Reading for Growth

I don’t think the modernity of a book is a good judge of its value and wisdom. Wisdom is timeless, and fashionable trends fade with the fickle tastes of the times.

Below is a small list of the most inspiring and life changing books and essays I’ve had the fortune of reading:

1) As a Man Thinketh, by James Allen
2) Self-Reliance, by Ralph Waldo Emerson
3) How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie
4) Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill
5) The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey
6) Five Major Puzzle Pieces of the Life Puzzle, by Jim Rohn
7) Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl

The ones above have had the greatest impact on my life. I can remember reading each of these books and the various moments when they provided me with life changing epiphanies. They’re all relatively short, but contain profound, timeless wisdom. They are cited as some of the most widely influential books and read by some of the greatest leaders in recent history.

The following books refined my perspective on life and myself, but require a good deal of intellectual energy to read and digest:

The Will to Believe, by William James
The Denial of Death, by Ernest Becker
The Genealogy of Morals, by Nietzsche
The Theory of the Leisure Class, by Thorstein Veblen

And aphorisms, reflections, and thoughts by a few of the greatest minds:

Ideas and Opinions, by Albert Einstein
Pensees, by Pascal
Maxims and Reflection, by J.W. Goethe

And lastly: why do you want to read? What do you think it’s gonna do for you?

The reason I ask is that if you don’t know “why” you’re reading or learning something, it won’t change you. It will simply leave superficial impressions on your memory, and not lasting changes on your character. And the “why” must be powerful enough to drive you towards growth, it needs to contain enough emotion and enough reason so that what you read sticks in your mind and literally attaches itself to your character and aids in the construction of your worldview. That way it’ll never leave you and you’ll be more of a person.

It doesn’t matter what we know. It matters who we are, because ultimately who we are dictates what we do with what we know, and that makes all the difference.

So I ask, if you’re trying to develop yourself into someone better, into your full potential, allow yourself to change. Suspend judgement. Admit that you don’t know anything. Allow yourself to be wrong. Only then will you able to gain wisdom and grow and achieve destined greatness.

If you happen to take me up on my suggestions and read these books, read them with an open mind. Spend time with them. Meditate and reflect on the implication of their message on your life. Be curious and passionate, and they will teach you.


Make Believe Reality

Have you ever thought about the word creativity? What does it mean to create? What does someone do who is creative?

The word creative comes from L. creatus, pp. of creare “to make, bring forth, produce, beget,” related to crescere “arise, grow” (see crescent). The verb creare means “to create, appoint, cause, set up”.

This is from the present active L. credo meaning “I lend, loan; I commit, consign, entrust to; I trust, confide in, have confidence in; I believe in, trust in, give credence to; I believe.” From Proto-Indo-European *ḱred dʰeh₁- (“to place one’s heart, i.e. to trust, believe”), compound phrase of oblique case form of *ḱḗr (“heart”).

Interestingly, Latin for heart is cor or cordis (think coronary or cordial) which literally referred anatomically to the “heart” and figuratively to the “soul, mind”.  The -do in credo comes from the PIE *dʰeh₁- which means “to put, place, set” (whence also Latin faciō). The present active infinitive L. credere means “to believe”.

In this way L. credo means to “do with your heart”.

It would seem that creativity requires that, first and foremost, you must believe.



Problems Don’t Exist.

Passion is powerful. You can’t be all thought, all machine, calculated and cool. You need warmth, fire, some fuel to spread your light. But I despise drama. Drama is unnecessary theatrics.  It is passion with problems. Problematized passion. It takes good genuine energy and creates problems rather than solutions. People who attract drama feel insignificant without it. They lack an ability to exist in tranquility. It’s almost as if they think that drama gives their life character, somehow makes them strong or resilient for persisting through these problems, problems they create within abstract of their mind. They take a perfectly good life, and instead of applying their passion, their life force and energy to synthesizing new solutions, they problematize a good thing. Of course they talk like they don’t like the drama, like it weighs on them, like a millstone they carry with them. They are constantly talking about the day when they don’t have so many problems. They are the first ones to talk about discarding this laboring load and equally quick to point out how  badly they want to set it down and dispel the drama, but they continue talking, thinking, seething about their problems, adding potency to their diluted delusion.

Problems do not exist. There. I said it. Problems are only problems when you identify them as problems. Before they are identified, we accept circumstance and situation, absolving that that’s just the way things are, for better or worse. Perhaps it is a skill to be able to identify problems, to label things are deficient, broken, and I bet it takes a critically inquiring eye to do this. But where do you draw the line?

Problems are not problems. Drama is not drama. These are facets of life. Contrary to the clamoring chorus of capitalist commercialism, our life does not need to be problematic and dramatic to be glorious and grand. They profiteer off such knave  propensities for ease, for life without suffering. They drain you of your liquid wealth and welling life as you train to maintain and gain a greater sense of self, a sense of self complete with all the accessories they sell your squeaking soul. But your soul needs no oil. Let the soul, that broken squealing soul, scream, let it scream and burst forth in melody, let it create harmony with other squeaky souls. Do not oil. Warm yourself with its friction, these triturations of life. Soon your stridulating soul will begin to warble and transform into a beautiful hum, a harmonious vibration that echoes across cold chambers where copious copies of silent, gunky souls reside, soiled and slow from the years of feeble fabricated fixes. There is nothing wrong with your soul. You are perfect as a diamond is flawed, stronger than all the universal forces and extraterrestrial elements, pressed and latticed in structural perfectitude, lined with innumerable inclusions and trace elements that straddle its knitted bonds, strontium and nitrogen, rubidium and barium, adding to the refracting flash that douses the senses when you allow transparency and light to work their way within you and shine forth.

Problems do not exist. They are in your mind. If there were no mind to observe, no eye to see, there would be no problems to probe. Overcoming yourself is a task which has no end. The road up a mountain is the same road down it. Do not confuse your life’s task, your journey. Do not tire yourself with the trifling pursuits of climbing the insurmountable where barren cliffs and cleft rifts and ice tips are all that waits you. Go instead down the road, where momentum is your friend, and follow the valley where the streams merge with rivers and  gather into looming pools and luscious lakes and lead to opulent oceans that provide cooling relief under the dense shade of living vegetation. Go where there is life.

Problems do not exist. Life begins in consciousness. Life is not simply physical minutia, else the moons and marbling spheres and stars and solar systems be living. Life is not simply movement. It is purely imagination. No mind exists apart from the life giving force of their imagination. Our eyes cannot capture meaning. That is reserved for our minds. Do not forfeit your mind and believe your eyes. Do not let your ears consume the drunken speech of other grey minds, their crannies and crevasses all canvassed in web, caught in a tangle of dense delusion, of smog that blocks the breathing flue, changing flowing channels into choking chimneys, and strangulating the stronghold of being.

Problems do not exist. They are created, by us, to achieve ends, fabricated ends, short sighted ends, poor hallow ends. Until we believe that our means are greater than our ends, we will fail to dream, fail to see opportunity where there is challenge. Our lives will encapsulate a silent storm of tears, sleeting, frozen over from lack of warmth, from lack of friction with the world, lack of authentic abrasion that causes aural ambage.

Problems do not exist. People sell you problems, don’t sell yourself problems. Don’t add insult to injury and do the job that capitalism, commercial advertising, has perfected. Problems. Everyone wants you to believe that there is a problem free life– that can be achieved by means they can provide if you forfeit a small payment in price, a small piece of your time, a fraction of your wage. We will provide you the happiness, the comfort, the pleasure, the distress-free existence if you pay for it. But this is a lie. There are no problems. And the people who buy into the problems die poor, poor in pocket and poor in spirit. They failed to save, failed to build, collect and create. They diluted themselves with the quick fixes, the shabby solutions that clutter their consciousness, until they are wrapped in flax linnens and preserved in a perfect state of lifelessness.

Problems do not exist. What exists is desire for power, power over circumstance, power over passion, power over thoughts. These people die a slave. They never learned to revolt, never embraced the chaos, the flowing flux that embodies a living life, and rebel as a self-sustaining individual, perfectly punctual in the moment. Defining and confining, constraining and restraining.

Problems do not exist. Mind exists. When our mind identifies a problem with some thing, it is not the thing that changes, but our mind, our relation to that thing. Our mind is eternal, but our attention is finite. We cannot allow ourselves to be preoccupied with any thought or feeling that does not deliver grandeur to house of being, or fails to cleanse our doors of perception. We have one life, one spectacle, a single show, a solemn act to perform. We must choose the words that echo into the ears of eternity with heart, with care. We cannot think our way out of a state of being, a dramatic scene of tragedy, we can act our way out, only feel ourselves into another line, continue playing a developing role to an ambivalent audience.

There are no problems. There is fate. There are ends. There are expectations: faulty suspensions, wry calculations, aslant anticipations. Properly viewed, problems are merely  stepping stones that carry you through life.



I believe that love for a subject, passionate unrequited love, is the only way to let yourself gain any appreciable acquaintance, since love is selfless devotion. But I’m not sure we can love people before we love ourselves. We love the me we see in thee.


The Great Dichotomy: Passionate Power

Random musings.

Money to get power, and power to guard the money.”
~Medici family motto

Dichotomies are interesting. Many are none other than existential paradoxes: mind and body, thought and matter, possibility and necessity, spiritual and physical,  and the list goes on. Kierkegaard, as well as Nietzsche and other agents of enlightenment, was a literary guru when it came to expounding upon how to live with these irreconcilable realities. Over the years I’ve learned to cope with the resulting blindness of these realities, the otiose character of life and the recondite disunion of body and soul. I’ve compromised with myself and learned to live with one eye pointed inward and the other pointed outward so as to balance introspection and aspiration.

In recent years I’ve faced a dilemma of deciding what to do with my life and career. It’s not like I didn’t see this crisis coming, but I guess I didn’t realize how many times I would be wrestling with my conclusions and convictions. Despite the temporary setbacks and failures mottling my youth, I’ve orchestrated my education beautifully over the years, exploiting a multitude of disciplines of thought and growing ever cognizant of how achievement is actualized. I’ve gone to great pains to realize the context of my condition and the contingencies of my aspirations.

Out of my experience grew two concentrations of study, economics and philosophy, each representing the broader dichotomies encompassing life. One satisfies my intuitions about what I perceive other people to value, the other regards what I value in my heart. I’ve tried to reconcile these over the years and explain why this dichotomy exists, whether a balance can be achieved, or what direction I should favor. For a long time I decided to refuse to sell out. But this clashed with the omnious system that I would face upon entering the workforce: success seemed tantamount to abiding to the myriad of expectations laid out by others.  As I have no trust fund to lean on for support, no assets to buy my way into fortune (compounding investment: you must have money if you wish to accumulate more money), I faced the reality that no upper echelon would endorse my musings, my art, my thoughts, unless I belonged to them, to their network or, by chance, satisfied their criterion of worth.

The citizen of the world in me refused to conform to the ‘system’, to the authority that dictates standardized achievement and propagates worldly values. The autonomy within me bucked as I studied philosophy and developed the tools and methods for critical inquiry, tools I used to ridicule the backward nature I learned to see in the world. The pragmatic element of my spirit recognized the utility of conformity and uptook various preoccupations that would fashion my mind according to them, such as the study of economics and finance.

But I ask myself: what does it take to be successful? I always like referring to the context in question. I’m American. I live in a ‘democratic’ country where the few rule the many. The few in this case are not the parasitic politicians (although in many cases, when it’s convenient, they are one in the same). The politicians are figureheads, merely the arm or scepter of power, not the head of governance. The true source of governance and power resides in the wealthy, the capitalists, the business owners, the stock holders. These are the greats that arbitrate the economic and political atmosphere. They embody the will to power. They pass the laws, set the wages, orchestrate the commerce, conduct the symphonious marketplace we’re lead to believe is free and open. The current sentiment is that if governance is left to the people, we’ll be in a real mess. The populous is simply a bewildered herd, uneducated and incapable of self-rule. (The Wagner Act of 1935 was the last real effort of the masses to mobilize. Since then these efforts have been squashed. Unions are ‘evil’ and communist.) This is why we live in a ‘democratic republic’ where we elect a small group of ‘leaders’ to instruct the masses on which policies they should live by.

To be successful you must be a sycophant. More specifically, you must possess utility for those in power. If you cannot help these people achieve more power, you are worthless and will amount to nothing more than a cog, expendable and interchangeable. But the wealthy will not extend a job or opportunity to just anyone with ample capacity and a strong will. No. They must be familiar with you. You must possess some wealth, influence, charisma, intelligence, talent or power that they can leverage for their own gain. Posterity is as empty as truth. Rationality is an instrument of the powerful: they dictate the rules of the game, the vernacular, the premises and logical structure of your success.

“All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.” (Nietzsche)

Rationality is a function of motives, of intention. Pin-point desires and motivations and you can construct a cathedral of reason to leverage against those in power to mutually achieve independently contrived ends.

