Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Three reasons to look at 2016 with great optimism

At the time of this writing, newspaper headlines are all tremendously negative. However, if you look beyond the obvious, you will be able to see the seeds of the accelerated economic growth that will take place in the next years.

Indeed, in some areas of the world, the economy is stagnating, inflation is rising and unemployment remains high. As a result, millions of people are seeing their lives disrupted. Those who have recently lost their jobs may have the feeling that finding a new position is going to take extensive efforts and a very long time.
 

Refuse to be intimidated

Some companies listed in the stock market are showing daily fluctuations over 3%, an enormous range by historical standards. Some investors have liquidated their holdings in despair and incurred a substantial loss. The current levels of market volatility are testing the faith of the most devoted believers in a better economic future.

The psychological pressures that accompany these events are considerable. The gloom-and-doom atmosphere that dominates conversations inevitably influences people's decisions. Purchases are delayed and changes are feared. When the future looks dark, hesitation seems safer than action.

Nevertheless, despite all these threats and uncertainties, I remain massively optimistic about the future of the world economy. I am convinced that growth will soon resume strongly and take us to higher levels of prosperity. On which facts do I base my optimistic conviction? Are my positive expectations justified by statistical trends?

The positive trend

Yes, in fact there are lots of positive economic data out there if you care to look for them, and not only in China, India and Singapore. Freight volumes are growi ng and the same can be said of the number of new vehicles sold. More car sales means more steel production and more jobs. For every negative newspaper headline, you can find plenty of data that predict an upwards trend.

Even so, my purpose today is not to engage a statistical discussion. Facts can be measured, but opportunities need to be discovered. Improvements are what you get when you apply creativity to problems.

For predicting the future, structural factors are more reliable than isolated details. If you know a man's character, you will be able to foretell his destiny with greater accuracy than if you know everything he did during the last two days.

Human creativity, or rather, the increased opportunity to exercise it, provides us a solid ground for forecasting a bright economic future. Like a man's character, the level of personal initiative and inventiveness in the world changes only slowly, but one it gets as good as it is now, chanc es are that it will stay this way for many years. My overall optimism for the upcoming year is based on the following factors, that you will find no difficulty in observing yourself:
 

Growing opportunities

Emigration has become easier than at any previous time in history: Millions of people are moving every year from one place to another to take advantage of the expanded opportunities to exercise their talents.

Sometimes, emigration takes place within the same country (between two cities), but very often, it involves crossing the border between countries. As travel costs continue to decrease and regulations become more flexible, companies benefit from the influx of new talent and workers can find jobs that offer improved economic prospects. In addition to the economic advantage, the contact with other cultures also tends to make people more tolerant and open.

Direct access

 
Artists can now offer their creations directly to millions of consumers. The tide has turned for creative individuals. If you are a musician, you can now develop your career without having to wait for a record company to give you a break. The same goes for writers, painters, illustrators, composers, and photographers.

Even new film-makers can now make their films at a fraction of what it used to cost a few years ago. With the help of low-cost digital cameras, free editing software, and internet distribution, many wonderful films are getting made nowadays, films that would have never seen the daylight in previous decades.

Widespread affordability

The cost of starting a new business has never been so low. In some cases, all you need is an innovative idea and the determination to build something from scratch. We live in a world where vision and commitment are more important that the size of your bank account. Money and other resources can always be borrowed if you know how to apply them productively.

The endless possibilities offered by the internet have unleashed human creativity to levels unknown before. You no longer need to relocate in order to have your products designed, manufactured, and sold in other countries. Video-conferences with clients and suppliers all over the world have become virtually free-of-charge. The cost of market intelligence has also been drastically reduced.

What is even better, the time-line for starting a new business has been compressed and shifted. Low-cost software applications will routinely spare new entrepreneurs hundreds of hours of work, and the work that still needs to be done, they can do it during the evenings and weekends.


A call for creativity

Never before in history have millions of people enjoyed the opportunity of starting their own business while they can still keep their day job. A lower risk for starting new companies means that more companies will be started, making overall economic growth almost inevitable.

For the three reasons above, I believe that the world economy will continue to grow strongly in this decade. Of course, the situation will not be equally positive in all countries and in all currencies, but so what? Creativity will always flow to places where opportunities exist and this is the way it should be. 


Stop listening to negative reports and learn to look beyond the headlines. Things will continue to get better overall as entrepreneurs continue to seize in 2016 the immense economic possibilities of our time. Have yourself a great Christmas, and a wonderful year 2016.

Image: Photograph taken by John Vespasian, 2015.
For more information about rational living, I refer you to my books

Friday, 18 December 2015

Start enjoying the advantages of consistency

Ideas are precious and constitute the basis of civilization. Without the concepts of free trade, freedom of speech, and human rights, our standard of living would rapidly fall to medieval levels. Personal goals shape a sustained vision that transforms our talents into valuable products of services.

The crucial element

Closed doors reflect fear of change. Rational objectives will take you forward, but it is essential that those are compatible. Inconsistent principles rob each other's force and deplete each other's resources. Keep you door open to new concepts and ideas, but make sure that those are logically integrated.

When you discover that some of your goals are wrong, you should discard them. On the other hand, if your ambitions are annoying but consistent, keep them, since they might lead you to a breakthrough improvement.

Integrated goals will take you places, but inconsistent ambitions will wear you down. Pursuing compatible goals increases personal effectiveness and enhances creativity. Consistent ideals also improve man's reasoning capacity. Modern life requires instantaneous choices. Individuals who possess well-integrated goals can deal with complexity in the most effective manner.

Spectacular results
 
Rational men ensure the consistency of their actions by defining clear objectives for the remaining decades of their life. Effective living requires that our choices, minor or fundamental, are aligned with our overriding goals. Individuals who follow this principle tend to become an outstanding success.

