Sunday, 30 June 2013

Reasonably contented, but still unsatisfied? Look at what you can do with what you don't have. An opportunity to move in the right direction


Giacomo Raffaelli discovered his passion for drawing already when he was a kid playing in the streets of the Trastavere district in Rome. His father died in 1765, when Giacomo was only 12 years old, leaving him no other choice than to take a job at his uncle's quarry.

An opportunity to move in the right direction


Work at the quarry was all-consuming and Giacomo had no time to devote to drawing, but he found an opportunity to get closer to art when he was 15 years old.

One afternoon, while Giacomo's uncle was away, a priest walked into the quarry and requested a quotation for coloured stones to repair medieval mosaics at Santa Cecilia Church. Giacomo made a quick calculation, offered a good price, and received the commission. As of that day, he began to learn everything he could about mosaics.

It did not take Giacomo long to start a business of his own offering his services to churches to repair old mosaics or lay new ones. The drawing abilities required by the mosaics business were modest, since most scenes consisted of geometrical decorations, flowers, and animals.

Reasonably contented, but still unsatisfied?


Year after year, Giacomo longed to land a commission for a large mosaic that would let him display his artistic talent, but that was not to be. At night, he would spend hours by the fire making drawings for grandiose mosaics, but the costs of European wars had dried out funding for new projects.

The mosaic-repair business slowed down during the French invasion and Giacomo took to spending whole days at home making drawings for his future masterpiece. With the drawings in hand, he made a tour of churches and monasteries, trying to obtain a commission for his project, a twenty-meter long mosaic representing the Garden of Eden.

As many rejections as you can collect


During the next nine years, Giacomo collected 82 rejections from places as far away as Ravenna and Aix-en-Provence. Only in December 1809, the Church of San Giovanni Laterano showed interest in a scaled-down version of the Garden of Eden project.

The price offered by the San Giovanni Church was so low that made it almost impossible for Giacomo to break even, let alone make a profit, precisely at the time when he needed money, since he had recently married Simonetta Cappella, a petite 32 year-old Venetian widow.

On the other hand, the commission of the San Giovanni Church would give Giacomo a unique opportunity to make a name for himself and gain recognition as an artist. Giacomo was then close to his 57th birthday. Was it worth it for him to take such a risk? Should he not rather concentrate on his profitable mosaic-repair business?

When the day comes, what will you do?


A visit from a captain of the Imperial Dragons in January 1810 took Giacomo by surprise. "Emperor Napoleon is in Rome and wants to discuss a commission with you," announced the captain.

Excited by the prospect of a major commission, Giacomo collected his drawings of the Garden of Eden and followed the captain to a villa in the Pallatino.

Emperor Napoleon greeted Giacomo warmly and, by means of an interpreter, explained that he had seen the high quality of Giacomo's work and that he was planning to grant Giacomo a commission for a large mosaic at the Minoriten Church in Vienna.

Here is the proposal, this is what I want


"I will be marrying the Duchess of Parma this summer," went on Napoleon. "This mosaic will be my wedding present." Giacomo tried to show his Garden of Eden drawings, but the Emperor shook his head. "The Duchess has already chosen a design for the mosaic. She wants to have a copy of Leonardo DaVinci's Last Supper. Can you do that?"

Napoleon's request made Giacomo's heart stand still for a second. The Emperor was offering him a commission to make a copy of an old painting! To copy another artist's work! When Napoleon mentioned the price of the commission, Giacomo asked the interpreter to repeat it. It was a real fortune, more money than Giacomo had ever made in all his life.

The Emperor had not expected to see Giacomo hesitate. What was that man thinking? Any other artisan in the French Empire would have immediately accepted such a generous commission. "I need a day to think it over," replied Giacomo after taking a deep breath. "I have to consult my wife."

Giacomo returned home, only to find a priest from San Giovanni Church waiting for him. "Cardinal Mazzelli wants to know if you accept the commission for the Garden of Eden mosaic," inquired the priest. "Otherwise, the budget will be used to make repairs in the apse."

A momentous decision


That night, Giacomo had a long discussion with Simonetta. Their first child was on the way and Cardinal Mazelli's price was twenty times lower than Napoleon's offer. "Take the Emperor's commission, Giacomo," concluded Simonetta. "You will have other opportunities later to do the Garden of Eden."

Giacomo knew that Simonetta was lying, but he loved her too much. What if he never had another chance to prove himself as an artist? What if he consumed his life making silly decorations and reproducing other artists' works? He spent the night contemplating his Garden of Eden drawings and, in the morning, he accepted Napoleon's commission.

The mosaic at the Minoriten Church in Vienna made Giacomo Raffaelli a rich man. He lived comfortably for another twenty-six years and had five children with Simonetta.

In our days, the mosaic reproducing Leonardo DaVinci's Last Supper can be still admired in Vienna, although it has lost most of it colours.

Giacomo Raffaelli's drawings of the Garden of Eden were purchased by a collector in 1838 and, still today, they remain in private hands. Those who have seen the drawings say that they are astonishingly beautiful.


For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living

Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

Image by
Boston Public Library under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Why every chicken must break out of its own shell. Tidal changes have taken place in all ages. Invisible shells are the hardest to break

"Some matters pass off more quietly than anyone could expect," wrote Titus Livius two thousand years ago, "but times of trouble allow to tell apart discerning men. You will see them reflecting on the cause of their problems, rather than on the problems themselves." 

Tidal changes have taken place in all ages

These days, when catastrophe and disgrace fill pages of newspapers, we can all use some perspective to shield us from discouragement. Tidal changes have taken place in all ages. Instability and shifting paradigms will befall humanity again and again.
  • People have felt trapped in countries and occupations while their world fell apart.
  • Established markets have disappeared overnight.
  • Systems that were supposed to last forever have revealed themselves as too frail to be trusted.

Egg-shells look deceivingly fragile

Egg-shells look deceivingly fragile. The truth is that breaking out presents almost insurmountable problems for chicken. Baby chicken don't even know that they are inside a shell, since their eyes are still closed.

What makes the situation of infant birds even more critical, if that they have very limited time to accomplish their feat. The little oxygen that gets through the shell won't keep them alive for long. At a certain moment, almost by magic, baby chicken begin to move and break out of the egg.

Experiments have shown that the time needed for hatching varies with each individual bird. Try as you may, if you break the egg-shell yourself in order to help the bird get out, chances are that you will kill it. Do it too soon and the chicken will die. Waiting too long is also a sign of trouble. If the baby bird is unable to hatch on its own efforts, it means that nature has already decided otherwise.

 
Why do chicken break out of the shell? 


Then why on earth do chicken break out of the shell? The simplicity of the answer will not make it less shocking. Birds hatch for one reason only: because, at a certain point in their development, it becomes too uncomfortable to remain inside the egg. It gets too constrained, too warm, too sticky, too hard to breathe inside the shell.

Invisible shells are the hardest to break. Inevitably, each of us carries around a few. Unlike those of chicken, our shells are not made of calcium, but of fear and indecision. We exaggerate problems and underestimate our resiliency. We cling to continuity even when we know that the old bridge ahead of the road has already collapsed.
 

Invisible shells are the hardest to break

If your conclusions don't match reality, re-examine your premises. If History has turned your most precious dreams to dust, maybe they were not meant to be realized.

Every chicken must break out of its own shell. Life will be always fraught with distress and difficulties. Don't you ever let them bring you down. Look at the world with a fresh spirit, choose your path, and move on. As Titus Livius put it so well,"urgent measures are meant to be applied with great dispatch."


For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living

Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

Image by JOE M500 under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us

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Friday, 28 June 2013

Why Noah built his boat and why you should build yours too. The entrepreneurial approach to self-confidence, personal development, and happiness


"We have sown and we have harvested, but without rainfall in the spring, there was not much to reap this year," lamented Noah as he sat down in front of the fire. Sarah stared at her husband, but did not say anything. It was not the best moment to tell Noah that she was pregnant, expecting their first baby.
 

There is something I want to tell you

"Come and sit down by me, Sarah," went on Noah in a grave voice. "There is something I want to tell you." Sarah did what her husband asked and looked at him, trying not to show her alarm. During their years together, they had often gone through difficult times, but she had never heard Noah sound so desperate, so defeated.

Noah reflected for a long moment and then shook his head. His words came out slowly, reluctantly. "I have had a vision, Sarah. God has talked to me." Sarah bit her lip and waited. She did not believe in God herself, but she had always respected Noah's strong religiosity.


If we just wait and hope

 "Friends and neighbours are going hungry," continued Noah, "and after paying the taxes, we will have nothing left ourselves. If we just wait and hope, we might not make it through the winter." Sarah turned her eyes to the fire, searching for words of encouragement to say to her husband, but she found none.

Suddenly, Noah's voice changed and his tone became determined, almost pressing. "God has told me that we must move. I am to sell the farm for whatever price we can get and use the money to build a boat, a large one." He was interrupted by Sarah's surprised reaction. "A boat? What do you want to do with a boat? You know nothing about fishing."

"There are wide fertile fields down the river, Sarah, I have seen them in my dream. God has told me that we can start a new farm there, a new life. I am to purchase a pair of goats, a pair of chicken, and a pair of sheep, male and female, and take them with us on the boat."

From all the projects that Sarah had heard from her husband night after night, year after year, this was by far the most daring and, at the same time, the most insane. From their first encounter, Sarah had loved Noah because he was an entrepreneur, but unfortunately, as it had turned out, a crazy one.

A pair of goats on a boat, what lunacy, thought Sarah, taking a deep breath. Once again, it was up to her to put some sense into Noah's mind. "Only a pair of each sort is too risky," she objected firmly, "we should take a least two pairs of each sort, male and female."

 

It was the first time

It was the first time that Sarah had expressed support for any of Noah's high-risk ideas and he was so taken aback, that it took him a while to reply. "What if I am wrong, Sarah? What if we lose everything we have?"

Sarah contemplated the reflection of the flames in Noah's eyes. The project was too risky and she could not afford any doubts. She needed to ask the question point-blank. She had to be certain that Noah was telling the truth. "Did you really have a vision, Noah? Did God tell you what to do?"

Her heart ached when she saw the pain in Noah's eyes, when she saw him lower his head. "I am not sure if it was God, Sarah," his voice was
now barely audible, "but I know that my vision is true." There was a silence, but it was short, just long enough for Sarah to lay her hands on Noah's. "Then we will build the boat," she said.
 

For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Linda Duchaine under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]




Thursday, 27 June 2013

Tranquillity seldom comes cheap. How a proactive attitude helps you overcome difficulties, increase your self-confidence, and accelerate your personal growth

The 10 Principles of Rational Living
by John Vespasian 

In order to improve your life, you don't need to place your hopes on a lottery ticket or wait for the world to grant you the perfect opportunity. There is a better way and it is condensed in the principles of rational living, principles such as “think like an entrepreneur, not like a crusader,” “ignore the noise and focus on results,” “stay away from high-risk situations,” “find people who share your values,” and “develop strong long-term passions.” 

