- Don’t poke the snake with a stick. Avoid conflict whenever possible, and avoid people who are dangerous. Do not assume that you can contain their wickedness at a boundary.
- Just because you’ve done stupid stuff doesn’t mean that you have to keep on doing stupid stuff in order to be consistent. This is a reflection of Harry Browne's Previous Investment Trap. Consistency is a vastly overrated virtue, and it is better to admit that you were wrong and stop going in the wrong direction.
- Not everyone who is on your side is on your side. In a group interpersonal conflict, individuals may choose sides for purely selfish or strategic reasons, rather than those that they state openly.
- There is nothing inherently ennobling about hardship. My concept of masculinity long held that a man undertook great and challenging tasks and overcame obstacles. Suffering for a cause is noble. I now think otherwise.
- Go where the cheese is. Taken from the book Who Moved My Cheese?, anticipate that shit will fall out of the sky, and be prepared to move as conditions change. Be on the lookout for change, have a backup plan for everything, and implement it immediately when the change occurs. That you do not like the change will not prevent it from taking place.
- ‘Should be’ got nothing to do with it. Partially inspired by Harry Browne's Rights Trap, this rule asserts that just because something ought to be has no bearing on what will actually happen. Protesting violations of rights, ethical codes, or even written laws will not help you at all.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Last November, I described an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, in which a one-shot character had a list of 102 personal 'laws'. These were aphoristic principles that guided her life. In the past year, I've been intentional about formulating such life lessons. I keep a MS Word document on my hard drive listing these thoughts, and each one goes through a probationary period before being accepted as both true and important. Here are some of the results, including some probationary laws, with explanations: