Are you looking for a guaranteed way to waste the rest of your life? Here it is: spend your time searching for things where there aren't. I have also a second formula for squandering your days: spend your time chasing people that are unavailable. The same goes for attempting to travel to places that are not accessible.
Blindness to the obvious truth
We all engage in this
kind of pursuits occasionally and that's fine, since no one has perfect
knowledge. What is terrifying is when someone persists in trying to pull
through an impossible trick. Children do that and so do mice trapped in
a maze, but why on earth don't adults know better than that?
reasons for this type of counter-productive behaviour is unpleasantly
ordinary: intellectual laziness. Our desire for comfort and ease often
makes us blind to obvious truths. If you want cheap oranges, go to
Morocco and not to the airport deli. This straightforward principle, if
applied consistently, can bring major improvements to your life. Let us
consider three examples:
Don't look for a job in the desert
You might get lucky and find the only opening available, but chances
are that you won't. If you labour at the only factory in a small town
and the factory closes, don't waste your time hanging around waiting for
a miracle. Pack your things, get into your car, and drive to a place
where businesses are hiring.
Don't try to sell something where there are no buyers
You would be amazed to see the number of
empty houses, apartments, and malls in areas where not that many people
live. Real estate developers have wasted fortunes putting up buildings
on locations where few people are interested in buying or renting.
did they not conduct a thorough market research before investing
millions? Who knows, maybe they didn't know any better, but the lesson
to be drawn is clear. You should focus your sales efforts on places
where there are customers.
Don't go to Alaska seeking warm weather
Some people choose to live in places where there is a lousy
weather most of the year. There are usually good reasons for doing that,
such as cheap housing, low criminality, and abundant job opportunities.
is not a philosophical issue and you should choose whatever location
you like best. My point is that, if you live in a cold area and you
happen to love warm weather, your complaining is not going to change
Is a pleasant temperature outside home one of your
priorities? If your answer is positive, there are plenty of warm areas
on earth to where you can relocate at a reasonable cost. Every minute
employed in pursuing the impossible is gone forever, without profit nor
Stay away from barren land
The world is complicated and problematic enough as it is.
Attempting to carry out what is obviously unworkable is pointless and
does not even make a good hobby. Stay away from barren land and focus your efforts on fruitful fields.
For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living
[Image by Mara 1 under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]