The questions that have wracked my mind most over the years: Do I follow my heart or my mind? Do I follow my passions or my prudence? What it’s come down to is that, given the current state of affairs, given my context as a young American, passions are prized only in youth, as is freedom. With the coming of age what is most prized is security, with the passions left to fantasy much like the irrealism of dreams are left to enamoring vagaries. We discard our passions and convictions, our fantastical visions of grandeur for a better world, in favor of a ‘realism’ scented with a dark cynicism that dispels illusion, that acquiesces under the ‘system’ that we obey out of sheer necessity grown from our will to survive. What has been trampled is our will to power, but it is never too late to revive this urge.

The artists, when they are not lining the capitalists pockets with profits, are simply muses in the most passive sense of the term. These artists are no longer concerned with inspiring as much as they are fixed on entertaining, or ‘amusing’, for their agenda is the same as the capitalists: money. They render the audience as docile and facile as possible, getting them in a blurred frenzy, caught up in emotion, totally distracted from the realities that oppress their sad existence. The poorest, the most impoverished left with only their intangible dreams, love these entertainers the most. Since they cannot live through possessions and materialism they escape through fantasy, artificial emotions induced through hollow emotives.

I’ve decided I want to sell out, for a time. I want to master the system so I can one day create the system. Considering my background, I’ve played my cards right up until now: the best university, the best internships, solid degrees, great grades. What is necessary now is to capitalize on these achievements instead of forfeiting them for the preponderances of my heart, the longings of my spirit, the existential conundrums I unravel in my reflections.

What I need to do is exploit the source of power for my ends: finance. I need to get into the industry where all the wealthy have a mutual stake. Wealth is the common denominator of power. Investment banking, wealth advising, asset management.

I need to toss these ephemeral thoughts about passion, about right and wrong, about selfless creation, to the garbage. They are fruitless. If I want to succeed, I must capitalize on my strengths: people skills, smooth talking, will-power, vision, charm, intelligence, good nature, pleasant appearance. I can be obedient. My rebellious nature was resistant to obey arbitrary authority, and my attitude throughout school and to my superiors proves this. But this needs to be corrected if I am to succeed and dominate. I must fawn these superiors in order to advance. There are many who wish to succeed, but only those who stroke the ego’s of those holding the keys to power will allow be to ascend to their true potential. I look around me and I see so much talent. Young automatons do everything right, except they haven’t a clue that doing everything right has a ceiling. You must not only serve the interest of your superiors, you must also create value for them, you must learn to hijack and supplant their vision with yours in order to aid them in their accumulation and concentration of capital. In this way achievement is guaranteed.

Morality does not exist. There are no facts, only interpretations. You cannot have a universal moral conscience as a businessman, as a ruler of wealth: only a fabricated justification that accepts the inequality of man as a rule. Nietzsche said, “The reasons for which ‘this’ world has been characterized as ‘apparent’ are the very reasons which indicate its reality; any other kind of reality is absolutely indemonstrable.” Those in power dictate these reasons. Their are the moral clergymen.

It’s interesting to consider the influence of media control. The media is the mouthpiece of the powerful. As Chomsky said in his book Media Control, “Propaganda is to democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.”

Who rules the world? The powerful, the elite. These are the American ruling class. We elect proffered politicians which have been paid for by these elite with the single agenda of taming the bewildered herd, of keeping the masses complacently compliant.

Slavery was replaced by share cropping, which has been replaced by credit and loans: all of these forms of debt rob the citizens of equality, life and liberty, and it’s legal. Bankruptcy laws. Capital gains taxes. Trickle down economics. Sub-prime mortgage lending. Failed education reforms: No child left behind. The war on drugs. The rise in pharmaceutical psycho-therapeutics. Currency manipulation: Coinage Act of 1972. Foreign wars and fear mongering, communism, creating enemies like Russian and terrorists as a means of keeping the populous paralyzed and fearful, of keeping their attention turned outward instead of inward. All creating fear. All manufactured to suit the ends of the elite. All propaganda.

Truth and lies are one in the same. They condemn or praise according to which subjective end you are most vested.


Know Your Enemies: Insecurity and Threat

You can always spot those who are threatened by you because they will be the first to compete with you. Anyone who sees you as a threat is an enemy. The surest way to crush your enemies is to avoid competition. This does not make you weak; rather it makes you superior. Those who want to compete are attempting to bring you down to their level, to their preoccupations, and judge you according to their inferior criterion of worth. To preserve your prestige and remain impervious to your enemies, stage all competitions according to your rules and only your rules. By acquiescing to another standard of competition you compromise your integrity and forfeit the very values used to justify the individual greatness that they view threatening.

Your enemies suffer from insecurity; therefore they are threatened. Their lack of self-confidence is a lack of responsibility, a lack of faith in their ability to rise to the challenge or overcome or equate to external values. If they possessed faith in themselves, they would be secure. They would not be threatened by anyone or thing, nor would they compete in a test to measure their worth against another man.

Men of greatness compete with themselves and themselves alone, never compromising their self-generated criterion of worth. When someone extols their personal achievements, you can be sure that they struggle to possess an authentic sense of self. If the measures of greatness are self-generated and self-imposed, what need is there to publicly announce your achievement? The only hope for this announcement is an external affirmation of self.

When you live authentically, self-worth is derived through a process of becoming. Each man lives according to his own ends, as each man possesses his own set of demands afforded to him by life. He becomes more of what he embodies, of what values presuppose his every thought and action. It is vital that these values bolster the purest and greatest sense of self, the highest self-esteem possible.

Competition is death. Domination is the elimination of competition through sheer superiority of values. Would any competent man compete with an invalid? This is how the superior man, the over-man, must think. His values place him above such competition, out of sheer pity or principle. In this way he is morally superior: any competition must occur out of charity alone. I maintain that charity is the gravest form of oppression as it leads to domestication and enablement. Charity is a false generosity that ensures conditional dependency and establishes a hierarchy between the self-sufficient and the self-deficient.

Do you want to maintain superiority? Never compromise your values through competition except when you dictate the rules of the game. Otherwise, let the success of your self-guided actions speak for themselves. Never compromise your integrity, your authenticity, by playing to the rules of another game. Other’s will pine for your competition, but you must never stoop to their level unless the guarantee of winning is indisputable and inevitable.

Recall: familiarity breeds contempt. If you wish to know your enemies, see how they behave when they are lead to believe that they know you. Present yourself plainly as if there is nothing more than meets the eye, nothing deeper below the surface, and see what reaction this elicits. If there is insecurity, your enemy will capitalize at first chance to highlight the superiority they believe to perceive. Do not let this sway you into competition or emotion. Your self-worth, your value, is internally generated, not externally imposed. Any insecurity they voice through comparison or judgement reveals a chink in their sad suit of defense. Capitalize on this error at a later time.

Remain quiet. Do not speak of your achievements. Genius is often seen and seldom heard. When other’s pass judgment, do not flinch in their direction: remain stolid and steadfast. If need be, recalculate the rules of your game and press on toward self-mastery. Those who continue living in competition never reach heights of greatness because they fail to realize that greatness is attained from within. Greatness is demonstrably true, not by way of judgment, but of effect. Your impact on the world will be proportional to the original value you create within yourself.

Cultivating Successful Paradigms: Typological v. Population Thinking

Today I read an article in Business Week titled Why China Doesn’t Have Its Own Steve Jobs. The second paragraph struck me:

Former vice-president of Google global and president of Google China Kai-fu Lee explained on his weibo that it was because Chinese education puts too much emphasis on reciting and memorizing stuff instead of fostering critical thinking.

As the article further mentions, China’s collectivist culture or “herd mentality” wouldn’t permit the kind of narcissistic egoism that characterizes Job’s genius, and I think that’s a darn shame.

Innovative entrepreneurialism/ executive leadership requires a degree of egoism– that is, fierce self-reliance, self-confidence, non-conformity/individualism and narcissism. These qualities allow individuals to take more risks, bet on themselves more often, think more creatively and retain more faith in their individual vision, especially in the face of adverse circumstance/ opinion. I doubt don’t these people can be difficult to deal with, but their vision is inspiring and contagious.

China needs to place more emphasis on creativity, novel thinking, and the individual value of a person, their ideas and experience. America could do a better job retaining their share in these areas as well– instead we’re busy standardizing students and their thinking like China, like somehow that’s the answer to our problems. It’s a matter of typological thinking v population thinking: one emphasizes Platonic-ideals and abstracted averages, the other emphasizes evolutionary-variation and unique individuals.

The difference between Typological thinking and Population Thinking goes back to the classic distinction between a priori knowledge and a posteriori knowledge: knowing by way of axiomatic definitions, and knowing by way of experiential intuitions. This distinction manifests as deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning, relations of ideas and matters of fact, analytic statements and synthetic statements, contingent and necessary propositions, quantitative and qualitative properties, and the like.

Typological thinking is deductive and categorical in nature. Its roots go back to Plato whose philosophy codified this form of thinking by maintaining that the physical world adheres to ideas or eidos. Characterized by ‘forms’ such as the Equal and the Good and other such values and virtues, Platonism holds that there are a limited number of fixed, unchangeable ideas that underlie observable variation. The gradation and discontinuities observed in nature were explained simply as gaps’ between natural ‘ideas’ (types). As a result, gradual evolution by variation was a logical impossibility for the typologist and evolution at all could only occur in steps, from one ‘form’ or type to another. Modernism of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries utilized the idealism of Platonic philosophy (Think Kant)

In contrast, Population thinking is inductive and qualificational in nature. Darwin posited this type of thinking when he introduced his theory of evolution. It maintains the uniqueness of everything in the organic world, that all animals or humans or plants possess qualities distinct to themselves alone, and that even individuals continue to change throughout the duration of their life. Each  organism possesses unique features that can be described only through inductive methods such as statistic reasoning to produce terms appropriate for the average. However, statistical terms are merely abstractions and not indicative of the individuals that actually compose reality.

Ultimately, the typologist is an idealist who hold that only type (eidos) is real and that variation is an illusion, while the populationist hold that type (average) is merely an abstraction and that only variation is real.

You may be asking yourself why this is important. One word: change. Life is characterized by change, and change is absolutely necessary for the variation that facilitates evolutionary adaptation. Typological thinking treats the world idealistically, giving everything a proper place and name. But this is not reflective of reality, or the observable world. It is only reflective of our symbolic mind where ideas can persist without variation (the concept of tree does not change in my mind).

We need to encourage variation, encourage change, novelty, and creativity if we have any desire to flourish and succeed. Simply adhering to prescribed notions of ideal states and ideas will guarantee eventual failure. And in my mind, believing we have it all figured out, that we’ve got the basics down and we’re doing it all right, is a dangerous form of hubris. Success– adaptive variation–requires valuing individuals, their ideas and experience, rather than some abstracted average dictated to us from above. Statistics and science are helpful, but not with regards to possibility. In this area they fail more often than not.

Also, typological thinking creates biases and stereotypes by prescribing labels and abstracted terms to everything. Population thinking is more open and tolerant because it is reflective and observant of all variation and experience, recognizing that there is always more than meets the mind. But this comes down to man’s propensity for control, his desire for the will to power and to dominate, which has pros and cons and is situationally contingent. Because typological thinking is assertive by nature, it is good for positing and leading and commanding, but it is poor for learning and observing and reflecting. William James said:

“There can be a tendency to label something in order to negate its impact. It is easier to brush off or control what is perceived as solid instead of fluid.”

Perhaps this is why man has the tendency to label everything at first glance instead of experiencing things as idiosyncratic and unique phenomena.

What typological thinking allows for is control. When we label and abstract and standardize we delude ourselves that we’re in control, that our ratiocinations are reflective of what is.  Now, it is true that this type of thinking is useful, but its shortcomings apply when forecasting into the future. This is because the physical world is in flux and ever changing. Formalized logic applied to matter is most useful within the time and context it originally created and diminishes in utility/ value as time progresses and change becomes more evident. Eventually the logical structure can no longer hold together as the premised facts of matter change so drastically they can no longer be said to be true.

(This may be a bit abstract so I’d suggest reading Axioms (pdf) as a nice little introductory piece, or if you are so inclined, check out Kant’s Prolegomena for any Future Metaphysics and Hume’s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding)

The point I want to make is that as a nation we need to relinquish the tendency to think typologically in favor of the more evolutionary population thinking. Specifically, we should do away with standardized methods of schooling that quantify instead of qualify: This means focusing on quality rather than quantity. We need to develop a system for encouraging quality teachers, not by necessarily measuring their efficiency or effectiveness. All that does is emphasis fulfilling whatever criteria we lay out. Same goes for students. I would argue that the quality of student and their thinking has declined significantly since the advent of standardized tests which resulted in teaching material and learning facts that are minimally necessary for passing or getting by.

We should value diversity. Diversity of methods, opinions, ideas, etc. Value individuals. What criteria would I require for delivering quality teachers and students? Output. Productivity. Activity. Experience. Something that indicates they are actively producing. This will indirectly indicate the aptitude and ability of the individual, as well as indicate their motivation and passions. I wouldn’t give grades, per say. I would let their work, their results, do the speaking.

However, there’s a hitch: cultivating leaders requires diversity, but their success dictates uniformity: its paradoxical.

