“Want to drive yourself crazy? Try to fix everyone around you. Try to make them so perfect that they can’t annoy you in any way whatsoever. Make them so morally perfect and righteous that they will always make the right decision and will go out of their way to help you. Or, if you prefer to keep things simple, rigidly examine your own shortcomings and biases. Correct your own faults first. Trying to escape your own faults will take a lifetime.” ~ Matt Karamazov, High Existence
“When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own – not of the same blood or birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine. And so none of them can hurt me. No one can implicate me in ugliness. Nor can I feel angry at my relative, or hate him. We were born to work together like feet, hands, and eyes, like the two rows of teeth, upper and lower. To obstruct each other is unnatural. To feel anger at someone, to turn your back on him: these are obstructions.” ~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
When we’re given good advice and it moves us to take good actions—we’ll get good results. When we’re given bad advice, sometimes that will lead us to take bad actions (and get bad results that we can learn from), and sometimes it will stop us from moving at all.
When sorting through advice for the good vs. the bad, you should always remember that advice is only as good as the actions it inspires you to take. It’s better to have taken a bad action that you can learn from and keep moving forward with, than to not have taken any action at all. And at the other end, really great advice that you do nothing about is just as good as no advice at all—action is always the difference maker.
“When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can’t make them change if they don’t want to, just like when they do want to, you can’t stop them.” ~ Andy Warhol, via Nitch
—— —— ——
The following is an excerpt from the book Mastery by Robert Greene. In it, he discusses his strategies for dealing with fools in a way that allows you to keep focused on moving forward on your path towards personal mastery. The path is long and arduous and the last thing you want is for some fools along the way to distract you, demotivate you, or bring you down to their level. Read on and level up!
—— —— ——
In the course of your life you will be continually encountering fools. There are simply too many to avoid.
We can classify people as fools by the following rubric: when it comes to practical life, what should matter is getting long-term results, and getting the work done in as efficient and creative a manner as possible. That should be the supreme value that guides people’s actions. But fools carry with them a different scale of values.
“You must avoid the common mistake of making judgments based on your initial impressions of people. Such impressions can sometimes tell you something, but more often they are misleading. There are several reasons for this. In our initial encounter you tend to be nervous, less open, and more inward. You are not really paying attention. Furthermore, people have trained themselves to appear a certain way; they have a persona they use in public that acts like a second skin to protect them. Unless you are incredibly perceptive, you will tend to mistake the mask for the reality.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery
“People will say all kinds of things about their motives and intentions; they are used to dressing things up with words. Their actions, however, say much more about their character, about what is going on underneath the surface. If they present a harmless front but have acted aggressively on several occasions, give the knowledge of that aggression much greater weight than the surface they present. In a similar vein, you should take special note of how people respond to stressful situations—often the mask they wear in public falls off in the heat of the moment.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery