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One of my favorite Werner Erhard aphorisms is this: Life works when you keep your agreements. From what I’ve heard and read, Werner wanted things his way, and I sometimes thought this expression was also a form of control. You know, Get off it! You said you were going to do it, now do it!

To me, this epigram is ambiguous for two reasons (1) I am not enlightened (as Werner briefly was), and (2), there are so many agreements in our lives we are unconscious of, or barely conscious of, that I couldn’t possibly manage them all. It’s a great expression though—pithy, ironic, and true—a koan.

Anyway, over time, I boiled it down to something much simpler, something I could get my head around. Here’s my way of saying it: Life works when you stop feeling sorry for yourself.