The picture can only be hopelessly ironic, for the billions of atoms that have come together over a billion years to create Life, when the realization dawns upon that their combined whole (human being) has got no idea what to do with his Life.
The answer to this universal question should be an equally universal one. What is it?
The answer— and, in a sense, the tragedy of life— is that we seek to understand the goal and not the man. We set up a goal which demands of us certain things: and we do these things. We adjust to the demands of a concept which CANNOT be valid. When you were young, let us say that you wanted to be a fireman. I feel reasonably safe in saying that you no longer want to be a fireman. Why? Because your perspective has changed. It’s not the fireman who has changed, but you. Every man is the sum total of his reactions to experience. As your experiences differ and multiply, you become a different man, and hence your perspective changes. This goes on and on. Every reaction is a learning process; every significant experience alters your perspective.
So it would seem foolish, would it not, to adjust our lives to the demands of a goal we see from a different angle every day? How could we ever hope to accomplish anything other than galloping neurosis?
The answer, then, must not deal with goals at all, or not with tangible goals, anyway.
A man must choose a path which will let his ABILITIES function at maximum efficiency toward the gratification of his DESIRES. In doing this, he is fulfilling a need (giving himself identity by functioning in a set pattern toward a set goal), he avoids frustrating his potential (choosing a path which puts no limit on his self-development), and he avoids the terror of seeing his goal wilt or lose its charm as he draws closer to it (rather than bending himself to meet the demands of that which he seeks, he has bent his goal to conform to his own abilities and desires).
In short, he has not dedicated his life to reaching a predefined goal, but he has rather chosen a way of life he KNOWS he will enjoy. The goal is absolutely secondary: it is the functioning toward the goal which is important.
Let’s assume that you think you have a choice of eight paths to follow (all predefined paths, of course). And let’s assume that you can’t see any real purpose in any of the eight. THEN— and here is the essence of all I’ve said— you MUST FIND A NINTH PATH.
It is important that we understand the obstacles that we face and not run from them.
- Acknowledge that all emotions come from within. It is not outside forces that make us feel something, it is what we tell ourselves that create our feelings.
- Find someone you respect, and use them to stay honest. This isn’t an exercise of comparison, but a pragmatic way to learn from your heroes.
- Recognize their is life after failure. No failure, no growth. To grow without failure requires extremely driven individual. Neither success nor failure, nothing should stop you from acting with justice, generosity, self-control, sanity, prudence, honesty, humility, straightforwardness, and all other qualities that maketh a man.
- Read purposefully, and apply your knowledge. Books are the training weights of the mind. Exemplify that through them you have learned to think better, to be a more discriminating and reflective person, and ultimately spark action and facilitate wiser decisions.
- Challenge yourself to be brutally honest. A consciousness of wrongdoing is first step to salvation. Play the first part of prosecutor, then of judge and finally of pleader in mitigation.
- Reflect on what you spend the most time on. The value of attentiveness varies in proportion to its object; better off not giving the small things more time than they deserve.
- Remind yourself: you weren’t meant to procrastinate. You weren’t born to feel ‘nice’, but to do things and experience them. The plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees are going about their individual tasks. So should you.
- Put the phone away and be present. Nothing, to my way of thinking, is a better proof of a well ordered mind than a man’s ability to stop just where he is and pass some time in his own company. We are not living in an age of distractions, but rather an age where we are failing to teach and embrace mindful motives. When you are working, be ruthlessly present.
- Time is our most precious resource. To regret, even more so to die with regret, is the most horrible human emotion. Therefore, our self-respect, work ethic, generosity, self-awareness, attention and grown are evermore important.
The way we lead our lives and do our work must embody the principles that we practice. Less comparing, criticizing, and consuming; more creating, learning and living.
Destructive emotions result from error in judgement, and a person of “moral and intellectual perfection” would not suffer from such emotions.
What I learnt from my favorite anime character:
- Persevere against all odds, because you must, you can, and you shall.
- Bring happiness everywhere you go.
- Always try to go to the next level.
- Push others to new levels of greatness.
- Stand-up for those that need your abilities.
Ends up me being always happy, and finding positives in every situation.
People only buy something if they believe it will solve a problem. Therefore, if you want to sell more stuff than there are problems, you have to encourage people to believe there are problems where there are none.
The problem with most people today is, they believe that they are as smart as their smartphones
The incessant hunger and subsequent gratification of monkey-see-monkey-do-like approval and admiration on social media has got most people so addicted that in the face of most minimal of disapproval or criticism, a kind of self-defense module powered by ego, rage, diversion and mood-swings gets triggered, and transports the self into a shell, wherein no scope of logical arguments exists.
Is it worth a tear, is it worth an hour,
To think of things that are well outworn;
Of fruitless husk and fugitive flower,
The dream foregone and the deed foreborne?
