I decided many years ago to adopt what I call “The Deathbed Metric” when judging a situation. By this I mean, I imagine myself on my death bed and then think, would I really care about this situation? This metric makes it a lot easier to eliminate extraneous, unnecessary bullshit from my life so that I can focus on what I am here for rather than getting caught up in the Giant Distraction Machine of popular culture and such. Sometimes I get distracted, though. Have to have some silly fun sometimes, especially with friends and family.
So yeah, it may seem a little extreme or negative, but think about it.
Back in university, I did some work for an education PhD candidate. I think she was in her 50s at the time as well as her husband. I had some wonderful conversations with her and one of the things she left me with was a book called Work Less, Play More by a geologist in the petroleum sector named Steven Catlin. The basic gist of the book is, don’t let other people dictate your life. It’s yours and you only get one (well, as far as anyone can tell so far) so maximize your enjoyment of it. I am certainly not advocating rampant hedonism (I’ve already tried it, it gets old after a while), I mean more in the sense of Eudaimonia. Much of the book is about shrewd financial management that is “common sense” on the face of it but really smart people still fall into the debt-ridden wage slave consumerist rat race and don’t realize how pointless and wasteful it is until it’s too late.
I got to thinking about this again when cryptogon posted this about an article called “Regrets of the Dying” and here are the top 5:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Some people seem to think this is some kind of selfish outlook on life. So? Even if that were a bad thing, I have found almost always in my life that the kind of people that say “oh, that’s so selfish of you!” are the actual selfish ones in the sense that, wittingly or no, are just trying to manipulate you to do something that will benefit them. They are called VAMPIRES or parasites. Socialist types I’ve found to be similar – they always want to share YOUR stuff, but when it comes to theirs, they either don’t have any or are unwilling to. If plan A of persuasion/guilt trip/passive aggression doesn’t work, plan B of naked force might be used depending on the importance of goal achievement. Watch out for these scum because they are everywhere.
The only book I’ve read by Ayn Rand is her little screed on this concept called “The Virtue of Selfishness”. Highly recommended. In fact, I may read it again…
A similar corollary is the old adage “feed a man a fish he eats for a day, teach him how to fish and he eats for a lifetime”. The former is a form of thinly-veiled Svengali enslavement, the latter is empowering individuals to help themselves. One of the results of the latter is that they can then help others more effectively. The end result collectively is a society of free and prosperous individuals.
Update 15 Sep 2012
“God helps those that helps themselves.” – Unknown
Making this sticky so y’all don’t waste your lives not realizing your true potentials.
Love and Life, Maximum Positive.
Update 18 Sep 2012
TruthNeverTold started uploading the Sons of Liberty Academy modules to youtube. I started viewing them about this time last year and am still not done. Highly recommended if you want positive, long-term solutions to disconnecting from the psychopath debt and war machine.