Friday, 13 March 2015

An illusion to which we cling too avidly

Our world looks orderly because we have trained ourselves to disregard inconsistencies. Familiarity does not necessarily breed contempt, but it often renders individuals overconfident. Immigrants that arrive in a new country make observations that puzzle those whose ancestors have lived there for generations.

Your most valuable qualities

Watch out for the entrapment of safety so that you do not fall asleep. Our two most precious assets, our health and our mind, depreciate with excessive comfort. Our two most valuable qualities, ambition and persistence, vanish as soon as we take them for granted.

Once a man is born, he is tested and contested until the day he dies. Permanence is for the greatest part an illusion to which we cling too avidly. Most things we do are meant to be temporary; attempting to make them last too long is unnatural and counter-productive.

A price too high to pay

Civilization has brought us a million gains beyond what prehistoric hunter-gatherers enjoyed. Those benefits should be preserved and enhanced. Let us savour modern life without relinquishing our entrepreneurial spirit.

Science has reduced the impact of sickness so that we can remain free-ranging adventurers. Technology has enlarged the scope of our activities so that we can explore unknown territories. Do not let your longing for permanence and safety paralyse your initiative.

The price that we pay for the pretence of orderliness is too high. Human beings function best when their mind remains flexible and alert. A wise man attains certainty by overcoming contradictions, not by avoiding action. 

The real purpose

Security is a desirable goal because it allows individuals to develop their abilities and achieve a comfortable life, but it should not become an excuse for immobility. The real purpose of a home is to have place to rest, not a prison to restrain our action. Independent thinking and entrepreneurship lead to personal effectiveness, from which safety is just a side effect.

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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