Faith in a holy cause is to a considerable extent a substitute for the lost faith in ourselves.
Freedom aggravates at least as much as it alleviates frustration. Freedom of choice places the whole blame of failure on the shoulders of the individual. And as freedom encourages a multiplicity of attempts, it unavoidably multiplies failure and frustration. Freedom alleviates frustration by making available the palliatives of action, movement, change and protest.
Unless a man has the talents to make something of himself, freedom is an irksome burden.
The Western colonizing powers offer the native the gift of individual freedom and independence. They try to teach him self-reliance. What it actually amounts to is individual isolation. It means cutting off an immature and poorly furnished individual from a corporate whole and releasing him to the freedom of his own impotence.
A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business.
This minding of other people’s business expresses itself in gossip, snooping and meddling, and also in feverish interest in communal, national and racial affairs. In running away from ourselves we either fall on our neighbor’s shoulder or fly at his throat.
The less satisfaction we derive from being ourselves, the greater is our desire to be like others. We are therefore more ready to imitate those who are different from us than those nearly like us, and those we admire than those we despise. The desire to belong is partly a desire to lose oneself.
Imitation is often a shortcut to a solution. We copy when we lack the inclination, the ability or the time to work out an independent solution. People in a hurry will imitate more readily than people at leisure.
When our individual interests and prospects do not seem worth living for, we are in desperate need of something apart from us to live for. All forms of dedication, devotion, loyalty and self-surrender are in essence a desperate clinging to something which might give worth and meaning to our futile, spoiled lives. Hence the embracing of a substitute will necessarily be passionate and extreme. We can have qualified confidence in ourselves, but the faith we have in our nation, religion, race or holy cause has to be extravagant and uncompromising. A substitute embraced in moderation cannot supplant and efface the self we want to forget. We cannot be sure that we have something worth living for unless we are ready to die for it. The readiness to die is evidence to ourselves and others that what we had to take as a substitute for an irrevocably missed or spoiled first choice is indeed the best there ever was.
The burning conviction that we have a holy duty toward others is often a way of attaching our drowning selves to a passing raft. What looks like giving a hand is often a holding on for dear life. Take away our holy duties and you leave our lives puny and meaningless. There is no doubt that in exchanging a self-centered for a selfless life we gain enormously in self-esteem. The vanity of the selfless, even those who practice utmost humility, is boundless.
Not one of our contemporary movements was so outspoken in its antagonism toward the family as was early Christianity. Jesus minced no words: “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me.”
The permanent misfits are those who because of a lack of talent or some irreparable defect in body or mind cannot do the one thing for which their whole being craves. No achievement, however spectacular, in other fields can give them a sense of fulfillment. Whatever they undertake becomes a passionate pursuit; but they never arrive, never pause. They demonstrate the fact that we can never have enough of that which we really do not want, and that we run fastest and farthest when we run from ourselves.
The permanent misfits can find salvation only in a complete separation from the self; and they usually find it by losing themselves in the compact collectivity of a mass movement. By renouncing individual will, judgement and ambition, and dedicating all their powers to the service of an eternal cause, they are at last lifted of the endless treadmill which can never lead them to fulfillment.
Those who fail in everyday affairs show a tendency to reach out for the impossible. It is a device to camouflage their shortcomings. For when we fail in attempting the impossible, the blame is solely ours; but when we fail in attempting the impossible, we are justified in attributing it to the magnitude of the task. There is less risk in being discredited when trying the impossible than when trying the possible. It is thus that failure in everyday affairs often breeds an extravagant audacity.
The readiness for self-sacrifice is contingent on an imperviousness to the realities of life. He who is free to draw conclusions from his individual experience and observation is not usually hospitable to the idea of martyrdom. For self-sacrifice is an unreasonable act. It cannot be the end-product of a process of probing and deliberating. All active mass movements strive, therefore, to interpose a fact-proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world. They do this by claiming that the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrine and there is no truth or certitude outside it. The facts on which the true believer bases his conclusions must not be derived from his experience or observation but from holy writ.
So tenaciously should we cling to the world revealed by the Gospel, that were I to see all the Angels of Heaven coming down to me to tell me something different, not only would I not be tempted to doubt a single syllable, but I would shut my eyes and stop my ears, for they would not deserve to be either seen or heard.
To rely on the evidence of senses and of reason is heresy and treason. It is startling to realize how much unbelief is necessary to make belief possible. Strength of faith manifests itself not in moving mountains but in not seeing mountains to move.
It is obvious, therefore, that in order to be effective a doctrine must not be understood, but rather has to be believed in. We can be absolutely certain only about things we do not understand. A doctrine that is understood is shorn of its strength. Once we understand a thing, it is as if it had originated in us. And, clearly, those who are asked to renounce the self and sacrifice it cannot see eternal certitude in anything which originates in that self. The fact that they understand a thing fully impairs its validity and certitude in their eyes. The devout are always urged to seek the absolute truth with their hearts and not their minds.
