Self Improvement? That’s Not A Multiplier

Understanding the world, decreases one’s frustration with the world. In my case I went from thinking people were largely evil to feeling sorry for most human beings who merely do the best that they can, and finally to a constant feeling of the miracle of human existence. And so I try to help people, rather than be so angry with them.

i don’t think of or use terms like self improvement since I see life as one unending opportunity to gain understanding and enact change in the world.

But conversely, that just as discovering that the world is not the center of the universe, and discovering our evolution is an interesting accident, the more you know, the less opportunity for wishful thinking, the perception of safety, and the hope for an end to human conflict withstand reason.

The evidence is that simple people who live within their means are happier than smarter people who are forever unsatisfied with the state of man. As a member of the 1% with all the wealth and assets that entails – trying to defend that position from competitors, my own government, and ex-wives and their lawyers – I was far less happy than I am as a writer who has minimized his dependencies, and if possible would live nearly monastically.

The only thing that universally makes people happy is functional family and friends, a domicile that is paid for, and sufficient income to be free of unwanted stresses, so that we can pursue wanted stresses: stress within our means.

So, what I have learned is (a) accumulate family, friends, experiences and savings – particularly where they are free from legal attachment overseas; (b) avoid all debt; (c) own nothing that is not (i) beautiful, (ii) functional, (iii) inheritable. (d) dressing well, staying fit, and using good grooming increase your income by 20% – almost as much as an education. And if you cannot entertain yourselves with books, the internet, friends, then read better books and articles, save more money, take better care of yourself, and get better friends.

The worst mistakes you can make are a bad spouse, too much house, expensive cars, and debt – all of which are just substitutes for taking care of yourself, experiences you must earn through friends and family, and accumulating friends, associates, and family.

“Self help” means ‘doing something alone’. When the primary problem for americans (if not moderns in general) is that they are either de-facto alone, or de facto trying to do things alone. And compromise with people who are more talented than you are in one discipline or other is the only means of working in groups, and groups serve as multipliers not additives.

If you’re doing it alone, you’re doing it wrong.
If you’re buying stuff then you’re doing it wrong.
If your friends and family are holding you back, find new friends and build a better family.

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