Alice in Texas

Not writing here anymore- see top post for details of my new blogs.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

things I have learned #1 dry philosophical stuff

1. People can decide to be happy. There is nearly always tons and tons to be happy about, if you think about it, far far more than there is to be miserable about. But your state of mind is not hardwired to your circumstances anyway, you have free will and can change it.

2. Nearly all our unhappiness is linked to fear. This requires thinking about as well. There are probably millions of best-possible-outcomes for almost every situation, but we think it safer to imagine the worst ones and emote about them in advance. It doesn't really help at all. If a good outcome happened, wouldn't you feel silly for having wasted your happiness being so negative before?

3. Regret is a total waste of time. It is always better to make mistakes and learn from them than to do nothing, and those of us who actually live our lives instead of hiding behind anxieties and social conventions should feel good about that.

4. Goodness does bring rewards and badness does get its come-uppance. For instance, a good financially comfortable person will be enjoying every aspect of his fortune, while his bad equally financially comfortable will be miserable, unappreciative and drinking himself to death. Also, actively living a good life maximises your health.

5. A life well-lived is full of challenges. The harder the challenge, the more you learn by working through it, even (or especially) if at the time it seems dark and impossible. Happiness comes from mental fitness, whereas avoiding challenges ultimately leads to mental and physical stress, boredom and unhappiness. The fitter you are, the harder your challenges need to be in order to get you fitter. Anyone can seek and find a challenge when they need one.

6. Theories are just theories. They can help you a lot, but real knowledge is in the nitty-gritty, often sub-verbal, detailed information that comes with experience. Of course, experiences are often misused and misinterpreted, and many experiences are dangerous and sub-optimal. But the less you act, the less it is possible to learn.

7. People can be incredibly stupid, wrong, arrogant, objectionable and irrational. Expecting anything more from a person without good reason is silly and doomed to failure.

8. People will dismiss your most heartfelt, deeply-held, principled convictions out of hand. They will condemn ideas they know little or nothing about. They will pick apart your morals on a whim, and assume that everything you spent your life learning is similarly just a whim, only an even lesser one. None of this matters. They are only damaging themselves- if your knowledge is good then it will serve you fine whatever they think or do.

9. Life is good.

10. Life in general is getting better, because we are making it better. Individual lives can always be improved, but only through the efforts of their owners.


Post a Comment

<< Home