People who lack consistent goals often sabotage their own efforts. Pursuing integrated objectives requires sustained focus and can bring spectacularly positive results. Few persons establish a definite direction for their life, but those who do, can reap enormous benefits. Motivational consistency brings, amongst others, the following advantages:
  1. Waste reduction: Financial resources can be used with a minimum of waste by avoiding random decisions and useless purchases
  2. Accelerated learning: A clear vision of the future feeds the motivation to develop specialized skills and accumulate intellectual capital.
  3. Credibility: Consistent objectives build perseverance and credibility. On the other hand, random behaviour tends to damage a man's reputation and destroy his assets.
  4. Worthy entertainment: Rational goals lead men to the type of entertainment that reinforces values and involves aspects of learning.
  5. Extra energies: Compatible, long-term objectives provide the energy needed to undertake ambitious projects that make a difference in one's living conditions.
  6. Resilience: Logic and ambition supply the resilience needed to undertake boring maintenance tasks that bring substantial long-term benefits.
  7. Prudence: A stable vision and a lifetime perspective lead man to avert excessive risks, lotteries and other forms of gambling.
  8. Innovation: Consistent objectives render man's mind active and willing to explore innovative options. In contrast, contradictory goals lead to mistakes, waste, and paralysis.
  9. Tolerance: Long-term ambitions enable man to accept mistakes as part of a learning process. The opposite phenomenon, intolerance, frequently arises out of pursuing contradictory targets. Individuals torn apart by diverging goals find difficult to explain their own actions.
  10. Empathy: Convictions in line with reality allow man to connect deeply with other human beings. Irrational objectives prevent individuals from communicating clearly, leading to irritation, confusion, misunderstandings, and errors.
A reliable tool

Human beings can guide their lives properly only by reason. Dogs and cats perceive a narrow part of reality, but man is aware of hundreds of interconnected details, past and present, that are relevant in each situation. Our mind calls for logic and consistency. Happiness becomes possible only if we remain loyal to our rational nature.

Leading an effective life requires individuals to select rational objectives that comprise their whole lifetime. A consistent vision that reaches into the next decades is the most reliable tool for making optimal choices in the present.

Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

Image: Photograph taken by John Vespasian, 2015.


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

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Always place your common sense above all statistics

If you are planning to consult statistics before making a major decision, you'd better check your sources twice. Many proclaimed truths are solely based on opinion. Countless times, surveys do little more than elevate preferences to models of conduct that are to be followed out of convenience or for personal gain. 

Every morning, we should remind ourselves that serious errors have been committed in the past by placing blind trust in numbers produced by interested parties.

Your best protection

There is no future in repeating the faults of History. Our best protection against misguided statistics is not searching for alternative data, but using our common sense to interpret the conclusions presented to us. 

We should check if the recommendations match our experience and knowledge of the world. We should assess the consequences of the outcome of such surveys, ask ourselves uncomfortable questions, and take the necessary time to think things through.

When it comes to determining the direction of your life, never trust other people's calculations without subjecting them to rational examination. No matter what results from a survey, its conclusions can never be as reliable as your own perception of the world. No matter how sophisticated a mathematical model may be, it will never match the accuracy of your direct inspection of the facts. 


The following list presents six sensitive areas where you should be particularly attentive to check the logic of any recommendation that is presented to you.

Check the details twice

First, in general, you should not expect someone else to solve your problems. Statistics proving otherwise should be subject to close scrutiny, since they seem to contradict a fundamental aspect of human nature. We all love to help family and friends, but should we believe any survey that promises uncertain help from indeterminate strangers? Check the details twice before you act on such conclusions.

Second, human beings become most effective when they concentrate on work they love, or at least, on work that matches their best talents. Do not decide on your career solely on the basis of statistics. 

A survey might show you, for instance, what are the average salaries in different professions, but remember that, within each field, there are large differences of income due to individual expertise, ambition, and dedication. Take career statistics with a grain of salt and rather use your common sense to identify which professional path is suitable for you.

Realistic expectations


Third, in the same line of thought, try to acquire the mental fortitude to discard preposterous expectations. Never trust studies that provide evidence that you can make a quick fortune by entering a business field where you don't posses any knowledge or experience. 

That kind of statistics, even if based on real data, frequently portrays a window of opportunity that has already closed by the time you hear about it. Be prudent and don't go blindly for things that look too good to be true.

Fourth, statistics that prompt you to waste your resources or risk your health should be regarded with utmost scepticism. If someone proves to you with numbers that work and play are equally productive, you should not believe it. 


If a survey tells you that it doesn't matter whether you take care of your health or not, you should stick to your salutary habits and rational good choices. Such surveys make the headlines precisely because they are controversial and contradict basic common sense. The data might be true if applied to particular circumstances, but the conclusions make little sense as general advice.

A call for caution

Fifth, surveys that predict awful consequences from seemingly harmless activities should be assessed with caution. For instance, a study showing that people holding a certain type of job die young might reflect the statistical truth. 

Nevertheless, if you read its conclusions in full, you will realize that many individuals in that profession live substantially longer than the average. Ask yourself what are the factors that make those men and women reach an advanced age and seek to draw lessons that you can apply to your life.

Sixth, trial and error are part of the natural learning process in any field of activity. For this reason, you should question the scientific value of any survey that enthrones a specific method of doing things. 


A sensible approach

Are the conclusions based on local circumstances or do they have general application? Has the study been conducted with impartiality or do you have reasons to suspect the existence of conflict of interests? Whenever you face a recommendation to narrow your field of inquiry, compare the statistics to what you know from experience, and see if the conclusion makes sense.

The purpose of surveys is to extract lessons from reality, but without method and logic, data cannot teach us anything of value. Place your common sense above all statistics and your reason above all calculations. 

Trust your immediate perception more than a hundred volumes of allegedly scientific conclusions, since in life, you will have to pay for your own mistakes. Always check twice what seems to be lie beyond doubt and question what appears self-evident. Let your own independent judgement guide your life according to reason and reality.

Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

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



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

Rationality is the Way to Happiness

Sunday, 6 December 2015

The untold psychological benefits of frugality

A man should strive to discard waste as matter of principle, but after making a dreadful mistake and suffering major losses, he should avoid comparing himself with someone else. It makes little sense to lament how well you could be doing if you had made wiser choices. The only thing you can do is to learn from the situation so that you can perform better next time.

Each human being is born in different circumstances, each life is unique. Individuals grow at their own pace and learn their own lessons. Errors and waste provide us with painful but irreplaceable experience.