Additional references:

Elliott Sober (1994). Conceptual issues in evolutionary biology . MIT Press: Bradford Book.^

Marjorie Grene (1990). Evolution, “Typology” and “Population Thinking” American Philosophical Quarterly27(3), 237-244.^


Lots of unrefined, undeveloped rambling:

I believe that oppression is man’s greatest asset. I believe that when man is not oppressed, he has no need to adapt, no need to grow and acheive and strive and thrive. I would say that oppression is the ultimate good. Since I can think of nothing pleasing about actively undergoing oppression, I would say that it is tantamount to suffering. But like suffering, oppression presents an opportunity to tap into previously unknown potentials in order to endure and survive.

What is oppression? More or less, it is “the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner”, or “the feeling of being heavily burdened, mentally or physically, by troubles, adverse conditions, anxiety, etc.” If man is to live as a truly free and autonomous being, one can argue that there is no such thing as just authority and that all authority is a burden.

The etymology of oppression? Coined mid-14c., as “cruel or unjust use of power or authority,” from Fr. oppression (12c.), from L. oppressionem, noun of action from pp. stem of opprimere. Meaning “action of weighing on someone’s mind or spirits” is from late 14c.

Oppression is nothing more than demands. Demands are the effect of some initial cause. Demands instantiate voids to be filled, or requirements to be satisfied, with a response such as thought or action. Humans respond to these voids by exercising human ingenuity, innovation and invention. These responses exist as conceptualizations, systems, meanings, or structures where they inhabit the mind and manifest as through our action.

I believe that our efforts to escape from oppression, from physical or mental demands and the duress they may cause, provide us with the ultimate salvation by rescuing us from our previously cramped conceptions of human possibility and forcing us to expand our horizons of what it means to be fully human. When we commit to escaping oppression we commit to adapting, we commit to conceding outdated paradigms and belief systems for a novel, alternative perspective.

Where does oppression take place? It can occur to the mind and the body. I believe civilization has capitalized on the venture of oppressing the mind. Nature imposes its own form of oppression. Natural, or environmental, oppression, was much more of an issue in the past due to our failure to capture the nature of cause and effect as well as our frail ability to leverage physical laws to alter or overpower the course of physical phenomena. Throughout our evolution, however, we’ve managed to innovate and invent ways of overcoming the oppression of natural physical constraints.

Body and mind are inextricable, so that what oppresses the mind manifests simultaneously in the body, and what oppresses the body manifests simultanesouly in the mind. In this way, as man alleviates physical oppression, he simultaneously frees his mind. But where does that leave the mind?

All life wishes to not only survive, but thrive. Existence depends on ensuring a continuity. Life does not want equilibrium. Life wants the power to create its own equilibrium, to impose its own balance, its own demands, on the world.

The oppression that occurs in the mind originates from abstractions generated and perpetuated by culture, from power relations vying for authority and dominant influence.  What are these abstractions? They are belief systems, language, meaning, conceptions like truth and law, etc. What are these power relations? The forces generated by competition between opposing ideologies. These forces present themselves as the will, or the emotional driver reinforcing every form of action.

Culture is a conglomeration of these abstractions and power relations. Culture shapes and programs individuals with the systems of abstractions and relations necessary for navigating, acting and reacting, within the culture.

Culture produces individuals and these individuals produce new physical boundaries that expand or contract oppression.

Was man ever a blank slate? There was never a garden of eden. The first oppression was natural environmental oppression. Out of human’s adaptation arose social relations and ultimately oppression.

Does scarcity drive oppression? When there is plentitude, is man oppressed? Only when social oppression continues to persist.

Oppression forces you to make a choice between fighting to anhiliate and overpower the oppression or acquiescing the mind and body under its force. One is active, the other is passive.

Education is oppressive. This oppression, when actively overcome, is positive. When this oppression overcomes, it is negative.

What is value? What determines value? Does all value maintain an equivalent price? Is value determined by emotional attachment? Utility? One can say that anything that is useful possesses an emotional attachment, since our emotional reflexes arise from deep primal impulses to survive.

What is value? Clearly utility has something to do with it, but then again, hardly anything at all. One can agree that just about anything can be useful to someone at sometime, but not someone at just anytime or all the time. So value has something to do with utility. Is art valuable? It produces an emotional response that aids in your well being. Love is valuable because, in some other degree, it does the same.

Because we cannot use every useful thing all the time, we must consider how we use our time. In this way we establish a hierarchy of values that serve us according to the proportional time we spend in any given activity.

Some abstract, qualifiable values are information, experience, feelings, thoughts, and I’m sure the list goes on, but these seem to be the most basic.

Willfully Powerful

Lower organisms overcome competition by multiplying, through progeny or duplication.
Higher organisms overcome competition by dominating, through killing or deviant oppression.

Vegetation, containing the most basic of organisms, simply multiply into sheer numbers for survival. Predators, containing the greatest complexity of organisms, have little offspring, but survive by killing off competition and threats. Humans can be said to be the greatest of predators. However, we have reached a new plateau. We no longer kill the body. We kill the mind.

Interesting to note: Developed societies have an inverse proportion of low birthrates to immense knowledge and power. Undeveloped societies have an inverse proportion of high birth rates to limited knowledge and power. Humans have graduated a rung on the ladder of power by learning to dominate through knowledge. Knowledge (language) is the ultimate tool of influence and domination.

Knowledge is power. It is the ultimate form of power. No longer do people live through their offspring. They live through their ideas and influence. These ideas and influence, this knowledge, is a means of dictating a subjective reality to others to ensure their conformity. Once knowledge has been programmed, and their critical self consciousness sufficiently whithers, influence can be effortlessly woven into their unconscious mind.

He who has the power decides the knowledge. Knowledge is nothing without power. Recall the institutions throughout the age, religious and academic and governmental. Look at the trends of academic development. Is it a wonder that western civilization’s knowledge has so pervasively made itself the gold standard for knowing?

All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is afunction of power and not truth. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Formal education seeks to indoctrinate minds with a formal historical knowledge. This knowledge breeds functional fixedness, among other constricting cognitive maladies. It is predicated by predetermined definitions and parameters dictated by predecessors. It prevents fecund creative minds from adopting novel solutions to problems in order to maintain a homogeneous worldview.  It also limits the ability to see, to conjure possibility.

Formal education is a process of censorship where rough robust rocks are hewed into small smooth stones. Such rocks are more manageable and less dangerous.

Knowledge can be a dangerous thing, a threat to a free flowering imagination where possibility blooms. It is a subversive means of control. It bestows a false sense of empowerment. Be wary of who’s feeding it to you. Animals always return to be fed: this is how domestication occurs. Feed yourself. Experience and experiment. Challenge.

Arguing is not about right or wrong; it is about will, the will to power. Arguments are about winning and losing, where the winner has successfully demonstrated his robust capacity for his knowledge and the loser willfully accepts defeat on the false grounds that he is wrong, rather than without. We’ve developed a ‘civilized culture’ where killing is no longer a suitable means for demonstrating the will to power. Today it is demonstrated through dialog. But this dialog is terribly slanted and skewed to serve a foreign body of knowledge that we have willfully adopted to believe is our own. And, in our minds, we are right, until this bastardized knowledge tells us we’re wrong.

Tired. Need more clarity. More thoughts later.

Random Thoughts and Notes Dump:

You will never solve the worlds problems; you can only solve your own.
Search the origin of your thoughts and you will discover they are not original to you.
I master myself so that I may master others.
Improve your condition by improving the condition of others.
There is no such thing as hard work; only time well spent.

I have accepted that people will fail you, there will always be failures who are okay with failing. These are the majority, though they don’t know it. People rationalize their failures like they rationalize their morality. There is no one who is good for all. Even Jesus was bad for the Pharisee’s. I must will myself to power, to dominate through subversiveness, by leveraging the good will of others. I must be first feared, then loved. Love is a great deterrent, but fear is greater. The fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom, says the bible. Likewise it is when I am feared. But never bark without bite, and let it be strategic and well planned.

Intelligence is no substitute for experience. Only experience renders wisdom.
I don’t want to continue being the person I’ve been.
The more I love, the more I feel loved.

A dream:

I had a dream last night and you were in it. We hung out and talked. It was interesting. I hope you’re as cool in real life as you were in my dream. So you came over my boss’ house to keep me company. You were wearing a baby blue sundress and a white flower in your hair. We talked and messed around on the computer. It appeared to have what looked like porn virus, which was awkward. We walked around a country road with some trained puppies. Had them catch us foxes then we domesticated them and they were our friends.  Then pirates in flying boats landed near the house we were watching. Police and pirates crashed and continued gunfighting. I got shot in my leg by pirates. You helped keep me safe and tend my wound, which eventually got worse. We had a tough time looking for the bullet but eventually pushed it out. So we played a slot machine and made a few grand and continued figuring out our escape. Etc.,

It’s the fool who plays it cool by making the world a little colder

More Time

‘To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labour.’
— Robert Louis Stevenson

Sometimes people will look down on the wanderers, saying they have no direction. I laugh at these people. I would rather travel everywhere and arrive nowhere, than travel somewhere just to arrive there and there alone. How bland. I would rather my cup overflow with experience than fill it up once and savor it drop by drop while never knowing anything else.

Although, I can see how it cuts both ways. Direction is good. Arriving is good. What gets me is ‘settling’. Or thinking that there is one direction, one path, one way, that we deem best or best for us. We are infinite creatures. Thus, we are strangers to ourselves. Experience is the best mirror for showing us to ourselves. Better yet, experience that was unplanned, uncharted, unexpected, and- best of all- uncomfortable! Only then are we given the opportunity to grow- or whither if we choose to shirk.

There is no ‘arrive’. Let’s discard this notion. Success is the continual realization of a worthy ideal. Who said you need just one? Can’t I have many? I want them all! Too bad my time is limited. It forces me to make choices; or, more specifically, sacrifices. But choices are good. They are a reflection of our selves, our values: the culmination of past experiences that have shaped and molded my present being.

Reflexivity. Second-order cybernetics. Now that’s an interesting study.


So. There are about 7 billion people on this earth. How can you make a difference? How can you make change and lasting impact? I know not everyone wants these things, but I do. You have one life, ONE LIFE. Then you die. Sure, you can talk about afterlife and the like, but the bottom line is, we have one life. This life. What makes ours any more unique or worthwhile than the other billions of people? I don’t want to pursue the masses and their meek or grandiose delusions. God. It’s so damn easy to adopt the cultural imprints we’ve been handed. It requires no thought. We touch a flame, we get burned. We learn. We do something a certain way, we’re told that’s wrong. We learn. But why don’t people challenge their behaviors more often? blah. Same ol’, same ol’. There’s utility in doing what we’ve always done, I suppose. But I need to get deeper into this issue. Need to study Path Dependence.

“The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a wide-spread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible”
—Bertrand Russell

Tomorrow I’m gonna read and study and write a lot. I have a lot of thoughts that need hashing.

I have a pet peeve: People who don’t communicate well. More precisely, people who refuse to communicate and fail to seek mutual understanding or compromise through dialog. I guess we don’t really need to communicate to everyone about everything. We can pick and choose our battles.  But I guess I’m referring to the people with ego or pride issues. They refuse to compromise because it freightens the shit outta them. It’s like it reveals a chink in their egos armor, a devastating weakness that leaves them vulnerable. Drop the ego, dammit. Or, if you’re gonna keep it, be confident enough to retain a sense of self that doesn’t vaporize every time it’s challenged.

That’s the other thing: The best way to win an argument is to avoid it. The best way to win a fight is to choose fights you can win. You want to beat a competitor? Do it on your own terms, not on theirs. Look at all the successful companies and people in the world. They were revolutionary and they succeeded because of it. They were not successful because they beat someone at their own game. These people rarely get the same acclaim and recognition as someone who dictates their own battles and rules of the game. I think of apple. There are so many companies who can do what apple does, but apple did it first.  Or Microsoft, or GE, or any great company or philosopher or leader. You can’t very well be a leader in anything if you are pursuing a standard someone else set. You can’t beat them at their own game. Everyone else becomes a sad copy, a weak imitation, no matter how great or hard they try. BUT, it’s often the case that if you want to make your own rules you must first master the existing rules.


“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify! Simplicity of life and elevation of purpose.”
-Henry David Thoreau

I need to simplify! My thoughts, my goals, my life. And ELEVATE a purpose, make it the sole and central focus of my life!

Advance Confidently in the Direction of Your Dreams

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favour in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
-Henry David Thoreau

Schumpeter and Creative Destruction: The Process of Market Innovation in Capitalist Societies

Schumpeter and Creative Destruction:
The Process of Market Innovation in Capitalist Societies

Joseph Schumpeter was a 20th century Austrian economist who taught at Harvard for several years upon coming to the US. While much of his work was overshadowed by his contemporary Keynes, he made important contributions to macroeconomic theory by developing dynamic models of market change. His work described the nature of market innovation within capitalist societies and emphasized the role of less quantitative measures such as sociology as a major factor for economic development. Much of his inspiration was drawn from the economists Marx and Weber who favored dynamic sociological backgrounds, as well as Walrus from whom he borrowed the concept of the entrepreneur. Despite his emphasis on social factors, however, Schumpeter was one of the leading econometric economists of his day.

