Stories of Unknown Lives

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The following mindsets have served me well on my path to deeper understanding.

I therefore share them today with the hope that they can help other people as much as they’ve helped me.

Let's get to it! :)

We do better when we forgive trivial mistakes.

Mistakes are not meaningless. However, there are much bigger problems in the world than the issue of whether someone routinely changes tense in an uncomfortable way.

If we’re not remedying some chronically destructive habit, we could probably do better work for the world elsewhere (because there are plenty of chronically destructive habits in the world).

Boredom is a perfect excuse to learn more stuff.

Modern schools everywhere have a tendency to encourage patience as a response to boredom. They do this because they can't have every child in the class reinventing their own education “like a crazy person” just because they're bored. It would be impossible to manage a room full of children behaving so freely.

This is more unfortunate than it often seems at first glance. Patience is a very dangerous reaction to boredom, because that can inspire a feedback loop in which we try to become unnaturally patient, which leads us to feel more bored, which leads us to try to be more patient, which leads us to feel more bored, which leads us to try to be more patient, over and over forever, until we die of boredom.

Allowing boredom to induce complacency is a waste of perfectly good boredom.

Each of us must be our own best trainer.

As far as I’m concerned, far too much pressure is placed on providers of knowledge to ensure the acquisition of knowledge.

In real life - the one that transcends institutions - we have to want to learn in order to do it well. No one can force us to learn anything complicated. Every difficult thing has been accomplished by someone who personally wanted to bring life to an idea.

Not even Neil deGrasse Tyson can help us learn if we're not enthusiastic about doing the work necessary to make our brains grow.

We can adopt the good habits of everyone around us.

This might seem obvious to many people, but I feel that it's sufficiently important to warrant occasional repetition.

Today, many people have committed to solipsistic life paths of “doing their own thing”, while giving little or no attention to what other people are doing.

If we join them in this habit, we will miss out on countless lessons offered by the real lives of the people around us.

We will be happier if we watch what other people do, read what other people write, and listen to what other people say. And when we realize that someone has practiced something that worked out very well for them, we will benefit from asking ourselves whether we can incorporate that practice into our own lives.

Isolation is not a healthy instinct.

For better and worse, all forms of practice are effective.

This is a massively important perspective to understand.

No, seriously, I cannot possibly stress this too much.

We are constantly improving at everything we practice.

In other words, every time we get up to grab a snack, we get better at grabbing snacks.

Every time we get upset by low scores on tests, we get better at becoming upset.

Every time we daydream in class, we get better at daydreaming in class (which is probably a good thing; I feel like we would all do well to dream more).

Every time we sleep, we get better at sleeping (this is why old people sleep so much [just joking, old people]).

Every time we decide not to fully read a chapter of our textbooks, we get better at deciding to skip information.

Therefore, we can become happier if we pay careful attention to the things that we are practicing every day, and adjust our practices in accordance with our goals.

We are humans - not robots.

In the midst of all this talk on the right way of doing this and the wrong way of doing that, it’s easy to begin feeling like we are purely mechanical entities - robots that simply go through motions.

However, I must encourage you to think differently.

We should always remember that our intellects - the reasoning portions of our minds - are only a small part of our total being.

Our intellects are nothing more than tools by which our souls navigate the material realm.

Therefore, we would be wise to avoid mistaking principled guidance as an invitation to mechanize or numb our thinking.

After all, in order to decide how to use the tools at our disposal, we must follow passions that transcend logic.

No single thought can explain everything.

Don’t stress too much over lists like this.

We all need to find our own truths.

Peace and love.

Aiso Ippudu Milele
28 March 2017

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