This book presents the principles of rational living in great detail, with numerous examples of people who have applied them successfully. The principles of rational living are sound ideas that can dramatically improve your life. Learn all about them and start applying them today.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Think like an entrepreneur, not like a crusader
A recipe for getting ahead in good and bad times
Debating and arguing are a waste of time
The true believer is the one who preaches by example
Entrepreneurs thrive on trouble and inconvenience
Unlike resources, opportunities are infinite


2. Ignore the noise and focus on results
If one road is blocked, take another
How to keep calm when you are surrounded by nonsense
The effective way to handle work overload
Learning from people who never feel discouraged
A proven strategy against career stagnation


3. Live inexpensively and invest for future income
Why the stock market offers the best opportunities
Common traits of great businessmen and investors
What kind of companies should you invest in?
A simple strategy is all you need
Adopt a realistic and practical approach


4. Choose a simple and healthy lifestyle
Don't just eat well, eat wonderfully
What is healthy, tasty, and easy to cook?
How to reduce everyday risks to your health
Eating healthily when you are travelling
Is it possible to slow down ageing?
Why it is so difficult to lead a simple life


5. Find people who share your values
Why you should ignore most of what you hear
The ugly duckling story repeats itself every day
Overcoming the resistance to changing jobs and relocating
Don't be original, be unique
Proven strategies for building great relationships
Would you recognize yourself in the crowd?


6. Listen to your emotions, but check the facts
Beware of exaggerated romantic tales
In dating and cooking, choose natural ingredients
How far are you willing to go for happiness?
Conflicting values lead to contradictory behaviour
The short distance between infatuation and obfuscation
Do not waste your best years pursuing unworkable ideals


7. Accept the inevitable hassles of life
Putting an end to exaggerated fears
Extreme reactions are foolish and wasteful
In praise of caution and circumspection
Can you remain self-confident in times of trouble?
How impatient people become stoic philosophers
Never grant problems more weight than they deserve


8. Stay away from high-risk situations
Death statistics make great bedtime reading
Tranquillity seldom comes cheap
Do not make an obsession of the perfect profession
Three situations that you should avoid like the pest
Every archer needs more than one arrow
The jungle never sleeps


9. Acquire effective habits
An hour has sixty minutes, a day twenty-four hours
In praise of staying behind
How a proactive attitude helps you overcome difficulties
Let go of the dead weight of prejudice
Smooth operators get more out of life
Personal effectiveness depends on patterns


10. Develop strong long-term passions
Comparing yourself with other people makes no sense
Don't drink the poison of contradiction
What heroes are made of
The myths of the single skill and the unique opportunity
Become tolerant of mistakes, since you will make so many
The link between integrity and passion


The 10 Principles of Rational Living
by John Vespasian 

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

When all other options fail, here is something that works. How the rational approach can help. A proven process that leads to real improvements

The solution to stress, anxiety, despondency, and insomnia is peace of mind. No other alternative, cure, or remedy can address successfully the cause of sleep difficulties. All other options have failed and serenity is the only one that works. What is the process of acquiring and maintaining peace of mind? Which steps should one take?

When all other options fail, here is something that works

Eliminating anxiety and stress permanently is equivalent to modifying the structure of a house. Such fundamental change can be carried out, but only with care and little by little. If done properly, it will not weaken the building. The resulting edifice will offer additional space and a more pleasant environment to live and rest.

Dozens of self-help books propound auto-suggestion as the key to achieving success in life. Even if that promise proved true, would it also put an end to insomnia? Let us not forget that sleeping well is a direct consequence of achieving peace of mind, which must come from consistent thinking. For this reason, I submit that the best way to attain serenity and a good sleep at night comprises five elements:

  • Identify your most important problem and write it down.
  • Find out who has solved a similar problem satisfactorily and how he did it.
  • Study the solution, adapt it to your life, and make a detailed plan.
  • Start implementing the plan right away by taking the first step.
  • Follow up your progress and remind yourself daily that you are on the track to recovery.

How the rational approach can help


A dramatic example will illustrate the process. Imagine an individual who has just been diagnosed with cancer. He is told that his illness is in a beginning stage and that he has sufficient time to explore different treatments with good prospects of recovery. On hearing the news, his anxiety mounts and, at night, he has difficulties to sleep.

Such situation leaves little doubt about what your most important problem is. Taking sleeping pills, assuming that they are not contraindicated for cancer, may help you get a few hours of rest, but will not reduce your preoccupation during the time you are awake.

The rational approach starts with gathering information about available treatments, reading success stories, and possibly talking to some of those who have recovered. Once you choose a path of action with reasonable chances of success, you will begin to turn your worry into uncertainty.

As you learn more details about the treatment, your mind will progressively consolidate a schedule of events. You will know what you have to do, at which time, and the results that you can expect. In parallel, your general mood will improve. Your newly-found positive anticipations will lead to regained self-confidence.

A proven process that leads to real improvements


Implementing your plan, tracking your results, and making any necessary adjustment in your actions, will in most cases reduce your anxiety and stress. This process should naturally lead to better rest at night without need of sleeping pills. In addition, you will be now equipped with a higher level of self-reliance that should benefit all areas of your life.

Does it sound difficult? No wonder, because few endeavours are as demanding as changing our fundamental patterns. A victory over insomnia without resorting to sleeping pills usually results from facing effectively a major problem in our lives, whether professional, medical, or in relationships. May your success be uncontested so that, after a while, you will remember all this just as another milestone in your personal growth.


For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living

Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

Image by Jeff Kubina under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us




Tuesday, 25 June 2013

No more stress, anxiety, and worry. Analysing the cause and removing the effects. The rational approach to a balanced life

Sleeping pills have become an everyday accessory in modern society. In Europe or America, Asia or the Middle East, rare is the bathroom closet that does not contain some pharmaceutical product to induce slumber. The solution has become so commonplace that few dare to question it any more.

How did we arrive at such widespread social acceptance of chemical dependence? Certainly not because sleeping pills provide a fully satisfactory solution to the problem. If given a choice, the great majority of insomniacs would prefer to find a remedy for their condition that does not involve using chemical substances.

No more stress, anxiety, and worry


Sleep difficulties, like any other health problem, can be treated by addressing its cause or its symptoms. Herbs and pharmaceuticals focus on the symptoms of insomnia. Their goal is to replace the natural process of falling asleep by a chemically-induced slumber that lasts a few hours.

Addressing the cause of insomnia is a much more demanding undertaking, since it requires introspection and personal growth. Contrary to what you might have heard, most people usually have little trouble figuring out why they cannot sleep well. 