In 1942 Schumpeter published Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy. In this work lies the theory of creative destruction, one of his most notable contributions. Originally a term coined by Marx, Schumpeter employed the “creative destruction” to mean the “process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one”. He wrote that the concerns of capitalism were less about how existing structures were administered and maintained and more about how these structures are destroyed and created. Entrepreneurs, he says, are the sole facilitators of innovation and invention that bring about these structural and market changes in economic systems.

Schumpeter placed much focus on equilibrium and the role of entrepreneurs to facilitate change within an economy. According to Schumpeter, an economy in equilibrium produces products for future consumers who are consuming their present products, and consumers consume products of past producers in a circular flow based on past experience. The expectations and cycles are essentially contained with no new production functions allowing for changes. The entrepreneur operates outside the system and introduces changes to the production function that allow for the creation of new wealth and destruction of the old- hence the term, creative destruction.

In Schumpeter’s analysis, entrepreneurs are the sole agents of change and responsible for the destruction and construction of new markets and wealth within a society. It is the sheer acts of will and leadership, rather than intellect, which characterize the entrepreneur and secure economic progress through successful innovation.

According to Schumpeter, capitalist societies did not operate in a the static circular flow, or equilibrium, proposed by Weber where the production function is invariant and preexisting factors of production are combined according to the technology at hand mechanically. Market activity is much more dynamic and changing. It is the Entrepreneurs who operate as a nonentity outside of this equilibrium and force new combinations of factors that disturb the circular flow as a means of innovative development. Rather than changing the quantity of factors to change the quantity of products produced, this disturbance creates market disequilibrium as their innovative contributions change the form of the production function. This change in production function form introduces new and higher quality commodities which destroys old wealth and creates new wealth.

Goal of Education

“The principal goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done; men and women who are creative, inventive and discoverers, who can be critical and verify, and not accept, everything they are offered.”
— Jean Piaget

Do you think this is being accomplished? What can be done about it? What is the utility of raising generations who only know how to repeat rather than think? A well trained and well behaved populous? Perhaps the cause of a generation caught in cyclical misfortunes?

I just read an article by NPR that detailed the lack of critical thinking, reasoning and writing skills being learned by college students today:

“….[the study showed that] more than a third of students showed no improvement in critical thinking skills after four years at a university was cause for concern…”

“Part of the reason for a decline in critical thinking skills could be a decrease in academic rigor; 35 percent of students reported studying five hours per week or less, and 50 percent said they didn’t have a single course that required 20 pages of writing in their previous semester.”

I am inclined to say that it is of no fault of the university. Rather, it is indicative of the protypical American culture. Payment does not guarantee education. It requires work, vision, and sacrifice, something that very little of the populous is inclined to embrace.

At every university, however, there are students who defy the trend of a decline in hours spent studying — and who do improve their writing and thinking skills. The study found this to occur more frequently at more selective colleges and universities, where students learn slightly more and have slightly higher academic standards. Overall, though, the study found that there has been a 50 percent decline in the number of hours a student spends studying and preparing for classes from several decades ago.

This is sad.

I’ll add to this post and write more later.

A quote:

“Modern schools and universities push students into habits of depersonalized learning, alienation from nature and sexuality,obedience to hierarchy, fear of authority, self objectification, and chilling competitiveness. These character traits are the essence of the twisted personality-type of modern industrialism.They are precisely the character traits needed to maintain a social system that is utterly out of touch with nature, sexuality, and real human needs.”

–Arthur Evans

50 Habits of Successful People

Simmer in its wisdom.

Habits of successful people….

1. They look for and find opportunities where others see nothing.

2. They find a lesson while others only see a problem.

3. They are solution focused.

4. They consciously and methodically create their own success, while others hope success will find them.

5. They are fearful like everyone else, but they are not controlled or limited by fear.

6. They ask the right questions – the ones which put them in a productive, creative, positive mindset and emotional state.

7. They rarely complain (waste of energy). All complaining does is put the complainer in a negative and unproductive state.

8. They don’t blame (what’s the point?). They take complete responsibility for their actions and outcomes (or lack thereof).

9. While they are not necessarily more talented than the majority, they always find a way to maximise their potential. They get more out of themselves. They use what they have more effectively.

10. They are busy, productive and proactive. While most are laying on the couch, planning, over-thinking, sitting on their hands and generally going around in circles, they are out there getting the job done.

Continue reading “50 Habits of Successful People”


The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.

-Vince Lombardi

I just read an article in the New York Times that delineated the qualities of mental prowess possessed by elite athletes. Their mental stamina, their ability to push beyond the mental limits where physical pain and psychological torture reside, is a hallmark of every successful person.

I believe that the principles of success are learned and acquired through any undertaking that requires a great deal of struggle. Without the struggle, without embracing the hardship, there is no virtue to be gleaned. As an athlete, there is no way around this struggle. When the time comes for competition, the corollary of your daily perseverance will shine for all to see. Whereas one can get by doing the minimum and appearing to excel in more relative matters such as business and school, there is no escaping the public eyes of the arena in athletic competition. You cannot hide the deficiencies you failed to confront and develop. Come time for competition, all your short-cuts, all your breaks, all your excuses and rational for stopping short are exposed for all to see. When the competition is over, a competitor can look on his performance in one of two ways: they can hold their head high, proud of their unfailing allegiance to the will;  or they can shirk and shrink inward and displace the blame, not on their own failures and lack of will, but on things outside their control. Only one of these two competitors will continue succeeding.

“I was given a body that could train every single day.” Tom said, “and a mind, a mentality, that believed that if I trained every day — and I could train every day — I’ll beat you.”

“The mentality was I will do whatever it takes to win,” he added. “I was totally willing to have the worst pain. I was totally willing to do whatever it takes to win the race.”

This is why elite athletes have such a developed sense of will. They recognize that there is no escaping responsibility. They refuse to make excuses. Their only refuge is knowing that will conquers all. It is the starting point for all capacities of human development.

The article discussed visualization. As a firm believer in visualization, I was intrigued by the contrast between amateur competitors and elite athletes.

In studies of college runners, [Raglin] found that less accomplished athletes tended to dissociate, to think of something other than their running to distract themselves.“Sometimes dissociation allows runners to speed up, because they are not attending to their pain and effort,” he said. “But what often happens is they hit a sort of physiological wall that forces them to slow down, so they end up racing inefficiently in a sort of oscillating pace.” But association, Dr. Raglin says, is difficult, which may be why most don’t do it.

When I read this, I think of a responsibility avoidance. There is a fear that prevents these athletes from embracing the pain and struggle. They fail to size-up the challenge and accept the burden of responsibility for its attainment. By contrast:

“Our hypothesis is that elite athletes are able to motivate themselves continuously and are able to run the gantlet between pushing too hard — and failing to finish — and underperforming,” Dr. Swart said

To find this motivation, the athletes must resist the feeling that they are too tired and have to slow down, he added. Instead, they have to concentrate on increasing the intensity of their effort. That, Dr. Swart said, takes “mental strength,” but “allows them to perform close to their maximal ability.”

Elite athletes find the boundary where their limitations reside. They practice reaching that boundary, that fluid limitation, on a routine basis. They know it well by inspecting its character and uncovering its various strongholds on potential. They become comfortable and familiar with its discomforts, continually dancing the line of what their current capacities can handle, and what their will demands of potential and possibility. When the time for competition arrives, this boundary of limitation will whiz by in the periphery, acting as nothing more than a reminder that all boundaries are meant to be crossed. Success, and traversing the limits that lead you there, are a matter of will.

Conceive. Believe. Achieve.

You must see where you want to be, visualize its nature, its pains and joys. You must conceive a world where you are already there, a world of possibility where time is your only enemy. You must believe that your potential is limitless, that you will win, that you will not lose. Only then will you gravitate toward this vision of success and achieve your ends. If you cannot conceive possibility, if you cannot believe in yourself and your ability to inevitably succeed, you will never achieve.


I believe in transparency; with yourself, with others. What have I to hide? Mistakes? An unworthy life? I am not ashamed of my past or present conclusions.  Do I contradict myself? Then I contradict myself. I am am a creature in continual flux. I change and grow, like any life. My moments speak for themselves.  However naive, my intention is pure. What matters the cares of the worlds? Can’t I maintain cares of mine own? Or the lack thereof?

Risk and reward are tantamount, otherwise everyone would get their fill of life. Living boldly means taking great risk. Be prepared to sacrifice your comforts and security. Pain will lurk close. Unknowns will abound. Adaptation means consistent action.

I will not apologize for my decision to live life boldly. The past is gone. It floats in a nonexistent oblivion. Memories prove too unreliable to cast just ratiocination on yourself or others. What matters but now? If you are there, who will attend to the here? What character will be under review? The character of him who is here, or the character of our memory?

Be open. If you hide yourself from the world, you are hiding yourself. We do not see things as they are; we see the world as we are. Only when we drag our full nature into the light of the world can we see the nature of its fullness.When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change. This requires a confrontation with whatever issues or vices or insecurities that chronically shirk from exposure. Attack them head on. See yourself as whole, as flawed, as awesome, as existing here and now.


I feel alive. It’s the first time in a long while. Usually I endure the suffocation. The demands. The routine pressures. As soon as I give a big fuck you to the world, to the expectations, to the voices; it suddenly melts away. It dissolves into clarity. I become light, my chest fills with substance and the aching void is replaced with pouring rhythm.

What it is to ‘be’. Its not doing. Its not pleasing people. Its not succumbing to everything out there. Its a defiant, oppositional rejection to it all. Perhaps its the fear that melts away? The fear of not sufficing, of not doing enough, maintaining enough. The fear of rejection. The fear of being no good. These forces worm their roots into my core and choke my sense of self. They fester and grow, feeding off my ability to be and act. It desiccates potential, leaving it shriveled and withered. I say no. I would rather die, rather blow off my head and choke my life of consciousness than live a mediocre life of struggle. I would do anything so long as my being could breath again. When the ultimatum hangs between ending your life, or ending the angst, the answers don’t seem so allusive. It becomes a simple decision of action. A courageous act of anger. Anger towards everything that’s been weighing you down.

No longer will my breath be bated with apprehension and insecurities. Death, or life. Chains, or freedom. So much of my life I prey on self-deception to rid it from its burrows; but its insidious contrivances slither beneath awareness and latch hold ever so gently. At times, it seems to be a comfort, this angst. It plants itself and soon becomes a deceptive constant. Over time it slowly coils and constricts the spirit until I awake disoriented and lost. The spirit and its zest for life, the simple pleasures of being, seem to have taken flight, and I am left deserted. A relativity takes hold and an indifference spreads over me. I become weightless, ungrounded.

Being real- whatever real is- seems to be the only salvation. It requires an intense gaze into these abysmally vacant depths. You must stare and search with a righteous anger and bitterness and resentment. You must find these gnarling roots, and hack deep. Confront the demons, the self-judgement, the doubt. Stare hard. Get angry and defiant. Defy anything that is keeping you from the now.

You can be no more than you are, and who you are is not who you will be. Decide to be. Whatever is holding you back must be uncovered and exposed. It has no power when you bring it to the surface. It loses its substance and dissolves into oblivion. The battle is daily. Either life is a burden, or it is no burden at all. Lose the burden.


You can be whoever you want. Who are you? Who legislates your role? No doubt your cognition, but from what matter? Your society nurses your beliefs. You choose which kernel of knowledge will yield the most fruit- we execute this legislation. And who decides if we are effective? Certainly not the executor, for that would be tyranny of mind, a fascist abomination of being. And who is the judge after all? Why, the society from which we glean our kernels and suckle our wellsprings. We are not our conscience; rather, we are fawns, helpless without our mother’s milk. We grovel, as slaves do, compromising and snarling in desperate hysteria. We are slaves to each other, to the perceptions of past ancestors, of yesteryear. Why can’t we inherit a spirit of wildness? Is that too unwieldy? It is not our man we cannot tolerate, but ourselves. We see ourselves in them and we recoil in horror, in disdain. Creeping around, like a blind beggar, seeking handouts from our fellow mendicants. We run, internally, and hide, but never willing to give up our conditioned vices. We rot inside, desperately coining new meaning for every chapter of life. The insatiable will for freedom only collapses on itself as we become our own ends, and means. But we are never alone, so long as our cognitions are anthropomorphizing sensations into false meaning. No. we are forever haunted.

Push yourself, and you will grow, we are adaptable creatures. Our minds absorb the brunt of circumstantial externalities and forces. They conform to the challenges and grow in complexity. Throw yourself into hardship, with reckless abandon. Confusion, pain, and unfamiliarity are temporary illusions of weakness. Do not succumb to despair or opt for an extended approach. Commit to the pain and hardship and you will find a transformation of boundaries, internally and externally. Life changes, its flux is evident on any time scale. Our cognition is apart of this change. Limits will migrate continually, closer and farther from your potential. Recognize that your potential is every growing. You will surpass those limits, confines of the mind, and flow into thousands of potential seeds of opportunity. Push yourself. Hurl yourself. Sweat is the reward. It cleanses perspective.

