Three Tips to Make the World a Better Place

Three Tips to Make the World a Better Place (By being more rational): 
1. Be wary of your emotions
2. Learn your fallacies
3. Be wary of doctrines that you really like. (Are you being uncritical?)

Check out some related articles, here:…/%ef%bb%bflearn-your-fallac…/…/%ef%bb%bfhow-to-refute-an-…/…/intro-to-logic-for-commen…/…

What Would You Suffer For?

Question One: What are you willing to suffer for?
Question Two: What is more important continual suffering, sweat, and sacrifice?
Question Three: Why do you gladly suffer and fight, when others quit, cut-corners, and complain?

High-Value Test: What are you willing to suffer for, with dignity?

Question One: What are you willing to suffer for?

Question Two: What is more important continual suffering, sweat, and sacrifice?

Question Three: Why do you gladly suffer and fight, when others quit, cut-corners, and complain? 

This will clue you into what your vision of life is.  What is your motivating ‘why’? This defines you as a person, and as a leader.

To quote Nietzsche, “if you have a ‘why’ you can survive of almost any ‘how’. 

Twilight of the Idols (1889), section: ‘Maxims and Arrows’)

“In some ways, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment, it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.”

Viktor Frankl

Just as everybody is a leader of some sort, everybody has a vision of life, of some sort too. And these to aspects are related.

But some leaders are ineffective, and some leaders influence people in the wrong direction. Hitler was an effective influencer, but evil, for instance. 

If you want to be a good leader, even a good person, you need to know what your ‘vision of life’ is.

You probably don’t want to drop everything you’re doing and start studying history, philosophy, and theology.

Are there some shortcuts? Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that you can wrestle with telling questions that reveal things about yourself. No, in the sense that such revelations don’t remove the necessary soul-searching and contemplation in order to discover, what you do believe, should believe, and can believe.

Yet, there are such things that I’d call ‘high-value’ tests. For instance, a way that you can see what you think is materially valuable might be to imagine that you discover your house is on fire. What do you grab first? For instance, if you grabbed your cat, and ignored your children…well…that would quite concerning. Regardless, this thought experiment allows you to consider what is truly valuable, though not exactly in a material sense.

In the context of leadership, consider the fact that great leaders can transform meaningless drudgery into meaningful and inspirational activity…but this is only possible…if one has a great vision of life. 

To this end, ask yourself this question: “What will you suffer with dignity for?” Your answer will be revealing. If you are not willing to suffer for anything good, then you clearly have nothing to lead with. If you only have petty or small aims, then only petty and small sacrifices are the limit of your influence. 

But if you have a grand vision, of what is great, and noble, and wonderous, as well as a clear idea of what is wrong (the obstacles of the vision), then you might have a suitable vision of life that can justify getting through the low points of life, and work, etc. 

Living an admirable life requires us to work through suffering. Leadership requires navigation through suffering preeminently. Those that follow look to you as a lighthouse for guidance. Do you have any light to give?

Stories to Check Out:

Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning

Consider great trials, and the heroic persons that went through them (and why):

  • Saint Patrick of Ireland, who went back to his slave-captors to share the gospel with them. See my article here.
  • Socrates, who drank the Hemlock, since it was somehow unjust to escape the lawful punishment of the court. He thought it was better to suffer injustice, rather than commit an injustice himself.
  • Saint Thomas More, who died at the behest of King Henry VIII of England, because he refused to bend his religious principles in order to give the King another divorce.
  • Martin Luther King devoted himself to non-violent civil disobedience, despite violent attacks on himself.
  • Jesus suffered and died for sinners, despite His innocence, and His disciples committed themselves to spread the gospel despite the inevitable exiles, trials, and martyrdom, that such ministry required.

Are You the Center That Holds? Three tips to be a Transcendent Leader:

First, have a Transcendent Vision: You need a vision that is grand. Don’t have one? Study those that do. Study philosophy and theology, and what I’d call ‘good fiction’ (which is also, controversial fiction)

Second, have Transcendent Standards: You need rational prejudices, such as Truth, Goodness, and Justice.

Third, have a Transcendent Stability: You’re a lighthouse, not a superman. As a leader, you don’t have to be able to do everything. Rather, you have to be a stable point that directs the parts towards the whole. You guessed it…you need a stable transcendent vision to do this. You need convictions that are invincible. Recommendation, start with the great Leaders. 

Books to Read to Get a Vision: 

Books to Read to Get Transcendent Standards: 

  • Read good philosophy books that explain why Truth, Goodness, and Beauty, are objective features of reality (is this a contentious statement? Yes, but I do believe that this is right)
  • Read about great military struggles. (I reject universal pacifism and hold that some violence is justified

Books to Read to Get Stability: 

I have found that stability comes with mental preparation, mentorship, and rigorous reflection. This requires investment. Even reading fiction is a kind of investment. If you take the stories seriously, in the sense you are a character in a story, and not just escaping from your daily grind. For instance, you have priorities, aims, standards, and a vision of reality that motivates you. Are you heroic? Why not? If you take good stories seriously, then they are not mere stories, but hypothetical thought-experiments for your actual life. Resolve to be the hero: take the necessary steps, and you’ll become the leader that you invest yourself in. 

Thanks for listening. Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

You Need to Read! Reasons to Read Daily, for Health, Wealth, and Wisdom

Here are some reasons to read (notes from the video post):

  1. Read for Wisdom:
  • Wisdom is knowing and understanding the truth, which includes what is good in life (in general), and what is best in life, given your circumstances (in particular). 

2. Read for Joy: 

  • Aristotle ”The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet” (from Diogenes’ Lives of Eminent Philosophers)
    • Reading is only bitter in the beginning, I’d submit, once you are proficient in reading, and know what is good to read, reading is then transformed from drudgery to pleasure. The words are means to the ideas and reality, at first it is hard to see, but with polishing, the glass in transparent, and you see through it, to the reality itself.

3. Read for Character Development

  • Pat Williams: “Good character is the accumulated deposit of good moral choices.” (21 Great Leaders, Ch. 10 on Washington)

4. Read for Prudent Investing (i.e.Wealth): 

Interesting articles to check out: 

Books to Buy/Borrow: 

You are not just a bunch of cells, you have a spiritual and moral dimension, if you neglect it, it will show. 

A better title would have been, though longer: “You need to read, study, reflect, build conviction and habits, and invest your resources (time, money, energy, life)” However, setting up a time to read is the first part to doing these other things. 

A question that naturally emerges….how do you know if you’re reading the right things? Good question….but that must be reserved for another day, and another post. 

Hope you have a great Sunday!