Tag Archives: life

Hard-wired 12: Know thy enemy

Nobody seriously can deny that our evolutionary journey, from the simplest chemical compounds to the complex organisms we know as Homo sapiens involved extreme callousness and even casual cruelty.

Survival of the fittest has never been noted for its compassion. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that we must always remain slaves to ‘nature red in tooth and claw’. The selfishness of natural selection is not the model for a compassionate society.

As Richard Dawkins put it in his groundbreaking 1976 book The selfish gene:

“Be warned that if you wish, as I do, to build a society in which individuals cooperate generously and unselfishly towards a common good, you can expect little help from biological nature. Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish. Let us understand what our own selfish genes are up to, because we may then at least have a chance to upset their designs, something that no other species has ever aspired to do.“

To put it another way……

Know thy enemy!

Stoic joy

Stoicism isn’t only an antidote to anger and emotional distress. It’s a recipe for genuine joy – the kind of joy and wonder that comes from endless discovery and the satisfaction that ensues ‘just because’.

Stoics don’t need a reason to be joyful. It’s enough that we’re alive and able to be joyful.

Enjoying life’s journey

Are you fed up?

Are you bored?

Do you wish life was different but can’t face the time it’d take to change things?

Ask yourself this… what else will you do with that time?

Were you just as fed up 5 years ago?

More importantly, will you still be just as fed up in 5 years time?

Most people get disheartened because they over-estimate what they could do in a few weeks but completely underestimate the changes they could make in 5 years.

Life’s a journey.

If you’re upset because you wound up where you are – stop fooling yourself. You haven’t wound up anywhere yet!

The journey only ends when you decide to stop moving forward.

It doesn’t matter where you start from so long as every day is another small step in the right direction.

It’s OK to take a break but sooner or later you really do need to get moving again.

You might think that it’s too much effort.

You might think you wouldn’t enjoy the challenge of making life better.

Are you enjoying life at the moment?

If you are then great – the chances are you’re working toward something worth completing.

The happiest people are those with proper goals and a plan to achieve them.

Goals without a plan are just empty wishes.

A journey without a goal is just drudgery.

If you don’t plan for the future you risk wasting all of your resources for the benefit of someone else who did.

You are responsible for the direction your life will take.

What are you going to do about it?

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