Soul corrosion is the loss of ideals caused by overexposure to nonsense and irrationality, a phenomenon that is frequently the result of following wrong advice. You can take vitamins to reinforce your immune system and improve your defences against common colds, but how do you protect your motivation against false ideas? Philosophy, taken in daily doses, is the only effective remedy against misconceptions and misrepresentations.
Are you overexposed to nonsense?
In contrast to vitamins, the cost of a daily
dose of philosophy is difficult to estimate, since it varies from person
to person. Some men pay it dearly, while others get it at a discount.
It is, nevertheless, for none of us free. Time and effort are the only
currencies accepted in exchange for self-development. Knowledge and experience are the only vaccines that can inoculate you against
Beware of self-interested counsellors
who try to push you away from entrepreneurship into conformity. Do not
trust those who propose you magic solutions that are supposed to lead to
achievement without dedication. Reality teaches us that results cannot
exist without cause. No one can run faster than the world itself. A day
lasts the same for us all. For extra time, none is allowed to rob.
You'll be better off by disregarding speech tainted with irrationality,
endorsements without logic, and conclusions without proof.
If you let inconsistency rule,
your life will be wasted
philosophy into your life by reading or listening to it at regular
intervals. If necessary, drop other tasks less essential, since
self-development is the factor that allows men to raise their soul above
the stars. Given infinite time, everybody would be able to attain his
goals, but no individual possesses the power to extend his lifespan
beyond the biological limits. If you let nonsense and inconsistency rule
your life, your years will be wasted and you will end up in a place
where you don't want to be.
When someone tells you that you have
nothing to lose by following his recommendations, check details twice
before you reply. If you spend a decade moving in the wrong direction,
you might miss your best opportunities and be unable to walk back the
road that you have taken. Our lifespan is limited and no human being can
try his luck countless times at any game.
Making the same
mistake repeatedly might bring you down beyond recovery, in particular
if you injure your body or alienate people who love you. Reading History
is a highly effective way to become conscious of the lethal
consequences of subscribing to irrational ideas. Through the centuries,
large numbers of individuals have ruined their life by pursuing
unworkable projects and burdening themselves with unlimited cost.
You can tell bad
advice by its paralysing effect
embarking in any expensive adventure, your should check what the real
chances of success are. Errors weigh heavier when men and women become
middle-aged and realize that they are half-way through their life and
that they no longer enjoy possibilities of endless improvement. Bad
advice is typically characterized by a paralysing effect which turns
your best talents into liabilities.
Unlimited time would render
people fearless, but infinity does not exist for individuals. By the
time we reach our tenth year of age, we acquire a solid grasp of the
meaning of time. The years available to a person for developing his
career and relationships are limited. Internalizing that fact pushes
irrational people into a chronic state of fear that renders them
amenable to manipulation. On the contrary, individuals who have embraced
reason are impervious to such apprehensions.
No matter how lucky
you are in a specific area, life will always present you with
never-ending problems. When situations become critical, self-reliance
and psychological resiliency keep rational individuals afloat. Do not
listen to advice coming from unethical people and, instead, work at
increasing your capacity to respond rationally and effectively to
Acquiring wisdom requires trial and
Choose learning and experimentation instead of
adopting ready-made solutions that lack justification. Through analysis
and reflection, you will become a better human being. If you imitate
blindly what others are doing, you will jeopardize your capacity to
think independently. Accept that acquiring knowledge requires trial and
error. Gathering experience at your own pace is worth more that
ready-made advice coming from strangers.
Base your actions on
facts and logic, check the accuracy of your assumptions, and abandon the
fantasy of perfection. When we purchase a new car and begin to drive
it, we know that, sooner or later, it is going to become dirty and
scratched. If someone tells you that he knows how to prevent a car's
normal wear and tear, you know that he is not telling you the truth. You
must have the fortitude to turn your back to unrealistic advice and go
your own way, in the knowledge that such perfection does not exist.
we subscribe to impossible beliefs, such as that our vehicle should
remain forever intact and clean, we will tend to drive at ridiculously
slow speeds that might cause a traffic accident. In addition, we will
become extremely upset the first time that our car suffers a minor
The rational approach to self-development requires that
we ignore nonsensical recommendations. Try to excel at whatever you are
up to, without attempting to meet unrealistic standards. False
expectations lead to wasted effort and create high levels of stress,
shame, inhibition, and psychological paralysis.
Take a break
from the noise of the world
Give up wrong
advice and drop the search of perfection. Adopting a realistic approach
to life will enhance your self-reliance. Let your thinking and
experience carry you forward on the road to a better life. Take a break
from the noise of the world and save yourself from soul corrosion. Paint
your dreams in warm colours and let them blossom.
For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living
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