Life is a precious gift, undoubtedly. Without a manual however, making the most of it or better yet, serving its purpose can be a tad difficult. And because of this, we stagger through triumphs and mistakes that ultimately come with lessons that help us glide through the next step of our existence and eventually, life itself. Othniel Pilipili, an entrepreneur, engineer and systems builder says life has taught him that many barriers to achieving what is meant to be achieved by a human subject always start with a simple thought (either innate or from senses). And since a simple thought can be developed innately, it follows that the origin of success (or its personal metrics based on one’s purpose) is designed by oneself. This has led him to always double check what he knows, to learn and unlearn, and always compete with himself as he wrestles daily to win over life defects that he says are not always obvious in social environments. Every good thing in life comes at a cost. He says, life has taught me that constantly resetting myself to my default settings (by challenging my knowledge, belief systems or aspirations, knowing of course that unknowing is not the same as not having known and bias can use this weakness) is a design powerful enough to reduce stereotypes, hasty generalisations, stress, unhealthy peer pressure and unhealthy competition with other people from the past, the present or the future. “In the current information age, it’s easier to get caught up in the daily, self-transcendent automatic experience and lose sight of life in its original sense. I consider it failure if by 11:59PM every day, I either did nothing new or I have no reason for having done what I did besides everything being just a predesigned system that I walked through,” he says. His life is run on both rationalism and empiricism, valuing the power of innate thoughts and deduction while highly considering external inputs to create a reality that’s worth living. “As an entrepreneur, software engineer, systems engineer, psychologist, data scientist, digital marketer, poet and evolutionary psychology champion, I identify myself with living based on fundamental truths from either pure deductive logic or empirical approaches rather than swimming in the subjective world or that of analogy,” he notes. Pie Kombe a reflexologist believes that everything in life costs and that one needs to make sure they make a choice of what they can afford and to never give up. “Anything is possible. Enjoy the process because the destination alone is never satisfying. Take it one day at a time, be courageous and always give your best even to the smallest task,” he says. He also emphasises that proper living is that where you never forget to balance work, social life and your mental health, “Don’t try to be a hero. We are all trying in this life, love yourself more.” For Ines Reine Ishime, a designer, life has taught her that if an opportunity is on the table, you should grab it because if you don’t, it won’t come back and you will live with regrets. She lives everyday with her favourite quote: ‘Plus tard il sera trop tard. Ta vie c’est maintenant, loosely translated as ‘later it will be too late. Your life is now.’ “The best approach to living life fully for me is: pray, be kind to others but remember that your happiness also matters. So, do what’s best for you and don’t let societal labels get to you.” Life is not all about choices Octave Vuguziga a mechatronic engineer believes life doesn’t have a formula- life is a school and always teaches us lessons either bad or good. “Never give up, when you know what you are doing is right, but you are not sure if you’re going to make it or want to give up because it’s too difficult, that’s the time to persevere, persist and patience on what you want to do. Many things might happen in between, take them as challenges because there is no success without failure,” he says. Be humble and keep God in all your activities. Life becomes easier with this and you live fully, he notes. “From scratch, you can be someone you dreamt about: I personally was lazy when I was younger but I learnt to push myself. People will throw stones at you. Don’t throw them back. Collect them and build an empire: I found these words written somewhere but they really inspired me. They reflected how people mostly do bad things in life, but its wise not to react the same.” Pilipili accentuates that his philosophy for life is not a choice, rather identification as he continues to shape his purpose in life. He thinks it’s more productive to be guided by independent truths verifiable by science or deduction than daily “normal” configurations in social, family, academic or professional settings. “The universe is almost 14 billion years old. I was born just recently on June 16, 1995, and the universe will continue its course until the word “until” will stop making sense in trying to draw a timeline for time itself. When I reflect on this, it only makes me respect existence and do the best from my human abilities to live it fully for me and for future generations,” he notes. He adds that the best approach to live life fully is trying your best not to live it as we know it; “A normal human life process includes being born, playing with other kids, going to school, looking for a job, starting relationships, getting married, having and raising kids, taking care of thy parents, retiring until the dusk is kissed. You follow that path and you will hardly encounter anything new,” Pilipili shares. “Try something out of the ordinary: do something that we have objectively established, that it’s not based on internal biases. Avoid admiration or external influences to a significant extent, it can all start with something very simple and obvious such as going to the office using another street, mindfully doing something we know we have no passion for, or tracking down the actual reason you eat oranges etc.” Simple tasks can help uncover biases or routines that are not helpful to maximising the small number of years that history and biology have proven us individually to have on this earth.