Taking Your Own Advice

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Generally, we are trying to achieve the best outcomes possible. There are a few different reasons we may not get our desired results. The first, and most common, is we have bad beliefs. (Courtesy of Rich Cooper) Our beliefs inform our instincts which lead to our actions. If our actions don’t achieve desired results we have bad beliefs. Sometimes, we have legitimately conflicting beliefs. This is when we choose what we think is best between alternatives. The nice thing about this is if we get a bad result, we know we chose the wrong belief to rely on. The last is when we knowingly act against our own interest. This is when we have beliefs that accurately inform our instincts, but because of emotions or other factors we act our of accordance with our instincts. This is usually when we lack discipline.

We should be constantly updating our belief system. Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know, so we constantly synthesize information and test it out empirically. When we make mistakes, we can sometimes learn and grow by picking out our bad beliefs. We are only human. The problem really likes with when we know what is right and lack the discipline to execute.

We have higher and lower selves. Our higher self sits and judges our actions. Our lower selves want to indulge. They want to stop change and evolution. They’d be happy to send 10 unanswered texts in a row. But most of our nervous system is inhibitory. We are supposed to stop ourselves from acting out of accordance with our instincts. We do what we know is right, instead of what feels good. But just as Nietzsche said in response to Socrates, not all things we know are things we can articulate. We can know what justice and act in accordance with justice without being able to articulate what justice is. In the same way, we can know the right course of action for us without being able to articulate it.

It is when we trust our instincts when we can truly test the merit of our beliefs. When we act how we think/know we should and we still fail is when we can truly update our beliefs. When we don’t have the discipline to follow through with our instincts, and we are not unmovable, impenetrable, and masculine, but instead we are swayed by the ebb and flows of our emotions and fleeting desires, is when we aren’t able to see if what we believe is really helpful to us. So, A message to myself: Do not fall into the trap of being swayed by the ebb and flow of fleeting desires. Stay open to new information, but do what is right and follow through with it. Do not be afraid to fail, because this is when we see what beliefs we will keep. When you act in a way that isn’t beneficial see what beliefs brought you there. But mostly, commit and act as if this is ingrained in your being. Integrate your beliefs into yourself and have the strength, and masculine virtue to do what you know in your heart of hearts to do.

Give yourself advice like you were talking to a blue pill friend. You aren’t an exception to do the rules. You need to do things right, all the time. To stay sharp and stay consistent.