Analysing the cause and removing the effects

Leaving aside environmental aspects such as noise or an uncomfortable bed, the most common causes of insomnia are these four:

  1. An unpleasant job: too boring or too demanding, poor pay, too long hours, high risk of redundancy, an aggressive supervisor, nasty colleagues, professional health risks, excessive stress or fatigue, continuous travel, and so on.
  2. Financial worries: for instance, excessive debt, poverty, investment losses, imminent mortgage foreclosure, risk of bankruptcy, difficulties to collect from debtors, negative cash flow, or being involved in litigation.
  3. Family or personal conflicts: spouse with antagonistic values or interests, betrayal, exploitation, or abandonment, dealing with hostility or discrimination, social isolation, or lack of friends who share the same values and interests.
  4. Health problems: facing heart surgery, awaiting results of critical tests, getting old, suffering from debilitating illness, cancer, or invalidity, extreme overweight or underweight, and any other serious medical condition.

The rational approach to a balanced life


At any given time, most of us will be going through one or several of the above-mentioned situations. Since problems tend to succeed each other at an amazing speed, one will never lack excuses to resort to sleeping pills. Nevertheless, in each case, we will be much better off by using philosophy to achieve serenity, a subject that I am going to address in my next post.
 

For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living

Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

Image by iowa_spirit_walker under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us

Monday, 24 June 2013

Applying the bottleneck principle. A method that can solve most problems in life. Can you apply this method to increase your self-confidence, success, and happiness?

In the last five decades, management thinkers have reflected and debated on how to increase the effectiveness of organizations. Different theories have been put forward, argued, and often withdrawn. Even nowadays, only a couple of management precepts enjoy universal acceptance. The bottleneck principle is one of those few.

Applying the bottleneck principle

This rule predicts that the positive short-term benefits of any action will always be the greatest when efforts are focused on removing a bottleneck from a process. For instance, when the production of furniture is being slowed down by assembly difficulties, such bottleneck could be removed by using a simpler fastening procedure.

This formula has been applied successfully thousands of times to speed up manufacturing and service operations. On the other hand, its application has been rare in the field of marketing and sales. In general, entrepreneurs find easier to create new products than finding customers willing to purchase them.

Selling water to thirsty tourists in the desert places you in the ideal marketing position. In that context, you would be able to charge a high price and hardly hear complaints from customers. The reality that most businesses face in our age is precisely the opposite. Large numbers of players compete in each market and customers have become increasingly difficult to reach.

A method that can solve most problems in life

If we try to apply the bottleneck principle to sales, we are going to face, first of all, the question of identifying the critical problem. In the example of furniture manufacturing, we were able to see the assembly difficulties. In contrast, when it comes to marketing, the primary obstacle frequently remains invisible and might consist of any of these cases:

  1. Lack of credibility in the marketplace.
  2. Potential customers are unaware that a solution exists to their problem.
  3. High perceived risk of purchasing an unknown product.
  4. The advantages of the product are difficult to explain.
  5. General scepticism of potential buyers about anything new.
  6. Established suppliers dominate the market although they make inferior products.

Luckily, there is one sales method that addresses all those bottlenecks simultaneously. Giving free product samples and service demonstrations has become the marketing system of choice for new products in the 20th century and promises to maintain its prime status in the foreseeable future.

Can you apply this method to increase your self-confidence, success, and happiness?

You will not have to seek long to find evidence of this phenomenon. Software programmes are installed and run without charge for six months. Novel delivery services offer you vouchers to transport your packages at no cost for a week. Exotic restaurants invite you to try out their menu without having to pay the bill.

The system of free samples can be practised in dozens of different ways. Complimentary demonstrations of new products and services provide the best proof of their value. Whatever your field of business or professional activity, if you are not already using this sales approach, you may be missing one of the most powerful tools for acquiring new customers. Can you apply this method to increase your self-confidence, success, and happiness?

For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living

Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

Image by dalbera under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us




Friday, 21 June 2013

Motivation is not the key. Good ideas are not the key either. The primary factor that allows to overcome failure and attain success and happiness

When someone is looking look for a job, he sends his resume around, replies to advertisements, and finally, he gets invited to interviews. Being the employment market what it is, candidates are rejected in nine out of ten cases. A week after the interview, they receive a phone call informing them that another applicant has been chosen to fill the open position.

Motivation is not the key


Sometimes, there is a good reason why another person has been selected for that post, but a certain element of randomness influences a large proportion of hiring processes. On many occasions, the choice cannot be rationally justified and one should not waste time trying to figure out mysterious reasons that do not exist.

An element of arbitrariness is not foreign to those cases, as it happens in countless human activities. Why did you buy this make of car and not that one? Would you repeat that purchase today? How did you come to choose your family doctor? Do you remember how you met each of your best friends?

What is surprising is people's reaction to failure and rejection. Chances are that the candidate who has not been selected for a particular job will get to hear from his family and friends that he should improve his attitude, manners, clothing, hairdo, and who knows how many other aspects.

Good ideas are not the key either


Salesmen who go through a difficult period also get served a menu of motivational speeches and meetings to discuss their attitude. In other professions, such as sports, acting, or management, the story runs a parallel course. The problem, you will be told, is in how you see the world.

Well, luckily, this is not true. Motivation and attitude play a certain role in performance, but their importance should not be overemphasized. If you pause to think for a second, you will realize that the professionals whom you most trust don't seem to be excessively driven or motivated.

What you expect primarily from your doctor, lawyer, plumber, or car mechanic is not that they are greatly inspiring, but that they do a good job and deliver competent service. Action is what we want to see. Service is what we want to receive. Predictable, rational action is one million times more valuable than attitude and motivation.

The primary factor that allows to overcome failure


Action is the essential factor that gets things done, sold, and delivered. The candidate who has not been selected for the job should not spend too much time wallowing in self-recrimination about what he could have done better. If he can draw some useful lesson for the future, so much the better, but in most cases, a failed interview was just a sale that didn't close.

Don't devote your worthy hours to speculate about undefined psychological factors, arbitrary theories, and nonsensical advice. Professional salesmen know that, given enough time and effort, they will find more customers. Watching, hoping, and talking seldom help. Only relentless effort can bring you closer to success.

The essential ingredient of success and happiness


Athletes are motivated when they compete, but in the end, it is their past training what usually determines who will win the race. Instead of speculative advice, choose the wisdom of rational action. Let others wonder if the world should be this or that way. Move on, redouble your attempts to reach the place you want to be, and let your actions speak for themselves.

For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living

Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

Image by Tony the Misfit Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us




Thursday, 20 June 2013

Don't make the same mistake as Confucius. Waiting for the world to change is a waste of time. Break free from artificial constraints



Rationality is the way to happiness
by John Vespasian

In a world where philosophy is often reduced to catch-phrases and empty theories, this is a passionate defence of logic and consistency as the keys to happiness. Personal effectiveness, the basis of well-being and success, results from rational goals, workable plans and relentless action. 

In the areas of career, health, relationships and investments, this essay shows how to let go of wasteful propositions, pursue compatible goals, cultivate perseverance and resilience, minimize problems and maximize opportunities. Inspired by the teachings of Aristotle, Maimonides, Erasmus, Montaigne, Epictetus and Spinoza, the book encourages readers to embrace rationality and adopt a self-reliant, entrepreneurial attitude.


Table of Contents

1. The untold key to success and happiness
Ten positive trends rarely reported by the media
The way to independent thinking
Trust only your own statistics
Achieving happiness through rationality
Wake up to a sharp vision of reality
Important lessons from history
In search of principles that make sense


2. Fundamental skills that everybody should master
Relentless initiative creates opportunities
An active mind looks for alternatives
Cultivate perseverance and resilience
Avoid waste and embrace frugality
Shun overcommitment and worry


3. The easy way to prosperity
Select a career where you can make a good living
Principles of accelerated learning
Using Ancient Mongol tactics to find employment
Discard the myth of career planning
Growth sectors in the 21st century
Those who can sell are always received well


4. Philosophical ideas to make the best of your life
Take the perspective of a lifetime
Focus on practical solutions
Self-confidence arises from preparedness
Pursue compatible goals
Concentrate your resources on essential tasks


5. Get out of losing situations
Immobility is the enemy of achievement
Train yourself to face nonsense calmly
Throw away unworkable plans
Read the writing on the wall
Take simple measures to protect yourself
You have more options than you think


6. Avoiding major mistakes
Preserve your independent thinking
Don't make the same mistake as Confucius
Entrepreneurship is the opposite of resignation
Abandon perfectionism right now
Waiting for the world to change is a waste of time


7. How to find love without making a mess of sex
Rational values are the basis of great relationships
Overcoming the main obstacle to meeting new people
The high cost of short-term romantic involvement
The entrepreneurial factor in love and friendship
What is the crucial success element in dating?
Break free from artificial social constraints


8. Saving and investing to secure your future
Take control of your financial life
Principles of rational investment
Techniques for reducing risk
How to develop self-confidence as an investor
Saving regularly brings peace of mind
The advantage of turbulent times


9. Principles of optimal health
The teachings of Maimonides
Living in accordance with nature
How psychology can improve your health
Modern theories about prolonging life
How some people live to become 100 years old
The low-cost approach to good nutrition
Effective methods for minimizing stress
Sleeping well by natural means


10. Seeking personal growth one day at a time
Embrace rational principles
The link between personal effectiveness and happiness
Become an entrepreneur in your everyday life
Do not be discouraged by your limited resources
Clear thinking gives you the ultimate advantage
It is on slow days when you make big breaks


11. Conclusion
The human need for logic and consistency
Achieving happiness in a chaotic world
Philosophy summarized in a single sentence
It takes a while, but it can be done


Rationality is the way to happiness
by John Vespasian

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The low-cost approach to an amazing education, great knowledge, and impressive personal effectiveness. How to raise yourself above problems, difficulties, and challenges

Many universities and colleges offer courses to improve your learning effectiveness. In those sessions, usually spread across several weeks, you will be taught to define your goals, to get organized, to be disciplined in your studies, to take notes, underline the main ideas, and review constantly what you have learned.

The low-cost approach to an amazing education


Judging by the results, one might wonder if those courses work that well. The number of drop-outs from colleges and universities is still substantial. Wasted resources and wasted time. What a pity, people lament, but can the situation be improved? If we take a look at adult vocational training, the situation is somewhat better, but still far from ideal.

Indeed, there is plenty of room for improvement, but this is the kind of problem that cannot be solved by preaching. If conditions are going to ameliorate, this will happen only as a result of personal example. With good reason, people tend to believe more what they experience themselves than what they are told.

Let me tell you a story that illustrates how effective learning can take place at minimum cost. Moses Maimonides was born in the year 1135 C.E in Cordoba, in the south of Spain. His father was a rabbi and possessed at home a few dozen books about Jewish law, medicine, and Greek philosophy.

During his infancy, Moses Maimonides, together with his older brother David, received many hours of instruction from his father, although that cannot be compared to the thousands of lessons that contemporary children receive at school. What is amazing is that, with very limited resources, Maimonides absorbed knowledge like a sponge.


How to acquire great knowledge and increase your personal effectiveness

His brother David began a jewellery business and Maimonides also took some part in it, at the same time that he devoted a share of his time to writing a General Commentary on Jewish law. His writings were based on the books that he had read, to which he added his own reflections.

The jewellery business had its ups and downs, but Maimonides continued researching and writing during his twenties and early thirties until he finished his commentary, which today, nine hundred years later, is still considered one of the major scholarly works on Jewish law.

