Monday, 27 July 2015

Sustainable self-confidence can rest only on rationality

Traditional behaviour models are crumbling in our midst. Old morality is taking the blame for current problems, although often through spurious argumentation. Never mind. Ethical decay has reached such an extent that many parents have given up all attempts to provide moral guidelines to their offspring.

A sense of direction

Where are we headed? Should we conclude that principles are relative? That happiness is unattainable through individual action? That success is more dependent on luck than on personal effort? To answer these questions, we must point out the connection between personal effectiveness and happiness. Sustained happiness requires sustained personal development.

Rationality establishes the basis for making productive decisions and developing valuable skills. Even in an unfavourable environment, individuals who possess strong values and motivation grow more effective with each passing day. Principles are not luxuries, but practical tools that enable progress and achievement.

Logic and consistency are the keys to quick learning and rapid implementation. A well-organized mind absorbs information more effectively than a mind affected by anxiety. Ethical certainty nourishes psychological stability and personal productivity.

Universal principles

Sustained personal growth relies on universal ethical principles. Rational virtues such as openness, tolerance, and honesty render individuals efficient and self-confident. Prosperity and happiness result from consistent action in pursuit of sensible goals. Nobody can predict the future accurately, but no matter how difficult the situation becomes, rational individuals will do better than average.

There is too much noise in the world and too many offers compete for our attention. We cannot accept every proposal that promises to improve our condition. Focusing our efforts on becoming more effective is a simple way to increase our chances of leading a more satisfying life.

New fashions that entertain your spirit for a while will distract you from important matters. We all want to experience the fresh before it becomes stale, but do you want to waste your days chasing the latest novelty? Leading a chaotic life is self-destructing. Without focus and personal effectiveness, there can be no real happiness.

Consistent values

Overcharging our agendas and accelerating our life is the equivalent of a sugar-coated sedation. The pursuit of faster results makes no sense if those are irrelevant to our long-term goals. Actions that contradict our plans and ambitions tend to lead to stress, anxiety, and depression.

Empty pursuits cannot still human hunger for happiness. Leading a meaningful life requires consistent ethical values, long-term plans, and effective implementation. The link between personal effectiveness and happiness cannot be denied.


Image by rduta under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under

For more information about rational living, I refer you to my books

The Philosophy of Builders

Saturday, 25 July 2015

How to overcome the belief that you have no options

People become stressed, anxious, and depressed in relationships because, at a certain moment, they believe that they have no options. This is not true, unless you suffer from terminal illness and you have no time left. Wherever you live, whatever your occupation, alternatives exist to bad relationships.

Unexplored possibilities

An active mind is a precious treasure that is given to every human. If you doubt this, look at children. Their curiosity and excitement are irrepressible. An entrepreneurial spirit is not something you have to acquire, but your natural due. If later in life, you find that missing, you just need to reclaim it.

There are plenty of unexplored possibilities when it comes to meeting new friends and lovers. In each case, you might need to exert effort, look around, and experience some rejection. That's part of the price you pay for growing as a human being.

Once we are equipped with an entrepreneurial attitude, we should actually love it when someone calls our dreams unrealistic. In particular, when that person adds some trite remark, such as "in life, we cannot always get what we want." That's a sign for us to take action.

Discard and replace

If your parts supplier expects you to make your purchases at exorbitant prices, find a new supplier. If your internet provider acts as though you have no choice, change providers. If your computer repair shop informs you that they are the only experts in that brand of computer, throw away the old computer and purchase another brand.

If your bank announces that you have no other place to save, open accounts in three other banks. If your plumber tells you that your have to pay too much, learn how to replace the water tabs yourself. If a painter tells you that you can do things only his way, hire someone else to paint your house.

The examples above apply equally to a bad relationship or marriage. The time to step out of them is now, even if you cannot immediately figure out where to go next. You should make your priority number one to escape a situation that makes you feel unappreciated and belittles your best qualities.

Smile and move on

What about geographical constraints? Moving to another region or country to build a new life seems so complicated that most people don't give it much thought. Nevertheless, every year, millions of men and women go and live in another country in search of better conditions or to break completely with miserable past relationships.

When someone says that you have no choice, give yourself a break. Look hard at your situation and question why, when and how. Once you decide to replace a failed relationship with a better future, your eyes will begin to detect opportunities that you had never seen before.

When people express the view that you should be content with what you have, don't get upset and refrain from giving a snappy reply. Useless discussions are not going to save the day. More often than not, you will be better off if you just nod, smile, and move on.

The world is full of possibilities to connect with wonderful people and build great relationships. Don't waste a minute with those that believe that there is only one path to walk. You have better things to do.


Image by juanRubiano under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under

For more information about rational living, I refer you to my books

Rational living, rational working

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Your first priority should be utterly simple

When people talk about priorities, they usually refer to items on which they spend substantial sums of money. A comfortable car and a large house are on the top of the list of many individuals, together with a well-paying, stable, and interesting job.

