Friday, 8 February 2013

Are you overexposed to nonsense? If you let inconsistency rule your life, your years will be wasted. You can tell bad advice by its paralysing effect. Acquiring wisdom requires trial and error

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 counter-productive advice.

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, your years will be wasted

Welcome 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

Before 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 challenges.

Acquiring wisdom requires trial and error

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.

If 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 scratch.

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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