A highly beneficial habit


Stand up and look ahead. Your next achievement will bring you farther. Mistakes will make you a better human being and show you the way to happiness if you acquire rational habits. When it comes to avoiding waste, no other habit is as powerful as frugality.

Suffering a major loss has few benefits other than rekindling personal ambition and making people realistic about how the world works. Whatever your level of income, frugality constitutes a highly beneficial habit. Even if contemporary society rarely promotes temperance and thrift, the truth is that individual prosperity is the consequence of savings and investment.


Peace of mind


Nothing escapes its reach, no one can circumvent its application. What you do today determines the level of tomorrow's pay. In addition to economic advantages, frugality also brings psychological benefits. Stress, anxiety, discouragement, and fear will not haunt the house of the austere.

Discarding waste and embracing frugality lead to peace of mind. Worries won't keep awake at night those who live with measure. Leading a rational life spares man the effort of following the latest fashion. When we dismiss artificial alternatives, we are left with the fundamental. Serenity is the result of simplification.


Decisiveness


Choosing frugality instead of waste will allow you to make fast and consistent decisions. When you trust your own judgement more than external opinion, you learn from mistakes and develop your skills. Frugality, which is based on stable values, leads to decisiveness. A man who possesses clear priorities can reject inconsistency without need of long discussions.

A prudent conduct brings the added benefit of risk reduction. A judicious man protects himself when at risk and tries to avert threats whenever possible. The tension of complex choices can wear out even the most balanced mind. On the other hand, a straightforward and consistent approach reduces errors of oversight. Shunning unnecessary cost keeps risk exposure low.

Ignore the noise


Ignoring the noise of false opinions liberates resources. Frugality enables man to breathe free of encumbrances and focus his efforts on what really counts. Happiness is not the result of accumulating tasks, but of a few essential activities that make a difference.

Discarding waste brings man wealth, but the material advantages of frugality go hand in hand with its psychological benefits. Disregard the unnecessary and pay attention to the crucial elements of a good life. Realizing that most things possess little relevance in the short term is what enables man to look ahead and make wise choices.


Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com
Image: photograph taken by John Vespasian, 2014.

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

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Disasters often contain the seed of great opportunities

Why are restraining beliefs so ingrained in society? What makes human beings support fantasies in word and deed? How is it possible that some people devote their energies to pretending that paralysis is an acceptable approach to living?

Exaggerated fears

Why would anyone devote efforts to convince himself that he cannot improve his own situation? Although many individuals are conscious of the disadvantages of psychological immobility, such paralysis is frequently endorsed. Millions of men and women fall prey to self-imposed restrictions that they could remove if they wished.

Three reasons explain why human beings are often deeply invested in immobility. Social convenience is the first, since it feels good to belong to the majority. Financial benefit is the second, since many doors are closed to those who ask uncomfortable questions. The third motive, fear of rejection, is perhaps the strongest.
Each of those justifications possesses extraordinary appeal on its own. All three combined are almost irresistible. Nevertheless, experience proves that, in the long run, doubt and psychological paralysis will destroy a man's life.

Social convenience can lead people to repress their best initiatives. The habit of seeking conformity deprives men of the force to pursue their dreams and stake their claims. However, the financial benefits of immobility, although sweet, tend to be short-lived.

In industrial societies, the negative consequences of rejection tend to be exaggerated by the media. Nowadays, global markets allow innovators to find their customers anywhere in the world even if their ideas are not appreciated by friends and neighbours.


Think for yourself


The golden advantages of social convenience always seem, at first sight, the obvious choice, but conformity and passivity make man's happiness impossible. Becoming aware of long-term consequences of immobility and taking rational initiative mark the path to success.

Inaction and conformity have so many advantages that, for some people, they become the choice by default. Few are told that those short-term benefits are dwarfed by their lifetime costs. Seldom is the fact mentioned that long-term passivity wipes out man's capacity for attaining success and happiness.

Psychological immobility arises when people are overwhelmed by problems, threats, or obstacles that look insurmountable. Logic and evidence provide the means to dispute and eliminate from our mind the fallacies that feed mental passivity. Rationality is what allows a person to make reasonable calculations and take action to improve his life.

For instance, if you want to avoid psychological exhaustion, you should never take it personally when people do stupid things. Never allow yourself to be paralysed by the fact that other persons have made a large mistake.

The temptation of passivity


Get back on your feet and avoid the temptation of passivity, since it produces nothing and leads to nothing. Motivational paralysis only serves to waste your life.

Make a point also to ignore gloomy predictions from the media, friends, or family. Most depressing statements are not true anyway and the world is not coming to an end. Do not join people wallowing in their misery. Never fall into immobility out of fear of things that, most likely, will never happen. Asses your alternatives, pick up the best, and begin to move in the right direction.

What looks today as universal malignancy often turns to be just another benign local problem that is quickly forgotten. What today seems a serious challenge has often little long-term significance. For those who refuse to be paralysed, catastrophes frequently contain the seed of great opportunities.

When people embrace passivity, that's the best time to take swift action. A crisis, personal or otherwise, should be faced through relentless initiative, not with immobility. Nobody but you can decide when a game is over.

Psychological paralysis is the worst enemy of achievement and happiness. Immobility is always a losing proposition. What you learn on bad days builds your creativity and strength of character. For those who remain alert and active, opportunities are created every minute.


Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

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



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


Rationality is the Way to Happiness

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Beware of the delusion of universal benevolence

At the beginning of the 16th century, life expectancy in Europe was much shorter that nowadays. Typhus and tuberculosis were fairly common. Influenza and common colds were lethal for undernourished peasants plagued by vermin and lice. Large numbers of deaths took place every winter.

Opportunity and risk


Medicine at that time was evolving from mysticism into science. Renaissance physicians took over the knowledge from ancient Greece and Rome, developed their own ideas, and began to experiment with new treatments. The sale of curative herbs and potions was a booming business, although few of those remedies actually proved beneficial to patients.

When wealthy merchants became sick, they had the means to pay for the services of the best physicians, from which there were only a few in each city. Since Universities produced small numbers of graduates, tending to the sick was a lucrative and prestigious occupation.