Infiltrate society. Corrupt custom. Confuse tradition. Reinvention is bound, helpless to each inventor. Distort familiar ground. Remap well worn paths. Gather mindless spirits to join. They will have no choice but to think. There is no end in sight. Only adaptation and invention. Perpetual evolution and rebirth. Toss the puerile minds into a boiling pot and watch as they firm and harden. Let nature corrupt mans manipulation. Let understanding wallow in neurosis. Nature is genius, overwhelming and paralyzing our imagination. Acceptance is not progress, it is pride. Attach with instinct but be wary of certainty. Open the gates of passion. Channel natures deliberate zephyrs onto our kindled spirit. Reignite our blaze. Life is not controlled. It is natural and wild, like our fiery spirit. Do not stifle its flame. Throw dampening constraints elsewhere.

A reminder to myself.

“A man should conceive of a legitimate purpose in his heart, and set out to accomplish it. He should make this purpose the centralizing point of his thoughts. It may take the form of a spiritual ideal, or it may be a worldly object, according to his nature at the time being; but whichever it is, he should steadily focus his thought forces upon the object which he has set before him. He should make this purpose his supreme duty, and should devote himself to its attainment, not allowing his thoughts to wander away into ephemeral fancies, longings, and imaginings. This is the royal road to self-control and true concentration of thought. Even if he fails again and again to accomplish his purpose (as he necessarily must until weakness is overcome), the strength of character gained will be the measure of his true success, and this will form a new starting point for future power and triumph.” Allen, James

Eating the Fruit.

I’m in a contemplative mood tonight. I just saw the movie ‘500 days of summer’.. I highly recommend it. It has a rare quality to its story. It doesn’t seem to be sugar coated. It picks you up… but doesn’t leave you up there… nor does it slam you down abruptly. It lets you float down again and grounds you. Wonderful movie.

Life. I must’ve said that word out loud tonight a dozen times. I think about it all the time. Expectations and reality. I was thinking… I like when my expectations are unrealistic from everyone else’s standpoint. and who knows maybe they’re not. But.. as I go through life.. I like the ambitions that require major action.. major investment. I noticed that the vast majority of these ambitions don’t necessarily come to fruition… but I’m always a lot farther ahead that where I would’ve been without them. So I shall keep these lofty goals… these dreams that seem just out of reach.


I walked around my neighborhood tonight. It was beautiful. Full, glowing moon. It penetrated the clouds as they silently drifted across the sky. There was a stillness to the air. I talked to my friend Brandon tonight. He was frustrated with himself… he got a B+ in a class. He said that the grade didn’t reflect his effort or his knowledge of the subject. It was the last thing I wanted to talk about really.. how upset with himself he is. My mood was so transparent and tranquil. My attitude was looking up. His grade, that class, is behind him. Every undertaking should be done with maximum effort to ensure that we perform even greater for the next. Looking backward while trying to move forward is difficult. He was, however, the only person that was open to catching up.. about nothing.


I walked around tonight.. on the sidewalks, the grass.. I walked, balancing my steps between the yellow lines in the road.

I feel very calm at the moment.

Here is an amazing poem that keeps my head up:

“I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon—if I can. I seek opportunity—not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations, and to face the world boldly and say, this I have done. All this is what it means to be an American.” Dean Alfange

That movie, 500 days of summer, made me think. It was cute. I like romantic movies. Movies about the dynamics of relationships.

I looked at myself in the mirror tonight.. with a long stare, trying to see myself as the person I am, not as I perceive myself to be. It was…

I was thinking tonight. Very much. I look forward to those times in life where you wake up, and life has a new light to it. Opportunities abound, possibilities stretch far and wide. The world at my fingertips. I love those times. Where everything has yet to cast a shadow. The world is a blank canvas… and slowly, line by line, choice by choice, it takes form. My decisions shape a lifestyle I grow to love, or hate. These opportunities, for most, seem rare. I work for them.
You know those times I speak of. Getting up in the morning is effortless. Showering and getting ready for the day is a breeze… your thoughts are elsewhere… in the realm of possibility. Its a joyous unspoken passion. You see things in their ideal state. Relationships, or making them, seems to be the easiest thing in the world. Its like finding companions for the journey. Maybe its a new job, starting at a new school, or your first day of school.. or getting involved with a new sport, or club, or organization. A new purpose. The purpose of ones life is pursuing ones purpose.

I have had these opportunities more times than I can count. These are the times where you can reinvent yourself. You can choose your friends based on your new direction, not fall back on them out of convenience. You are forced to expand yourself to new ideas. Moving 13 times… attending six elementary schools, two middle schools, three high schools, and now two colleges… has given me far more of these opportunities than many people ever have. Am I fortunate? Reinvention. If I wanted to be pessimistic I could say that I’ve felt like a chameleon all these years… all this reinvention was really adaptation.. but I really don’t see it like that. Every new direction, every opportunity you have to change course, you are given the freedom to change yourself, to build on your existing character. You remove more of the chaff. Thats the goal anyway. Right?


Acceptance is a large part of life. Actually, next to change, it seems to be everything. Change happens, continually… you never step into the same river twice. Accepting that change, and seeing things as they currently are, being willing to change your conceptions, is one of the greatest dilemmas I have. It causes me to lose a brief sense of security. But thats a risk we must learn to take I suppose. If we never went out on a limb, how would we ever eat the fruit?

I have many thoughts right now. Many many. Tomorrow… I will drive to Ft Myers to drop my cousins off… and meet my grandfathers new wife. I think it will be a surprise for him 🙂 He’s resentful that I don’t visit more often. I don’t blame him. Long complicated family drama really. As I get older I see the facets of relationships and see how their roots intertwine. Face value is never too revealing.

Love Love Love. And Happiness. Isn’t that what we all want? or maybe more happiness and then there’s love.

Why do I rob myself the joy of waking up every day like its my first day alive? I want to walk around my days like its the first day of my life… like there is something to learn behind every smile, around every turn, under every rock, twig or blade of grass.

I just read this: ‘Speak with substance to the life you know; not those which you admire.’ I speaks to me.

I’ll sleep.. think more tomorrow.


What is true happiness?

Hellen Keller once said, “Many people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”

I believe what Hellen Keller speaks of is Joy. While happiness is something that happens to us, joy comes from within. When one is committed to a worthy ideal, a worthy purpose, one is no longer waiting to arrive. Instead we recognize that the journey is the highest and most precious prize. No longer do we find ourselves waiting for better times, or seeking the ephemeral gratifications that life has to offer.
Earl Nightingale said, Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. I cannot think of a better definition. Lasting success yields lasting joys because our treasures are stored up, not in things, but worthy ideals.
One of the turning points in my life was when I realized this sentiment. I use to yearn for someone or something to quench my thirst for contentment and color the pallid landscapes of my life. Every one of these fruitless endeavors I sought provided what I was yearning for. It was only when I realized that what I longed for was nothing this world could offer. It was what I could offer this world. This penchant ignited a flame within me as I began searching for ways to offer myself to people in need. I soon saw a world in need of real truth. What they yearned for was living water that can quench their thirst for a life more abundantly.
The fidelity that Hellen Keller speaks of is helping people discover this Truth. It requires that we die to ourselves, our gratifications and our selfish desires, and offer ourselves up as messengers of this truth. We must accept life as a journey where we give ourselves to others. This is by no means an easy task, but it is the only way to attain lasting joy, or the true happiness that Hellen Keller speaks of.

Epic Blurb

I love swimming. Becoming totally engulfed in an essence. I love swimming in the ethereal feelings and thoughts kindled in my glowing imagination. I want to live fully. What do I think?

I cannot keep putting off responsibilities. Responsibilities like… homework, studying, keeping in touch with people, being happy. I have a responsibility to be happy ya know. No one else is responsible for my happiness. Its unique to me.

Is it good to avoid criticism? Should one look for it?


I visited cousin at Amherst College this weekend. Watched the football game. Beautiful campus. Small population of students but spacious none the least. Hung out with the football gang. All seemingly intelligent people. It’s odd to visit a wet campus. Alcohol prevails in every dorm and every hall. The smell of stale beer leads you to the next party. Filled with juvenile adolescents indulging in self destruction- pounding away at another helping of hoppy watered-down ethanol or some other distilled liquid pleasure. These people. Freedom is such a new quality. I remember the days when I was overwhelmed with freedom. It’s where the irresponsibility started and accountability faded away as I justified my actions with those of my peers. Sad really. My individualism was lost amongst the crowd. And for what? Acceptance is too cliche for an answer. I stripped and tossed my convictions without hesitating a moment. No contemplation. We don’t think that far ahead in our youth. We live in the now. We rarely take time to see into the distance future. If we did, we would see how our accumulated actions would be disserving and adjust accordingly.

Maybe its alright to pander to some of our fleeting youthful satisfactions. Its a slippery slope. The miligram experiment by social psychologist stanley milgram perfectly illustrates what happens when we undermine our convictions. We continue this trend until there are no limits to what we do. The line has been crossed, we are confused, we lose sight of right and wrong as we justify out previous slip.

Amherst was fun. I’m through with the binge atmosphere. I want social glee. I want to be surrounded with quality people who enjoy the finer things in life. Who rise above mindless impulses and short-lived thrills.

Education will not solve the worlds problems. The worlds problems are more than the tangible pressures we face. We face trials of the heart. When the man is right, his world will be right. How can education cause men to be more introspective with their intentions? Just because a man is sincere doesn’t mean he can’t be sincerely wrong. Is man the measure of all things? How far does this measure extend?


I often wonder what would happen if I forfeit all the wisdom I’ve believed to have accumulated? What would happen to my world is I tossed my convictions and standards into the wind and remained wild, totally free from reason. Ha. As I say this I just think of how most post-modern liberals behave. I’m sure my behavior wouldn’t be that different.


I need to write a paper. A LONG paper. A case study. On a company with a woman who’s got no work ethic. Who started a business strictly because she does not work well with authority. Who stated that shes alright with her businesses minimal growth because she reaps tax benefits and money from subsidies to small businesses. She is stealing our tax money becuase she refuses to work hard to earn more money for herself. Wow. This women is nice. She’s got some good ideas. She is clueless when it comes to investing herself into a vision and seeing that vision come alive. She instead settles for mediocrity. A business that’s providing barely enough to get by. She comes to work late. She fired every employee shes hired because of ‘personality conflicts’ but stated that she prefers an employee because that makes me come to work on time. People. I swear. How the hell do I even approach this study. I outlined a business plan proposal. When I write the paper I obviously want to write like this is going to a valuable company with vested stakeholders- instead, I think about how this women won’t heed a damn word and although my analysis of her basic production methods is legitimate- I find that all she needs is a good lesson on working hard and the principles of success. Being an economics paper I can’t very well write a philosophy discourse of strategies for success, but I’m EXTREMELY tempted. If there wasn’t a hefty grade attached I would write such a paper and throw it in her face. I’d also rattle off a few rants on why any social distribution of wealth is inherently flawed due to free loaders like her.

My God! People must misunderstand me all the time! When I talk of success- this doesn’t translate into financial gain! People probably think I’m so egocentric and highfalutin because they totally misinterpret success. Actually- they are totally ignorant to success in general so they are stigmatized to the notion!

SUCCESS!!!! What it means!!! Progressively realizing a worthy ideal!— And working towards it with every molecule and vibration in your being! Being excellent and exploring the unknown wellsprings of untapped potential! BEING THE BEST AT WHAT YOU DO! If you decide to do something- put your all into it! Enough???? “Aren’t I doing enough” you ask? Enough is only your best! Do not lie or deceive yourself. There is no such thing as failure. There is no such thing as try! There is Do. or Do not. Live. or live not. You choose.

I believe that all psychological illnesses stem from people not realizing their full potential. They sabotage themselves and what they think they can or cannot do! They become entrenched in limiting thoughts and habits and live their lives, like Thoreau said, ‘in quiet desperation’.


Some people feel that they lack motivation or intelligence or desire or skills. HA! HAHAH! I pity these people. I do. Continually focusing on what they lack instead of what they have at their disposal! How can one gain more by spending his time counting everything he hasn’t! All man needs to succeed he already possesses. The most valuable tool in his arsenal of achievement? Will. What is will? The ability to apply oneself to a decision. We all possess the ability to make a decision. Focus on that decision- never mind the details for they’ll take care of themselves- and you will watch live spring to life. Will! The more you exercise will the more you empower yourself! Have Dreams! Have vision! “Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is simply passing the time. Action with Vision is making a positive difference.” (Joel Barker)


I want to help other people find their potential. They may ask- what is potential??? What does that mean??? It is everything you are not and you want to be.
I often get caught up thinking that I need to possess the answer in order to plant inspiration within people. How childish! How can I possess all the answers for each individual? Can I make up their mind? Can I pretend to know the depths of their soul and the curiosity of their spirit? No. What I must possess is hope and vision. All I need within myself is the ability to question. To challenge. To encourage people. People have the answers within themselves. They need to look. All I need to to ask the questions that cause people to look within themselves. There they will find the burning flame that starves for more to breath. When this flame catches a breath it will burn brighter and more passionately then they’ve ever known. It will illuminate them from within and their eyes will shine with wonder and awe. They will yearn for more and more and their enthusiasms will cause others to combust in a dazzling display of human achievement.


