Some principles I hope to abide by |
Or, some principles I have grown to try to abide by.
All things to strive for, some realistic and some less so.
Be Decision Driven
As in, don’t rely on motivation or external pressure to do things. There are things you want to do, there are things you need to do, there are things you merely should do. Some of these things you are afraid to do, some of them you are apathetic about, some will take years to do. So many of these things - productive things, good-for-you things, kind things - are hard to do. But they are worth doing, much more so than being paralyzed into numb time wasting as is so easy in our age of the Internet.
So, force yourself to get past the easy life and do the hard things. Control yourself, feel you have a will by which to steer yourself into action. Think about what to do. Start with goals, motivations, feelings, principles, realities, but end with duties, with responsibilities, with decisions which you will follow whether you have motivation or feel like it or not. This is less unpleasant than it sounds - you will decide not only to throw yourself into work, but also to take naps, to eat snacks, to enjoy life. And, be capable of much more.
By the way, it seems to be basically what a guy named Immanuel Kant argued for, and he is kind of a big deal.
Kantian ethics are deontological, revolving entirely around duty rather than emotions or end goals. All actions are performed in accordance with some underlying maxim or principle, which are deeply different from each other; it is according to this that the moral worth of any action is judged.”
Be Careful With Feelings
As in, don’t accept feelings as inherently true. As in, don’t let yourself worry excessively. Feelings can be nice. But they are too often foolish, ignorant, or unreasonable. Don’t trust them. Question them, scrutinize them, check them. You may not be able to control what you feel, but you have a choice with how to respond to those feelings - to embrace the feeling or reject it. Too many seem to embrace their feelings without thought.
Rejecting a feeling will not make it go away, true, but it will then allow you to choose to act against the feeling rather than for it. It will allow you to notice thoughts that are untrue, that are just part of a negative feedback cycle in which an unreasonable bad feeling feeds into unreasonable bad thoughts and the whole thing amplifies itself senselessly.It will allow you to choose to do things that counteract the feeling, even if you may not feel like doing that. Likewise it can help you start a positive feedback cycle - to tell yourself you can do it, that it will be fine, that everything is fine. It’s good to teach yourself to be confident, to forsake worry and push through. In short, it will allow you to decide what to do.
As in, haters gonna hate. This is a basic one. Fuck wanting to fit in, fuck social norms, fuck letting other people set your standard or opinions or views. No one’s opinion, morals, ideas, or desires should matter more to you than your own. Don’t compare yourself to the genius or model next to you - only compare yourself against your own personal standard. Be a punk, be a rebel, be cool by your own standard - or be none of those things and fit in just fine but don’t do so because anyone told you to.
But don’t confuse this with radical individualism or relativism. It is incredibly foolish, selfish, and generally morally bad to be entirely egocentric and unwilling to consider the perspective or needs of society and those around you. This just means think, question, ponder, wonder, appreciate, discover, consider, talk - all as you see fit, meaning in some ways as others see fit too.
Be Ambitious, Or Be Interesting
As in, try to be alright with fear. As in, don’t do nothing, unless it’s for rest. Strive to think things, say things, build things, make things, create things, share things, criticize things, gift things. Things you’ll remember, things you’ll be proud of, things you were scared to do but knew you should, things that were difficult but worth it, things other have not done, things you have not done, things you are curious about, things others don’t appreciate, things you did not think you could do, things that make your life worth living.
Be Wary Of Excuses
As in, it’s your fault even when it is not. As in, life is unfair, deal with it. As in, explanations are good, excuses are not. It does not matter if things are stacked against you, it does not matter if the world or people or circumstance is not cooperating or not being fair, it does not matter if something was an accident. Work within reality as it is, not as it ought to be, and don’t use the discrepancy to avoid the work.
As in, accept that you are your body. You are inherently Human, a strange quasi-rational living body. You have no idea how any of it works. Yet for some reason you have a conscience and a feeling of free will to decide what to do, that is not just inside of this strange biological machine but emerges from it. So be well, physically. It helps.
We Are All Doomed to Eternal Nonexistence After Death, And The Only Point of It all Is Creating Meaning Where There is None
As in, the universe is a cold machine and our pale blue dot is the only thing that gives it any meaning (as far as we know). Worse yet, we are a bunch of biological machines with built in expiration dates. But, we are the ones here to care, and that’s what matters.