The discovery of new medical knowledge generated opportunity and risk. On the one hand, innovative cures benefited patients and created the basis for further research. On the other hand, new remedies disrupted the established business of physicians and pharmacists.

Medical practitioners had little incentive to abandon useless treatments for which they could charge hefty fees. The discovery of inexpensive natural remedies undermined their incomes and reputations.

Ignorance and prejudice


Historical distance allows us to contemplate the 16th century with a feeling of superiority. When we read about the beliefs that people upheld five hundred years ago, we react with amusement. Why did knowledge evolve so slowly? Why did ignorance and prejudice persist for so long?

The best minds of the 16th century asked the same questions. Paracelsus (1493-1541) offers a striking example in the field of medicine. His real name was Theophrastus von Hohenheim, which he changed himself to Paracelsus. The philosophical lesson to be learned from his life goes far beyond the scope of medical techniques.

We know little of Paracelsus' infancy. Like many middle-class youths of his time, he must have picked up the rudiments of Latin through private lessons. A knowledge of Latin was the only formal requirement to study at European Universities. The choice of subjects was mostly limited to theology, medicine, and law.

While Paracelsus completed his medical studies in Ferrara (Italy), the pest broke out and began to decimate the population. Those who could afford it left Ferrara for the countryside in order to avoid contagion. The poor remained in town and the epidemic wiped out complete families.

The municipality hired men to remove the sick from their houses and transport them to a closed camp outside the city wall, where they would be abandoned to die. Paracelsus, who was still a medical student, soon understood that medieval treatments, such as bleeding patients, were ineffective against the pest.

This realization led him to experiment with alternative methods. When the pest receded and normal life returned to Ferrara, Paracelsus presented his new ideas at the University. To his surprise, his views were met with scepticism and hostility. The professors in Ferrara did not welcome suggestions that contradicted inherited knowledge.

After graduation, Paracelsus travelled extensively throughout Europe. Sometimes, he would settle down in a city to practice medicine for a year; on other occasions, he would take up a position as surgeon in one of the armies involved in the wars that ravaged the Renaissance.
 

An important lesson

As his medical knowledge and expertise grew, so did his irritation with the incompetence of fellow physicians. Thanks to his wide travelling, Paracelsus had accumulated impressive surgical skills and long experience in the use of herbs and minerals for curative purposes. In contrast, the average medic in the 16th century possessed only the little knowledge that he had acquired at the University.

Paracelsus' effectiveness increased his fame, but his criticism of ignorant doctors made him many enemies. His conflicts with colleagues became extreme after he was appointed to teach medicine at the University of Basel (Switzerland).

With the perspective of five centuries, we can clearly see how unrealistic Paracelsus' expectations were. It was undeniable that he had acquired more knowledge than other physicians; nevertheless, it was chimerical for him to expect his colleagues to make way for truth when innovation undermined their livelihoods and reputations.

Is it not unfair that Paracelsus had to face such a strong resistance? Was his indignation at his ignorant colleagues not well justified? My point is that these questions are irrelevant because they are based on incorrect assumptions.

Unrealistic expectations are hard to discard because they are based on delusions of entitlement. Paracelsus felt wrongly entitled to reshape the world according to truth and innovation, even though the great majority of his contemporaries had vested interests in clinging to the past.

As a result, Paracelsus was forced to quit his position at the University of Basel a year later and return to his itinerant life. Although he was one of the best physicians of his time, he died in poverty before his 48th birthday.

The fact is that knowledge, expertise, or desire do not grant magical powers to anyone. Unrealistic expectations lead to waste and decay. A workable plan is worth a million debates. Let go of chimerical projects and focus on what can be reasonably accomplished. Stay away from grandiose undertakings and concentrate on entrepreneurship, which is the practical way to achievement.


Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

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



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

The Philosophy of Builders

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Do not let wrong ideas slow you down for years

How much of what we believe about the world holds true upon detailed examination? Are our convictions solidly based on facts? What about our ethical values and fundamental goals? Do we resort to prejudice in order to hide irrational fears? Do we appeal to tradition in order to safeguard inefficiency?

Resistance to change


It takes a strong will and massive efforts to modify, for instance, the way we eat. On many occasions, men and women undertake such changes only as a last resort, for instance, after having suffered a heart attack or being diagnosed with cancer.

Embracing a better diet becomes a major challenge when individuals endure constant social pressure to behave irresponsibly. Business meetings in Russia are still being closed with rounds of vodka. When colleagues and customers push you to drink, it is very difficult to resist, even if you are conscious of the negative consequences of your actions.

Inferior food and excessive alcohol undermine our health. Falsehoods sabotage our interests and place heavy burdens on our shoulders. Misrepresentations can be pleasant and enticing despite their lethal consequences.

The bigger the falsehood, the less that will remain of your independence. If you subscribe to misrepresentations, they will erode your entrepreneurial abilities. You will forsake your initiative and become psychologically dependent. How can you replace common myths by effective truths?


Constructive action

Do you ever tell yourself that someone, somewhere is going to recognize your talent? Good things do not necessarily happen to those who wait long enough. The effective truth is that, if your talents are underutilized, you'd better take action to promote them. It is up to you to improve your situation.

Imagine that, after suffering some minor abuse or discrimination, you become enraged, lusting for revenge. Is someone going to come to fix the world and put an end to unfairness?

The truth is that everybody makes mistakes. It is seldom worth it to devote your time to correcting other people's minor faults. Put the unpleasant story out of your mind and move on. Apply your efforts to pursuing your goals, not to telling people off.

Take the initiative


Put yourself in the shoes of someone who gets divorced in his mid-forties. For this man, it feels good to hang around his old friends and be comforted for the difficulties that he is encountering, but is this an effective behaviour?

Maybe they will introduce him to someone nice who will put his life back on track. Otherwise, he will just have to get used to loneliness, won't he? The truth is that he needs to make a workable plan to rebuild his life. Should he join a health club? Should he use on-line dating to meet a new romantic partner?

No more hesitation

Imagine that you practise a beloved hobby that you would like to turn into a source of income. Unfortunately, everybody is telling you that you should not take risks at your age. You hear that your best chance of success is to stay put in your job until retirement age.