The family moved to Egypt in search of a better life, but a catastrophe was soon to wipe out their resources. Maimonides' brother, David, died in a shipwreck, taking down with him all the family fortune. Stranded in Egypt with no money, Maimonides opted for trying to make a living as a physician, using the medical knowledge that he had acquired in Spain.
 

You can raise yourself above problems and difficulties

As of 1165 C.E., during his thirties and forties, Maimonides practised medicine in Alexandria, the main port in the north of Egypt. His success was so astounding that, although Maimonides was a Jew, Sultan Saladin appointed him physician to the court. That entailed regular obligations and, every morning, Maimonides went to the royal palace to give medical consultations to the royal family and court officials.

In addition, every afternoon, he ran his private medical consultation at home, both for the Jewish and Islamic community. As though this was not enough work, every evening, he tried to devote some time to read philosophy and to continue writing.

By the time he was 50 years old, Maimonides had completed his second major work, the "Guide for the Perplexed," an extraordinary intellectual attempt to reconcile religion with Aristotelian logic. The book had a major impact in later Western thinkers and, nowadays, in the 21st century, it is still in print.

This was just the end of the second period of his writings, since later on, he began to produce texts about medicine, including a commentary on the aphorisms of the Greek physician Hippocrates. How did Moses Maimonides managed to accumulate such an extensive knowledge in different areas? Here is the explanation that I can put forward:

  1. Enormous curiosity to learn things that he considered interesting.
  2. Getting hold of a few good books in the areas of knowledge that he liked.
  3. Reading those books many times, year after year, making his own notes.
  4. Taking every opportunity to learn from experts and ask questions, driven by his curiosity.
  5. Concentrating on different fields of knowledge one after the other. In the case of Maimonides, he focused his research and writings, sequentially, on the areas of law, for about twelve years, then on philosophy, for about another twelve years, and finally, on medicine.
  6. Learning from mistakes and making corrections as he went along.

Take advantage of accelerated learning


You may argue that such rules of learning were good for someone living nine centuries ago, but that they have become obsolete in our time. Modern schools and universities, such as those in the fields of law and medicine, impose strict requirements on which subjects are to be covered by students.

Although the environment and demands have changed, I submit that the principles of accelerated learning have remained the same. Curiosity, personal motivation, and a few good books is all it takes to get started. For those who possess the knowledge, passing formal exams has never been a problem. Other elements, such as working experience, can be picked up as you go along.

The ultimate proof of the learning method was provided by Maimonides himself. He got married when he was 50 years old and, soon after, he had a son, whom he named Abraham. The kid read at home the same books that Maimonides had read and, already as an infant, he began to assist his father during his medical consultations.

The ultimate proof that the system works


When Maimonides died in 1204, he was 69 years old. By that time, his son Abraham, who had just turned 19, had already acquired such a reputation as physician that he was also appointed to a position in the royal court. Apparently, the system of learning had worked its wonders once again, but the story does not stop here.

During the following decades, Maimonides' grandson and the son thereof also learned the same profession at a young age and, later on, practised medicine very successfully. During the 13th and 14th centuries, they belonged to the most famous physicians of Egypt.


For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living

Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

Image by Rene Eherhardt under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

How to reach your optimal level of vitality. The five pillars of a great personal health. Can you have a great health at a low cost?

For the individual, no other asset is as valuable as his health. Money, friendships, and business connections won't help much if your body exceeds the limits of what it can reasonably withstand. Medical services can be purchased, often at a great expense, but they cannot always help.

How to reach your optimal level of vitality


Maintaining an optimal level of vitality should be one of the main priorities in life, but unfortunately, for many people, it is not. Too much is taken for granted and, after irreversible damage has occurred, little can be done beyond reducing the pain. Prevention is better than cure, in particular, low-cost prevention.

The principles of staying in good shape have been known for centuries, although in the last decades, details have been worked out in many areas. Barring inherited illness and extreme bad luck, the way to an excellent health depends on five factors, namely:


The five pillars of a great personal health
  1. Avoid situations of serious physical danger.
  2. Sleep long enough for your needs.
  3. Do not eat or drink harmful substances.
  4. Choose a sound diet that you can easily follow.
  5. Make sure that you do a minimum of exercise everyday.

The first aspect is frequently overlooked by wellness experts, but it plays a crucial role in allowing individuals to reach an advanced age in good condition. Combat sports and exotic vacations draw crowds in search of excitement, but they entail risks that cannot be easily averted.

Insomnia, when it happens, should be counteracted with natural means. On many occasions, the underlying cause of sleep difficulties are psychological. Peaceful nights frequently return after measures have been adopted to reduce stress, overcommitment, and relationship problems.
 

Can you have a great health at a low cost?

We should remind ourselves from time to time that people suffer illness equally for their actions as for their omissions. It is as important to identify what we should eat as what we should refrain from eating. There are countless books on the market about the elements of good nutrition and, if you have not done so already, I encourage you to read a few of them.

For the purpose of enhancing our well-being, exercise does not need to be complicated or costly. Do visit a sauna or swimming pool if that is your choice, but inexpensive habits, such as cycling and walking, are also effective means to keep in shape. If you make the effort to acquire healthy routines, maintaining a good condition will become automatic and you will spare yourself plenty of trouble down the road.


For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living

Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

Image by Phil Roeder under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us

Saturday, 15 June 2013

A compelling illustration of the key to happiness. Have you already formulated how you want to spend the rest of your life?

The life of Titus Livius (59 BC-17 AD) provides a compelling illustration of the key to happiness. When he turned thirty-five, he looked back at his life and realized that he had not accomplished much. Like many Romans of good family, he had enjoyed a solid education, read widely, done some travelling, and also a little writing. 

A compelling illustration of the essence of happiness

He had tried his hand intermittently at everything and achieved pretty much nothing. Since his life lacked purpose and ambition, Titus Livius felt ineffective and unhappy. He asked himself if he should continue living in the same way. Was there something that he could do to give meaning to his days?

