Saturday, September 23, 2017

What 10% of the effort, gives 90% of the results?

Because we live in a world of finite resources (reality), we have to ask the question, what do we get out, for what we put in? -- and not as the personal motivators of every stripe insist, that we get out what we put in -- with no regard for efficiency or economy.  In such a world, there is no loss -- and there is only gain, no matter what they do -- which is convincing argument, that one should do anything, because anything is preferable to nothing -- and "nothing" includes thinking seriously, of what one is doing, or about to do, before mindlessly doing so.  That is the habit, especially novices and thoughtful people who wish to grow old successfully need to consider and cultivate -- before always learning the "hard" way -- that things are not so, and the world really doesn't work that way -- even as much as one would desire it so.

There are differences -- for good reason, and it becomes increasingly important to understand them for what they are -- before proceeding to go "all in" -- on what not might be their best bet.  Even champion boxers and predators spend their first rounds finding out about the capabilities and reactions of their opponents -- before launching an all-out attack on the unfamiliar.  One first must grant the benefit of the doubt -- to find out first what one is dealing with, and any problems that might arise, and be well-prepared to handle them.  The thing encountered, may be like nothing else previously encountered -- in the textbooks, as well as individually and personally.  And that is the reality of the situation -- and not the generalization and stereotype.  Those who can master that, are the masters of any situation -- including the many changes one can expect to handle throughout a long and varied life.

Unfortunately, many novices don't learn that wisdom before meeting an untimely and premature end -- as happens over every species of life.  All and every, will not be so fortunate -- even among the apex predators.  Their chances of survival are usually 1 in a 100 -- at best, and so something much larger must come into play if they are to survive another day.  That ability is the intelligence to survive and thrive -- in the many possibilities every individual must devise for their own lives.

Increasingly, that is dominated by individual experience and learning -- rather than the collective pre-digested, that can only take anyone so far.  At some point, they have to leave the safety of the collective, and venture out on their own path -- learning what works best for them -- even if it works for no other, and the proof is in the being.  Many will profess to "know," but one would never know it from looking at them -- because everything appears to be a contradiction and nullification, of everything they claim to be -- and so that confusion and turmoil becomes apparent to know that one has observed and learned enough -- and should more productively move on, in every individual's personal quest for intelligent life in the universe.

That is searching for the 10% that works better than the other 90% -- and to be able to tell that difference.  Some foods are better than others -- and for every individual, there is an optimal diet -- which can also fail miserably with others.  Yet to this day, there are purists insisting that there is one best diet for everybody -- and that everything else should be "outlawed" -- just as in ancient times, when most allowed the few to do all their thinking for them -- unquestioningly.

In that environment and culture, few learn to discover the truth of anything for themselves -- but are merely told that "the experts say" -- which is only what they would like everybody to believe, rather than any actual experiments, observations and measurements.  Naturally, another group of experts will be saying something different next week -- or in some other publication or forum, many created especially for that occasion and promotion.

So what is one to believe?  Most of the information one is privy to, is likely to be this kind of advertising and promotion -- even as oneself as the expert in manipulating what one thinks.  That seems to be the particular challenge in the age of information -- in determining the credibility of their source of information.  What is their agenda?  Often, it is just the simple objective of establishing themselves as the expert.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Take All Day If You Have To

Probably the egregious error most make in their lifetime, is the value of time and its use.  Most regret that it was wasted in their youth -- never to be regained, restored, and even revitalized -- which is the remarkable and ultimately most meaningful achievement in any life.  How does one use time to increase it?  In that way, time is always on one's side -- and not the fearsome arch-enemy they come to regard it.  A large part is how we've been conditioned to think of time -- as the enemy, rather than the friend.

We always think we're in this race against time -- when we'd be better served to think we have all day to get anything done.  This is especially true of how we've come to regard exercise and athletics -- to see who gets it done first -- and not who finishes last, or when all the others have long given up.  The one who keeps going, is the stand alone winner.

But does that mean we all should take up marathon running -- and see who is the oldest ever to finish a marathon -- or climb Mount Everest, or die trying?  There are a lot more personally meaningful things one could do -- and keep on doing for as long as one is alive -- and the day they stop doing it, is the day they die.  But until that end, they are capable every day of their lives -- for as long as they live, and that is all that matters.  Then one day, you just don't wake up -- and the greater life goes on.

Many on realizing they haven't done their exercise for the day -- think they are too late to get it done then -- whenever they realize that.  Time has not moved on, but is waiting for them -- to once again, get with the program.  There is nothing more important for them to do -- at any time they realize it.  They simply have to begin it now -- and if they finish in the morning, afternoon, or before going to sleep , that is soon enough, and plenty of time to do it.  One has to make time for the important stuff -- and not let all the unimportant stuff deter and dissuade them, which for most people, is simply watching more television.  Eventually, that is all they do.

Long before they get to that point, they can realize that they don't need to watch any television at all, and would be immeasurably better off if they didn't -- including even watching exercise videos.  No amount of watching all the exercise videos in the world ever made, will put them into better shape than discovering what works for themselves -- in the doing.  Some people are amazed that anyone can learn (or is allowed) to learn on their own in that way -- like all the great prodigies of every field had to.  Nobody else could teach them -- what they alone knew, and brought to the world.

For such individuals, time stands still -- because what they do is the timeless -- and they are so into that moment, that it is the summation of everything that ever came before it, as well as changing the course of its future development.  In that course, many will become obsolete in that instant -- and leap into the unknown and undiscovered.  That is what we want to know -- even more than the known, and what everybody knows -- but is not working.  Obviously, it is more valuable to know what works -- than all the knowledge and information that doesn't, and has led us to the present problem and conumdrum.

And invariably, that is to the realization that what we thought works, doesn't anymore -- no matter how hard we try, and how much time, energy and other resources we devote to it.  Meanwhile, that which does truly work, is worth doing nothing else. Regrettably, that is what we fail to get right -- determining the useful from the useless, and preferring greatly, the useless over the useful -- and leaving no time and energy for it.  That is the tragedy of the human condition -- that assuredly, is not hopeless.  It is simply the road less traveled, and the path less trodden -- but assuredly exists, even if it is much denied.

However, it is not just a matter of wishful-thinking and affirmations in spite of the actual realities -- but actual fact, as improbable as it seems.  That is "the word made flesh," the manifestation of reality, and no longer simply the belief in that possibility.  That is the integration of thought in action.  But simply believing is not enough; what matters is the exercise of that belief -- to see if it makes a difference -- incredibly, instantly -- and not simply as a matter of time, and especially, psychological time -- as many are convinced, is necessary, to make any difference.  The difference is noticeable as instantly as turning a screw: it either makes a difference or it doesn't, and then in the positive or negative direction -- but the change is instantaneous, and not only apparent in a matter of months and years.  By then, it is too late -- and all will have been lost -- as the proverbial "too little, too late" -- to do anything about it.