If a doctrine is not unintelligible, it has to be vague; and if neither unintelligible nor vague, it has to unverifiable. One has to get in to heaven or distant future to determine the truth of an effective doctrine. When some part of doctrine is relatively simple, there is a tendency among the faithful to complicate and obscure it. Simple words are made pregnant with meaning and made to look like symbols in a secret message. Thus there is an illiterate air about the most literate of true believer. He seems to use words as if he were ignorant of their true meaning. Hence, too, his taste for quibbling, hair-splitting and scholastic tortuousness.
The fanatic is convinced that the cause he holds on to is monolithic and eternal. Still, his sense of security is derived from his passionate attachment and not the excellence of his cause. The fanatic is not really a stickler to principle. He embraces a cause not primarily because of its justness and holiness but because of his desperate need for something to hold on to.
The fanatic cannot be weaned away from his cause by an appeal to his reason or moral sense. He fears compromise and cannot be persuaded to qualify the certitude or righteousness of his holy cause. But he finds no difficulty in swinging suddenly and wildly from one holy cause to another. He cannot be convinced but only converted. His passionate attachment is more vital than the quality of the cause to which he is attached.
There is perhaps no surer way of inflicting ourselves with virulent hatred toward a person than by doing him a grave injustice. That others have a just grievance against us is a more potent reason for hating them than that we have a just grievance against them. We do not make people humble and meek when we show them their guilt and cause them to be ashamed of themselves. We are more likely to stir their arrogance and rouse in them a reckless aggressiveness.
“When Vanity kissed Vanity, a hundred happy Junes ago, he pondered o’er her breathlessly, and, that all men might ever know, he rhymed her eyes with life and death: “Thru Time I’ll save my love!” he said. . . yet Beauty vanished with his breath, and, with her lovers, she was dead. . .
-Ever his wit and not her eyes, ever his art and not her hair: “Who’d learn a trick in rhyme, be wise and pause before his sonnet there”. . . So all my words, however true, might sing you to a thousandth June, and no one ever know that you were Beauty for an afternoon.”
Nothing is Impossible, but most of it is Unbelievable.
- Never lose hope until its over.
- Never celebrate too early.
- Never leave your you place before the battle is over.
The only thing more difficult than finding a needle in a haystack is finding a needle in a needlestack.
The reality of the moment is so palpable and powerful that it holds imagination in a tight orbit from which it never fully escapes. It occurs because we fail to recognize that our future selves won’t see the world the way we see it now.
Anything one needs to market heavily is necessarily either an inferior product or an evil one.
What Mother Nature does is rigorous until proven otherwise; what humans and science do is flawed until proven otherwise.
Keeping one’s distance from an ignorant person is equivalent to keeping company with a wise man/ People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas there are.
In political systems, a good mechanism is one that helps remove the bad guy; it’s not about what to do or who to put in. For the bad guy can cause more harm than the collective actions of good ones.
It is completely wrong to use the calculus of benefits without including the probability of failure.
To understand the future, you do not need technoautistic jargon, obsession with “killer apps”, these sort of things. You just need the following: some respect for the past, some curiosity about the historical record, a hunger for the wisdom of the elders, and a grasp of the notion of “heuristics”, the often unwritten rules of thumb so determining of survival.
Our perceptions are not the result of a physiological process by which our eyes somehow transmit an image of the world into our brains, but rather, they are the result of psychological process that combines what our eyes see with what we already think, feel, know, want, and believe, and then uses this combination of sensory information and preexisting knowledge to construct the perception of reality.
Once upon a time there was a bearded God who made a small, flat earth, pasted it in the very middle of sky so that human beings would be at the center of everything. Then physics came along and complicated the picture with big bangs, quarks, branes, and superstrings, and the payoff for all that critical analysis is that now, several hundred years later, most people have no idea where they are.
Our desire to control is so powerful, and the feeling of being in control so rewarding, that people often act as they can control the uncontrollable. For example, people bet more money on games of chance when their opponents seem incompetent than themselves – as though they believed they could control the random drawing of cards from a deck and thus take advantage of a weak opponent.
We just can’t make the best of a fate until it is inescapably, inevitably, and irrevocably ours.
Although the word fact seems to suggest a sort of unquestionable irrefutability, facts are actually nothing more than conjectures that have met a certain standard of proof.
If we set that standard high enough, then nothing ever can be proved. If we set the standard low enough, then all things are true and equally so. Because nihilism and postmodernism are both such unsatisfying philosophies, we tend to set our standard of proof somewhere in the middle. No one can say precisely where that standard should be set, but wherever we set it, we must keep it in the same place.