Each one of us has choices in how we are going to live our life, and we should occasionally pause to consider what will be the probable outcome of our choices. There have been a hundred billion human beings who inhabited this Earth, and seven and a half are presently living, so my generalizations can’t possibly be best for every occasion. Even the suggestion that we should look ahead isn’t always a good choice, because sometimes a reflexive action provided by our evolutionary nature will be the best, and any thinking would impair our performance.
One of my personal favorite New Year’s Resolutions was, “When it comes to an action it is better to avoid being stupid than trying to be smart.” But, even that isn’t always the ideal option because sometimes luck will win out no matter how wise we are trying to be. For example one day I was arguing, rather forcibly, with my friend Skip that it was a waste of money to bet in the California State Lottery. As it turned out he had the winning ticket in his pocket worth seventeen million dollars. Some ten years later I ran into him and asked if winning all that money had changed his life for the much better. He said that it hadn’t made him any happier, but he was enjoying the things that money could buy and didn’t want to give the money back. Probably having enough money to live without any more anxiety than your friends routinely have is enough to live the life you were born into comfortably.
Even the great religions are encouraging their followers to find the right path and stick to it. Mohammed’s opening prayer has the line, “Direct me along the proper path, the path of those whom you do favor, away from the paths that will lead me astray.” Jesus’s prayer has the line, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” The goal is to find the proper way to live and to live more abundantly. Each of these ideas has the concept of moving along a road, a way, a path which implies a continuous journey where there is a smooth way that has been prepared, and to get off of it will lead to difficulties.
The aim of these 3060 Probaway Lifehack posts is to get on the right path and stick to it, but how are we to know what is the right path, and how are we to make decisions when we come to forks in the road, or when it is dark and we can’t see? With instructions coming from another living person there is always a problem of their suggestions for our actions being influenced by that person’s self-interest, to our detriment.
But, aren’t we the captains of our fate, and the ultimate directors of our actions? For nearly any action that we can take there are others who have done something similar to that action, and therefore have experience, and can probably advise us to a better course of action than we, without any experience, would take. Without experience there is only a little that we can project concerning the problems that we will encounter, and the decisions that we will have to make. We may need to have certain skills that we could learn now, but unless we do choose to learn them now we will be unable to take the right actions when the time comes. A few words of instruction from a person with experience might make us a success, or at least prevent us from failing. Usually it comes to something trite like:
Always do the right thing at the right time, and avoid doing the wrong thing all the time.