The effective truth is that it takes a long time to establish any sort of business. The sooner you start your entrepreneurial career, the better off you will be in the long term. Postponement does not reduce risk. A sensible approach would be to start up your business on the side, devoting your evenings and weekends to it.

Do not allow wrong ideas to slow you down for years. Do not be contented with bromides that waste your life. Throw away misrepresentations and adopt an entrepreneurial attitude based on facts. Waiting only keeps you down. Action solves problems.

Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

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


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


Rationality is the Way to Happiness

Friday, 13 November 2015

Keep your common sense in all circumstances


The magazine "Fast Company" just published on their website Lisa Evan's article "Five personal development myths," where she quotes me on the subject of personal growth. Lisa's article presents some of my favourite ideas: Do not fall prey to wondrous promises of overnight personal transformation. Keep your common sense in all circumstances. Never relinquish your ability to think for yourself.


Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

Image: Photograph of classical painting taken by John Vespasian, 2013.

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

When everything fails, try this

Thursday, 12 November 2015

One thing you can surely do better than Aristotle

Aristotle was a great philosopher, but entrepreneurship was one thing that he never managed to understand. In the "Nicomachean Ethics," his essay on justice and morality, he views society as a market where human desires are stable, where the demand for each product is constant, and each purchase has a predictable price.

Changing conditions

You don't need to look at the world for long to rate Aristotle's view as highly unrealistic. The truth is that, in the field of work and commerce, prices vary incessantly. New products appear daily on the market. Growing ventures create jobs, while old-fashioned industries are reducing the number of their employees. Trading conditions change, markets move, and money circulates.

Businessmen are conscious of the fact that initiative leads to success. Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of innovation. Economic growth begins with one person making the first move and showing the way. In order to surpass average results, a man has to step out of the routine.

In the world of business, clients and profits are the result of entrepreneurship. A company that has profitable sales can always borrow money. Bankers seldom refuse a loan to businesses that generate positive cash-flow. Personal initiative fuels innovation and drives companies to higher levels of performance.


Take the initiative


The situation is not much different in the area of relationships. Friendship and love grow stale without personal initiative. Developing a happy social life requires a certain type of entrepreneurship. This is a factor that cannot be replaced by any amount of wishful thinking.

Unfortunately, the entrepreneurial factor in love and happiness is frequently underrated or denied. Television repeatedly shows stories where success happens by chance. Films love to portray heroes who attain happiness by coincidence without any effort from their side. Those tales are mostly made-up and a wise man should never take them as a fair representation of reality.

Entrepreneurial activity involves shifting resources through time and space. A businessman might, for instance, borrow money at 6% interest in order to invest it for a 10% return. If he does that several times with growing sums of money, chances are that he will become very wealthy.

The princople can also be applied to the field of relationships. If you wish to enjoy a great social life in the future, you should make the effort to establish new contacts regularly. Even if you just meet one new person per week, sooner or later, you will get to know a few individuals who share your values.


Fresh opportunities


Friendships and love relations can begin in the most unusual circumstances. The key requirement is that individuals should be open to an initial contact. Brief introductions may lead to further interactions that develop into long-term relationships. This is why entrepreneurs are always alert to fresh opportunities to meet new people. You will observe the same attitude in those who enjoy happy social lives.

Entrepreneurial minds can be spotted by their extreme impatience at school or during their apprenticeship. They dislike slow motion and are driven towards activities that produce tangible results. They want to lead a life of growing improvement and continuous progress. They view speed as a synonym of efficiency.

Interesting people


Let me encourage you to adopt an entrepreneurial attitude in the area of personal relationships. Everybody has constrains in terms of time and resources, but those limitations should not prevent you from seeking out opportunities to meet new people whom you might find interesting.

Conferences that revolve around your favourite subjects constitute great places for meeting like-minded individuals. In the majority of cases, those initial contacts will not lead to friendship or love and that is precisely the way it should be.

Entrepreneurs are only interested in opportunities that are right for them. They know that, before they can embrace one successful idea, they will have to discard many others that lead nowhere. Resources are always limited, but p
ossibilities are infinite.

Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

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


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


When everything fails, try this

Friday, 6 November 2015

Happiness calls for steady purpose and continuous action

Relinquishing individual thinking and embracing blind conformity brings enormous advantages. For instance, it can save you time when making decisions. It will also spare you the occasional embarrassment of having to hide the truth. However, conformity cannot provide the basis for good relationships.

Two mistakes to avoid


Conformity occupies one end of the psychological spectrum. The opposite side is occupied by non-conformity, which often boils down to blind loyalty to some rebellious idea or lifestyle. For instance, non-conformists prefer to practise dangerous sports instead of spending their holidays on the beach.

The hobbies of non-conformist may include playing exotic games instead of watching films. These are the kind of people who seldom go for a walk in the park, but they might spend a fortune on a tour of the tropical forest. The clothes of non-conformists, instead of being clean and well-ironed, tend to be messy and torn.

Whether you choose conformity or non-conformity as basis for your relationships will make little practical difference. In both cases, your years will be filled with colourful or predictable souvenirs, but not with happiness. Imitating distorted pictures is not the way to create a great painting.

Adopting values that make no sense will not move you towards success and happiness. The exaltation of inconsistencies will not render your feelings more intense. Walking a downtrodden track leads to a dejected spirit. In the field of love and friendship, thoughtlessness is not a workable path.

Elements of wisdom


Rational values are the key to satisfactory relationships. If you embrace logic, you won't need to spend your days wondering which sub-culture to join. Wisdom consists of identifying the universal principles of human relations, applying them in our daily lives, and correcting mistakes when they occur.

Seeking out thoughtful persons as friends (or when choosing a spouse) plays a crucial role in attaining happiness. Sound choices are the result of a rational evaluation of people and events. Achieving success and happiness requires deep involvement with human beings who respect logic and consistency.

In order to develop happy relationships, we must allow our minds to filter out the noise of fashion. We need to stop believing in myths. Neither specific clothes, nor gadgets, nor living in a specific location can provide the basis for good personal relations. Only individuals who share rational values are really able to communicate, understand, and appreciate each other.