The prevalent philosophies in Ancient Rome, stoicism and hedonism, did not provide an answer to his questions. Hedonism encourages man to live for the pleasures of the day and ignore long-term consequences. Stoicism seldom provides other contentment than the quiet acceptance of misfortune.

We do not know what made Titus Livius change his ways, but we do know the results. Instead of continuing to pursue random interests, he conceived a wide-ranging project that would take him decades to accomplish. Instead of wasting time in abstract speculation, he fixed himself an ambitious goal and figured out how to accomplish it.



Have you already formulated how you want to spend the rest of your life?

By the time he turned thirty-six, he had already formulated how he was going to spend the rest of his life. He would write a History of Rome unlike anything ever written before. He would speak not only of facts, but also of heroes. He would recount not only events, but also the values that had inspired them.

Titus Livius' plan comprised researching hundreds of documents and writing 150 books, an enterprise that nowadays would keep busy a complete university department. He did most of the work himself and it took him four decades.


The story of a man who was very happy devoting his time to a demanding undertaking

Apparently, he was very happy devoting his time to such a demanding undertaking. Such devotion to a single long-term purpose is essential to improve a man's personal effectiveness and psychological well-being.

When Titus Livius died, he was 77 years old. His only regret must have been that he had not started his project earlier, since he only managed to complete 142 books out of the 150 that he had initially planned.

Do you have similar objectives and plans in your life? Have you established long-term goals for yourself? Do you have a strategy that consistently favours your personal growth? Are you becoming more effective at what you do day after day?


For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living

Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

Image by Fr Antunes under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us

How to build your self-esteem in times of adversity

  • How to stay rational in a chaotic world
  • Maintaining your psychological strength despite problems and obstacles
  • Techniques to stop worrying even when you have a thousand problems
  • How to get self-confidence when living in a hostile environment
  • Overcoming barriers to personal growth, internal and external
  • How to deal with difficult people in your business and personal life
  • Stress management under difficult circumstances
  • How to build your self-esteem in times of adversity
  • Overcoming anxiety and excessive concern
  • The low-cost approach to self-development
  • How to find peace of mind in a world of non-stop noise
A free presentation of my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living:

Friday, 14 June 2013

Rewrite your personal history. Continuous action breeds opportunities. Can you turn adversity into an asset? In crucial matters, do not leave anything untried

The Philosophy of Builders
by John Vespasian 

The factors that lead to prosperity and happiness have changed little through the ages. From the lives of accomplished men and women, we can extract the three principles that they have used to build a better future: self-reliance, tolerance and entrepreneurship. 

This book presents how individuals can use these principles to overcome adversity and improve their lives. Through the analysis of situations in the areas of relationships, career, health and investments, it shows how to overcome pessimism and discouragement, walk the path of least resistance, simplify your life and reduce costs, and focus on real opportunities. 

The ideas are illustrated with examples from the lives of Paracelsus, Jane Austen, Thomas of Aquinas, Gutenberg, Jules Verne and many other historical figures, showing how they overcame obstacles and built a better future for themselves.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Achieve basic stability
Never underestimate what one man alone can do
Establish the foundation of long-term achievement
Attack problems one by one
Do not allow vanity to paralyse you
Pay attention to danger signals
Build on existing strengths
Learn to view problems in perspective
Wait only the strictly necessary


2. Overcome pessimism and discouragement
Assess risks rationally, not emotionally
Quantify what you can expect
Passive acceptance is not the way to go
Dispute negative thinking patterns
Embrace a philosophy that leads to happiness
Avoid inconsistent decisions
Read inspiring authors


3. Walk the path of least resistance
Discard unworkable plans
Use realism to avoid waste
Look at what people are actually buying
Adopt a lifestyle that suits your temperament
Use long-term goals to determine your direction
Stay out of hopeless ventures
Avoid relativism and scepticism
Find an outlet for your talents


4. Take measures to prevent problems
Be prepared to face misfortune
Concentrate on crucial factors
Pay attention only to quality information
Identify potential threats
Look for simple prescriptions
Protect yourself effectively
Increase your resilience against adversity


5. Simplify your life and reduce your costs
Don't fall in the trap of short-term thinking
Enjoy the benefits of the immigrant mentality
When should you be willing to overpay?
Choose inexpensive alternatives
You can learn the basics quickly
Being healthier by consuming less
The solution to stress: simplification


6. Start new projects with minimum resources
Gather support as you go
The danger of getting stuck in abstractions
Avoid inaccessible markets
Do not be intimidated by other people's achievements
Most barriers are psychological
Small but regular steps often lead to success


7. Focus on real opportunities
Select a low-risk approach
You can profit from troubled times
How to identify promising ideas
Should you worry about the state of the economy?
Use low-cost marketing techniques
Redefine what is essential
Value creation begins with observation


8. Adopt productivity as a way of life
Do not assign excessive weight to mistakes
In case of doubt, opt for a logical explanation
Steady work is preferable to occasional jobs
Choose stories that promote achievement
A change of speed might be all you need
Work only on one major project at a time
Let go of linear expectations
Never entrust your future to chance
Keep flexible and alert


9. Take relentless action
Fill your days with worthy activities
Experiment to find out what works
Adopt effective routines
In crucial matters, do not leave anything untried
Continuous action breeds opportunities
Rewrite your personal history
Can you turn adversity into an asset?
Action is the best way to overcome obstacles



The Philosophy of Builders
by John Vespasian

Thursday, 13 June 2013

How to break out of the prison formed by wrong assumptions. Reorientation is the key to personal effectiveness. Rational thinking is the root of self-confidence

Amongst all young women in the kingdom, princess Ameline possessed the blondest hair, the bluest eyes, and the saddest heart. Her parents, the late King and Queen, had entrusted her to a convent for her education years ago, so long ago that nobody could remember.

How to break out of the prison formed by wrong assumptions

Ameline was not a good student and, instead of repeating litanies with the other novices, she had taken up the habit of scurrying out of the convent to play in the nearby woods.

