“As soon as A observes something which seems to him to be wrong, from which X is suffering, A talks it over with B, and A and B then propose to get a law passed to remedy the evil and help X. Their law always proposes to determine what C shall do for X or, in the better case, what A, B and C shall do for X. As for A and B, who get a law to make themselves do for X what they are willing to do for him, we have nothing to say except that they might better have done it without any law, but what I want to do is to look up C. I want to show you what manner of man he is. I call him the Forgotten Man. Perhaps the appellation is not strictly correct. He is the man who never is thought of. He is the victim of the reformer, social speculator and philanthropist, and I hope to show you before I get through that he deserves your notice both for his character and for the many burdens which are laid upon him.”
I think academia would be a better place and with a little less ego if we all followed your lead on this! Finally, you’re working on well-being now. What can we do to boost our well-being?
I can think of three things. First, change the way you use your time. Time is the ultimate finite resource – we should use it as if it is. Second, try to pay attention to the things that make your life better rather than concentrating on the things that make your life worse. And the third I think is to invest your time on activities that you will continue to pay attention to. For example when people buy a car they imagine themselves driving the car and enjoying it. But most of the time when you actually own the car and are driving it you’re not attending to it. However, when you are socialising with friends you are attending to that activity. So there are activities that are attention-rich intrinsically. If there are good activities that are attention rich you should work on them – you should try to have a lot of them in your life. I think people don’t do that enough.
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If you could boil down everything you know into something concise that you would like to convey to the younger people in your life, what would you say? Below are some of my thoughts.
First, would be “Do unto others, as you would have done to yourself”. The golden rule. With this, you don’t need any other religion or morality.
Second would be to exercise. Exercise has so many benefits. Besides the obvious fitness, there are the self esteem and confidence benefits and I believe a strong relation to drive and intelligence.
Third would be to read. Read to learn and understand. Not romance novels and other useless crap, but the classics, history, psychology, economics. Learn the meaning of words, learn logic and clear thinking.
And lastly, question everything. Don’t take anything at face value, even and especially if its a view passed down from your parents. If you don’t understand something, seek to understand it. And don’t rely on others to teach you, teach yourself what you need to know to understand your questions.
I feel that if you follow these four simple to say, but not so simple to follow rules, you will have a significant advantage over a majority of your peers. In a global and ever more competitive world it might be a required edge.