The importance of consistency


Large number of people have no moral standards, but you are not obliged to imitate their foolishness. As your friends or spouse, you should seek out exclusively individuals who can think for themselves, and who can choose a good course of action, and follow it consistently. 

You also need to abandon contradictory goals yourself. Do not get involved with persons whom you know to be erratic, since they are unable to maintain good personal relationships. Unpredictability is synonymous of inconsistency. False ideas inevitably conflict with facts and with each other. People who pursue contradictory goals condemn themselves to a life of high stress.
 
Perspective is essential


Anxiety is the mark of people who move at random, people who have no destination. Animals do not need perspective, but humans do. In order to achieve great personal relationships, you need to determine your direction. A wise person cannot be satisfied with short-term relationships and short-term goals. Superficial personal bonds and superficial goals take a disproportionate amount of time, and cannot provide the pleasures of deep psychological involvement.

Rational values embody principles that are common to all thinking human beings. Those values are distilled from reality by means of observation and logic. In contrast, irrational people cannot establish steady relationships because their behaviour continuously clashes with facts.

The law of cause and effect, the fundamental principle of existence, also governs the relations between men and women. The relations that you build today will determine how your future plays out. Your choice of friends and spouse are going to play a key role in your happiness.

Reason is the best tool to live our lives effectively, to decide whom to befriend, and who is worthy of our love. Use reason to establish your priorities also in the field of human relationships. Other approaches (such as blind conformity or non-conformity) can provide short-term contentment, but not real happiness.

Taking the long-term view


Superficiality tends to add much expense and deliver little value. Do not fall into that trap. Shrug your shoulders at short-sighted advice. Ignore invitations from irrational people. Do not associate with them, neither as friends nor as love companions. If you steer away from fools, you will spare yourself enormous costs and trouble.

In your choice of spouse, do not sell yourself short by giving up your rational values. Adopt logic and consistency as your only criteria for love and friendship. Happiness calls for steady purpose and continuous action. Choose the way of reason, and adopt a set of consistent values. Developing relationships with other rational individuals can be a slow process, but it is extremely rewarding. It will enable you to lead a successful life, and enjoy the company of the best of humanity.


Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

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



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

When everything fails, try this

Sunday, 1 November 2015

The importance of a clear and consistent purpose

A clear perception of the world brings man unlimited rewards, but learning to see the truth is seldom easy and never without cost. Only by developing an ambitious and realistic vision of the future can man escape the trap of paralysis. Without sharply-defined objectives, we tend to fall into conformity, a bank from which we can borrow short-term convenience in exchange for a mortgage on our soul.

Disconnected expectations


 "Men should avoid the distractions of pretence and delusion," wrote German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer in the year 1842. "Expectations disconnected from reality always result in disappointment and sorrow."


Take the time to reflect about what you want to achieve in life and try to condense your dreams in one sentence. Without self-starting motivation, man is easily blinded by a fog of contradictions that lead to expensive mistakes.

Only a self-image of health can permanently prevent individuals from consuming unhealthy food. People who have not established self-preservation as a goal, keep on consuming damaging substances despite being aware of their long-term negative effects, in the illusion that, somehow, they alone will be immune to the consequences.

The same principle applies to decaying work environments. Men and women who have not determined ambitious long-term objectives for themselves, tend to close their eyes to signs of decline in the company they work for in order to avoid the nuisance of searching alternative employment.

Too good to be true


Write down your own vision of the future and keep it where you can see it. Defining your destination will help you avoid wrong relationships and avert people who drag you down. Men who lack firm ethical values tend to ignore character flaws in people they meet and often go as far as attributing non-existent virtues to whomever they find sexually attractive, even if that person is manifestly keeping them away from the path of achievement.

Defining your goals in life will not render you immune to errors, but will help you minimize them. When it comes to choosing the right alternative, few habits are as effective as standing still, questioning what looks too good to be true, and checking its consistency with your established objectives.

Restate your goals


"Only an unclouded vision of reality allows man to perceive truth," observed Schopenhauer. "Decisions based on facts render individuals self-supporting, which is the key of happiness." History shows that lack of rational values, more than ignorance, constitutes the main block to progress. A man should never forget that his advancement towards success and happiness depends on his loyalty to his own rational objectives.

Write down your fundamental goals and summarize them in one sentence. Restate your vision of the future at every opportunity and discard options that don't match it. Only by our achieving philosophical clarity can our actions be consistent and effective. Moving continuously in the direction of your goals will maximize your chances of success and happiness.


Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

Image: Photograph taken by John Vespasian, 2015.


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

When everything fails, try this

Friday, 30 October 2015

The teachings of the past should never be forgotten

The great period of Ancient Roman prosperity lasted only two centuries, until the death of Marcus Aurelius in 180 C.E. Nevertheless, the physical and intellectual assets accumulated during those years have allowed Roman civilization to exert its influence until our day. 

Repeating old mistakes
 
The teachings of the past should never be forgotten, since the principles of how to achieve happiness and success are immutable. We don't need to waste resources making mistakes that can easily be avoided if we pay attention to History.

From the best times of Ancient Rome, we can learn important lessons about how to lead a rational life. Although technology and social context have evolved, we should still pay attention to recommendations of wise individuals who have learned from their errors, frequently after paying a heavy price. The following principles summarize essential elements of how to lead a rational life and enhance our chances of attaining happiness.

A solution to many problems


First, you should aim at becoming an entrepreneur, irrespective of your social origin, since individual initiative has repeatedly proven to be the ideal tool to create wealth, independence, and psychological well-being. 

During the golden age of Ancient Rome, the number of self-employed people grew faster than in any previous time in History, as large parcels of uncultivated land were put to agricultural use for the first time. In the 21st century, the same phenomenon is taking place on the internet, which has become the great liberator of entrepreneurial energies without distinction of sex, race, age, or personal history.

Focus on workable projects


Second, remember that there are more good ideas around that there is capital to fund them. Although the economy of Ancient Rome experienced sustained growth in the second century C.E., writings from that period show that it was not easy to obtain a loan. Contemporary financial institutions are thousands of times more efficient than the modest mortgage markets of Ancient Rome, but the number of individuals looking to borrow money has also grown exponentially. 

