Not long ago, a post on Reddit struck a nerve. It was a post about the Code of the United States Fighting Force, and personal interpretations from a few Redditors. Definitely give the real Code a read, I'm sure you're familiar with it. It's the reason captured soldiers in movies only answer questions with their name, rank, and birthday. It's a credo to live by, and just because you may not be a soldier in a foreign land, that doesn't mean you aren't a soldier in your own life.
Below are the two personal Codes that really hit me. Published here with permission, I hope they serve as an inspiration and call to action to create your own code of conduct. Every man should know what he believes and what he stands for – having it written down can serve as an opus to be read and reread when times are good, and more importantly, when they're not.
I am a Man of the 21st Century. I live true to my values and principles and chase my goals even if it means my own death.
I am an Entrepreneur. I choose to calculate risks and act decisively, I choose to make mistakes of ambition over mistakes of sloth.
I choose to march to my own tune and my tune alone. I choose to help others not out of obligation but out of compassion, love and respect.
I remember that fortune is a wave with peaks and troughs. I celebrate and enjoy the highs and I'm grateful and resilient during the lows.
My life has value. It is up to me and me alone to prove this value to the world. No one else is going to fight for my economic freedom but me and me alone.
I choose to view each new day as a new page in the story of my life. I am free to fill that page how I like, regardless of what has happened in the past.
I understand that there is no excuse or rationalisation that is stopping me from getting what I want but that of my own fear. I choose to look at this fear, to accept this fear and to take action. Because action cures fear.
Finally, I view life as my personal playground. Play helps to access creativity. Creativity is the very essence of divinity.
Personal Code of Conduct of Matt Goldenberg
Matt Goldenberg is the founder of Self-Made Renegade, a career coaching firm that helps college grads and career changers get hired without the right degree, connections, or work experience.
I am the genesis of a hero, a creator, a monk, and a child. I aim to journey on, create, experience, and play with life. My core is not limited by or defined by these personality traits, rather, it limits and defines them. These traits are both prescriptive, of what I can and should be at my best, and descriptive, of what I can’t help but be even at my worst. Life is my journey, my sanctuary, my playground, my bedroom and above all, my creation.I am a hero. I fight for who I am and what I believe. I recognize that life is fleeting, and can end in an instant, so I consciously work to make sure that I am achieving life with every breath. I know that I must work, fight, and suffer along this road, that I must do what needs to be done, to learn the lessons I need, to struggle, and return victorious. As the hero, I seek to follow my purpose, and defeat the challenges along the way. I recognize that while death is to be fought and avoided at all costs, a life without purpose is a fate worse than death.
I am a monk. I immerse myself in the experience of life in this moment. I appreciate the majesty of life as an end in itself. I hold my focus as my greatest gift, and consciously direct it to experience of life. I recognize that while planning for the future and learning from the past are important, I must be willing to die at any moment, and, if I die, I must die fully immersed in the present. I have an affinity with nature and with other humans, as when I am immersed in the moment, I can empathize with the rhythms of nature and the feelings of others. At all times my deepest core is at peace, even in the presence of great outside stressors.
I am creator, I create the world around me and within me as I see fit. I use my unlimited power and will to change the future, my will is my greatest tool with which I can create, and change the world. My work ethic is unparalleled and this is what allows me to create such great works. I create things out of passion, out of joy, out of expression, things that are astounding, that express who I am, and enhance others’ lives. As a creator, I know my body may die, but I will not, as I will live on in my creations, which are and always will be created in my image. I radiate a force and power tangible to all who come in contact with me. I am a man who moves the world.
I am a child. I seek to immerse myself in joy and love free of self-consciousness or pretension. I play and laugh freely, drawing those around me into a state of playfulness. My imagination is endless and wonderful, my greatest tool with which to play with the world. I can direct my innocence and imagination to solve problems in a creative fashion, and see simple solutions that elude others. I do not use play as a means to an end; it is an end in itself. Laughter is my greatest gift to the world, and happiness is my greatest gift to myself. If I must die, I will die with laughter in my heart.
Do you have a personal code of conduct? Share it with us!
Andrew founded Primer in 2008 and brings 15+ years of men's style expertise. Known for his practical, relatable approach to style and self-development, he has been a recognized speaker at conferences and has styled work for top brands. Off-duty, he loves photography & editing, and enjoys road trips with his dog, Leela. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, educated in DC, and living in LA for nearly 20 years, Andrew's diverse experiences shape the relatable and real-world advice that has helped millions through Primer. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.