The paradox

Health is also important for the great majority of men and women. Products sold in supermarkets and convenience stores respond to this concern by promoting low-calories drinks, low-fat cookies, sugarless sweets, and cooking magazines.

Organic-food stores represent the last step in the evolution of this trend. Consumers want to buy the best produce, the purest bread, and fresh natural pastries. Even though the cost associated to those choices can be considerable in some cases, customers seem to be willing to pay for it.

The problem with spending additional money to consume so-called healthy products is that it does not seem to make a lot of difference. Those who devote more financial resources to purchasing sophisticated food and to joining health clubs are not necessarily the people who enjoy the best physical condition. Paradoxically, in the field of health, more investments do not always result in additional benefits.

An excellent choice

Making health your first priority is an excellent choice that works better if you implement it as inexpensively as possible. Self-reliance and self-confidence begin with frugality. Are you surprised? Does this sound illogical to you? Before you discard this theory, you might wish to check out longevity statistics around the world. Those who spend the most to preserve their health are not necessarily the people who live the longest.

The Ancient Greek physician Galen (circa 130 - 200 AD) recorded many interesting ideas on this subject, which was later expanded by other medics in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Although many centuries have passed, many discoveries of antiquity are still adhered to by modern medicine.

Galen spent his youth learning about sickness and treatments before he moved to Rome in the year 162. He has gone down into History as much for his medical discoveries as for his tremendous output as a writer. Even though a great part of Galen's work has been lost, what remains fills more than 20 volumes.

The close connection

His aphorisms, which condense medical truths in short sentences, reflect fundamental aspects of physical and mental health. One of the threads that runs through his writings is the search of simplicity. His advocacy of straightforward methods to improve man's well-being contrasted with the semi-magical medicine that was still being practised by most of his contemporaries.

Galen maintained that health and philosophy are closely connected. As a consequence, a man who wishes to maintain his vitality will do well to act prudently, respect ethical principles, and simplify his life. Simplification is one of the keys to accelerating your personal growth, and protecting your health.


Image by Petra Broda under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under

For more information about rational living, I refer you to my books

When everything fails, try this

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The 151 best blogs about personal development

  1. Abundance Tapestry
  2. Albert Ellis Institute
  3. Alex social 
  4. Always Well Within
  5. Advances in the History of Psychology
  6. Anxiety No More
  7. Anxiety Slayer 
  8. Art of Non-Conformity (Chris Guillebeau)
  9. Art of Charm, The (Jordan Harbinger)
  10. Association for Psychological Science
  11. Atul Gawande
  12. Barrie Davenport 
  13. B Brown Random Tagline 
  14. Brian Kim
  15. Bold Life, The
  16. Bounce Blog, The
  17. British Psychological Society
  18. Calm Monkey, The 
  19. Canfield, Jack 
  20. Chance Scoggins 
  21. Complete health and happiness
  22. Craig Harper (Australia)
  23. Daring Adventure
  24. Deric Bownds Mindblog 
  25. Do it myself (Glenda Watson Hyatt)
  26. Dragos Roua 
  27. Dumb Little Man 
  28. Early to Rise
  29. Egoist Blog, The
  30. Ellis, Debbie Joffee
  31. Elliott Hulse 
  32. Empower Blog (Dr Hiten Vyas)
  33. Enjoying the Small Things (Kelle Hampton)
  34. Escape Adulthood
  35. Experimental Philosophy 
  36. Extraordinary Ordinary, The
  37. Fancy Feet (Heidi Cave)
  38. Flourishing Life, A
  39. Four-Hour Work-week (Tim Ferris)
  40. Gail Brenner 
  41. Gala Darling
  42. Greater Good 
  43. Hansen, Mark Victor 
  44. Happiness in this World 
  45. Happiness Project, The
  46. Happy Girl
  47. History of Psychology 
  48. Home-life Simplified (Australia)
  49. Hope to Cope 
  50. Ian's Messy Desk 
  51. Influence People (Brian Ahearn) 
  52. Inspire Me Today
  53. James Altucher
  54. Jason Fried 
  55. John Vespasian
  56. Jungle of Life, The
  57. Kimchi Mamas
  58. Larry Winget
  59. Les Brown
  60. Life Dev 
  61. Lifehack 
  62. Life Optimizer
  63. Literary Lawyer, The
  64. Live Bold and Bloom 
  65. Living Rationally 
  66. Living with anxiety 
  67. Love and Smiles 
  68. Maverick Philosopher 
  69. Manage Your Life Now
  70. Martin Poldma 
  71. Meant to Be Happy 
  72. Michael E. Gerber
  73. Mind Unleashed, The 
  74. Mindful 
  75. Mindhacks
  76. Miz Meliz
  77. Mudita Journal
  78. My Super-Charged Life
  79. National Association of Cognitive Behavioural Therapists
  80. Nightingale Conant
  81. Oliver Burkeman
  82. OK Dork (Noah Kagan)
  83. One Crafty Mother
  84. Optimistic Life
  85. Panic and Depression 
  86. Partially Examined Life, The 
  87. Penelope Trunk 
  88. Personal Excellence 
  89. Personal Success Factors
  90. Personal Success Today
  91. Philosophers Anonymous
  92. Philosophy and Life  
  93. Philosophy Blog, The
  94. Philosophy Etc 
  95. Philosophy in a Time of Error
  96. Philosophy Talk 
  97. Pick the Brain
  98. Please Feel Beautiful
  99. Positive Blog 
  100. Positive Provocations
  101. Positive Sharing
  102. Proctor, Bob
  103. Productive super dad 
  104. Prolific Living
  105. Providentia
  106. Psych Central
  107. Psycholocrazy 
  108. Psychological Science
  109. Psychologies Magazine (United Kingdom)
  110. Psychology of Well-being, The
  111. Psychology Today Blogs
  112. Psychology Tomorrow Magazine
  113. Pursuit of Happiness
  114. Radiant Soul Space (Otiti Jasmine)
  115. Ramble. Focus. Ramble.
  116. Rational Philosophy
  117. Rationally Speaking
  118. Recovering Engineer, The
  119. Reflecting a Life 
  120. Research Digest on Brain and Behaviour 
  121. Richard Koch
  122. Robert Ringer
  123. RSD Nation 
  124. Scott Adams
  125. Start of Happiness, The
  126. Sensophy (Jacob Sokol)
  127. Shake Off the Grind
  128. Simple Productivity Blog  
  129. Situationist, The
  130. Slight edge, The (Jeff Olson)
  131. Splintered Mind, The
  132. Stefan Molyneux 
  133. Steve Pavlina
  134. Steven Aitchison (Change your thoughts, change your life) 
  136. Success, health, lifestyle 
  137. Talent Develop 
  138. Teaching High School Psychology
  139. The one thing (Gary Keller blog) 
  140. Time Shifting
  141. Tiny Buddha
  142. Today is That Day
  143. Top achievement
  144. Tracey Cleantis
  145. Try to Stay Positive 
  146. Unclutterer 
  147. Unlimited Choice
  148. Up Popped a Fox
  149. Vishnu's Virtues
  150. Wisebread
  151. Zen Habits

