My Philosophy for a Happy Life By Sam Berns


“I feel that no matter what I choose to become I believe that I can change the world. And I’m striving to change the world, I will be happy.” –Sam Berns

Despite having a rare genetic disorder called Progeria that causes premature, accelerated aging at a young age, Sam Berns wants us to know one very important thing.

He has a very happy life.

Sam shares with us three simple philosophies that has made his life so enriching, fulfilling, and happy.

  1. Be OK with what you ultimately can’t do, because there is so much you CAN do. Put things in CAN DO category by making adjustments.
  2. Surround yourself with people you want to be with.
  3. Keep moving forward.

Be OK With What You Ultimately Can’t Do, Because There Is So Much You CAN Do. Put Things in CAN DO Category by Making Adjustments.

Sam wanted to play the snare drum in his high school marching band at 17. The problem was each snare drum and harness weighed about 40 pounds. Sam only weighs about 50 pounds, so he would have had great difficulty in carrying a snare drum.

Even though Progeria creates many obstacles in Sam’s life, he is able to overcome many of them. For instance, he worked with an engineer to redesign the snare drum and harness so that it weighs a whopping 6 pounds.

Most of the time, Sam thinks about things that has nothing to do with Progeria. That does not mean he ignores the negative aspects of these obstacles. He knows what he is missing out on but instead chooses to focus on the activities that he can do and is passionate about. Case in point is Sam’s love for music and his enthusiasm for playing the snare drum. Sam made adjustments by working with an engineer to redesign the harness and drum so that it weighs only 6 pounds.

Think about what you can do, like starting that business you have always wanted but yet are unsure how to exactly proceed about. One thing you might do is talk with friends who have their own businesses and see how they got started. Another thing you can do is get business coaching from someone who has already been there and done that.

Surround Yourself With People You Want to Be With

Sam has been fortunate enough to have an amazing family that has always supported him throughout his life.  He has a close circle of friends, who enjoy each other’s company and help each other out. His friends have provided a positive influence on his life as he has on their lives.

Appreciate and love your family and your friends. Acknowledge your mentors and your community, for they are very real aspects of every day life that can make a truly significant, positive impact.

You have a very good yardstick for determining where you go in your own life and how much you will accomplish. Take a look at your five closest friends. Are they individuals of high caliber, always improving upon themselves and striving for the best? When Oprah Winfrey decided to lose weight, she found her own friends criticizing her. Her friends were happy being over-weight. Oprah decided she needed to find new friends to help her achieve her goal. Just look at her today!

Keep Moving Forward

Sam always tries to have something to look forward to, something to strive for to make his life richer. It does not have to be big. It could be something as simple as looking forward to the next comic book coming out, spending time with friends, or going on a big family vacation. All of these things keep you focused on the bright future ahead. It has also helped Sam through some difficult times. This includes staying in a forward-thinking mentality. Sam tries hard to not spend energy feeling bad for himself. This leaves him in a paradox where there is no room for any happiness or other feelings. He, however, acknowledges and accepts the bad feelings, doing what he needs to in order to move past them.

Sam Bern passed on January 10, 2014 from complications caused by Progeria.

Parents Dr. Leslie Gordon and Scott Berns founded the Progeria Research Foundation in 1999 to find the cause, treatment, and cure.

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  1. Thanks for sharing Sam’s three simple philosophies 🙂

  2. Good quote!

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