It’s odd. As I often do, I find myself caught in a paradox of conflicting ideology. On one hand- I hold people to the highest most exalted esteem, adorned and lauded for their precious nature. On the other? I find people utterly reviling, evil and carnal in nature. Lost and complacent with consuming the empty tales of hope. Listening fervently with open ears to the flowery but empty rhetoric that evil spews forth. Lies- deception and deceit. It pulls at the strings of their heart and beckons them to follow but leads no where. Are they sheep? They are defiant sheep. I cannot hate the ignorant. I myself am just as ignorant. I do- however- hate the lies. Those that lead others astray have gained my utmost contempt. Their words are like honey to the lips that poisons and incapacitates. These men lead nowhere.


I love life. I wish I would think less and act more. At the end of the day all that matters is what was actually accomplished. When my life is over- I won’t be able to celebrate the hours of cathartic reflection and quiet contemplation. I will have to show what my life produced. When the harvest is ready- one cannot make excuses for anything less than his best. This life we sow our best, till and prune and water and tend. When this life is over only the fruits of our labor will reveal our success.

I have to work. I have much to do. I have much to write about. No holding back.



There are no ifs ands or buts. I will refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I will not put limits on myself. I will succeed wildly. I will dream wildly. I am starving for achievement. I am a success. It is impossible that I will not succeed. I am positive. I am focused. I am driven. I am totally capable. There is nothing more I need than a firm resolve to actualize dreams. I will sacrifice anything. I will read, listen, watch, imagine, create, work, feel, suffer, and endure anything and everything I need to. I will stake my existence on making my dreams a reality. There is never a dream that is too big. The only limits we face are the ones we set for ourselves. I will succeed. I am a success. I have already begun. I pay no heed to the voices of mediocrity all around me. I am unfamiliar with failure. I am convicted to seeing my dreams through until they are a reality. I only see opportunity. There is no such thing as difficulty. I no longer stake the existence of my chief wants by gauging the difficulty of a task. Progress is the reward. No task is difficult if it leaves me closer to the things I want most.

There are controllables and there are uncontrollables. I am in control of a single aspect that dictates the success or failures of my life. My thoughts. I will choose only the most worthy. I will see my dreams as though they have already been accomplished. I will be the most successful person who as ever walked the earth, and if I am ever to play the part, I will need to act the part. No longer will I acknowledge the thoughts that don’t contribute to this aim. I will train myself and develop the habits of the person I hold myself to be. I will never let the standards for myself waiver. I have strong faith. I have tested belief. I am succeeding.

Humanism and The Odyssey: An Analysis

Examining the Pursuit of Mans Sense of Self



Success is a humanistic notion. It is man achieving. One definition describes success as the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. The fact that humans are in control of their success or failure, and essentially their fate, is a unique concept that originated in Greek society. When man loses the will to seek answers he effectively relinquishes control over his circumstances, causing him to accept his circumstances as divinely appointed and beyond his control. He accepts the direction of his fate and deemphasizes the importance of his desires and abilities. The humanist, however, maintains optimism towards his current circumstances and places faith in his ability to change those circumstances. The continual pursuit of refining those abilities to achieve his circumstances is what encompasses the idea of arête—excellence. Aristotle said “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”  The notion of anything less than excellence contradicts humanism and sends man at the mercy of circumstances beyond his control. Homer’s work The Odyssey paints the prescription for all humanists to come as Odysseus battles to overcome circumstances and fulfill his desire to return home.

The humanist is one who cherishes the very highest ideals. At his essence is self-discipline, a persistence and determination that fuels his effort to achieve those ideals. Humanists are concerned with the refinement of their being—their character, intellect, morals—seeking out the very highest reason, virtues, ethics, and ideals in order to aid in the ability of self-actualization. They believe in the cultivation of man to create the most fulfilling life possible.

Throughout The Odyssey Odysseus struggles against harsh circumstances that deter his efforts to return home. He’s buffeted against the waves, stranded on islands, held captive, and blown across seas for more than twenty years. Yet, despite these forces, he continually presses on. The Odyssey shows that while man is subject to circumstances, either external or internal, he is no longer a victim. While gods are present throughout the story they never miraculously save him, nor do they prevent him from achieving. As a whole they are unsuccessful at countering or waiving Odysseus’s strong will to return home.

When examining The Odyssey as a humanistic work, it appears that the gods remain as fixtures of the story that fill in occurrences that would otherwise happen anyway. Homer portrays their acts more as symbols of luck or inspiration that either aid or hinder Odysseus rather than the gods inescapable will to save or condemn him. Interestingly, Odysseus is often compared to Athene in their witty, cunning and sly nature. It seems that the gods are a result of creative explanations for things with unknown origins such as natural occurrences and inspiration. Each time Odysseus faces a set of circumstances and the gods intervene they are shown providing insight and help that Odysseus can choose to heed or ignore. This is also illustrated when Telemachus was approached by Athene to stand up and fulfill his desire to rid his house of the suitors and see his father again. Despite his age and the odds against him he successfully chose to pursue the ideal and overcome the challenges (Homer 90). Illustrating the ability to choose and achieve such choices was a first for a literary work in a world governed by deities and supernatural forces.

A major theme throughout The Odyssey is the idea of light and darkness and it’s symbolism of order and chaos as well as life and death. Humanism is a philosophy of change and the process to achieve that change. It is man coming to know himself and his world, overcoming his savage nature, restoring order, and living life to the fullest.  It is achieved through personal development and refinement by overcoming challenges.  Homer incorporated these elements of humanism not only in Odysseus, but in the overall societal atmosphere of The Odyssey.  Homer used light in association with order and life. King Nestor, Menelaus, and Alcinous had ordered kingdoms, good manners, and tremendous success. They spoke eloquently and maintained high ideals for themselves and their guests. The Phaeacians displayed not only the virtue of xenia, but illustrated the idea of achieving arête through competitive sporting events as well as their unparalleled mastery of the sea. In contrast, darkness represents that of chaos and death, qualities that humanism strives to overcome. The suitors, barbarous and destructive, represent chaos and disorder soon to be overcome by Odysseus, the model humanist. When Odysseus arrives in Ithaca he finds himself in a deep fog that makes his home unrecognizable.  His victory over this darkness comes when he defeats the suitors, showing triumph over chaos and the return of order.

Odysseus can be considered a model for all humanists. The Odyssey displays him maintaining the highest degree of excellence in all his endeavors. His courage is tested time and time again as he approached the most daunting tasks such as facing giants and sorcerers, and even going to Hades (Homer 150). His discipline is displayed in the continual pursuit of his homeland despite the forces he wrestles.  His keen intellect is displayed through his ability to choose his words and actions carefully. His cunning speech deceives his enemies and persuades new friends in order to defeat or win favor. His manners and use of words is so good, that he wins favor with the princess Nausicaa of Phaeacia, despite his nude and ravaged appearance (Homer 81). His physical strengths are seen every time he competes. After all the suitors fail, he is the only one more than able to string the great bow and shoots it precisely through the axe holes (Homer 286). He proves his vastly superior athleticism when he competes at the Phaeacian games and out does all the competition (Homer 99). His knowledge of strategy and war is evident through his conquests of cities and kingdoms (Homer 96). His patience and temperance are evident in the insightful plans to defeat the Cyclops and the suitors (Homer 118, 216). As a whole, Odysseus and his struggles manage to convey a viable exemplar of a true humanist.

The Odyssey also contains, however, contradicting elements of humanism that seem to raise the question of whether or not it accurately portrays humanism. While Odysseus has heroic qualities of achievement, he’s often portrayed as weak and easily fallible to vices such as women and pride, specifically hubris. The obvious cases of his temptation of women can be seen with Calypso and Circe (Homer 66, 133). He easily succumbs to the temptation of women and forgets about his wife Penelope whom, in cases he mentions her, he desperately longs to see.

Odysseus’s pride is another obstacle that interferes with his success many times. While kleos, the Greek word for glory, was something to be sought out and cherished in Ancient Greece, too much can cause devastating effects and invoke hubris, considered the greatest of sins in ancient Greece. Hubris is the overabundance of self pride that causes arrogance and self confidence, usually resulting in showing off or putting someone down for personal gratification. This was illustrated during Odysseus’s encounter with the Cyclops Polyphemus when he taunts the Cyclops after cunningly escaping from his captivity (Homer 123). Odysseus’s hubris almost cost him his life and the lives of his crew members when the giant threw boulders at his ship. Additionally, even after surviving the close call, he gloated even more, disclosing his name to the one eyed giant who later proved to be Poseidon’s son.  His overabundance of pride resulted in causing more problems than any other single factor throughout his quest to return home. Hubris also is seen when retribution is being served. Clear cases of this occurred when Odysseus slaughter’s his betrayers and the suitors. He mutilated and butchered Melanthius and ruthlessly beheaded Leodes even after he asked for forgiveness (Homer 292, 296). He also killed all but twelve maids after they were ordered to clean up the bloody corpses. These examples are presented as paradoxical to the notion of humanism and the honor, virtue and excellence it stands for.

These faults, however, can be cleverly considered one of two ways. At first glance, one can view Odysseus as a proud individual of self-indulgence who does his best to boost his image while disregarding the life of anyone who undermines him. On the other hand, further examination reveals that Odysseus is battling normal human struggles and vices. When considering the cause and effect of his actions, the reader is shown not what to do, but what not to do. His love of women caused him to stay with the beautiful Calypso for seven years while his hubris causes even more immense problems with Poseidon’s fury. The humanistic theme is preserved when the work is read as an honest portrayal of the human condition illustrating the challenges faced when striving to actualize ones desires and achieve arête. It depicts Odysseus as a normal human who’s fallible and imperfect despite his reputation and ideals. His mistakes never prevent him from achieving his desire no matter what the misery. Humanism involves cultivating one’s life through temperance by avoiding the obstacles and vices that hinder fulfillment.  The Odyssey vividly conveys the essence of persisting to overcome struggles through its characters.

The Odyssey further exemplifies the humanistic element as a quintessential work of literature. The complex characters, deep storylines, and metaphorical relationships embody the holistic quality of writing one would expect from a humanistic work. Even its prose and syntax reinforce the idea of arête by providing a concise and relatable text that has endured as an unparalleled work of art. The word andra, or man, placed as the very first word of The Odyssey proves to further signify the importance of man in a Homeric world.

The Odyssey provides the first example of a human’s will being the central component of their fate. Everything about it points to the significance of man in creating his world. This provided the framework of western thought that has propelled so much of our achievement. This Homeric epic shaped the ancient Greek culture that emphasized the importance of man seeking arête to cultivate his world. This introduced the importance of an individual’s thought and ability to reason, prompting the philosophy of modern humanities, modern democracy, and modern science. Whatever Homer’s original intent, he was successful at epitomizing humanism in every element of The Odyssey.







Homer, and E.V.Rieu. The Odyssey. 3rd Ed.. London, England: The Penguin Group, 1946.

friend is a four letter word

Pick your friends. Do not let your friends pick you.

Do I know what I want? Yes. Have I ever had it before? No. Have I ever seen it before? No. Will I know when I see it? Yes. Is it going to be a long hard confusing struggle before I achieve this desire? Yes. Will I falter at times? Yes. Will I settle for things that are less than what’s best for me? Yes. Does that make me weak? No.

Sometimes I settle for less than what I know is best. I use excuses to settle or take shortcuts like… all this extra effort is unnecessary, or it won’t matter right now, or I just gotta use what I got instead of looking for better, or other inane devices that make it, for a time, alright to avoid responsibility for myself. I despise the urge inside me to question my own convictions. When something is out of place and I let it be, neglecting the thought to do something about it, I am cheating myself. There are people all around me that are special and great and as people are about as normal as the populace they’re surrounded with. Most people think they’re original. That they have something that no one else has. Granted, there will never be another like them, but most times that’s the only quality that sets them apart. They would never dare to be original. To be extra-ordinary. They are terrified of being outside the embraces of societies standards of normalcy. They are too insecure and too frightened of being a lone. That’s the burden of being a leader, being original. You are alone and chastised by everyone in the outside world. There will be some who will tell you they too relate to the struggle but their lives lack the burdens that the responsibility of being a leader carries. They prefer to slide back into the shadows. Why? They don’t know where they’re going or why. If they gave it some thought and ask themselves what price they’d pay for the pains of rejection they’d decline and go back to the security of knowing nothing they did would be criticized and reprimanded because they’re all the same.

I live behind glass. These eyes are the windows of my soul. I hear noises coming from the walls of my ears. My senses provide me with enough raw material to deduce my own style of thinking. I am not a mirror that reflects the behaviors of the automatons that surround me. They are all mirroring each other. When I say that we have free will the concept is so foreign they don’t know how to assimilate the idea into being. What they do is reinforce the false notion that they actually think for themselves and further justify their ignorance instead of break free from it. Its a dangerous world. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing<-(pope)

I pity the people around me. There are few whose eyes shine forth ingenuity and the innocent hope of braving new frontiers within their heart and mind.

