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A Dictionary of New Epigrams

ACTION

The desire for pleasures and the avoidance of pain enhances individual and species survivability, so natural selection built those behaviors into our DNA.

Goal-directed action is motivated by what we desire and dread.

Movement or stillness are both forms of inertia, and it is a change of inertia that reveals some other active force. The reaction to an idea is directly proportional to how much that new idea is in conflict with the existing ideas, with inertia.

Creative thought is witnessed in the changing of external actions of people’s behavior, but it is based on invisible changes of some mental facts.

Action has no moral value, until it is compared to some human-created standards, and those standards may come into conflict.

All human actions are eventually doomed in the sense that all matter will return to a state of cold entropy, but that will be long after our star has stopped shining. Between now and that time actions can have significance.

Our actions can be successful in the sense that they better our condition, and that of our family and friends, and in the long run our species and all life. Humans have been capable of those basic choices for a million years, and we are now capable of thinking of the betterment of all life.

Doing things that other people should be doing for themselves is robbing them of the opportunity of being fully human, and it makes them into ever weakening creatures.

The most powerful action figures of humanity are those who change people’s behaviors, even whole people’s behaviors.

Nearly all our human actions are based on what has been learned and communicated to us by our society, thus to learn to have socially constructive personalities we should associate with constructive people.

By performing right actions, even if they are acquired by social copying, we develop the habits that will enhance our productivity for ourselves and society too.

Our expectations of ourselves are generated by our personal society and how we choose to react to it with our actions, and thus our habits and future actions.

Our present and future actions are guided, and largely controlled, by our past actions.

Wisdom based on forethought of the goal, acquired when beginning a new activity, will bring increasing success at the end.

Learning how to sit still without any thoughts is wonderful training for being able to sit still without any thoughts.

Every action is creative when the goal is to make a better final product, because finding a better way to do something is always the source of a better way for everyone.

An individual’s actions are inevitably local, but if they are contagious and are exposed to others they can become worldwide.

The best actions are those that bring the best results. But who is to measure the results? That is whoever sees them and appreciates the precipitating actions that brought them into existence.

The man of great actions is prepared by a lifetime of smaller actions, of practice, of forethought, of cultivating the right habits and of choosing to act when action will work.

A thought goes to the grave with the death of the individual, but an action that is witnessed and followed lives on as long as it can be revived. A thought that never finds expression is just a wiggling of atoms inside a skull.

Trust in action. Life is action. Words that don’t result in some actions are only vibrating air that passes into random meaninglessness in a second.

Fine actions are better than fine words because they change things for the better.

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