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It’s the problems we encounter that make life interesting. If our problems are too small or too big we are not happy. When they are too small we are bored and when they are too big we are overwhelmed. During the course of our life, our day or our current minute we can, to some degree, choose the problem we will put our attention upon. Our habits that we have self-created will have a major influence on what we choose to do and therefore we should use our optional moments of self-observation to consider what is the best action at the moment.

If we choose to hang out all evening at a rowdy bar we will be cultivating the qualities of those kinds of people and become rowdier ourselves and with a string of temporary relationships become isolated. If we choose to sit at home alone and drink alcohol, eat chips and watch depressing movies we will be cultivating the qualities of an obese alcoholic. It may take a decade or two to make it to the gutter but the 80-year-long Harvard Grant study demonstrated that was the predictable outcome. A TED talk says that developing long-lasting healthy relationships with other people is the key to happiness and longevity. That is obvious, but many people fail to do that simple thing. Also, treating your body and mind as if you are going to be using them for many years makes it more likely that you will have the opportunity to use them for many years. Some common activities are charted for their riskiness and motorcycle riding is 30 times riskier than driving a car, but climbing at 8,000 meters in the Himalayas is 16,000 times riskier per day than driving. However, motor vehicles, alcohol, smoking, surgery, and electricity are riskier than most people expect so it makes sense to minimize exposure to those activities.

Hiking with friends is more life-enhancing than mountain climbing.

 

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