I walk around programmed. I program myself, like most others, and I do my best not to think myself into a fit of insanity. I forget that I constantly need to recalibrate myself according to the ever changing circumstances. What I do got me where I am. If I want to go anywhere else I need to change what I do, else I stay the same.

My life is a brilliant song I'm striving to compose. I carefully search for the most beautiful notes to render the most awing performance of genius when it's my chance to perform and all eyes are watching. I don't want to resemble anyone else.

Be the change you see in the world.

I had a good night tonight. I can barely feel my fingers as I type this out. Later than expected, I found myself wondering if I could manage the colossal mountain of work I’d been over dramatizing in my head. I found myself doing my best to catch up on sleep throughout the day. Minutes and hours here and there. Nothing too worthy to be called a recovery. Eventually I found myself eager to change what was starting to become a daily routine of ideal wishing.  I sat there at dinner and talked of motivation with other desperate bodies longing for some kind of intangible compulsory that would inspire them.  I felt a rush of invigoration and began talking with a tone of hope. Dreams and aspirations… the people that I live amongst. The people inhabiting the world. The vast majority. What do they think it takes to be successful? To exist in ideal circumstances? Everyone has their own conception of what that is of course, but I find it pretty sad when they attribute the magnificent powers of success to factors outside their control. How depressing. They scrounge and crawl to these dreams. What kind of dream is that? Where crawling and feeble begging and lost hope intertwine all together as a means to fulfill the desires residing in the depths of their soul? I call it soul. Its whatever you are deep inside- Who you are. What’s sad is the lack of faith. They contain the power they long to feel. It resides in them, untapped. Like a spring waiting to give life to all who put the energy to dig deep enough. So sad.
So I sat there this evening, dwelling with ever flowing surges and waves of thought. I refused to drown in my own state of helplessness. I decided to remind myself, and anyone that would listen, of our potential; using words that could penetrate their weak excuses for a state anything less than ideal. Perfect is my state. I began talking about faith. Not hope. Beyond hope. Hoping is wishing for circumstances that are beyond your our immediate control.  That’s another excuse to lay back and be victimized. Everything it takes to be successful resides within you. You have what it takes. You don’t have to wish or hope any longer. No more sadness. No more waiting for better days.
I talked. They listened with eagerness. “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”(Emerson).  Whom we always wanted to be. My desire is to provide a sliver of inspiration that induces motivation.
I talked and their eyes became fixated on words that transcended their immediate listening and penetrated their hearts; to a place where they dwelt where they were alone, where they wished someone would provide the comfort of an idea they could believe would rescue them. A breath of hope that blows gently on the embers of their desires so they could see the flames that give the light they need to travel on, far beyond the shadows of doubt.
I want to offer that as much as I want to hear it. I talked. They listened. They heard what I said. Human experience is something far more powerful than any book; than any of the scholarly text that lead us to believe this or that. Scholarly writings only exist to confirm universal human experiences. When you haven’t experienced, you cannot take the words of another without leading yourself into a realm where you have no agency of understanding. You are blind and grabbing at abstracts. The words of human experience resonate deep and wide and can be universally translated even through the gaze of the eyes. They hit you deep and you understand.
As I exchanged these words of penetration I myself began to realize what I often neglect as relevant human experience. How foolish. We know the answers yet we struggle to find the strength to believe in them, even when they lay within our reach.

I went out tonight. I found myself churning through pages and pages of essays. One by one I flipped the pages of readings, gently tapping away at my keyboard with every insight I overturned. I managed to produce a four page research paper in a matter of no more than four hours. I was pleased with my work and debated the possibilities of exploring some social activities this evening. My intentional better half longed to finish all the homework scheduled for the lengthy weekend ahead, but my wise yet understanding social half decided otherwise. I would make a phone call to casually inquire about any nightly activities ahead. I struck fortune and no longer than an hour later I found myself laughing and conversing with other jubilant comrades who were just as thrilled as I.  The temperature dropped well below freezing. My estimations lead me to believe we hung out in a range far below negative fifteen degrees. Maybe single digits. It didn’t matter though. Valentine whiskey, Budweiser and Coors light beer? Any combination calls for a party. And we did.
A wonderful array of personalities collided into a beautiful hum of snickers and hugs and pictures and smiles. It was nice. Relationships blossomed and a strange comforting security swept over the usual anxiety.

I had a good time. it was cold. It was pretty much equivalent  to anything you’d encounter in anything north of 50deg latitude. I felt like an Eskimo. It was good though. There were a lot of people I was glad to talk to for a change. A lot of people i hadn’t had the chance to converse in serious dialog with.

All day tomorrow is homework and study day. Accounting and English. 🙂

don’t lie

Develop the urge to achieve excellence everyday. To do your best everyday. To out do yesterday’s performance and focus by making today the greatest day of your life. The greatest day of your life will simply mean nothing to your state in the future if you don’t maintain that progress. You need to realize this:  Anything you accomplish, no matter how great, will never be good enough to sustain you.  You need to get the itch to make an effort to achieve those great accomplishments that move you forward and ahead of the pack on a daily basis.

Be real with yourself. No matter how much talk and how many dreams you con conjure they won’t do anything unless they are backed with action. Confront the facts of life. Where you are and where you are going and what kind of efforts you’re producing to get you there. Analyze what needs to be sacrificed and what tools or skills or insight should be added. Churchhill said, “I…. have no need for cheering dreams. Facts are better than dreams.” When you are real with yourself you can be real with your progress and when you make the effort to move forward based on your genuine applied efforts, you can bask in the feelings of that reward.

Assimilated Summary of Locus of Control, Attribution Theory and Explanatory Style

Michael S. XXX
LOC Reflection

The locus of control is locality on a bilateral continuum that dictates the level of awareness one has regarding his/ her control over occurring circumstances. The two poles in reference are established as having an internal or external location of control to ones circumstances. In laymen’s terms, a scale to measure the responsibility one takes on in deciding how his behavior could directly affect the outcome of a situation(s). The locus of control offers a more measurable and spatially comprehensible method of looking into the behaviors that dictate the outcomes of specific situations for people on a habitual basis. When looking at the two extremes of locus, the external end of the spectrum is closely comparable to having a philosophy of determinism (or causality), where very little of your efforts can actually change the past or present circumstance. The external locus connotes a very irrational and powerless approach of explaining behaviors towards life and associates with persons of a very limited idea of personal responsibility. External locus is when direct casualty is placed on an outside event and outside of personal control. On the other extreme is internal locus. This refers to one who approaches circumstances with an acknowledged responsibility for shaping their future through constant thought to appropriate reactions and rational decisions that would lead to fulfilling one’s obligation to expectations. The extreme internal locus of control is most closely relatable to the philosophy of humanism, where faith in anything but self is denounced and determining one’s destiny is realized by embracing any and all responsibility they have for their actions to determine their future. The causality is placed on factors within the person as an explanation for what happens to them. The issue of motivation begins as one sees the significance in applying consistent effort to an expectation and succeeds. Only after realizing the power of responsibility one has over their life can one begin to orient towards an internal locus of control. This coincides directly with the explanatory style of learning where one sets expectations and fulfills them through discipline and acting upon the belief of competency. When one realizes that by simply assuming all responsibility for achieving, and recognizes the circle of influence he has over controllable factors, can he can effectively and efficiently tackle relative tasks that would allow of maximum growth towards expectations. Yet, these expectations can be positive or negative. The optimistic or pessimistic explanatory style is the determining factor that dictates success after an internal locus of control is realized and achieved.
There are many factors used to gauge an idea of effort involved in an undertaking. How we perceive these factors plays a huge role on the language we use to communicate and understand undertakings and expectations. Our communication and comprehension cognitive processes are developed and influenced continually throughout our lives by parental conditioning, habitual behavior reinforced by expectancy, sociological, cultural, or ethnic influences. What it comes down to is how you perceive situations. There is nothing that is too hard. There are factors that are out of your control, but it is up to you to recognize these factors so that you can allocate proper time and energy where needed to succeed. You have been half product of circumstance, half product of will until you reach an age of responsibility for the things you have control of. The more maturity, the more one recognizes ones ability to respond accordingly to their circumstances and succeed with their expectations.
In relation to task difficulty, what is simply being communicated is that certain time and energy will need to be allocated to accomplish the task. This is only to communicate so we can have a better understanding of the preparation we should take to approach the task. Many times we think task difficulty is something that one can actually fail to accomplish and never ever accomplish. (THAT IS CRAZY.) Excuse me. That kind of mentality is that of a pessimistic explanatory style. What we need to realize is that nothing is ever too difficult. This is done by adopting an optimistic explanatory style. We need to train ourselves to focus and persevere through discipline and consistent applied willpower to accomplish the task. As we approach the challenge we might not have the tools it takes to overcome the task. What this directly indicates is that we need to acquire the tools and knowledge to overcome it. It is a given opportunity to grow and to develop one’s abilities. No one has set abilities. We continually add by the constant application of principles and values that brought us previous success. Effort is relative as well. Effort is the time and energy needed to complete the task. If you don’t have the tools and don’t know how to use them then the task will seem difficult and the effort applied will be much. The way to work more efficiently and effectively is by getting into the habit of succeeding. When you succeed you reinforce what is necessary to acquire and articulate knowledge to achieve. There is life, but there is no luck. A roman philosopher quoted it best when he said “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” I believe that, and anyone with a positive internal locus of control would agree that you are fully responsible to prepare yourself for life and its opportunities and challenges- both of which can provide you with positive growth when proper preparation is obtained. When responsibility is realized, and you owe it to no one but yourself to succeed, than task difficulty, luck, ability, and effort are all pretty consistently stable and controllable.
The correlation existing between locus of control and explanatory style is that of the realized potential of the individual and the expectations they hold for themselves as they approach a task. AD/HD tendencies seem to associate a pessimistic explanatory style and internal locus of control for any failure in a particular task yet hold a very optimistic explanatory style and internal locus of control when successful in a task. LD/ADHD students used in research by Schulsky & Gobbo showed that using the attribution theory towards internal locus of self efficacy were able to elevate self-esteem, perceived control, perceived success, and academic emotions. The attribution retraining reinforces an increase in self-image leading to realized internal control and responsibility that allows for elevated measurable progress. When individuals act out these expectations and project the image of achieved success their performance matches up. These ADHD students tend to associate failures with lack of ability, an internal, stable, uncontrollable, global cause whereas students of a ‘control group’ associate failures with an internal, unstable, controllable, specific causality. The importance of an optimistic explanatory style is to boost self efficacy in order to achieve a view that failures are unstable, controllable, and specifically caused instead of something inherently flawed within them and beyond their control. ADHD students that hold this internal locus of control and use a pessimistic explanatory style tend to produce results of lacking self efficacy, leading to anxiousness and depression due to the thought that something is inherently wrong with them.
This summary shows that an internal locus of control is not necessarily a positive thing. Thinking that one is flawed is a devastating concept to live with and approach life with. The formal education system and diagnosis’s can actually be devastating disadvantages to students who have unique personalities and learn differently. They know they are capable beings, yet they begin to come to believe that they have something wrong with them and this negative internal attribution style affects the growth and competency within classrooms and undertakings in life.
I originally found this research abstract and it came off as psycho babble to illustrate very fundamental points about human achievement. I find after thorough reading and intense yearning for comprehension and understanding that it is enlightening and supportive to ideas that were currently held about my own abilities. It re-illustrated and colored new precepts I’ve acquired the past year about success and my abilities as I committed my time and energy to finding the secrets to success and achievement. Growing up I knew I was smarter than many of my peers. This was an internal attribution style I held for my abilities as a person separate from any other opinion. In the classroom my personality (medically called ADHD) conflicted with the rigid standards of the formal education system. This resulted in a gradual negative/pessimistic explanatory/attribution style that maimed my progress as a student in the classroom. (This next part blew my mind so bear with any tangents) Throughout my childhood I unknowingly relied on medication as a means to achieve. When I was on meds I did well, when I wasn’t it was obvious and my negative behavior was attributed to this. This research accurately identifies my previous perceptions of medication as an external stable specific uncontrollable cause. I was medicated from the first grade until seventh when it was decided that medication was more of a crutch than healthy assistance. When I was removed my ability to perform and produce positive desirable behaviors in the classroom was poor. In seventh grade my grades dropped and anxiety and depression set in. Severe external emotional factors such as parents with high positive expectations and hard disciplinary styles conflicted with my negative explanatory style that, try as I might, my efforts were not able to produce. This was compounded with the suicidal death of a best friend. Having a high internal locus of control I interpreted these factors in a negative attribution style which lead to depression, anxiety and a host of other usual behavioral inconsistencies. I was medicated for a variety of psychological diagnosis, but at the heart, using my hind-sight bias, I was only acting out my reinforced expectancies. I struggled with self efficacy and although I had high expectations for myself, the formal classroom stifled my ability to succeed and caused failures to be accepted as inevitable. Fortunately, I overcame any negative feelings of depression at the start of my senior year as I assumed an internal positive responsibility for the right to be happy and not live a depressing negative emotionally defeating life. I realized my circle of influence and placed external casualty on circumstances when needed.
In summary, this trend continued throughout high school until senior year when I ultimately confronted the way I really felt about my incompatibility with the education system and my belief that I was no good for it. I simply ceased all effort in the classrooms, leading to failure to graduate. I was alright with this. I let myself do it. I refused to struggle with things that were, at the time in my perceptions, out of my control. It was two years later, after failing high school, getting kicked out of my home, and after getting a taste of the real world and the basic responsibilities for survival did I change my internal explanatory style to a positive approach and took responsibility for my life fearlessly. This was a decision motivated by sheer will and the desire to directly change the expectations I had for myself. I saw how I was living, and I saw how I wanted to live. I refused to make excuses or call myself flawed. I was willing and capable and I saw that there were people far worse than me that tackled life and its challenges with huge success through persistence and determination. I made the decision to study every successful man, and read every book I could get my hands on written by the people who’ve experienced success in their endeavors first hand. I decided to learn from the best. I read libraries of books on personal development and auto-biographies of the greatest successes. Every book I read was backed by the intent to further my understanding of what it takes for achievement. Each book was reinforcement for desire of positive success and the belief that I can have whatever I want if I’m willing to get expend the proper time and energy. Two quotes resonate as inspirational fuel that reminds me of the obligation I have to myself and my ability for success: “”What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”-Emerson” and ““Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing in the world is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. -Calvin Coolidge””. Together they reminded me that I have a plan and I can be as unconventional as I want. No one can stop me and my desire for success. As long as that desire is there nothing can hinder my progress. “People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do.”-Lewis Cass. I decided to back up all desire with immediate action.
In conclusion, correlating and translating my personal philosophy in terms of the essay at hand, I will say that I have a relatively new sense of positive internal control over my direct responsibilities towards achievement and that my explanatory style has assumed an ever increasing optimistic perception towards my set expectations and goals for success. I still struggle with old habits of thinking that sometimes barrage my confidence. Although I have a relatively high internal locus of control, 80 according to the survey, I struggle with being positive. Positivity is the ONLY way to make progress. NEVER does progress come from negative thinking, and if it does, it is never realized. An internal locus of control is good when it is reinforced with a positive mentality or explanatory style but can be detrimental when reinforced with a negative mentality. Having an external locus of control puts you in no position for progress because responsibility is not realized. I’ve learned to cope best by disregarding those negative mentalities by submerging myself in inspiring text by those who have lived success and encouraged achievement on every possible level in their lives. As long as I have a worthy ideal and I know exactly where I want to be and exactly what that looks like, I can reinforce that valuable ideal with action that directly reinforces my direction and confidence.