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Do not let problems slow you down

Contrary to trains, cars can change direction at the driver's will. Along the highway, billboards invite us to stop by and visit all sorts of tourist attractions. On the car radio, advertisers present us their wares, some useful and convenient, others pricey and counter-productive.

Overcoming obstacles

Distractions are many and increase by the hour. The longer the trip, the harder it becomes to keep the vehicle on the right track. If you carry passengers in your car, they will express their views about what you are trying to do. "Turn around and return," you will be told, "stop and let it go."

Our environment offers us support at the same time that it places obstacles in our path. Physical barriers are visible and material problems can be directly faced. If you experience hunger or extreme discomfort, your attention will seldom be deviated from the issue at hand. Pressing needs demand immediate action.

Surmounting difficulties

Stonewalls will seldom prevent your progress, since they can circumvented. Nor the price of gasoline, food, and lodging. Your delays will be caused more often by doubts than by certainties. Your lack of progress will be more frequently due to shifting convictions than to insufficient means.

Thinking is not automatic. Observing reality and reaching correct conclusions requires effort. Focusing your mind on what is relevant involves selecting and discarding. Establishing goals and taking consistent action demands concentration. No one but yourself is going to ensure that your current concerns are aligned with your long-term interests.

Unless you remind yourself daily of your priorities, chances are that you will spend your time dealing with the latest emergency, only to discover later, that the problem was inconsequential. Noise distorts music in the same way that fashion distorts principles. Not by contesting them, but by making them inaudible and invisible.

The reason why men read old philosophers is not to learn about the latest scandal, but to reaffirm essential truths. The news of the hour may entertain your attention and satisfy your curiosity. Novelties might provide you subjects for small talk with strangers, but superficiality leads to anxiety.

The key issue

Foolishness arises not so much out of ignorance, but out of the willingness to obliterate what we already know to be true. Balance and motivation require sharpness of intent. The key issues is that, unless you find a way to restate your goals every day, nonsense will contaminate reason and your determination will wane.

Personal objectives are meaningless if plans are not implemented. Relentless activity ensues from self-confidence, not from self-effacement. You need to find the manner to keep your purpose in view and your understanding fresh. Restate truth at every turn the road and ignore signs that tell you to stall.


Image by obbino under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under

For more information about rational living, I refer you to my books

When everything fails, try this