In the works of great writers we find our own neglected thoughts.
At the lowest socioeconomic level, lower-lower class, the time perspective was often only a few hours, or minutes, such as in the case of the hopeless alcoholic or drug addict, who thinks only about the next drink or dose.
At the highest level, those who were second- or third-generation wealthy, their time perspective was many years, decades, even generations into the future. It turns out that successful people are intensely future oriented. They think about the future most of the time.
The very act of thinking long term sharpens your perspective and dramatically improves the quality of your short-term decision making.
Resolve today to develop long-time perspective. Become intensely future oriented. Think about the future most of the time. Consider the consequences of your decisions and actions. What is likely to happen? And then what could happen? And then what? Practice self-discipline, self-mastery, and self-control. Be willing to pay the price today in order to enjoy the rewards of a better future tomorrow.
The very act of stopping to think before you say or do anything almost always improves the quality of your ultimate response. It is an indispensable requirement for success.
Beware of endeavoring to be a great man in a hurry. One such attempt in ten thousand may succeed: these are fearful odds.
We first determine that it is a good business opportunity. Then we ask, ‘What is the worst possible thing that could happen to us in this business opportunity?’ We then go to work to make sure that the worst possible outcome does not occur.
The best measure of quality thinking is your ability to accurately predict the consequences of your ideas and subsequent actions.
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves.
(Knowledge) can never be acquired unless one has chosen a goal for one’s studies. One must conduct oneself as in everyday life; one must know what one wants to be. In the latter endeavors irresolution produces false steps, and in the life of the mind confused ideas.
It sometimes happens that work and study force genius to declare itself, like the fruits that art produces in a soil where nature did not intend it, but these efforts of art are nearly as rare as natural genius itself. The vast majority of thinking men — the others, the geniuses, are in a class of their own — need to search within themselves for their talent. They know the difficulties of each art, and the mistakes of those who engage in each one, but they lack the courage that is not disheartened by such reflections, and the superiority that would enable them to overcome such difficulties. Mediocrity is, even among the elect, the lot of the greatest number.
Appreciation over expectation.
To become more successful at everything you do in life, you need to do three things: reduce the amount of time you waste, be more organized, and get rid of the “mental clutter” that distracts you, preoccupies you, and stresses you out.
One of the most prominent current theories through which psychologists explain differences in political beliefs is called Moral Foundations Theory, or MFT. MFT posits that there are five foundations to moral beliefs: care/harm (whether other beings are being hurt); fairness/cheating (whether people are treating others fairly); loyalty/betrayal (whether people are exhibiting loyalty to their group); authority/subversion (whether people are playing by the rules); and sanctity/degradation (whether people are sullying physical or spiritual things that are sacred). According to the theory, liberals and conservatives view these concerns differently. For liberals, care/harm and fairness/cheating are the most important of the five, while conservatives are more into loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion, and sanctity/degradation.
Self-justification is a portrayal of the brain that, despite its stated goals or desires, is not interested in truth, but rather self-preservation. Admitting you were wrong may save relationships and lives, it may prevent distress and war, but it will also force you to admit that the narrative you have constructed about yourself is wrong. And depending on how committed you are to that narrative, you may be unable to even see that you made a mistake, let alone confront it.
Self-justification has costs and benefits. By itself, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It lets us sleep at night. Without it, we would prolong the awful pangs of embarrassment. We would torture ourselves with regret over the road not taken or over how badly we navigated the road we did take. … Yet mindless self-justification, like quicksand, can draw us deeper into disaster. It blocks our ability to even see our errors, let alone correct them. It distorts reality, keeping us from getting all the information we need and assessing issues clearly. It prolongs and widens rifts between lovers, friends, and nations. It keeps us from letting go of unhealthy habits. It permits the guilty to avoid taking responsibility for their deeds. And it keeps many professionals from changing outdated attitudes and procedures that can harm the public.