Research References and Articles used in this essay include:
“Explanatory Style and College Students with ADHD” by Solvegi Shmulsky & Ken Gobbo (2007)

“Are You the Master of Your Fate” by Rotter, J.B.(1966) Generalized expectancies for internal vs. external control of reinforcement. Psychological Monographs, 80, 1-28

and Rebecca Matte’s Powerpoint presentation “Locus of Control, Attribution Theory and Explanatory Style” (2007)

this is what i think

you know what. i used to have so little faith in myself. i thought i was a failure. i thought i just lacked what it took in this world to be great. i just considered myself special as an individual but i never realized how i could possible excel and contribute. the past year ive changed tremendously.

my whole metaphysical system for understanding what it means to be successful has been totally redone. it started with me failing high school. then me being a drug addict. then me losing a girl i loved with all my heart that it hurt and what hurt more was my inadequacy, because she deserved the best and i wasn’t. and i had to give her up in my mind because if i loved her i wouldn’t want to be a burden for someone that special. anyway.

i eventually sorta gave up, got kicked outta my house and was homeless for awhile. it was then, when i realized i would die or be a totally depressed unhappy bum if i didnt take responsibility for my thoughts and actions did i start exploring how to be successful. i started reading books, and the first book i picked up changed my life. “as a man thinketh” by james allen. i never even read prior to that book. i read it and it changed my view of the potential inside me that was crying out to be tapped. ever since ive continued reading books by the most successful people in the world and i never thought i could read so me or have so much ambition and positive hope for myself and my future.

failure is not an option to stop. i realized it simply became a stepping stone to success. you fail at something, you just dont do it that way again. otherwise youd be insane (doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results) instead you try try again reading and thinking about how to to it better and you will succeed. there are alot of tools and understanding ive aquired as the priciple foundations for success. anyway. anyway. i went back to highschool with a renewed spirit, got my degree, looked at colleges, read books, found landmark, readup on it, thought it sounded amazing, applied and paid for all those fees and here i am. i swear im so excited to get challenged, esp in an environment where they understand my frustrations i face with ADD and my mind. cause i don’t operate like the norm, and throughout high school and prior i thought i was just a crazy lunatic who was too scatterbrained and not focused enough to really make progress. i know now i can.

i think about that girl and it hurts so bad but i tell you whenever i feel lazy or contemplate procrastinating i think about her and how much it hurt to feel like a failure and now worthy enough for her. i expect much from myself. i want to give the world to her. and its not so much her as it is someone that i will have those feelings for again in the future. its extremely painful to let go of something you love more than anything. it motivates me to read dozens and dozens of books on dozens of subjects and get up early and go to the gym and do errands and be creative and just my the best person i can be. we all have unlimited potential its up to each of us in this lifetime to realize the potential. only then can be possibly tap into it.

i realize i am who i am and im ok with that. i will succeed and reach all of my goals so long as i have goals. goals are huge. without them we wander aimlessly in life. we need to know where to set the bar and what we’re working for and applying our efforts towards. the only thing more fulfilling than accomplishing a goal is the thought of the possibility of accomplishing it. its so invigorating. the challenge is like a reservoir of satisfaction waiting to be tapped. ah. so anyway. i want to prove to myself that i can be as successful as i think i can. it aint for the degree. it aint for the money. its about learning and adding to my knowledge and understanding. every accomplishment builds confidence towards the next even more challenging endeavor.

looking forward to catching up at school. we have the potential to do whatever our mind can come up with however amazing. “whatever the mind of a man can conceive and believe, the mind of a man can achieve.”-napoleon hill. you gotta think big and be positive and just on every opportunity to overcome a challenge or a fear. i got some good books ill introduce you to. ultimately, its what you want from this life and yourself. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” so true. problem is we don’t ask, and we don’t seek, and we don’t pursue. anyway.

this place is awesome. its built for people like me. they have all the right teachers and resources to tap into for help and encouragement. and from here, if I utilize everything available to us, we can go on to any higher more challenging institution for learning we choose. its exciting.

i like all music. my friends got me into the hardcore scene. not a huge fan of country yet, just doesnt do it for me, and rap and r&b is aight. hiphop a little more perferable. i dont get into any music scene tho. i tend to go with what speaks to my emotions at the time. anyway.

Life as a mountain

There are going to be obstacles in life and temptations. They never ever leave. i struggle. you struggle. we all struggle. you make it easier and easier for yourself by getting into the habit of doing the right thing no matter what the circumstance, no matter what the excuse. It starts with your choices and decisions. It’s important to get into the habit of making the right choices according to what you know to be right and according to how it will help benefit you and your life and daily goals. This is how i see it, and its a reality we all face if we choose to:
Life is like a race to the top of a mountain. The goal is to get to the top as quickly and efficiently as possible. The finish line offers us unlimited rewards for whatever desire our creative vision synthesizes in our mind. Everyone is human, as capable as the man next to him. Everyone starts at the bottom with equal choices. During the journey everyone takes their own individualized path. There are people who, do to their desire to succeed, put thought into the race and tend to follow the paths others have taken because they see the success of that road. There are those who blaze their own trail into the unknown obstacles that wait, for good or for worse. Some take easy paths, some take hard paths, some paths require skill and patience, some are a walk in the park. During the race you can maintain any speed you want. You can run fast and hard, keeping your eyes focused on the top of the mountain coupled with a mind consciously visualizing the finish line, the prizes and rewards that wait for him who desires it most. There are others that run slow, or walk, some even stop and sit. Some keep their eyes ahead on the finish line but lack urgency. They think they have all the time in the world. Right now they’d rather relax and enjoy their youth and energy. They laugh at everyone laboring and sweating to get their first and even detract others from their goal, convincing them their way is better. Those who want to succeed badly enough pay no attention to those going any slower them. They are only concerned with those who are going up and quickly, always eager to learn something from those who are a little quicker and more skilled so that their arsenal of weapons and tools against the inevitable obstacles will allow for quick victory over challenges so that they can continue on their journey. The people who lack urgency unfortunately, never progress, and never get any closer to the top. As time passes it gets harder as their energy and inspiration fleet away with every passing day. They’ve gotten themselves into the routine of doing enough to get by, complacent and content with their surroundings and the little things in life. It’s sad to see these ignorant people wander aimlessly through life. Sometimes they forget they’re even in a race. They choose to enjoy the scenery and the ‘good things in life’ really forgetting the amazing rewards at the top, paying little thought to time as they get older and it gets harder, until its too late. As time passes the prizes are won and the vitality of the well spring of opportunity begins to dry up. They look around, and they see the people at the top that persevered, happy, relaxing due to their diligence, focus, and perseverance. They are forced to settle for what they got. They blame the world and circumstances, never accepting responsibility as they make endless excuses for themselves. The race is won one step at a time. Every moment you aren’t thinking about the race is a moment in time you’ll never get back, and it gets harder and harder as the older you get and the chances get fewer and fewer. You need to answer some questions before you begin your race. What? How? And the most important driving force- Why? The ‘what’ is the knowledge required to pilot you as a vessel. This constructs the vision you have for yourself and the capabilities you can handle. Answering questions paints a vivid picture in your mind of the life you’re capable of living. It provides goals worthy of aspiration. What’s it going to take to get me where I want to go? What kind of race would you like to run? What kind of rewards are you striving for? What path should I take? What would help me get there sooner? What tools am I going to require as I encounter obstacles and challenges that ill need to overcome as I strive for success? The ‘how’ is the skill required to complete tasks effectively and efficiently. It’s the rudder that will guide you as vessel to your destination effectively. By asking ‘how’, you provide yourself with answers that take the cumulative knowledge and understanding you’ve gathered through asking what, and capitalize on the using the best tools and knowledge for the right job. How will I reach my goal? How will I overcome this obstacle? How can I be the best? It’s not necessarily all about what you know; it’s how you use what you know. It offers precision to every thought. Finally, the most importantly driving force behind anything you do as a person is discovered by asking ‘why?’ Why do the right thing? Why am I running so hard? Why am I being so disciplined? Why learn this? Why read that? Why know all this stuff? The ‘why’ is the inspiration and motivation needed to get you to where you want to go. Without answering this question the desire to be great and do great is nonexistent. Knowing why offers desire and a chance to grow as a person exponentially. It’s the fuel that drives you as a vessel to wherever you want to go in life.
You cannot run before first learning to walk. You need to take one step at a time, after you take ten steps, what’s stopping you from taking ten more? After walking ten miles, who says you can’t walk ten more? After running ten miles, why can you run ten more? With every step you take and every mile you travel you are building a confidence to do more and go farther. Don’t get ahead of yourself and expect amazing results immediately. Don’t judge a day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you sow. It starts with small disciplines until they’re mastered and the confidence for more will come.
You need to cast away any thought, any vice, any person, anything- that would hinder you from achieving your all and reaching your goals. You can’t afford to waste any time and mental energy on anything else but things that are beneficial and constructive you’re your life. There is no fear, no anxiety, no worry, no doubt- that should keep you from moving forward and doing your best. Act on what you know and work daily to achieve life goals. When you know what’s right and you do what you know to be wrong you make it harder for yourself. You slowly loose faith and confidence in yourself to succeed. Action is the only thing that gets results. You need to act on what you know to be right if you expect life to improve. It’s not wise to let yourself do something you know isn’t going to help you out in life or in your progress. Then again if you don’t have goals and reasons for doing right and making decisions that would benefit you, its easy to rationalize the choices you make based on how you feel about it today.

What you need to do is really think about where you want to be in life. Then set goals for yourself so you know what your working toward and how and why. If you don’t give it any thought, no one will. No one can do more for yourself than you. Don’t lie or rationalize the realities of life. They’ll be there whether you think they’re there or not. Life will move on without you. You cheat no one but yourself by doing nothing and making excuses. Don’t know where to start? What do you want out of life? Get a vision of the best things you’ve realistically ever imagined. How are you going to get there? Learn and absorb from those going and doing where you want to go and what you want to do. Read their books. Only concern yourself with those going up, unless where you are is alright.

My Personal Mission Statement


My Personal Mission Statement


Succeed at home first

Seek and merit divine Help

Never compromise with honesty

Remember the people involved

Hear both sides before judging

Obtain Counsel from Others

Defend those who are absent

Be sincere yet decisive

Develop one new proficiency a year

Plan Tomorrow’s work today

Hustle while you wait

Maintain a positive Attitude

Keep a sense of humor

Be orderly in person and in work

Do not fear mistakes- Fear only the absence of creative, Constructive and creative responses to those mistakes

Facilitate the success of subordinates

Listen twice as much as you speak

Concentrate all abilities and efforts on the task at hand, not worrying about the next job or promotion