At any given time, there are always many more people in the world willing to borrow money than there are funds available. Do not waste your energy on projects that have no real chance of obtaining financial backing. Focus only on workable ventures.

Look for a practical approach


Third, bear in mind that, in Ancient Rome, individuals with vision faced similar obstacles as nowadays. How do you fund trade expeditions? Which goods should you import and export? Entrepreneurial men in ancient times quickly realized that the traditional Roman approach to business finance, a mortgage on a piece of land, was inadequate to conduct commercial enterprises. 

Through trial and error, they created different types of partnership contracts that have evolved through the centuries into our modern venture capital funds. Do not give up when traditional methods prove unsuitable to carry out your ideas. Seek further until you find a practicable approach.

Embrace salesmanship


Fourth, become conscious of the fact that salesmanship opens the door to tolerance and friendship. Ancient Romans learned the hard way that a commercial attitude was the only way to maintain a high standard of living. The first and the second century C.E. led to massive wealth creation due to an expansion of tolerance and entrepreneurship across Europe and the Middle East. 

Conflicts, although frequent, were limited in range. In the present context, when millions of individuals across the world are devoting their creativity to international commercial ventures, rationality is respected as the cardinal virtue of those who achieve business success. Effective salesmanship is nothing but logic applied to commerce.

Learn the lessons

As in Ancient Rome, logic and consistency remain today the pillars of personal growth. If you doubt that rationality is the best way to conduct your life, read History and study the dire consequences of prejudice and abuse. The events of past centuries prescribe that each of us should become entrepreneurial instead of expecting free help to come to us.

Instead of repeating old mistakes, let us learn the lessons of ancient wisdom and keep away deceitful theories that contradict the facts of History. We need to develop enough resiliency to avoid being overwhelmed by other people's opinion or lack of it. Studying Ancient Rome is a very effective method of reinforcing the idea that we should not waste our time trying to establish paradise on earth.

Discarding new ideas that do not work, and favouring proven systems is a sign of wisdom. The same logic applies to walking away from situations where people tell us that rationality doesn't count. Let us avoid repeating the faults of the past. It is much better to do what is right, even if it happens to be unpopular.


Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

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



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

Rationality is the Way to Happiness

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Make your reflexes faster, profit from the changing wind

Accepting that your days are limited is a precondition for making the best use of your time. With happiness as a long-term goal, personal growth becomes a short-term objective. With longevity as a desirable aim, good nutrition becomes a crucial element of the good life. The trend is given by Nature, but each individual must define his own strategy.

Needless pressure


Gaining understanding of the fact that each passing day is irrecoverable exerts enormous pressure on the insecure. They wonder incessantly if they are doing the right thing or enough of it. They speculate about a myriad of other activities that they could be carrying out instead. They terrorize themselves with statistics of who is doing what, how fast, and how well.

Should we let anxiety drive our lives? In the pursuit of our goals, how can we strike the optimal balance between peace of mind and personal growth? An hour always has sixty minutes and every new day offers us another twenty-four hours. Exaggerated time-consciousness and focus on achievement may lead men to a psychological misery not better than the destitution of the idler.

Stop from time to time 


Personal growth requires balance as much as it demands passion. The path to happiness should be first drawn with charcoals and then brought to life with oil colours. We learn as we walk. Mistakes are inescapable as we sometimes take the wrong turn of the road. Nobody possesses the ability to make all the correct choices.

No man can at the same time concentrate all resources on his future and enjoy the hours of the present. Each individual is born and raised in different circumstances. Genetic, family, and personal qualities vary heavily from one person to the next, even within the same family. The philosophical approach to happiness should not deviate from the hard rules of reality.

Imagine a young man who, growing in the most favourable environment, identifies his lifetime ambitions when he is fifteen years old. He may well spend the rest of his life pursuing his goals, but there is no guarantee that he will achieve them. Anyone entering a professional field has to learn the trade and assimilate its written and unwritten rules.

Sooner or later, lack of knowledge, bad luck or misunderstandings will slow down his professional progress or bring it to a complete standstill. Any biography that you may read will provide evidence of the universality of this principle. Trains stop from time to time, careers stall, and fortunes are sometimes lost.

Occasionally, evil forces may play a role in the demise of a great ambition, but those cases are more rare than popular accounts tend to portray. More often than not, discouragement is the visceral response to failure. Summer grows the seeds nourished by spring rain and winter kills the trees weakened by autumn storms. However, when it comes to human beings, our mental versatility allows us to develop extreme resiliency and surmount all disappointments.

A formula that works


What is the best approach to adapt the rhythm of our personal growth to our own conditions and situations? Can we define a formula that applies to all men, all countries, and all historical periods? Experience has taught me that best strategy is to identify your target, start moving immediately towards it, and correct mistakes along the way.

Relentless action will take you farther on any road you choose, but the crucial aspect in the happiness quest might not be motivation but efficiency. Everybody can raise his motivation level, at least for a while, by attending rallies and listening to speeches. You can chant and dance around, you can dream and speak your heart out, but very little will be achieved.

Other people may support your endeavours or oppose your initiatives, but in the long-term, their actions play only a minor role, like the noise of a train running on its track. Indeed, the sound accompanies the train, but what moves the wagons is the engine, not the noise.

Discard motivation and let action drive you to a better life. What you do counts more than what you dream about. Gaining efficiency and speed on your path to happiness are desirable effects connected to the choice and extent of your actions. If you wish, spend some time cultivating your motivation, but do not let it develop into a game of its own. Talking is not tantamount to doing.

The crucial element


Fast and cheap mistakes are the cardinal accelerator of human success. Inexpensive errors are the sweetest way to happiness, in particular when those errors are rapidly admitted and corrected. Learn a lesson from each of them and avoid repeating the cause and effect. This factor alone can compound the positive effects of your work and lead you to levels of achievement that you previously thought beyond your reach.

The experience acquired in a few years of continuous action will teach you more than several decades of exquisite motivational talks. Reality is too complex to be reduced to pure theory. This is why personal growth can be achieved only through experience.

Knowledge is spread in the market like minerals are contained in sea water. If you wish to become a great surfer, you will have to taste the water hundreds of times. Your reflexes will become faster as you learn how to profit from the changing wind. In your search of happiness, let practice take precedence over speculation. From mistakes, you gain insight and a sharper vision, while empty talk will just eat up your limited time. Choose the way of action.


Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

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



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

 John Vespasian's books

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

The dire consequences of financial short-sightedness

 

Today I was quoted by Aaron Crowe in his article about serious financial mistakes you should avoid.

This was my contribution to Aaron's article:

Among the worst financial mistakes to make in life, focusing exclusively on the present is the worst, says John Vespasian, author of seven books about rational living.

"If you fail to think long-term, you will render yourself blind to the best opportunities," Vespasian says. "You will waste your money on foolish purchases. You will destroy your motivation to learn complex subjects. And you will surround yourself with the kind of people who are also incapable of thinking long-term."

"People who focus exclusively on the short term tend to make incredibly stupid financial decisions," he says. "In doing so, they subject themselves to high stress and anxiety that could have been easily avoided. A man who lacks a long-term perspective in his life will never be able to save money consistently, nor to spend it wisely."

"Our society places a disproportionate emphasis on purchases that delivery little or zero long-term value. Few people take the trouble to acquire the discipline to think in terms of a lifetime. If you can see yourself living to become 100 years old, and realize what that means in terms of financial foresight, you will avoid foolish financial mistakes."

Text by John Vespasian

Image: Photograph taken by John Vespasian, 2013.



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

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Perfectionism is a dangerous obsession. Avoid it at all costs

The belief that you should do something flawlessly or not at all is erroneous, unrealistic, and counter-productive. Despite the fact that television and magazines are full of recommendations to be positive, have confidence, and hope for better times, perfectionism and the resulting discouragement are rampant in contemporary society, possibly more than in any previous era of humanity. 

The mirage of perfection

Perfectionism is a dangerous fantasy to be avoided at all costs. Already in the year 326 BC, Aristotle observed that a balanced life perspective is a prerequisite for attaining happiness. Unfortunately, the  philosopher's voice has been long forgotten. As a result, millions of men and women are suffering from anxiety and depression.

In order to overcome adversity, man needs a rational response. Expecting flawless performance every time leads to obsessive behaviour, excessive preoccupation, and nihilism. None of those approaches work. None of them has ever improved anything.

Obsessive behaviour and excessive preoccupation will narrow your ambitions to the minimum and push you to waste hours on meaningless details. Nihilism, on the other hand, will deprive your life of direction, replacing ambition with neglect, and drive with dereliction. Under this philosophy, your vision will be reduced to perceiving, from everything, the worst. Convictions will turn into derision. Purpose will be wiped out by random decisions.

The rational approach


The rational approach to dealing with personal difficulties begins with discarding perfectionism. Errors are normal events in human action and you are unique in your genetic characteristics and personal circumstances. When things don't work out as expected, do not compare yourself with other people or with unrealistic standards of achievement. Such irrational comparisons bring nothing but misery.

Let go of chimerical expectations and make the best of your situation. Look for practical solutions. Assess different alternatives. Make a workable plan and implement it. In any case, you should abandon perfectionism right now, since its drawbacks dwarf its negligible advantages.

The wise alternative


Focused long-term action enables man to surmount major obstacles. Do no waste time with lamentations and wishful thinking. Keep on advancing on your chosen path and do not look back on past mistakes, except for drawing lessons for the future.

If you look around, you will find plenty of examples of people who have succeeded despite overwhelming burdens. Throw away expectations of immediate and flawless achievement. Maintain your serenity and trust the principle of cause and effect. Although life offers no guarantee of success, intelligent persistence has repeatedly proven to work. Can you extract some gain from each mistake? Time will wash away embarrassment and pain, but the teachings will remain.

The opposite of perfectionism is tolerance, the virtue of eliminating irrational demands and accepting a blemished reality. Tolerance brings openness and flexibility. Instead of expecting perfection, a wise man takes continuous steps to improve his results. When he is sailing, he watches the weather without getting angry at the changing wind because he knows that he can correct the course of his ship as often as he needs.

A good mental exercise against perfectionism is to imagine what you will do if your current projects fail catastrophically. How would you feel if, after working on a major sale for three months, the transaction fails to take place at the last minute due to a factor that you had not foreseen?

The rational response


The irrational response would be to fall into depression and self-recrimination. A more realistic and practical approach would lead to accept that your expectations may have been exaggerated in the first place. What will be the lesson for the future? A deal should be considered closed only when a contract has been signed.

Don't stop pushing before you cross the end-line, but at the same time, strive to maintain your serenity. Do not rely on half-cooked plans and always have a back-up solution. Do things fast and check them long. Take reasonable precautions, but leave perfectionism to the obsessed.

Preventive action helps minimize preoccupation and might save you a fortune down the road. Spread your bets, whether private or professional, and never place all your hopes on a single event that might or might not happen.

Do work in an organized and persistent manner, but at a certain point, stop worrying about results. Sometimes, things just don't work. Pushing beyond reasonable limits only makes bad situations worse.


What to do next

All resources are limited, including your emotional resources. Set clear priorities and do not overextend yourself. Write down your plans, as well as your alternatives in case of failure. Buy insurance against major risks instead of trusting your luck. A flawless world does not exist. Sooner or later, bad things happen.

Learn to judge events and people sensibly, and do not overreact to problems. The search for perfection is a delusion that wastes energy and obscures facts. Most things do not matter much in the long term. Rationality, although seldom easy, is the only practical response to adversity.

Abandon unrealistic expectations, and adopt a tolerant view of people and events. Strive to see things as they are, unpolluted by false ideals, and your self-confidence will increase. Perfectionism does not work because it ignores the crucial role that patience and persistence play in achievement.

All learning begins with openness and curiosity. Rigid expectations of impossible success prevent self-knowledge, and lead to anxiety. Focus on your strengths, not on what other people are doing. Define what is important for you without using statistics as guidance. Your values will tell you where to concentrate your resources.

Mistakes come in all sorts and colours. Learn to view them as stepping-stones leading you to a higher plateau. Accept errors and use them to your advantage. If you go with the flow, there is no limit how far you can row. Abandon perfectionism right now.


Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com

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



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

Rationality is the Way to Happiness