One Tuesday afternoon, barbarians attacked the convent, killed all nuns and novices, stole all cookies, and went away. When Ameline returned to the convent, she found herself to be the only survivor of the massacre.

She left the convent, walked to the city, and went directly to the Royal Palace, which she found empty, except for an old man who made his living guiding tourists. "Where are the barons and the servants?" inquired Ameline.


Reorientation is the key to personal effectiveness

The old man examined attentively her face and smiled. "You are princess Ameline," he said. "I have not seen you for a long time." He explained to Ameline that, after the King's and Queen's death many years ago, the kingdom administration had decayed into oblivion and finally vanished altogether. "Nevertheless, the palace is yours," he went on, "as well as the gold in the caves."

Ameline started a new life and began to live like real princess. Even though she was overall respected, she lacked one essential thing and that deprivation made her deeply unhappy: Ameline had no birthday.


Hardly a week went by without Ameline being invited to this or that birthday party. Everybody in the kingdom had his own birthday, that is, everybody except Ameline. At night, she dreamed of having her own birthday party and cake, but that was not to be.

Ameline's parents were dead, as well as the nuns in the convent. How could she possibly find out on which precise day she had been born? What is even worse, Ameline had no clue about how old she was. As time passed, she grew more and more depressed about her deficiency.

How could she ever be sure if she was old enough to marry? What if she ever wanted to sell her palace? How would she prove to the notary that she was of age? The old man, whom Ameline had allowed to continue his job as tourist guide in the palace, saw the princess whither away and decided to have a talk with her.


Rational thinking is the root of self-confidence


"My situation is hopeless and no one can help me," Ameline explained to him. "It would have been better if I had died in the convent." The old man listened attentively to Ameline's troubles and shook his head. "You are mistaken to think that you are the only one who has no birthday," he replied.

The princess was surprised to hear that. Was the old man lying in order to comfort her? "That's not true," she countered irritated. "I have seen everybody having birthday parties."

The old man nodded. "When the kingdom administration disappeared, the birthday registry turned to dust, and nobody was any longer certain about his own birthday. That created some disorientation, but after a while, people shrugged their shoulders and began to throw birthday parties whenever they saw fit. Sometimes twice per year, often twice per week."

The princess stared at the old man for a long moment, until she seized the full meaning of his words. Then she went to the palace kitchen and gave orders to prepare her a dozen birthday parties. She had a lot to catch up with.


For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by rizkapb under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Do you know where you are going? There can be no efficacy without consistency. You have to learn to shut out the noise. Happiness begins with a sense of purpose

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.

Do you know where you are going?


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.

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.

There can be no efficacy without consistency


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.

Sustained personal growth relies on universal ethical principles. 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.

You have to learn to shut out the noise


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.

Happiness begins with a sense of purpose


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 rarely produce beneficial consequences.
 

For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living

Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

Image by Andreanna under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us

Sunday, 9 June 2013

How to stay rational in a chaotic world. Free e-book download

  • How to stay rational in a chaotic world
  • Maintaining your psychological strength despite problems and obstacles
  • Techniques to stop worrying even when you have a thousand problems
  • How to get self-confidence when living in a hostile environment
  • Overcoming barriers to personal growth, internal and external
  • How to deal with difficult people in your business and personal life
  • Stress management under difficult circumstances
  • How to build your self-esteem in times of adversity
  • Overcoming anxiety and excessive concern
  • The low-cost approach to self-development
  • How to find peace of mind in a world of non-stop noise
A free presentation of my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living:

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Break with your past and start a new life. Thousands of people have done it successfully. These are the steps to take, the decision to make

Millions of people spend their days trying to convince themselves that change is impossible. They feel trapped by their profession, job, spouse, friendships, or financial obligations, to the extent that any attempt at improving their situation seems destined to fail. Time goes by and, after a while, they give up all hope of amelioration.

Break with your past and start a new life


There are many reasons to experience such feeling of being driven by external events. If you look around, you might find some justifications for immobility, but do not let them make you feel powerless. The truth is that, every year, thousands of people throughout the world undertake such fundamental changes. Here are some examples:
  1. Sell their house in the city, move to a village on the coast, and build up a new life there.
  2. Drop out of their current circle of friends from one day to the next and seek out people with other values or interests.
  3. Go through their kitchen, throw away all unhealthy items, and commit to purchase exclusively wholesome food in the future.
  4. Look for a job in a field unconnected to their previous experience.
  5. Buy a bicycle and ride it every day for an hour.
  6. Unplug their television set, throw it away, and never spend another minute watching TV.
  7. Learn a foreign language and find a job in another continent.
  8. Cancel their affiliation to an organization that has been part of their lives for decades and cut off links to former associates.
  9. Liquidate their assets, move to a tax heaven, and change their nationality.
  10. Throw away all tobacco and alcohol that they have at home and never purchase or consume those again.
  11. Start up their own business during evenings and weekends, while keeping their present employment.
  12. Study nutrition, learn to cook, and lose any extra weight that they have accumulated over the years.
  13. Tell your spouse that you want a divorce, move to another place, and start building a new life.

Thousands of people have done it successfully


These cases are not as rare as you may think. People who embrace major personal change come from all walks of life. Middle-aged or old, male or female, they hesitate long until, one day, they make the decision. Their determination to take a new road frequently antagonizes family and friends, who find their old expectations undermined.

It takes enormous courage to embark on this sort of journey. More often than not, what moves individuals to alter essential elements of their existence is the realization of the limited time they have. This may happen as a result of a major illness or simply because they outgrow their previous living conditions.

These are the steps to take, the decision to make


Have you redefined your long-term objectives? What aspects of your life do you wish to improve? Stepping out of our routine and taking a few days to reflect might be the initial step. Are you considering embarking on a major change or taking an unconventional path? Should that be the case, let me wish you a quick and successful transition.

For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living

Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

Image by La case photo de Got under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us