A Few Certainties

You will not achieve much that you set out to accomplish in your life — but you will correct your intentions retroactively in order to persuade yourself that you did.

The best things you do will never be the things you do for money, attention, or other tangible forms of reward. On the contrary, the best things you do will most often be the ones you do not even realize you are doing until much later, when the results begin to make themselves apparent — and they may not become apparent at all unless you are extremely attentive.

Humans can talk themselves out of any form of discomfort in the names of righteousness, reasonableness, and restraint — so ingenious is the self-justificatory impulse. A man can even persuade himself that he does not care at all about something that he would in truth be pained to lose, if acknowledging that he cared about it would compel a bit of putting himself out.

The bigger the decision, the further away from your deliberating mind should be any questions of comfort or convenience. For comfort and convenience are foreground considerations, rooted in present pain or deficiency, whereas life’s important decisions are important precisely to the extent that their ultimate effects will be felt more in the indefinite future than in the immediate present.

You may also like...