Life is what you make (of) it.
Here is the groundbreaking principle-warping formula in full:
Let's set this "formula" straight once and for all.
Live beneath your means:
There’s no need to be intentionally shabby or to put yourself down. Live how you want, including within (and even above) your means — just don’t go around rubbing other people’s noses in the trail you leave.
Return everything you borrow:
Quite a grey area which always espouses a wide range of viewpoints. Material things are worthless including money — the only real currencies are time and attention, and you can’t borrow or return them. So, make wise use of your wealth.
Stop blaming other people:
Blame all those who do harm to other living beings including blaming them for their senseless mistakes at the expense of others. By the same token, there's no need to blame someone, if they simply refuse to capitulate to your demands.
Admit it when you make a mistake:
Mistakes are subjective, as long as you haven’t affected someone’s else shit-pile (intentional or otherwise). If you’ve gone rummaging in someone’s else’s shit, then it makes sense to admit it. We’re all actors on a stage — the bad news is there’s only one take, but, the good news is that you're starring in a motion picture of which dreams are made; so avoid daft mistakes in the first place.
Give clothes not worn to charity:
There’s no punishment if you don’t, and there’s no reward if you do. At the end of the day, everyone’s life is their own responsibility, and not every charity makes prudent choices with its haul of goodies.
Do something nice and try not to get caught:
Most people do nice things because of the warm-and-fuzzy feeling they expect to receive upon the adulation they receive from those who've noticed. The point is, to do something nice — how it makes you and others feel is quite irrelevant. Although, the ego wants what it wants; so feed it sometimes, but don’t let it gorge upon you into submission.
Listen more; talk less:
Listening is important but so is speaking. Talking and speaking are rather different. Feel free to speak a lot — just make sure you have something worthwhile to say.
Everyday take a 30 minute walk:
Linear moral relativism alert! Can I make that 15 minutes if it’s uphill and 45 minutes if it’s downhill? Does this apply to zimmer-frame-wielding folk, as well as athletes? Point made.
Strive for excellence, not perfection:
What you strive for is your own business. Whether it be excellence, perfection or merely the mundane — just strive for something, otherwise stagnation will vanquish thee.
Be on time. Don’t make excuses:
Time is relative, so if you need more time, it's yours to take. Anyone who tells you to be punctual, or else — tell them, "else".
Don’t argue. Get organised:
While it is true that those who fail to prepare, are preparing to fail — organisation has nothing to do with it (and neither does arguing). There isn't anything fundamentally wrong with being a disorganised clutz, or with being argumentative. If you have a valid point to make, argue it. If you need structure in your life, organise it.
Be kind to unkind people:
This will only generate angst, frustration and waste precious time and energy. Do the opposite, and combust the unkind into oblivion.
Let someone cut ahead of you in line:
Although allowing someone to cut into the queue you’re in, could make someone’s else’s day by shaving a few minutes from their busy schedule; do remember you have your own schedule to maintain (and shave). Profusely polite altruists serve no one.
Take time to be alone:
Loneliness and solitude are two different things. Make sure you know the difference before integrating this nugget of advice into your life.
Cultivate good manners:
Fitting into the herd via acceptable manners is a dangerous enterprise. Yes, life gets easier because you're blowing warm air up the backsides of those you despise, but on the other hand, prancing about to the tune of others can also lead to negative externalities such as ignorance, order-following, naïveté and group-think.
Humility is not thinking less of yourself; humility is thinking of yourself, less. There's a huge difference and it takes a humble person to real eyes it.
Realise and accept that life is not fair:
Life is entirely fair without exception — it just depends on the rules and assumptions you hold dear. Modern ‘civilised’ society is rather unfair yes, but that’s not Life — it’s merely the illusion of, much-like a mirage. If embracing Natural Law as opposed to 'The Cult of Society', living becomes fair and prosperous.
Know when to keep your mouth shut:
Self-preservation only goes so far — after that, there's your conscience to deal with.
Go an entire day without criticising anyone:
How is the world going to change for the better, if you don't tell people how silly they are?
Learn from the past. Plan for the future:
If you do not learn from history you are bound to repeat it. So yes, learn from the past. But planning for the future will only leave you disappointed. Live in the present and learn to be happy about it.
Live in the present:
Correct — although that's a bit like saying, "dream with your subconscious" or "blink with your eyelids". One cannot live in any other place, apart from the present. People who say they live in the past or the future, are grossly deluded (and you should tell them so).
Don’t sweat the small stuff:
Even the small things can descend your life into a painful quagmire without end and perception of size is relative — just ask a woman.
It’s all small stuff:
It really isn’t — some things are huge and incredibly important, while others are mere minutiae and incredibly trivial, to be discarded at Will. Knowing the difference is half the story of Life.
If you decide to give these alternative titbits of advice a go, rest assured they could potentially have a wonderful impact upon the standard living of any morally objective person that embraces them.
It's all too common these days, for people to become hopelessly ensnared in solipsistic thought-bubbles that agree on some arbitrary cultural commonalities, with no possibility of disagreement. This is dubbed "manners" and "normality" and "appropriate". Such people tend to follow ‘The Simple Formula For Living’ to a tee, but rarely find themselves content, or with a life they enjoy.
This can only mean one thing: "The Simple Formula For Living" is masquerading as a 'Simple Formula For Fitting In', and fitting in only goes so far before everything starts to itch. Leave some room for manoeuvre and get busy living (or dying).
The choice is yours.
Written by George Tchetvertakov