an extreme level of clarity to your life.


Here is a review of the book that seriously moved me:



Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to get my articles in your inbox on a weekly basis. It is awe-inspiring, free, easy to unsubscribe and some great resources will wait for you once you confirm your subscription


I am off to celebrate. Have a good one.

Adrian Iliopoulos

I am the founder and main contributor at "The Quintessential Mind" - A unique personal blog that offers a holistic approach to self-development. I am striving to create high-quality content by investing in a reality-based form of self-help, informed by a deep understanding of psychology, philosophy and my own personal experiences and social adventures.
Adrian Iliopoulos